Thursday, 9 November 2006

Z has the power?

I mentioned that I don't take it out on the Sage when I feel down. And I really don't think I do, I make a conscious effort not to. If I am feeling edgy or bad-tempered but it's nothing to do with him, I tend to apologise in advance - 'sorry, darling, I've had a rotten day and I feel very irritable, so if I snap, it's nothing personal, take no notice and I will say sorry afterwards.'

This is not, I hasten to add before my daughter issues a correction, to say that I am never bad-tempered with him, whether or not it is entirely his fault (for, surely, it is never entirely mine.....), though I do notice that when we are having a bit of a go at each other, my oldest and youngest child tend to side with him - my middle one doesn't say anything. I can understand this, as I remember sympathising with my father (silently) if my mother was being snappy. And of course we have a 'clearing of the air' once in a while.

But, with this proviso, I aim to be good-natured nowadays. Until a few months ago, I quite frequently had several unhappy days at a time but, although people could make it worse, they could not make it better and so I kept quiet about it. You see, I can say this now as it's over.

This long preamble - oh god, this is so like me, get to the point, woman - was setting the scene for what I'm really saying, which is that I have noticed many times that my bad mood might not upset the family, but my good mood certainly cheers it. Yesterday, as I said I would, I opened champagne, set out to charm, to engage Sage and Ro in conversation. And they responded at once. We all laughed, chatted, teased me when I said flutteringly that I wanted to be amused. Admittedly, my husband's idea of amusing me was to bring a whole lot of silver spoons and get Ro and me to check the hallmarks and date them, but it was togetherness in its way........and Ro told me lots of work anecdotes, which he rarely does....and we toasted marshmallows. They both complimented me, not only on last night's meal but the night before's too, which I had cooked but not been present to eat.

Is this the same in other families, I wonder? That the good mood of one person sets the mood of everyone? Not in a 'thank goodness she's not ratty tonight' way, but in a positively cheerful, without necessarily realising why, way? Or is it just me?

8 comments:

jen said...

ahhh. i can be such a bitch..and it does bring the mood low. J is much more even. I work on it and am happy to say i've grown up a bit...but yes..guilty.

Wendz in France said...

My Mum always told me that a mother sets the tone in a home. That Dad could be as miserable as sin but if Mum is happy and cheerful and calm, then the others don't pay any attention to the old man.

I wonder if that's true for other families? Probably not if dad is a drunken old git who hits everyone when he's smashed - but in normal families...I wonder of this holds true?

I always remembered this when my ex was in a foul mood and I'd make a speical effort to lighten the tone for my boys. It always worked.

I think if you were a ratty old cow your kids would notice it and not be happy - although they don;t live with you now. They'd probably just leave earlier and sigh in relief.

Oh I am not being clear - too much early morning coffee - my mind is all twitchy.

Z said...

Jen, you are wonderful. I admire you so much and could never do the job you do and the stress must get to you.

Wendz, so you agree with me and so does your mum?

Tess Tennison said...

Yes, I do think this is true and it's true at work too. It only needs one person in the staffroom to be on a high and we all start skipping around despite our own individual grumpinesses.

Wendz in France said...

ha ha - how wry of you...yes,in a nutshell, I agree and so does my Mum.

The Boy said...

I'm the more level headed generally happy one in our relationship. Not to say LL isn't, but she's more prone to higher and lower moods. I know if I keep a cheerful outlook it lifts the family generally, tho not necessarily my wife. It gives people an excuse to be the same.

Z said...

You're right, Boy, people do usually want to be happy and are only too ready to join a cheerful scene.

Women are supposed to be mercurial. It is part of our enchanting and unpredictable nature and keeps the rest of the world on its toes...or possibly on their toes. Hm. Where is Lynne Truss when you need her?

laurel said...

Similiar, Z.
Except I look at and comment on NASA astronaut lithos...and assorted space exploration trivia. Be thankful for the silver spoons.
But mine does know an awful lot about planets and star systems and he finds me pictures of stars being born, which makes up for lithos thing. Connectedness is connectedness (not a word, I know, I know)...always nice and appreciated, even if it silver spoons or astronaut lithos.
Next time, I'll insisted on a toasted marshmallow accompianment.