A fairly short, ill thought-out, one today, as I have two important projects* this week, but yesterday’s entry got some private feedback, mostly from single people, but also married ones, saying that they too craved separate living spaces from their partners. I thought that was interesting, since I always assumed that all (or at least most) people in married-type arrangements were happy to be together all the damned time. **
I’m not a sociologist, nor a proper historian, but it seems to me that it would be a fairly recent phenomenon in Western culture that a couple would spend a huge amount of time together. Previously, they would have worked long hours (either in a traditional job, or a traditional role keeping house) and maybe seen each other only at breakfast and in the evening and on holidays and weekends (if they existed), but would have had entirely different interests/hobbies (if they had time for them). And maybe, it didn’t ‘matter’ much because community relationships were stronger/more important. We now isolate (individually or as couples) instead.
Obviously, that is a gross generalisation,*** but now the whole thing is niggling at me. I guess it helps explain the rise of the Man Cave in the face of the decline of men’s clubs/service organizations? And ladies-only fitness classes when there aren’t so many women’s ‘good works’ groups in which to participate and fewer women’s-only hobbies/’jobs’ to share? Could we have integrated so much that we want to separate again? I mean, ladies even go to pubs now! BY THEMSELVES.
**Readers who are worried that their spouse-type person wrote me a confessional email and are now heartbroken? Don’t worry, they didn’t. I promise you. Separate lives, separate blog tastes.
***Speaking of which (the generalisation part, not the gross bit), the human tendency to have sex at night is probably an evolutionary thing, and possibly unique — tens of thousands of years ago, getting it on in the cooler African nights made sense, because, y’know, who wants to get it on under a blazing sun? Then, the lady sleeping/staying supine to help keep things cookin’ post-coitus would make help make more homo sapiens babbies. Other animals are not night fuckers (I mean, the neighbourhood cats shag at night, but not exclusively then). Neat, huh?
**** I apologize for being so bloody hetero here. Ill-informed, straight, meth.