Tuesday, December 27, 2016

I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face (But Not After 35 Years)

“I’ve grown accustomed to her face,” go the famous lyrics from My Fair Lady, but not after 35 years. No matter what the quality of the relationship, most couples who have been married many years would have to admit that there are times when they have grown tired of his or her face, together with their little habits and expressions which seem to become more set in stone as time goes by. You may love someone, but be totally sick if them. You may feel you can’t do without them and the same time can’t tolerate the thought of having to listen to them making sure that there are lots of onions in their salad or burger or wherever else they’re used to onions going. The thought of them demanding that their hot and sour soup comes very hot, but going on to explain to the perplexed  Chinese waiter that hot means temperature and not extra spicy becomes unbearable with age. “Accustomed” in many long term relationships connotes little more than taken for granted. The song might well go “I’ve grown to take his or her face for granted,” since every time he or she walks into the house, their significant other is unlikely to turn away from the computer screen in front of which they're stuck to bother to look up and do anything, but utter, “How was your day?” in the bored matter-of-fact tone that begs no response. The recipient of such behavior is equally rendered speechless to the extent that they’re painfully aware that there's nothing that they can do or say that their wife, husband or lover hasn't heard before. Sometimes a question is existential. “Did the plumber come?” for which the answer is “yes,” “no” or perhaps “yes but he couldn’t fix the problem,” in which case a mini crisis ensures (especially if it concerns a clogged toilet). But even a situation like this contains no surprises. It’s a one act with performers playing familiar roles and nothing plot wise that's going to shake the boat. In the case of a toilet, the worst that happens is that someone is going to have to hold it.

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