Drama. In the past twelve years of relationship with Stone, one thing we’ve managed to almost completely avoid is drama. We both prefer letting the small things slide and being direct and straight up about the big or accumulated things. We don’t play games, don’t do passive-aggression, don’t create mixed messages. We don’t always agree and sometimes we annoy each other, but we then give each other some space for a while and we talk later.
Essentially, this is because we are on each other’s side and are, through thick and thin, allies and friends. We recognise that we are learning to be better people together, that neither of us is perfect though both are trying their best, and that life should be kept as simple as possible. So far, we’ve been living a simple, happy life.
Our relationship is like an oasis from a world where simple, straight up happens far too infrequently. We each came into the relationship with a low tolerance for drama and i think we’ve lost even more tolerance, knowing how much its possible to live without it.
So, when I encounter it, my first response is the straight up one. Sometimes that works, but usually only if the other person is invested in being direct and moving on too. When it doesn’t work, i side-step, knowing a lot of energy will be expended unneccessarily. But doing so also requires me to accept that things to be said or tensions to be resolved may remain, and, well, that’s just life.
With my great impatience for drama well known, my friends know they can just say what they have to. And, I reciprocate. With my family, I’ve been able to establish boundaries to protect the stable nature of my emotional being and space. And, as with families, mostly it works, though sometimes it doesn’t. In my working life, i don’t deal at all.
office politics are part of working in any space with different kinds of people. sometimes they are worth the conversation, but sometimes people will hold to their approach regardless of the consequences. As with everything else, in the end i think my child is healthy and safe and happy, my husband is at home waiting for me and i am fine. nothing else matters and, if it does, a mutual resolution will be found. With that, i find the discipline and focus from which i draw great fulfillment, and i press on.
now that Zi is reaching 9 months and beginning to express herself, stone and i are beginning to pay attention to the question of drama. if Zi wants the remote (of course, with all the toys she has, she’d want the remote) and it gets taken away, she sometimes starts to fuss and kick up. If she wants to be picked up and i’m getting ready for work, more fuss potential. if she doesn’t want any more food, the fuss could extend to getting bits of food in her eyes and hair and swept to the floor. all this is part of babies learning to identify what they want, learning to communicate as well as manipulate, and learning the emotional tiers that humans respond to.
but in the balance of letting things slide and making others stop is drama. this is one thing that stone and i want Zi to know is not going to fly in our family. Stone and i don’t throw tantrums and neither will she. We won’t get this through immediately and we know its a back and forth process, as all child rearing is, and we are going to need to stick with good strategies, but we have true consensus on this one. drama is a big no no.
i guess we both look around and see how much energy, effort and time gets wasted in relationships, families and workplaces by people unable or unwilling to be direct. most trinidadians are like this it seems. they talk around whatever needs to be said, and often with or to other people, until there is need for some small or large open confrontation. this is one cultural characteristic that Zi is going to be schooled out of.
i dream for her that she has the confidence, emotional clarity and honesty to not mix her words. especially when they express her desires, feelings, hurts, apologies, wants and needs. though i hope she can say them with sensitivity, certainly more than me. i dream that she doesn’t ever have to read between the lines in her relationships, and interpret clearly spelled out actions in lieu of unsaid words, the combination of the two being the way that people speak loudly without taking responsibility for their voice. i dream that her family, love, friend and work relationships are as simple and straight up as possible, knowing that her brain and heart are better focused on achieving her dreams. I dream that she knows that lasting love is possible without stress, second guessing and inner dialogue. Although, of course, true self-reflection is a life long practice and art.
And in those moments when these things don’t come true, I dream that she will know how to focus, let go, be careful and move on.
but in my own heart, i know that stone and i will together do our best to help her learn what makes relationships of all kinds happy, productive, simple and lasting. trust us, it’s no drama, Zi.