Thursday, October 4, 2007


I've seen the episodes of Tell Me You Love Me, the new HBO series which there seems to be a mini-uproar about. There's some buzz and controversy around the graphic depictions of sexuality, and at one time, I'm sure that would have hooked me into the show. The truth of the matter is that the sex isn't that interesting. In fact, it's a little desperate and sad. Graphic real-life portrayals of sex aren't always that hot to watch. Especially when you're aware of the emotional overhead surrounding every encounter. Trying to get pregnant. Trying to avoid other relationship problems. Trying for any shred of intimacy.

What has me interested... that's not even the right word... what has me spinning are the relationships between the married (and almost married) couples. There's an amazing lack of communication that's going on there. They don't say what they feel. They don't express what's important to them. They're not honest. They carry secrets. And not in a dramatic soap-opera way, but in a very real, believable way.

Part of me recognizes that it's a great way to hook an audience. "Why doesn't she just..." "Why won't he tell..." Etc. And though it's not-quite-real situations, I recognize the frustration and grinding away of life that might cause someone to shut down.
It's amazing how honest and open with your feelings you are. Most people have a lot of trouble getting in touch with how they feel and expressing it. It's really refreshing to meet someone who doesn't seem to have a problem with either.
MS paid me that compliment (paraphrased) a few months back, and it stuck with me. At the time, I realized that it was troubling, but only after watching TMYLM did I realize why. My family and I have had terrible, horrible fights with each other. Yelling, screaming arguments. And none of us is stupid. And I don't think that any of us thought we were defending the wrong position while we were arguing. But we still had these blow-ups with each other. And they were all like this show: Caused by pent-up frustration, the daily grind of living with people, and lack of communication. So if I'm an open and honest person, how can I have the same problems as people who aren't?

That thought haunts me.


  1. I've had similar problems with openness and honesty--they sometimes seem to aggravate things more than clamping down.

    Maybe the situations are more complex, and open communication is just one variable?

    At any rate, I still love your family (the members I've met). :)

  2. Once people are in argument mode, there's less willingness to listen to feelings. And I know that I'm less able to talk about how I feel without being accusatory in language and tone. Well, the tone thing is a problem for me in general.

    And for the record, I love my family too! :-)