Squirrels and bears

In 1956 John Osbourne wrote ‘Look Back in Anger’, you may have seen the 1958 film with Richard Burton, Claire Bloom and Mary Ure. The play was originally produced at London’s Royal Court Theatre, with the press release calling the author ‘an angry young man’, a phrase which came to represent a new movement in 1950s British theatre. Having been the Theater Manager at the Royal Court Theatre back in 1992/93, this is pretty interesting to me, but it is not the reason for this post.

What actually made me think of this play is the last act. The play revolves around two main characters who have a very challenging relationship, but in the last act a truce is called and the couple begin a sort of ritulistic game, lost in their own world, where they become ‘squirrels and bears’. Many couples and relationships create a language of their own in which they find comfort and friendship and in this house we have our bakery items.

This weekend I leave for New York and have an early morning flight but we won’t talk about that. Instead we will use our own language around my departure time which involves souffles, marshmallows and cupcakes. It is a language we developed many years ago and it works as follows. The more ‘treat like’ the bakery item the earlier the time. We never say we have to get up at 5am, instead we will say ‘souffle o’clock’. And if we need to leave the house at 6.15 that is marshmallow.15 and a flight might leave at cupcake.45.

Call it eccentric if you will, we however call it a very savvy coping mechanism. Neither of us want to go to bed thinking about the sharp truth of the hour, we would much rather drift into (forgive the pun), sweet dreams.

Calling something what it is, is usually the most honest, authentic thing to do, and then there are the times when softening the edges is just what is required.

What might you want to soften the edge of this weekend?
C

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