An American friend of mine is obsessed with Australian radio. He’s visited here a few times and back home he streams talkback daily to get his fix on topics important to Aussies.
You’d have to wonder why bother, our talkback ain’t that grand, but he thrives on it.
When asked why, he replies our choice of subjects is so refreshing.
We are open to all manner of issues – local and global, pertinent and petty.
It is true that talkback there is obsessed with, well, issues stateside.
World news has to be amazingly big to make the six o’clock news, let alone discussed on local radio.
And the commentators in the US are hamstrung by a string of taboos.
Here we can just let rip into each other [often uninformed]. Over there you need to have your facts 99.9 per cent straight for fear of being sued. Diplomacy is paramount. Provoking someone isn’t the done thing. Keep calm and always check your remarks.
So I guess you can see why Aussies’ running off at the mouth would be so entertaining.
When the petty for some but pertinent for others subject of “happy wife, happy life” reared its head on 2UE morning drive-time talkback, it perplexed the American as the saying isn’t well-known there.
It got us debating why in supposed nonsexist democratic societies is it incumbent on the man to make the woman happy? Isn’t it a two-way street? So why spend time on talkback exploring it?
Welcome to the ways of Australia.
I guess when the focus is offend at your own peril, most American’s run for deep cover. They are taught not to rock the boat. In fact, the mantra is avoid conflict, especially in relationship to women, at every turn.
So if there are issues, how to do you explore them if you can’t talk about them?
Surely it is unhealthy to bottle it up!
My response was if the spouse ain’t happy, better find out why as things can deteriorate quickly.
But how do you navigate your way through if it isn’t a skill you’re skilled at!
First, more often than not it will require one level-thinking partner to take the lead.
But which one? Back to “happy wife, happy life”.
It really works when the male takes the higher ground. It sends a strong message to the other party. “Don’t be petty”, without actually having to say it, leaving their dignity intact!
Don’t worry, there will be times when the female will have to reciprocate but a calm, collective bloke who listens and better still takes positive action based on what’s being said will win the day, every day.
So for those well intrenched in the Aussie habit of saying it as you see it, stop, take a moment, even get a few tips from this site www.divorcenet.com/states/nationwide/secrets_for_great_marriage aimed at new, old and fraying relationships 🙂
Judy Wilkinson is a freelance journalist who will be travelling across the US, Central and South America from April 2013 relaying stories ©, pertinent and petty, that count.