COURTESY AND OTHER TRASH

 

Why is courtesy the first thing jettisoned in intimate relationships?  Is it the dynamic of the thing itself which fosters it, or do we simply feel safe enough to behave like complete idiots?

I have often wondered why politeness is reserved for strangers, but not extended to loved ones.  It is the daily grind whose gears require greasing; so why hold out?  Do we honestly expect the mechanism to run if it’s not properly tended?

If we do, then we know as little about loving relationships as we do car mechanics… which tends to explain why we’re more devoted to our vehicles than to each other.    I suppose it’s easier to love an inanimate object, no matter how broken down and unreliable, than one who habitually criticizes your wardrobe, table manners and take-home salary.

Then again, if confronted with a beligerent stranger, would you just as readily acquiesce to their demands?  Of course not.  You’d tell them to mind their own affairs and butt out of yours. 

So why do we lie down and take it from those who’ve promised to love, protect and cherish us?  Shouldn’t they be our greatest champions?  All things being equal, we only share our life with others; we are not beholden to them.  There is no good reason to tear apart the person you love most just because you’re in a bad mood.

Yes, we all have rotten days that challenge us to the nth degree, but that does not give us license to indulge in willful and juvenile behavior.  If you find yourself angry enough to belittle your companion, perhaps the person with whom you are truly disgusted is yourself.  It’s said that we are all but mirrors to one another; if this is true, then acts of incivility do not end with tears from our partners, but tears from our own eyes.

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