Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Message of the Mobile Phone

It may sound like a cliche but I don't always see eye to eye with my father-in-law. When I first met him I thought he was pushy and always seemed to have an agenda to get his elevated expectations satisfied. I am also a Type-A Personality, but my style is very different. I am more quiet and I abhor people with an agenda. Still, we mostly get along with the occasional clashes that happen in all families.

When I got my mobile phone many years ago I inherited the phone number of a certain Margaret Bergety. She apparently is a very social person because people kept calling for her and I had to tell them one by one that her number had changed. I remember her name so well because my mother's first name is quite similar, Margrit. Another strange thing happened, despite my desperate attempts to make AT&T and Comcast change the records, whenever I called my own home, her name would appear on the caller-ID. My father-in-law would pick it up and mockingly say, "yes Margaret Bergety?" I was fuming, but there was nothing I could do to get rid of the old name.

Then one day the symbolic message hit me. My aggressive father-in-law clashed with my passive, and somewhat docile, mother. Around that time I was also told at work that I had to become more assertive in communicating my investment ideas. When I did the technical glitch magically went away. I had left my mother's shadow behind so to speak and my father-in-law left me in peace.

Do you know that every committed relationship comes with a shadow problem attached? The sooner you realize it and work on it the more harmonious the Thanksgiving Dinners are likely to be.

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