Home > Economy > Dealing With Family and Friends

Dealing With Family and Friends

June 23, 2009

When she thought of economy, she thought of social exchange theory — the idea that relationships are based on give and take; our feelings about relationships rest on perceptions of the balance between what we get out of them and what we put in. Usually, she wouldn’t have put her thoughts on paper, but this time she did — as concisely as possible, using the medium of the postcard which embodies economy of words (few) and form (small).

Dealing With Family and Friends
(Click on postcard to see larger version)

The small print, barely legible, made her think of the papers she’d signed that morning — typical legalistic transaction papers that detailed who gave how much for what: 23 Euro for temporary ownership of a compact car, fully insured.

Now for a tobacco shop, to get some stamps. Driving down the bay road, she scanned for the yellow sign, partly wishing she wouldn’t find one. Yet, there it was. Exactly four minutes later it was done — the stamp bought, glued to the card, the card on the way, like her again, and her thoughts. Small print, she concluded, is invisible with family and friends, even though it’s always part of the subtext; unstated and implicit yet ever-present, like a PS suggesting an afterthought of little importance — which, in social exchange, really isn’t.

by Karyn Eisler and Dorothee Lang

Download the MP3 (reading by Karyn)

Categories: Economy Tags: ,
  1. Sam Graham
    October 15, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    I love your speaking voice. It reminds me of CBC announcedrs I heard all my life! There’s something about the clarity and enunciation that is SO US! I am a friend of Laurence’s in Calgary. HE told me to look you up.
    Here’s a sample of my daily writing
    Is the heart of appreciation
    Knowing all expectations
    Worth and the expense.
    Beyond family
    The rewards can be
    Booby trapped
    Like Pirates Treasure;
    From emotional blackmail
    To emotional minefield
    Treasure in hand
    Is worth the Hooks!

  2. karyn
    March 20, 2010 at 2:37 am

    Thank-you Sam:-)

    I like your story/writing sample very much …

  3. August 5, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    Very fine!

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