Watching you, watching me 4



Couples tend to watch each other:  he watches my food intake, I watch his drinking. 

Watching…noticing personal habits, foibles, tendencies and characteristics is easy to do.

Actually, to take us both off the hook, it’s not so much that we’re watching as that we’re noticing.  It’s quite easy to notice the things that your spouse or other close loved one does, especially if:

 

  • It’s something you don’t do.

  • It’s something you think they shouldn’t do.

  • You consider it a negative or “bad” habit.

  • You wish they would do less of it.

  • You’re worried about their health and well-being.

 

I love to eat.  He loves to drink.

I grew up in a household with abundant food and no liquor.

He grew up in a home where a drink (or two or…) with dinner was de rigueur.

 

I love sweets and am only able to reduce my intake by only baking or bringing them in the house when we have company. 

He can eat one (yes, one!)  cookie or one slice of my most delicious banana bread and not eat another for a couple of days.  (Although if I make an apple pie, he will go back until it’s gone over the course of a day or two – that’s his kryptonite!)

 

All of this is fine and good when it stays light.  It is when you feel watched, monitored and judged that this gets into argument territory.

 
  iStockPhoto

This is written as an alert to a newish friend who I can tell is trying to influence me to lose weight.  She doesn’t get that I feel attractive as I am or that I’m comfortable taking my long walks and lifting weights and don’t have a goal in mind other than to keep everything in working order – if weight is lost in the process – fine, if weight is not lost, also fine. 

 

I’m getting ready to have to tell her to back up off me – the suggestions about hair, clothes, weight, etc.  And I know she’s well-meaning in this but she’s petite (and well-to-do – oh the clothes she can afford) and her beauty aesthetic is not the same as mine.  She has not had to go on a diet ever, having the genes and habits that allow her to keep her petite figure.

 

This year for Lent (which I never observed before but did so in support of my husband), I gave up peanut butter.  (I have a “jones” for Skippy Peanut Butter and just discovered that I even like the “natural” one Skippy makes.)   You might laugh but it was very difficult to give up peanut butter.  A couple of times I wanted to run to the store, grab a jar and just open it up and stick my index finger inside and put a big glob in my mouth, but I didn’t.)  Next year, I’ll probably try to give up bread (another love) for the month.

Love is acceptance of each other, even when we’re checking each other out. 

(Whisper:  let me tell you what I recently did – for love.  I colored my hair – not back to black but bounced to brown.   I won’t say more about that now.)  

<><><><><><>

If you liked this post, you might also like:  Love is Acceptance


About Candelaria Silva

Candelaria Silva-Collins is a marketing, community outreach and programming consultant; writer; and trainer/facilitator who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She has designed and facilitated workshops on a wide variety of topics including communication, facilitation, job search skills, team building, and parenting issues. She currently coordinates the Community Membership Program of the Huntington Theatre Company. Her work as Director of ACT Roxbury was profiled in several publications, including The Creative Communities Builders Handbook. Candelaria’s children’s stories, short stories, essays and reviews have been published in local and national publications and she is an active blogger. Her publications include the booklets, Handling Rejection; Pushing through Shyness: Networking Tips when You’re Shy, Slow to Warm Up or Just don’t Feel you Belong; and Real Questions about Sex & Relationships for Teens: A Discussion Guide for Parents. She has served on the boards of Goddard College, Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston Foundation for Architecture, and Discover Roxbury. She is currently Chair, Designators of the Henderson Foundation.

Leave a Reply to Candelaria Cancel reply

4 thoughts on “Watching you, watching me

  • LeeAnn

    I have to tell you – it made me smile to imagine “noticing” and being able to keep it light and goofy almost. It sounds like such a happy way to be. It tickled me. Good on you both!

  • Lydia

    This post really resonates with me. I think that the longer you are with someone, the more you “notice”. It’s a fine line between noticing and watching, and a short hop from watching to nagging.

  • Candelaria

    Ah – nagging. It is hard not to say something that can then be taken as nagging.
    One has to try not to get defensive if your love or friend makes an observation.
    A delicate dance.  Thanks for commenting.

  • miruspeg

    Candelaria you have given some excellent examples about how we watch and notice our nearest and dearest.

    Without realising it we often project our values and judgements onto others and not give them the chance to be themselves.

    Hope your new friend will understand where you are coming from and respect that you like yourself “warts and all”!

    I sure love reading your blog.
    Hugs
    Peggy xxxx