Wednesday, May 29, 2013
This episode of This Is What I Live With took place in front of a live audience at the Sydney Writers' Festival.
JV: Yes, over here, what's your name?
Sandra: I'm Sandra.
JV: Hello Sandra.
Sandra: I may be divorced by the end of this.
Sandra: My dear husband does what I refer to as ‘the slap dance’ in the shower.
JV: The slap dance? Okay, what is the shower slap dance?
Sandra: Well it’s a bit like Morris dancing in a cubicle I guess.
JV: Oh, so he’s in the shower slapping his thighs.
Sandra: In the shower humming *slaps her thighs in demonstration*
JV: Well that sounds like a very happy moment.
JV: Why do you find it irritating?
Sandra: Well, we’re trying to economise on the water we use in the shower...
Sandra: ...and a 20 minute dance doesn’t help.
JV: No. So it’s 20 minutes worth of dancing. Is it also loud and intrusive?
Sandra: I can hear it from anywhere in the house.
JV: Anywhere in the house? A daily occurrence?
Sandra: Oh yeah!
JV: Every shower has the slap dance?
Sandra: Every shower!
JV: Well look, oddly enough dear husband is here with us. Hello dear husband!
JV: Hello, what’s your name?
JV: Hello Fred.
Fred: How dare she! A man’s time in the shower is a personal private moment.
JV: That’s what I would’ve thought.
Fred: It’s where we contemplate the big ideas of the day and work out how we’re going to proceed with tomorrow.
JV: Mm and the slap dance helps with that?
Fred: There’s no dancing. I’m a latent drummer. The only skin I’ve got is on my thighs.
Fred: So I tap them out and I tap my little tunes and so forth.
JV: That sounds lovely.
JV: So, in your mind, what are you doing? She’s seeing it as sort of a soggy Morris dance. What are you doing?
Fred: I’m getting myself in a good mood to face her again.
JV: Musically you’re a latent drummer so what sort of thing...are you doing a Morris dance there or what?
Fred: Well I’m just doing a... *slaps his legs* ...That sort of thing.
JV: Bit of a rhythm. Bit of a groove.
Fred: I didn’t plan to share this with you all here this afternoon.
JV: No, but we’re very glad that you did. Is it 20 minutes?
Fred: No...No...Just until the hot water runs out.
JV: Yeah, well that’s alright. Now, were you aware that Sandra wasn’t happy with the soggy Morris dance?
Fred: Oh she tells me about it frequently but how can she hear me from downstairs in the kitchen? She’s supposed to be cooking the dinner.
JV: Yeah exactly. Why isn’t she concentrating on what she’s doing instead of worrying about what you’re up to? Sandra, now that you’ve heard that Fred does this in order to fill his day with joy, it’s one of the few pleasures left to him, and in order that he can face you again, do you want him to stop?
JV: Right, you do want him to stop? You’d like him to stop doing it?
Sandra: Well I would actually, yeah, but I don’t think it’s going to happen.
JV: Fred, you’re aware now that Sandra finds this enormously irritating. Can you stop?
Fred: Well it puts a bit of difference between us and we’re at arm’s length for a little while but we make up rather specially.
JV: Oh! Well, we might leave you at that point. I don’t know that we need to follow the making up but Fred and Sandra thank you so much. Thank you for sharing that in absolutely riveting detail.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Rebecca: The one that’s really getting me lately is…when my partner goes to bed he hangs the iPad above the bed head and puts on The Drum or Tony Jones or Lateline or Q&A, lies down, puts his ear plugs in, and then goes to sleep. He puts it on at such a level that he can hear it through his earplugs and I’m lying next to him trying to read a book with the iPad blasting at me.
Rebecca: If I go to turn it down he notices. So, I have to wait until he fully starts snoring until I can start even contemplating going to sleep.
JV: Oh that’s annoying isn’t it.
Rebecca: It’s… And often if I do fall asleep I start dreaming of Tony Jones or Steve Kinnane or Julia Baird. It’s too much!
JV: That’s a delightful team to have wandering about your dreams I would have thought.
Rebecca: Yeah, but through the earplugs? It’s like, don’t wear earplugs if you want to hear it, but he’s like ‘if I fall asleep I like to have earplugs in.’
JV: Oh, so you’d almost rather it was present in the room. Just the speaker, not the ear phones?
Rebecca: Well no, when I say earplugs I mean earplugs to block out noise not headphones. So he listens to it really loudly coming out of the speaker.
JV: Oh! He’s got earplugs in?
JV: Oh, I thought you just meant headphones.
Rebecca: No, no. Earplugs.
JV: He’s got earplugs to block noise out…
Rebecca: But puts noise on really loudly to get through it!
Rebecca: It’s driving me insane.
JV: Oh that’s just wrong.
Rebecca: In so many ways.
JV: Look, I haven’t made this judgement about many Rebecca but with this one I’ll just say that’s not put-up-with-able at all.
Rebecca: I…I….Look, you don’t want to cause conflict. I’m not having conflict in bed.
JV: No, but I mean…so, they’re those foam earplugs?
Rebecca: Foam earplugs. We’re both addicted to them. I can understand that. Since living in renovations, that’s what happens.
JV: Yes, yes.
Rebecca: And he snores so obviously that’s okay for me, but I don’t have to listen to current affairs.
(Phone rings in background)
JV: That’s your husband ringing now.
Rebecca: It is. It is.
JV: ‘How dare you. Get off the radio.’
Rebecca: He’s at work I don’t think he’s listening to the radio.
JV: So, earplugs are in, he’s got the iPad blasting.
JV: That would be so annoying.
Rebecca: It is.
JV: Can’t he put…if he’s got earplugs in…he could get headphones that got over the earplugs.
Rebecca: I’ve tried that and he says they’re uncomfortable.
JV: Oh, I’m sorry.
Rebecca: I even said ‘look you can get speakers that go in your pillow,’ but he said he wouldn’t be able to hear it through his earplugs.
JV: Wow. How long has he been doing this?
Rebecca: Oh, look…since the iPad came into the bedroom. He didn’t do it with the radio because there wasn’t as much on the radio but he’ll save up Tony Jones. Every night for a week, will try and watch Q&A, or listen to Q&A and he’ll fall asleep within seven minutes.
JV: I see, so he’s got a bit more the next night.
JV: And the next day you’re walking around saying ‘I’ll take that as a comment.’ ‘Come on we’ve got a bit to get through here so I’ll have to move on.’ Gee that is an intriguing one isn’t it? I’m just so intrigued by listening to stuff through earplugs. It’s just so contrary.
Rebecca: Yes, but that’s the man I live with.
JV: Yeah. Live with and love Rebecca?
Rebecca: Of course.
JV: Mm. I know, if you didn’t love them…
Rebecca: I wouldn’t put up with it.
JV: You would have brained him with that iPad by now right?
Rebecca: Yes. Definitely.