Archive for the ‘Hmm’ Category


I’ve been asked to think about my mother’s eulogy. It occurs to me that she might be a “forgivaholic.” Which, if you’re going to be any flavor of “-aholic,” is probably not among the worst you could be. I don’t think God will say to anyone, “You forgave too many times! You gave too many second chances.” That would be a pot and kettle kind of situation. I think.


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Cheatin’ Hearts


Infidelity. This is not the most romantic post for Valentine’s Day, but I find myself thinking about it (thanks to Oprah) and I decided to query the innernets as a hole for the answer to a question I have long pondered.

Let’s say that one spouse has cheated on another. It could be either gender, but just for ease of discussion, let’s say it is a heterosexual marriage, and it is the male who had an affair. This cheating male comes to couples counseling with his wife, who knows that there are problems, but does not know that her husband has been unfaithful. The husband asks to speak to the counselor alone, during which time he reveals that he has had a sexual relationship outside the marriage. He says (very sincerely and convincingly) that it is 100% over and will never happen again, and that he does not want his wife to know about it, because knowing can only hurt her and can’t possibly help the marriage. He wants to look toward the future, not the past. As the counselor (or even as a friend or family member), do you honor his request not to reveal the infidelity to his wife? (Incidentally, confidentiality is not an issue; both clients have been informed that “the marriage” is the client and that the two partners do not have confidentiality from one another in this setting, the way they would if either of them were coming alone for individual counseling.)

Possible answers:

A. You keep his secret. He makes a valid point — while telling all might relieve his guilt, it would only hurt his wife and the marriage. If he really means that it is over, is truly sorry and is determined that it will never happen again, then no good can come of requiring him to tell his wife. Let his mistake be left in the past while they go forward to improve their marriage.

B. She has to know. They can’t really move forward if there are lies in the past. Besides, if she knew the truth, she might not want to be with him anymore. And she has a right to base her current and future decisions on reality, however hurtful, and not on lies and illusion.

C. Some other answer.

What do you think, oh, wise and powerful innernets?

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Political Commentary

Jif: This is exactly the kind of thing that turns people off from politics.

Susie: Yea, sane people. But it sure fires up the insane ones.

(True confession: I have been known to cross the line.)

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I just saw the website of a 25-year-old “Life Coach.”

REALLY? I hope I’m not ageist, but, really? I surely didn’t know enough about life at age 25 to sell coaching services.

The whole life-coaching thing intrigues and annoys me. Some therapists began calling themselves “life coaches” a few years ago. The theory is (so I’ve been told) that it’s what they were doing anyway, and if they marketed themselves as “life coaches,” they might get fewer people with actual mental illness, emotional distress, and more high-functioning, “worried well” types, who demand less and pay more.

Then there are those life coaches with no particular training of any kind in human behavior (or whatever one might need to know about in order to advise on matters of life, love, career, etc.), but who fancy themselves as having their shit together and capable of sharing that shit with others. These people can get a certificate saying they are a “Life Coach” from various groups who offer seminars and certificates, suitable for framing. In my state, and most I’ve researched, there are no laws regulating the marketing of oneself as a “life coach.”

One of my former clients, who was a therapist, who had among the most dysfunctional family and friend relationships I’ve ever seen, is a rather successful life coach. She does have a successful career. She has a lonely, drama-fraught life. She may be a case of “those who can’t do, coach.”

So what about this life-coaching stuff? What should the qualifications be? Does age matter?

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Y’all know I’m a techno-dunce. I didn’t know what a GPS was until my pastor mentioned it in a sermon, many months ago. She said (and I really like this analogy) that God is like a GPS system. God gives us ways to go, provides guidance, and sometimes we miss that guidance. Or sometimes we see it clearly, but choose not to take it. And when that happens, it may take us longer to get where we’re going in life, and we may pass through towns that aren’t on the map, but we can still get where we were meant to go. And, like a GPS, God does not say, “You moron! You were supposed to take that road! Now you can never go where you were meant to go!” No. Like a GPS, after we miss or decline an opportunity, God recalculates and reconfigures and makes a way for us to eventually go in the right direction. Perhaps a bit worse for the wear, but still, a way is made.

What a cool thing a GPS would be, I thought. To gently guide us around, not getting cross with us when we screwed up and went down a wrong road. I decided to get Jif one for Christmas. And he really likes it. On the way home from our recent road trip to meet my brother and his family for lunch, he showed me how it works.

The thing said, “Drive 1.9 miles, then exit right.” In a very feminine, sophisticated, gentle, but firm voice. Nice. But then Jif didn’t do what she said! He wanted to go a different way.

So I asked him, “What will she say if you don’t obey her?! Will she say, ‘Shit! You missed it! Now look what you’ve done…'”

He said, “No. I’d love it if she would say that. She’ll just come up with another plan for me . . . ”

And after a couple more times of Jif’s not taking Sasha’s advice (oh, LG named the GPS “Sasha” at some point during this part of the journey, before she retreated into iPodville), we started imagining what Sasha might say, in her feminine, sophisticated, gentle but firm voice:

Drive 1.9 miles, then exit right.
SHIT! You missed it.
Drive .6 miles, then exit right.
What are you, DEAF?
Don’t make me stop this car.
Don’t make me stop this car.
Drive .5 miles, then turn right.
Now you did it.
You cannot get there from here.
Stop this car.
Stop this car.
You are hopelessly lost.
I’m calling a cab.

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I’ve been thinking again. Here’s a sneak peek inside my head. It ain’t always pretty. But keep in mind, you’re just visiting, and I have to live in here!:

  • I don’t often (have I ever? not certain) espouse a political position here. Indeed, at least half of you might be surprised to learn of my political affiliation and my voting record. I cast my votes “per person,” not per party. As I’ve said to a friend, no political party would touch me with a ten-foot pole if I were to speak freely about my various beliefs, values, positions, and the like. I don’t fit in anywhere. But government is interesting and important to me. So I am looking as thoroughly as I’m able, at all major candidates in all major parties.

    In the last presidential election, someone accused me of voting for the person that I’d most like to have dinner with. That is, voting for the personality of the candidate. Since I had reservations about all the candidates’ political ideologies, I can’t really deny the charge. I am more likely to vote for people that I like, or imagine that I would like. There is one major candidate (I won’t say the name) for whom I will not be casting a vote. And yes, it’s not because of policy, it’s because of personality. I know people who have worked for this person. And those people have been cursed, screamed at and verbally abused, routinely, by this person. No votes for you! Then there’s another candidate, whom I thought was very promising, but when I went to the candidate’s website to read about policies, positions, ideas, I found a movement underway to write mean letters to a government official. It wasn’t a petition to get rid of that person; it was after the person had already resigned and packed up. The invitation was to write a “good-bye and good riddance” type of message. At first, I thought, well, I won’t hold it against the candidate, this must be a fansite, and not the official website. But no, it was the official website. I’m sick to death of public nastiness and incivility. From my perspective, a candidate loses respect, credibility, and certainly, any chance at my vote, when he or she chooses to go there. You can be happy about someone leaving without encouraging people to write hateful letters to them. I hope, wish, pray, we can do better than that.

  • I don’t know how to put the “rat’s ass” on this sidebar. I will one day. But it still makes me smile when I see it out there in blogworld somewhere. That’s one of those things that’s hard to explain to those unfamiliar with blogging: “And it is the sweetest, dearest thing; they put little rat asses on their websites, for me (*sniff*) . . . ” But you guys know. xxx
  • Oh, that reminds me. See those three Xs above? They’re hugs. I’ve been putting Xs on here for hugs for a couple of years now. But then someone told me they’re not hugs, they’re kisses. And I was all, “Well, cheez, it’s no wonder I’ve contracted WTF disease if I’m kissing strangers all over the place!” But really, an X represents the arms, crossing around you for a hug. An O represents puckered lips for a kiss. This makes perfect sense to me, and these are the symbols I’ve used ever since . . . 5th grade. Then after that someone called me out on it, I went looking on the innernets as a hole, and it seems that while I am not alone in my usage of the Xs and Os, I am in the minority. Like, 12% see it my way and 88% see it her way. Craziness. I defy you to make an X with your lips (although she did send me a photograph depicting such perversion), AND, if you make a circle with your arms, well wtf kind of hug is that? That’s a ballet position, not a hug. Won’t you cross over to my side?
  • Oh, and while we’re kissing and hugging (vice versa, or not), which internet dating service are you going to use? I’m not going to use one, of course, being all married and whatnot. But I see these TV commercials. The one that says they will accept you as you are, and criticizes that other one that rejects 9 million people a year, or something like that. But if I were going to choose one of those two, I’d try the one that turns some people down, rather than the one that accepts absolutely everydamnbody. Wouldn’t you?
  • Why is it that whenever someone gets emotional, cries, on TV, the reporters and such say that the person “broke down”? The person didn’t suddenly sputter to a halt. Didn’t have steam coming from the hood. No one called Triple-A. A person breaking down . . . maybe a stroke or a heart-attack would be a human “break-down,” but crying? I don’t think so.
  • Wind chimes. I have always wanted some. I was thinking of putting them on my Christmas wish list. I especially like the ones that purport to play a song — Amazing Grace, specifically. I realize it probably doesn’t really play the song, but supposedly, the chimes are in the notes of the song and perhaps by some wind miracle they could align from time to time for a verse or two. But I hesitate. I worry about other people. Do wind chimes bug neighbors? When we have lived near people with them, I have always found them pleasant. But I don’t know if everyone would. Where do you stand on neighbors with wind chimes?
  • Just today, I read the horrific story of two separate incidents of “armed gunmen” (don’t get me started) shooting up the congregants in places of worship in Colorado. Terrible, right? But somehow, the most disturbing line of the article I read was, “The gunman was killed by a member of the church’s armed security staff before police arrived.” Since when do churches have armed security staff? Is this something Jif should bring up at the session meeting tonight? Lord, have mercy.

That’s enough thinking for me, for now. So what have you been thinking?

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“Spears arrived at the courthouse eating cheese puffs in her white Mercedes-Benz convertible.”

Sorry. I just read that on a “news” site and really felt compelled to share it with someone.

That is all.

As you were.

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