Timeless Spirit LogoAUNTY NASTY

A Spiritually Enlightening Online Magazine. July's Theme: "Love"
Volume 2 Issue 5 ISSN# 1708-3265
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Aunty Nasty
with Nasturtium Blackwitt PhD. M.E.D., F.D. (Min. H.R.D.F.), Pr. Dip. P.K.C.

Warning: Some readers may find her opinions abrasive, disturbing, or even offensive!

Usually I deal with dysfunctional and generally socially weird people - either en masse in the case of family dynamics, or on a one-to-one basis for the really whacked-out. But there is such a growing demand for counsellors to teach the basic skills of communication I have broadened my practice to include "counselling for couples".

In the course of the session, each are asked to speak about any problems they may be experiencing in their partnership, and talk about any changes they feel could be made to improve the relationship.

Now I have a very strict session-plan, and before we begin I always emphasize the most basic rule: Whoever is doing the talking is not to be interrupted by the partner.

Oh yeah, that sounds simple, right? Not so. You would be surprised at how many women take the words right out of their husband's mouths! They answer for them, or finish their sentences, or talk right over their heads as if they weren't even in the same room!

This particular appointment was a perfect example of just how screwed-up so-called "loving couples" can get!

We already know by the standard questionnaire Sharon and Dan Smith (not their real names, of course) completed before their session began, they've been married for twenty-seven years. She's forty-five, he's fifty, their daughter has married and left home, and their son is still living at home, in the basement suite.

So, the timer is set and Sharon is allowed the first five minutes. What the heck, most husbands are so used to wives taking over in the talking department, they're usually not going to object to starting the session this way.

And does Sharon know how to talk. And talk. And talk! Listening to this woman one would be led to believe Dan is lazy, unromantic, incompetent, perennially tardy, never finishes anything, doesn't know how to drive or read a map, must be going deaf because he never seems to hear what she says, and is an all-round totally useless twit. If he isn't out in the garage tinkering on his old car, he's sprawled out on the couch, drinking beer. And the capper is, he farts all the time! Long, loud, knock-you-over-dead-from-the-smell farts!

Taking notes, while listening to her side of the story, I was becoming increasingly concerned. You can see I had made the following quick deductions/ assumptions about husband Dan:

The timer dings, announcing Wifey's five minutes are over. I immediately mention my very serious concerns, and ask Sharon if we shouldn't stop the session and arrange for Dan to go straight to the Hospital Emergency Room and be checked over, right away.

Imagine my surprise when she snorts at me and says "He's been like this for the last five years, so I don't think he'll croak before the end of the session. Anyway, if you can just make him smarten up, he'll be fine."

Well O.K. then. So much for her tender loving care and concern about her beloved! If he isn't the sick one, should we be looking in the opposite direction? Is Sharon all there?

Right away we start picking up on some important clues about this relationship, don't we? I'm secretly wondering how many years it's been since he's actually had five minutes to say his piece without Sharon butting in. Did she physically get a knife and castrate him, or has it all been a mental exercise? Does he drink to dull the embarrassment of being emasculated? Poor bugger, I'm feeling really sorry for him. And their son still lives at home, eh? One might also be wondering about the state of his mental health.

Would you believe Hubby Dan then pipes up, "Will I really have a whole five minutes where she can't interrupt, or say anything at all?"

My God, Dan actually can talk! I was just beginning to wonder if I should have included a notation in my previous assessment about a poorly functioning larynx, because up until now, he hadn't said a single word. Controlling my urge to giggle, in my best professional manner I assure him these are the session rules, and this will be his time.

Setting the clock for five minutes I nod for him to begin. He just sits there, smiling. I motion to him with my hand in a "yes, go ahead, Dan," gesture, and his smile widens to a great grin, then he breaks into a throaty chuckle. He laughs so hard tears start streaming down his cheeks, and as I push the ever-present box of tissues toward him he starts to cough uncontrollably and to pass wind, all at the same time. I think the poor fellow is going to choke, and so I'm up like a rocket, dashing around the desk and patting him on the back, hoping he can manage to get control of himself before he has an apoplectic fit!

Unfortunately for me, standing behind Dan was not a good place to be, as I was exposed directly to the foul gas he was expelling. A loud fart accompanied every cough, sounding just like bursts from a machine-gun!

Thank Goodness, he seemed to finally come out of it and began to calm himself, still chuckling as he wiped his eyes, which were now twinkling brightly. Sharon certainly did appear quite moved by this unexpected display of emotion on her husband's part - if you can call sitting forward in her chair with her mouth gaping open like a fish, looking moved, that is…

I managed to struggle back around to my side of the desk, eyes watering from the effects of being gassed. Just as everything settled down, the timer dinged to announce the end of Dan's five minutes. I asked him why he had been laughing so hard, and he said, "Dr. Blackwitt, it's been the most special five minutes I've had in years. Mine, all mine, with not a peep allowed out of her."

(Let me just say for the record here, they were a very special five minutes for me too, Dan. After you and Sharon left, it took three cans of Lysol air-freshener spray to get the stench out of the office. And it a darned good thing your session was on a Friday afternoon, because I had to spray the upholstery on the chair you sat on with Febreeze on an hourly basis, all weekend, because of the way your disgusting farts lingered on and on and on…)

But back to our discussion of "counselling for couples". Traditionally, a "couple" implies a pair composed of a man and a woman; and believe me, this is the hardest communication bridge of them all.

A few years ago a fellow had a run-away best-seller book based on the premise that men and women come from different planets, (I'm sure you know the book I mean). This is one smart chap, because he actually got it exactly right!

Well, not that we come from different planets per se, but most practitioners in the psychological fields will agree this whole set of patterning is initially based on the "traditional role modelling" demonstrated by the child's early caregiver(s).

And then, from the moment puberty hits, the brain chemistry of males and females gets sparked off in even more diametrically opposed directions. The result is, we end up dealing with two alien thought-patterns; and so indeed, we might just as well be coming from different planets!

Makes you wonder if there mightn't be some sense after all in the idea of same-sex partnerships!

Canada is becoming famous for its tacitly approving stance on same-sex marriage. If you are gay or lesbian in another part of the world, and want to legalize your union… well - good luck folks!

But come to Canada and you can get married - in almost every Province, anyway. What's all the big fuss about? I even heard a comment made by a mother of a school-age child who was absolutely outraged her precious kid was being taught at school that it's O.K. to be gay. Man, are her panties in a wad! (Oh dear, was that a poor choice of words?) Maybe I should have said her knickers are twisted by the whole concept…

The term "gay" can be applied to either gender, whether female (referred to as 'lesbian', or 'dyke') or male (described as 'queer' or 'faggot'). We are seeing more and more same-sex couples these days, and many of our churches are in an uproar at the notion of some of their parishioner-couples being gay; as opposed to the more traditional one-man and one-woman partnering, which, sadly, is not always a very happy union (think back on the session with Sharon and Dan, for example).

So anyway, what's so sad about being gay? Nah, that's actually an oxymoron. (You know, when you put two words together, which contradict each other, or the subject in question? Like Jumbo Shrimp - or Military Intelligence…)

And speaking of Military Intelligence, as far as I recall, in the Canadian Armed Forces there is still a "don't ask, don't tell" policy regarding one's sexual orientation (if it's not a good Christianly-wholesome heterosexual orientation, that is.)

But you tell me - are a pair of gay men any less of a "family unit" when it comes to Income tax time? Are two lesbian women living in a committed relationship any less "married" than a couple composed of the "traditionally-accepted by the Moral Majority man-and-woman pairing?"

And "couples" of all stripes still have their difficulties getting along, regardless of the fact they love one another (or say they did when they started out).

Maybe the answer to being a happy couple and not needing therapy or counselling to get along better, might be more along the lines of caring enough, taking the time and trouble to keep courtesy and respect uppermost in the way one treats one's partner. After all, when you first 'got together', you both cared enough to make every effort to not embarrass, humiliate, or offend your loved one. You made certain to regularly proclaim your love; not only in a verbal fashion, but also in the myriad of gestures we use to show another our love and respect. Yes, that's it -the key word here is respect!

If people respect one another, regardless of their differences, then the basis exists for a high-quality relationship. Delving even deeper; is it possible to presume if a person does not respect himself or herself, can they be capable of respecting another? Now we're really getting into the heart of the matter, aren't we?

Sharon and Dan, the couple in our opening session, are a perfect example of how some women do not respect their husbands. Now don't get me wrong, I am certainly not suggesting all men are gods, and should be worshipped without question. No way! This is me, Aunty Nasty, remember? But I do take issue with women who treat their men folk without courtesy and respect. No woman has the right to treat her father/husband/brother/son as a lesser being, just because he's male. (After all, it's not his fault he's missing that extra chromosome.)

I've got some serious problems with misogynists too, and have no pity for you types either! If men are taught not to respect women as equal partners, everything gets off to an uneven start, and naturally, you can foresee it going downhill from there.

So to every man who thinks women should be kept in the kitchen, a slave to their husband's every sexual whim, a breeding machine without any say in the matter, I say "Wake up and smell the coffee, buddy, we're now in the twenty-first century, and we women ain't about to be put down any longer!"

I mean, look where it's gotten us in the Roman Catholic Church! Waddayamean women aren't good enough to be ordained as priests? Wheredidyagetthenotion women aren't worthy enough to administer the sacrament? Come off it, who's been changing the shitty diapers and wiping up all the blood since the beginning of time?

Hopefully, with a new captain at the helm of the Catholic Church we just might see a loosening of the patriarchal grip, and a long-awaited recognition of the important official roles women of that particular religious persuasion could, and should be, encouraged to participate in. Statistics and logic tell us they won't elect a Popess, but if they had to elect a male as Prince of their Church, wouldn't it have been a real change to have a black Pope?

Wait. There someone pounding on my door -

Oh My Gawd! There's a whole bunch of guys dressed in white sheets with pointy hoods over their faces - and they're planting a cross on my front lawn… Now they're lighting it…

Gotta run. See you next issue (I hope).

Ms. Blackwitt is a noted psychologist who specialises in dysfunctional behavioural and abnormal sociological interaction. Her column features insightful commentaries on familial relationships, as viewed from her unique perspective.

Affectionately known as 'Aunty Nasty', amongst her many honours and awards are a Ph. D in 'Mammalian Excretement Dispersal' and a Degree of Familiarity with The Ministry of Human Remains and Dysfunctional Families.

Ms.Blackwitt also served in the Armed Forces on a 6-year tour of duty as a Diplomatic Peace-Keeper in Washington, D.C., during which time she rose to the top of her team, quickly attaining the exalted rank of Private, and was subsequently transferred to Bikini Atoll, (with undisclosed rank) where she gained extensive hands-on experience in Mammalian Excrement.

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