Posted by: joha5 | April 9, 2010

Argument Augmentation

Arguments have a way of augmenting out of control if you aren’t careful.  Now I’m not talking about the kind of argument you get in with a fast food worker, a parking attendant, or salesperson.  I’m talking about the kind of argument you have with somebody you know very well…almost too well.  I’m talking about the kind of argument where things can go from something seemingly minute into a much larger and sweeping statement in a matter of seconds.  I know you know what I am talking about.  For example, your girlfriend or boyfriend may not have vacuumed or done the dishes or something.  You get upset and before you know it isn’t just about the vacuuming or the dishes.  It is about their general failure in life to listen to you or to respect you or whatever the case may be.  Living with a parent during unemployment is a lot like this.  Usually you can tip-toe around your love and resentment for each other but sometimes it just explodes into an argument that is superfluous and unneccessary.

I had one of these glorious spats last night with a parental unit and be it mother, father, sister, brother, friend enemy, or whatever else you can think of…I always find it very illuminating to see just how people articulate their feelings and their anger.  In a best case scenario you hope for something constructive (ie. something you can take on board and learn from).  But in a worst case scenario you get something overly personal and trite to the point where all you can do is laugh at the other person (which almost always illicits an even worse and more personal response…and so the vicious cycle goes!).  Everybody has been in both of these kinds of battles and neither of them feel particularly good but sometimes it just has to happen.

Living with a parent when you are older and have experienced true independence can be particularly complicated because, in the eyes of your parents, you are always their child no matter how old you are.  Unemployment only exacerbates this complex relationship.  Whether they resent you for being there or wish that you had taken a different path or just want to push you to do all they can to help, as an adult of your own you never actually want any of this.  All you want is your freedom and indepence back yet the irony is that the more that a friend, a parent, a significant other, or a sibling tries to contribute, the worse they make things and the more frustrated you get and I guarantee you that any 20-something who lives with their parents (be it temporarily or permanently) can attest to this.  Luckily, it is these kinds of arguments that people can usually look past pretty quickly and always end up being rather inconsequential.  All you need is a separation to gather your thoughts and just laugh at how absurd it all is.  After all, what else are you supposed to do when somebody calls you out on failing?



  1. To your (possibly rhetorical) concluding question: say nothing and prove them wrong.

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