Friday, August 23, 2013

Degrees of Separation

An instructor once told us that a classic conflict source was expectations mismatch between parties. She gave us marital and corporate examples. Her point was that these mismatches are solvable with the right appreciation and tools. They are not irreconcilable.

Arizona desert trip planning guides we read last year made the same point. Frictions surface in family trips precisely at the time people should be in their most fun and easy going moods. Mismatched expectations, nothing deeper than that. And once identified we can fix it by aligning expectations, I guess.

To align expectations in our trip we can divide the time to visit each other's friends, we can divide meal preferences. If we can split atoms what could possibly get in the way? 

It is August in Tel Aviv, hot as always, and air conditioners have gotten very good indeed.

But temperature remains indivisible. Setting the thermostat is an unsolvable mismatch in expectations. This time we have technology to blame. We went from suffering together to fighting over who suffers the other's temperature preferences.

I found the reason, its the thermostat stupid. Next comes an academic paper plotting divorce rate vs. temperature preference differential. It is titled degrees of separation.