by Ben Huberman
A lively group discussion, an intimate tête-à-tête, an inner monologue — in your view, when it comes to a good conversation, what’s the ideal number of people?
My husband R, and I had a major disagreement on tea; or rather the making of tea at odd hours, when I was sleeping, and he woke me up to demand tea.
I hated it. Why couldn’t he wait for me to get up? I didn’t sleep easily the way he did. Lucky man! He would close his eyes, and fall asleep in a second or two.
I tried at telling him that making a cup of tea for himself only, wasn’t a blight on his manhood. He simply wasn’t convinced, or I lacked the powers of persuasion. His masculinity was deeply offended at the thought of going to the kitchen for such an ill deed.
O ye Ladies here! Thank your stars you are not married to someone from my place.
Then I had a lucky break in the form of my brother-in-law Sq visiting at the exact time R and I were having our tête-à-tête (haha) about tea. R involved him, complaining about my efforts at chaining him to domesticity.
Annoyed at my husband for bringing the matter up, I fully expected Sq to take up cudgels against me, I was amazed at his telling R that I was right. He told him that he never bothered his wife about tea. Whenever he wanted it he did it himself.
Thank God it was Sq, and not the two other ones (who are chauvinist to another extreme). They would have clobbered my head off (Just joking).
Anyway at a moment like above, a third person is useful.
Group discussions are useful when you have a decision to make. After listening to others, and hearing the pros, and cons you can reach the right answer to a problem. There can be few ones, or more. It all depends on our own choice.
Postscript: for those who have not read my about; R died on 2nd Aug 2012, and Sq died in Oct 1998.