Now there’s a THINGY!

Posted on November 2, 2010

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Penny: “Hey Professor I think I’ve got it. Falling in love is a THING. When you’re in love it’s the most important thing in your world… everything and everyone else is secondary.”

Peter: ” And I guess hate would be another thing… when you ‘fall into hate’ it can become the most important thing in your world – like being a terrorist. You commit your time and your attention to one thing – the enemy.”

Professor Wiggly: “Yes both love and hate are examples of what I mean by THINGS. But while both of them can last a long time, can you think of some THING that lasts a lifetime?”

Penny: ” For Peter it’s his focus on sex and the Boston Red Sox – those are the most important THINGS in his life.”

Professor Wiggly: ” I was thinking of a mother’s committment to her child as a lifelong concentration of affection, attention and effort.”

Penny: ” Yup, that’s a good one. Hey Peter you notice the Prof used the mother’s committment not the.”fathers – their Thingys are sex and baseball.”

Professor Wiggly: “Some fathers are just as committed as most mothers, but many scholars would point to a long history of the ‘fathers’ THING being the hunter and fighter (eg protector) and the mother as the nourisher. The traditional view of the father going out and the mother tending the children and the hearth. But currently the pattern in the west involves both mother and father working outside the home. Does that mean that the Mother’s THING is not longer her children?”

Penny: ” No it just means she has to raise the kid AND bring home the bacon.”

Professor Wiggly: ” What does that do to the mother’s committment to her children – it divides her time and committment.”

Penny: “It tears her apart because fathers don’t help.”

Peter: “Oh come on Penny, some fathers are pitching in – like knitting  and watching baseball at the same time.”

Professor Wiggly: “Yes some fathers are really pitching in … I wonder whether we’re witnessing an enduring shift in paternal and maternal behavior? Anyway, can you think of examples of enduring THINGS comparable to maternal committment?”

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