"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Men In Trees: Read Between the Minds

By now I've realized Men In Trees likes to examine how men and women communicate. What works, what doesn’t, what’s fair, and well, what gets them in trouble. In this episode, the show asked, “In a relationship, do you have the right to remain silent?” I know no one asked me per se, but I must admit I find silence complicated. I’m all for not speaking for the mere sake of hearing one’s voice (because that’s just plain annoying). But if there’s an issue at hand, why not talk it out? Then you can be done with it and move on. Personally, I get flustered when others choose not to discuss matters at hand. Sure it can be nerve-wracking. But it’s only when the Band Aid is ripped off that I can really heal, right? But again, that’s just me.

In this episode I watched Patrick take his right to remain silent rather seriously when his mother arrests him. He wants to punish her. And sadly, it works. Sam however is the polar opposite. He’ll tell you exactly how he feels (except maybe how surprised he is that Jane’s parents are little—were you?). But as evolved as Sam is, Jane still struggles. She’s a little too concerned about appearances. And though she hates to admit it, she’s embarrassed of Sam’s emotional side. But in time she learns, courtesy of her mother, that when you find the right person for yourself, someone who truly gets you, their words and actions do in fact open a part of you up—a part you didn’t even know was there. And when that happens we see that a little PDT (public display of tears, of course) won’t hurt you, even at your very own post-elopement reception.

Meanwhile, Sara learns that sometimes it takes a stranger’s kind words to remind us of what we’re good at and what we’re capable of. Thankfully, Dr. Harbeck didn’t keep that to himself. Nor Jerome for that matter. His love letter to Mary Alice, showed me that when we can’t find the words, we can find other ways to express ourselves. Even if it’s in the form of a composition. In the end, when Jerome played the piano in the bar, it was hard not to feel his love... and his pain.

And then there’s Marin and Jack. I always knew Jack wasn’t much of a talker. But when he first silenced Marin by seducing her (not a bad alternative, huh?) and then pulled away when they were in New York, I knew something was wrong. Let’s face it. Actions can speak louder than words. But they still can leave us guessing... and assuming (and I know how that saying goes...). Marin may be a good listener and a great relationship coach, but I see it’s still hard for her to put the pieces together when nothing is being said. But thankfully, Jack finally realizes that the torture of his nightmares isn’t going away and that it’s affecting his relationship. He knows he owes it to Marin to tell her why he hasn’t been himself. So he does. And by doing so he lets Marin comfort him in a way he so very needs. Just by being there.

So a lot happened in New York. And there’s a lot happening in Elmo (especially now that I know there’s something wrong with Cash!).

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