Vive la Différence!


Paul and Seabell have the same love for traveling and a few other things in common. For the rest, they are like water and oil. Yet, they live together, along with an army of differences on the background.


Let’s talk about a few! 1) Reading: Paul reads the news. Seabell reads books. 2) TV: Paul likes news channels, paparazzi and variety shows. Seabell watches movies and some contests. 3) Eating: Paul loves cooked food. Seabell prefers fresh uncooked food, like salad and fruit. 4) Politics: Paul is eminently political. Seabell is more a free spirit. Even if she supported a party, she would never think on party terms but on her own terms. 5) Sleeping: Paul sleeps with the chickens. Seabell sleeps with the early morning birds. And the list could go on and on…


All above differences, and a few others left untold, are peanuts for Seabell. For her, the strange duck is Paul’s buyer behavior. That is a terrible difference, because Paul is a compulsive buyer and Seabell feels like asphyxiating in the middle of unwanted rubbish! The list of Paul’s favorite stuff is long: pens, watches, wood statues, pans, glasses, knifes, all kind of kitchen gadgets, various decorative items, etc.


Seabell has been wondering why does Paul rush to buy unnecessary objects. They seem to make Paul happy and Seabell miserable. Every year, she has to give or throw away a great part of them. She knows that her dissatisfaction has to do with esthetical aspects: she likes to live in a minimal environment. One day TD started to point: “This was brought by Paul, by Paul, by Paul…” At the end, in an entire room, only some books and the curtains were Seabell acquisition.


She complains from time to time. Paul’s reaction? “Cut the drama, Seabell! This is just a simple pan. We can always use another one!”


“A simple pan which we don’t need is going to “sleep” during years in some corner without use… Why is Paul like that?” she asks herself.


Actually, Seabell thinks that this matter underlines two strong opposite aspects of both personalities: Paul is impulsive and she is reflective. It could be just another difference, but Seabell is afraid that one day she is going to drown in a sea of objects!


5 thoughts on “Vive la Différence!

  1. My Friend Seabell, I really liked this blog post. I like the blogs better than the other place we met because of the personal nature of the blog. (Please, though, know that I love your poetry. Really!! Even the challenging and obscurely written.

    But this blog . . . it has me pondering my life (personally), my life with my wife (her habits in shopping) and the ideal. I am not a big shopper, but mostly because I do not like spending money I feel I do not have to spend (though how true that is, I really don’t know, because I will spend money to travel, to stay somewhere nice, to eat out, etc. — I just don’t buy things — though I do buy books and music). My Joy, my wife, is a shopper. I think there for her, and she would likely admit this, is a means of finding happiness in shopping. In fact, many shoppers, at least those I know here in the U.S., do so out of a compulsion to find some sort of satisfaction or happiness which they cannot find in their life otherwise. Ideally? I like your word — minimalist. But I am sadly a packrat of a sort (probably got it from my mother). I am overrun, first off with paper — usually from the mail. Secondly, stuff, especially clothing and hats (of which I do have too many) bury me, because I don’t have specific places to keep them. Oh well. Maybe one day I really can be a minimalist. I did live by myself for seven or eight months, for the only time in my adult life (between marriages) and I was for the most part rather a minimalist (except for that darn paper . . .).

    Thanks for letting me comment, Seabell. I enjoy the blogs of yours I choose to read. If I had more time I’d probably read all of them, but I do have to be choosy.


  2. Seabell, how interesting is for me to aknowledge that I have exactly the same problem with my husband and that I think exatly the way you do about “having things”. Two Years ago, when we moved to another house, when we were packing, my sons were very annoyed with so many stuff to pack and saying to his father: “you bought this, and that, and now we will have no place for it in the new palce”. As you see, we are miles away, but heve the same problem. You are not alone…Isa

  3. Thanks for reading, KP and Isa. Perhaps at this point I should explain that in this buying thing I see 3 types of shoppers, either compulsive or normal: 1) Personal stuff shoppers (shoes, perfumes, etc). 2) Collectors stuff shoppers (when the number of stuff from the same item is over the reasonable). 3) And home stuff shoppers (food and items supposed to be shared). Now I have to tell that being a number 1 kind of shopper, even so I am picky and I know precisely what I want. It is a rarity to create in me the need of buying. If I buy something, it is because I need it and it is something probably existing in a list for a very long time. I am a terrible spender in the sense that I pay without looking or discussing the price, but I never buy impulsively. I like to see, to think about and then decide. On the contrary, Paul is impulsive, collector and mainly buys stuff for the house. He doesn’t spend money with him but in collections, home, family and friends. Perhaps because he is generous, he feels good buying the way he buys, without realizing the gratuity of it. Our common ground is traveling and good restaurants because he is happy spending and I am happy because he is not stocking stuff at home. I do agree that a lot of people shop trying to reach some sort of satisfaction! Seabell

  4. I am definitly the number 1 type, exatly as you describe yourself. KP is right about “buying” as a satisfaction or compensation for something that people don’t have in their lives. Isa

Comments are closed.