- Talk to yourself. There are times you need expert advice.
- “In Style” are the clothes that still fit.
- You don’t need anger management. You need people to stop making you mad.
- Your people skills are just fine. It’s your tolerance for idiots that needs work.
- The biggest lie you tell yourself is, “I don’t need to write that down. I’ll remember it.”
- “On time” is when you get there.
- Even duct tape can’t fix stupid – but it sure does muffle the sound.
- Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could put ourselves in the dryer for ten minutes, then come out wrinkle-free and three sizes smaller?
- Lately, you’ve noticed people your age are so much older than you.
- Growing old should have taken longer.
- Aging has slowed you down, but it hasn’t shut you up.
- You still haven’t learned to act your age, and hope you never will.
I hope it is not sexist to note that men’s and women’s minds operate in different ways. We all approach topics and conversations in different ways, but as a group I find women literally think and associate ideas differently than men. Which is part of what makes it such a tragedy that there aren’t enough women in government; they would think about problems in new and different ways.
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During Covid I am keeping in touch with lots of men and women, some of whom I didn’t talk to regularly before. My conversations with men are OK and interesting. My conversations with women are fascinating. But then as most of you know I’ve always enjoyed the company of smart women.
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I was particularly fascinated by a discussion of shame, and the fact that it can be good or bad. There are behaviors I’ve given up because I am ashamed of the previous results they elicited. Good kind of shame, as opposed to the kind that merely makes you feel bad and reduces your self-esteem.
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Readers with long memories (October 2020) will recall the Worst Review Ever, which I used to carry it in my wallet. I just ran across an H.L. Mencken comment that seems almost as scathing: I was at the job of reading it for days and days, endlessly daunted and halted by its laborious dullness, its flatulent fatuity, its almost fabulous inconsequentiality.
―H.L. Mencken on H. G. Wells' Joan and Peter
Yes, a new feature, consisting of what I hope are amusing/interesting thoughts too long for This and That and too short to stand alone.
In a Dear Amy column last week, she advised a woman in a difficult situation, “To paraphrase one of my favorite lines from poet Robert Frost, you can only get past this by going through it.” In short, don’t bury it, experience it. The same advice you get from meditation teachers. But I wondered why she felt the need to paraphrase it, so I found the original: “The best way out is always through.” So, I suppose, she paraphrased it because she couldn’t be bothered to look it up. Before the Internet, that behavior was excusable in a writer; now it’s not. In any case, it’s good advice, however you put it―and however long it takes you to go through it.
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I found myself enthralled by the phrase, “Would you make me the happiest man on earth.” In fiction, it is often used as a synonym for “Would you marry me.” As we watched a proposal in a movie, which surprised me by not going that way, I said to Vicki, “I wish I’d asked if you’d make me the happiest man on Earth.” Heaven knows, I had experience proposing (with two other women), but, apparently, still didn’t have it quite down. I wish I’d used that locution for my wife, because it would have both been a question on its own (the answer to which was “yes”) and a proposal.
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This week I realized I owed a big thank you to Masters and Johnson, the sex researchers, whose Human Sexual Response came out my freshman year in high school (1966). I studied the book carefully, took their word on what women want, and, when I had a chance to apply the knowledge starting five years later, was able to practice sex in a scientifically proven way to produce mutual pleasure. I was spared the futile experimentation that plagued hundreds of generations of men before me, and for that I am grateful.