Sunday, April 10, 2005

Share price

On Friday Sara had bought some doughnuts, Emma said she didn’t want one because she was full from dinner. With a cup of tea arriving, I reached for the doughnut that was rightfully mine.

“Can I have just one bite?” said Emma, indicating the minute portion she had planned with her finger and thumb.

I passed the doughnut over to her.

“No you have some, I want a bite from the middle, that’s the best bit”

I refused; she could have the first bite or no bite at all. At this point, things could easily have escalated to a point where we were dividing up the possessions of the house. They didn’t, but my assertion that “Sharing wasn’t natural” didn’t help.

Then on Saturday there was a Friends rerun where Joey is driven mad by a date who insists on picking at his food in restaurants. Then, out with Lucy and Dan on Saturday a sharing platter was ordered as a starter.

“Oh Ruffles doesn’t share” said Emma as she insisted that I should have my own starter. She even gesticulated to the waitress, ‘A sharing platter for US THREE’ wafting an exclusion zone around herself, Dan and Lucy.

Right, firstly, sharing isn’t natural. No animal requiring sustenance actively shares their food, unless it’s with their offspring. That’s probably why sharing is such virtue amongst you humans, because in essence, it’s about your own depravation. To deliberately do this has to be virtuous.

Secondly, there’s the nature of sharing, why should I do the work on the sub-optimised sections of the doughnut, only to pass over the prime piece of the pie to someone else? Dan supported my sentiment, when he and Lucy are out, she will order a more experimental selection on the proviso that he has something she will definitely like. Therefore, if her dish isn’t to her liking, she can swap, passing her mistake over to him. And finally, there’s the dessert special, Emma will sometimes refuse a dessert because she is either full, or it is ‘naughty’. However, in order not to miss out, she will then suggest that she could have a bit of mine… if I agree to this, she will then decide what I am going to have. Sometimes providing, to the untrained ear, convincing arguments that I love dishes I positively hate.

“You love Tiramisu, you’re always saying it”

It’s not that I don’t share; I like to be as generous as possible. It’s just that the sharee must understand their role as grateful recipient and that the rules of the sharing are set by sharer. Otherwise the world will undoubtedly shift on its axis.


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