Red Shoulder Hawk

Red Shoulder Hawk

Friday, September 22, 2006

More on "George"

He was at it again last night.

There's something... compulsive? in the behavior. Things must be tidy and clean, but not necessarily functional. For example, if the kitchen is clean, it is good; even if you can't find the cheese grater because it's hiding inside of a soup pot in the cupboard. So a kitchen with nothing on the countertops is "good," even if getting it to that stage renders it less useful.

And honestly, I'm okay with that. The part that is driving me around the bend is when George tells me that I will feel better with his version of a clean kitchen.

Actually, I'm pretty familiar with what sort of a kitchen makes me happy, and it has almost nothing to do with what the place looks like. It has far more to do with are people making food and enjoying each other's company. I'm rather tired of being told how I will feel good or better or happy if the kitchen is his way, or the living room, or the space outside in the yard, or that I'm charging my electric car when he thinks I should.

My family was too slow to get the internet wired up to the house. George got tired of waiting for us to handle our higher priorities (build walls, install doors, clean floors, get plumbing installed in our living space) and he signed up. He graciously and courteously offered to share, and we've been sharing.

Sort of.

With one thing and the other, the internet isn't stable at the house, and he's tired of us messing with it. Last night, Xena was troubleshooting the connections, and he swooped in and took over without so much as a by-your-leave. Xena had it working. He made it not working. He took the masses of clustered wiring and piled equipment and made it all tidy. And expected us to be pleased, and furthermore laid down a law that for the next few days, he'll be the only one touching it.

While not listening to suggestions that he broaden his field of view to include alternate failure modes, his style of making things not work is to perform a small diagnosis and latch onto some trivial portion of the solution. He'll declare that if that bit gets solved, then the problem will go away (at the end of these declarations he'll insert one of those annoying laughs some people use to try to indicate that they're not full of themselves-- sort of like a :) at the end of an inflamatory text message). Last night, I watched this style of problem solving fail him three times in a row, with him seeming none the wiser that his method wasn't achieving results.

Actually, in truth, it did achieve a result: Xena's going to take a couple of days (now that we're more settled in the home) and wire in our own internet connection. George will be sad that we will stop sharing the expense of his connection, but Xena and I are tired of discussing with him the failure of the internet connection he bought.

I'm choosing now, to examine what sort of person I want to be in my relationship with George. People drive me crazy when they reflect to me, parts of me that I'm uncomfortable with. I certainly have a "tell" rather than "ask" aspect to my personality. I don't think I move other's people's stuff around as much as he does, though. Why is he constantly "nesting?" It's a mystery. What about his other quirks? He certainly demands a high level of contribution from everyone around him. I don't see much flowing from him, though. Do I value George enough to explore this with him? Or do I act to simply mitigate his impact on my family? Shall I let go of trying to be a communal house and just lay down some laws with him?

I'll be examing my heart, and watching for signs of common ground or lack of such.

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