My Garden ~ a Kiwi's take on life

Life is a lot like a garden


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Can There be Compromise on a Reality Show?

Compromise

 

Last night, life sank to new low. High evening temperature and humidity rendered us inert, too lethargic to think. TV remote in hand, Himself flicked through the viewing options until even that became too much of a chore and stopped at Channel 3. We were even too sluggish to turn to Netflix. And there we stayed, staring at the reality show, Married at First Sight Australia.

I do understand in this day and age why people might turn to Tinder and other dating apps in the hope of meeting a soul mate. But words fail me as to why people might enter such an unreal TV show.  “I’m looking for love,” we were told. Really. On this show? We heard participants say what they expected of a partner. Does falling in love involve ticking a checklist now? Couple mismatches seem designed to generate drama and TV show ratings if the meaningless dialogue and vulgar on-screen behaviour are anything to go by. It seems all so scripted and edited.

One camera shot showed a couple grocery shopping with her perched on the front of a supermarket trolley being wheeled by him. Get real. Did they not hear the store’s public safety announcements about safe trolley use? Buckle up. Use that child seat restraint. For goodness sake, set a safety example to the other kids in the store. The tedious dialogue and vulgar behaviour is so edited that misunderstandings happen. Stupefied, we watched on, forgetting that the Off-button was our best viewing option.

But MAFS participants acting out and acting up probably want their own 15-minutes of media fame or Instagram likes.  Himself could not get it that men would want to sit and endlessly talk about emotions or whatever. Their days seem tedious, lacking everyday things to do. Not a man-cave in sight. There are cute mid-shots of a MAFS husband cooking a romantic meal which his MAFS wife eats with one eye surreptitiously fixed on a text from a guy who stated at the commitment ceremony, that he wanted to leave his marriage. A melodramatic moment. Will they have an affair?  Who will get hurt? Meanwhile, who is doing the household chores? Who cleans the toilet?  This is real.  This is the nitty gritty small stuff of daily married life. No wonder MAFS couples want to unmarry after first sight.

Seriously, after fifty years of marriage, Himself and I know it is hard to give and take. There are no quick answers. Just do not not let the sun set on an argument. Words spoken at our own wedding service still ring true and included this timeless advice:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no account of wrongs.

‘We’ comes before ‘I’ in wedding. It is all about ‘Us’. Each couple must find their own way to work together, to listen with an open mind, receptive to what their partner is telling them, to be willing to meet them half-way. As one MAFS wife said, “marriage is about compromise.”


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A Screen to Entertain Us

Entertain

Going to the pictures at the local theatre was an exciting part of our childhood. We were mesmerised by film on the large screen. Musicals, epic sagas, drama and action filled our imaginations with glimpses into other worlds brought to us from Hollywood and England. In the 1950s,  audiences stood as the then national anthem of New Zealand, God Save the Queen, was played. We viewed cartoons and newsreels before making a mad dash to buy ice-cream during the interval and were resettled in our seats to view the feature film.  

After the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, it was a big undertaking for our rural primary school to arrange to take us as a school group to the theatre in town to view a special newsreel showing of this event for pupils of local schools. Still images in print media kept could not compete with filmed sound and action. 

The first time I viewed the small screen was in 1960. A black and white television set had pride of place in my great-grandmother’s home in Auckland. My siblings and I remember we sat riveted by Robin Hood‘s adventures, stories we knew well from reading. We loved the novelty of small screen entertainment in the home. It was to be several years before Mum and Dad thought about buying a television set for our household. The costs of paying cash for a television licence and for a television set were considerable when there was a family to support. The viewing hours and broadcasting coverage in New Zealand were limited in the early 1960s. My brother and I had left school and home by the time my parents acquired their first television set. Probably a wise move on their part. No disputes to settle over which programme to watch.

In February 1966 the average price of a 23-inch black and white television ‘consolette’ was £131, equivalent to nearly $5000 today. 

Time moves on. Retailers display a range of monitors and screens of different sizes that are deemed essential to help us to enjoy our lives to the fullest. Real time viewing happens. Data plans and viewing options are available to suit our needs and wants and we can pay by credit card. I no longer entertain the thought of not having a smart screen in my home and in my hand.