Not that she means anything by it, he knows. This is simply her lifelong habit of moderation at work, her need to tamp everything down to the routine, the modest, the tepid everyday. He understands the whole concept of boundaries, but there's a point where this mania for normalizing turns toxic.
In the beginning, you tamp down the animosity for the kids' sake. I'm not going to deny that I went through the wringer. But I don't think I doubted we'd end up here. That was always my dream, that the kids can have two loving parents that show respect for each other. And I feel that's what they have.
She knows too well what it's like to tamp down your natural inclinations, to force a smile when you feel numb....The expression of emotion does not come naturally, so yo learn to fake it. To pretend. To display an empathy you don't really feel. And so it is that you learn to pass, if you're lucky, to look like everyone else, even though you're broken inside.
Christina Baker Kline
Artists are not helper monkeys; they're not in it to visualize 'your' story, because it stopped being 'your' story the moment you engaged in a collaborative medium. From here on in, it's also the artist's story, and if you're working with an illustrator who's any good at all, you as a writer have to tamp down any control-freak tendencies you suffer under and relax into the process.
And if the problem [with contraception] is promiscuity, then why does the immense popularity of Viagra go unchecked? Doesn't it make more sense to leave the bullets out of the gun than to try to avoid being shot? Especially when the gun is an old musket, and you have to clean it out and tamp down gunpowder, melt down scraps of lead and pour it into a mold, wait for it to cool - only to have it take forever to finally go off?