Should you kiss in front of the kids?
"Once I walked in and Angie was standing there and [her eight-year-old daughter] Zahara walked up and said, 'Daddy, you're not going to start making out with Mommy again, are you?' And it's like that.
"This is a guy who has tried not to do any sexy scenes with other women since he's met Angelina. He's crazy about her, and she's the same way about him."
The above is an extract from a highly publicised interview with Hollywood sack of bones and sex appeal Brad Pitt and his zany knockabout bromance-mate Frank Pollaro. And because celebrities have come to be some sort of strange mirror we may hold up to our own lives, it's worth pondering a few of the notions nurtured above.
Should you really make out so heavily in front of your young children than they feel compelled to whinge about it?
Should you really impose restrictions on your career for the sake of your partner?
Here's what I like about the picture painted of the Pitt-Jolie household. I like that there appears to be open affection between the two in front of their progeny squad. Smooching in front of little people can send some very healthy messages about love and partnership. Presuming said lip-locking is a wholly affirmative, mutually enjoyable kind of kissing - there simply isn't enough of that going around.
Some parents will know why. And yes, you can blame the kids. More than a few studies show having young children reduces the amount of sex a couple will have, and sex is a major contributing factor to the amount of good kissing that goes on. Sex, and kissing, is also detrimentally impacted by our ever increasing workloads, poor lifestyle choices, and sundry other problems, first-world or no.
However other parents - and probably judgemental childless types - will cock eyebrow at the suggestion adults should engage in adult behaviour in front of their young. Agreed, there needs to be a line drawn - bondage before a bairn goes too far - but a cuddle and canoodle supplemented with a touch of tongue is a different matter. Yet some people still feel uncomfortable displaying affection in front of their kids.
Why? Might someone elucidate?
And what about this other idea - that we should restrict ourselves professionally for the sake of our partner? Granted, to a lay person, the idea of your spouse having to shag someone else on screen seems very unreasonable. But to Brangelina, sex scenes are perfectly natural elements of the jobs that made them what they are today. You might say sex scenes are integral to their respective successes.
Yet Brad has said 'no more', apparently. I don't really know why. Honestly, I don't really care beyond the relevance his choice has to this hypothetical discussion. Maybe he can't bear the thought of his children seeing him making out with another woman. Maybe Angelina can't bear the thought either. What I can't bear is the idea that someone would insist someone else not do something which is important to their job (we're back in normal-people territory now) simply because it might affect them adversely. Or worse, because they simply 'don't like it'. Aren't we supposed to like our partners, warts and jobs they are passionate about, and all? We're all familiar with the story of someone "being held back" by an unsupportive significant other.
Is that what's happening on Planet Pitt? Is Ange holding back the Brad?
There's a lot to be said for making decisions, as a team, and learning to compromise. What if they had a discussion and decided, together, it really was best Mr Pitt stop putting out on screen for the sake of their family. That would be a sensible conversation to have, and conclusion to draw, especially in light of their obviously amorous relationship. While kissing in front of the kids is good for their personal development, sending mixed messages is not so much.
Still, I have reservations about making big changes to a career because a partner says so. I probably say this as a woman raised by a mother who made it very clear deferring ambition for the sake of a husband should not be a default ambition. But I also say so because I truly don't think it's fair to make demands of people. Engage people in a discussion and come to an amicable resolution, by all means, but dare you stamp your foot and wag your finger at me and you've another thing coming.
But that might just be me.
What do you think - would you stop doing something central to your career for the sake of your partner?
And would you stop making out for the sake of your kids?