February 14, 2012 • Podcasts
The Labour of Love
Continued from page 1
SF: What kind of relationship did your parents have and would you say they were in love and if so, how was that expressed?
W2: Umm, I never witnessed my mother and father together. They separated when I was one and he wasn’t really a part of my life, so I’ve never really seen that relationship. I do know that my mother didn’t really like him [Laughs]. I’m sure at one point they loved each other…they had to right? It seems like there has to be a spark there somewhere that would start something.
SF: Was there a primary love relationship you witnessed growing up?
W2: That’s a weird question. [Thinking] I never really looked at life like that, I guess. Like, I never looked at anyone that I knew that were in love, I just never thought that much about love I guess, between normal people when I was young. No, I never even thought of friends’ parents like that. I guess…I don’t know, maybe, like people in my family being in love, you know? That kind of thing, like my mom, and my grandmother, and my uncle, and my aunt and all that kind of stuff, maybe a family thing but I don’t think so. I’ve never really thought of that kind of thing before.
SF: What kind of relationship did your parents have? Would you say that they were in love?
W3: Oh yeah, they’re still together. They love each other; I suppose it’s pretty typical of an upper-middle class upbringing in St. John’s. They were…there was bickering and fighting and all that but not to the extent where it got serious or anything and they would always talk about how they loved each other and there was always a kiss before that moment at the door so it was very typical… you know, sitcom-type family.
W4: My parents were…they had a very kind of traditional relationship. They met in high school, so I guess they’re technically high school sweethearts and they broke-up in university but then got back together, so it was pretty traditional. They had two kids, got married, but yeah, they seem pretty in love, though, even today, like they still do stuff together and you can just tell how they are with one another that they’ve had a good lasting relationship.
SF: So what are the things that you notice about their relationship that speak to you in that way? That make you think that those things mean ‘love’?
W4: Probably the fact that…well, they don’t actually fight that much so that’s probably one and they would really do anything for each other but at the same they’re really similar it’s almost like while they’re different, they’re the same. Just the way they work together and the way they are together. They really do take time to not just co-habitate but actually live together and enjoy life together. They do make an effort to do different things, like once they went out snowshoeing and brought a bottle of wine [laughs] and had a cute little picnic up in the snow behind a house and got up on this big rock, which was kind of cute, so they do take time to do that kind of stuff.
W1: My parents, ahhh…initially…I don’t really know, because my mother left when I was very young. She left when I was three and that was really odd, because umm, anything like that is obviously complicated. My dad definitely loved my mother and it was expressed – I could see that at a very young age. He tried everything to keep her, I guess. She was going through a really hard time. She had a lot of, uh, she had an eating disorder and she was going through other things…we don’t really know what; she’s still going through those things, I believe, from what I hear. And…she cheated, she did a lot of things that most people—if I were in my dad’s shoes, well I really can’t say because I’ve never been in that situation with a child and everything—but if somebody I was married to had done some of things she had done to him, I don’t think I would stay with that person, but he kept trying and he kept trying for a couple years after just to make it work. I think a lot of it was love for me, though, to make it work for me, so I don’t know. But I would say he really loved her.
But then growing up I did have a stepmother, and I would say they’ve been together for I think about twelve years now, and they’re very in love. Very in love. I can see that. It’s really interesting because they really have their own relationship. They manage to have something separate from our family and we have our family, like my brother and I and our parents and they show us love, they show my brother love, they show me love. But then they manage to have something on their own and I can’t describe it because I’m not in it but they have some sort of connection, and they have their own dynamic, and they just have their own relationship that’s not a part of us, which I find really fascinating.
W2: I remember looking at friends and thinking that they were truly in love, now whether they are together or not right, I guess, that doesn’t really matter. But I remember seeing two really good friends at the time that were like…they seemed so in love and I didn’t think that that there was anything else for each other, but each other. They were just really loving, you know? It was cute. And I don’t know if that is even the right way to say what a loving relationship should be like.
W3: I certainly have learned a lot about care and intimacy from my own family, which would be, you know, the first people in my life with whom I was surrounded growing up for the first few years of my life and then you know, everyone since then. And there are parts of my sister, my mother, my brother, my father, aunts and uncles in me and in everything I do. But having said that, I think I could say that just about everyone I’ve ever come across in my entire life, you know, because we all have…we all affect one another and with some people on a more profound level than others and I could certainly list some people who could be more profound but ten years down the road I might realize that oh, this person who was in my life for just a few days had a much greater effect on me than I’d realized.
W4: Friends’ parents, and I won’t give their names, but I’ve known this girl, my friend, since grade 2 or 3 and since that day her parents seem like their giddy sweethearts that are 16. They’re constantly holding hands and gazing at each other [laughs] and at first we thought it was kind of weird. But definitely they seem like two equals for sure; there’s never a time when you can say, like, “the woman runs the household” or “this guy has a say in everything” they seems like everything they do is equal with each other. And I found for me that was the hardest thing to find was equality because I found in some relationships I was always the person who made the decisions and it was like I had to be considered before everything happened, and in other relationships it was the other way around. So, it was that equality and that bond that really shows, and that I’ve kind of struggled to find.