Friday, 28 November 2008
I know people complain about the state of television but let me assure you there is nothing more pleasurable or entertaining than watching the working class air their dirty laundry, whilst eating cake and lounging in your pyjamas.
So I'm watching a talk show and it's entitled ‘Stop calling me fat or I'm going to leave you". For the talk show disciples out there you know the drill. Overweight woman comes out first. Host asks her a stream of emotive questions, which all require graphic answers that inevitably have her in a flood of tears. Crowd ‘aahs’ and gasps in all the right places. ‘Advice’ from audience members (I haven’t got a clue why anyone would entertain advice from someone who actually goes to talk shows) and the woman seems sufficiently pumped up to give her husband his ‘ultimatum’.
The man comes out and he's immediately booed. I object to this. This is supposed to be a liberal freaking democracy we need some fairness. If Jerry Springer has taught us anything it’s that there are always five sides to a story (all equally unbelievable).
So she gives him an ultimatum. (Awful accent) ‘Billy unless you stop calling me fat an all sorts I’m leaving you……toddddaaaaay’. (Yeah she really did draw out today). The crowd cheers.
So this poor man is being heckled and publicly roasted for technically doing nothing wrong. Let me qualify that statement. He had done something wrong but it wasn’t as bad as the crowd and host made it seem. I’m in no way condoning his decision to constantly berate his wife about her weight. That’s completely out of order. But there was a crucial detail she chose to omit.
When this man met his wife she was a size 8. The woman sitting next to him was a size 24.
I'm not saying his behavior was justified, but I understand.
I’m not fattist (is that the term?), I would be writing this rant if the reverse were true e.g she transformed from a size 24 to a size 8. Why? Because that was not the woman he married and not what he signed up for. Some of you may be saying "but it’s what is on the inside that counts". Yes on judgment day. But for now we live life based on what we see.
Now obviously in trying to’ help’ her Billy had a massive hand in creating a woman who not only had her confidence completely depleted but a compulsive eating disorder. I’m not absolving him of his guilt. But again I understand.
I’m no relationship expert but when I look at marriages/relationships that last there is a common thread. Firstly they are underpinned by the mantra that failure is not an option but crucially both people have pretty much stayed the same and any changes that have occurred are positive.
I agree calling his wife a whale was completely unacceptable, however littered amongst his insults was something deeper. When asked why he harasses his wife, Billy said and I quote "I'm only doing it cos I love her. I could of cheated like all me mates but I only want back the woman I married, know what I mean?".
This comment was met by incredulous gasps and hisses from the audience. One woman stood up and barked ‘if you really love her, you’d accept her whatever she looked like’. (Cue rapturous applause from people that think talk shows are worth a day off work)
On the other hand I was really moved by his answer. Why? It was honest. That is love. Real love. Human love is tainted, at times perverse and imperfect. Let’s not pretend human love is unconditional. Human love is based on conditions. We love people because they fulfill some conditions and fall short of others. But it’s the dynamic interchange between their imperfections and perfections that make us love them. So if a part of them we viewed as perfect mutates we will love them less. It makes sense.
Or am I wrong? Is ‘real’ human love unquantifiable? Can it be unconditional? Must we love people relentlessly even if they morph into people we don’t recognise (in the literal and figurative sense)?
Let me know!
Peace, Love and Questions