Friday, December 23, 2005

Stood Up, Part 2

More on dealing with a No-Show Joe from Sarah Tanner.

Turn up your speakers. It's quick, and it's worth a listen.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

He Stood You Up?

You met a guy. He asked you out. He never showed up.

Sarah Tanner will tell you how to fix him.

Meet Men the Easy Way

Today's Dear Abby featured a letter from a woman who met her husband (and best friend) of 15 years through "Operation Dear Abby," the program where civilians email letters of support to American servicemen.

Granted, not everybody is going to meet the man of her dreams this way, but it's a nice option for getting to know somebody new. It's free, and you don't have to dress up.

This week's Attracting True Love newsletter will probably go out today. Want it? Sign up now. It's free, too.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Damage Control Has Gotten Old

For the second time in two days, President Bush has been up on his podium pulling our patriotic heartstrings on the subject of freedom. I wonder how free the displaced former residents of New Orleans feel, especially the ones FEMA plans to kick out of hotels. They're pretty much free to sleep on the streets. I wonder how people without healthcare feel about freedom; they can't get help when they're sick, so they're not free. They're stuck. Same goes for all the people who lost their pensions due to corporate wrongdoing.

So, no Mr. President, I don't think it's okay that you wiretap my phone in the interests of freedom. In fact, I respectfully submit that you stop using the word "freedom" in your speeches (is that word even still polling well?).

And, if you're really so gung-ho on ending atrocities all over the globe, why don't we ever hear you utter the word, "Darfur?"

Friday, December 09, 2005

Dating Tip for the Day

Smiling, yes, just smiling, is an excellent way to communicate friendliness, interest, and openness to possibilities. Once I learned to smile sincerely, even if things weren't going my way, I attracted all sorts of great circumstances (and more and better men to choose from).

For some reason, people like people who smile easily.

So, today I'm forcing myself to follow my own advice. I'll smile even though it's snowing ponies, and my offspring are shouting advice to the oil truck driver whose wheels spin desperately in front of my house.

I'll smile even though I had one measly business call to make all day and, surely, my children are too big, responsible, and considerate to fly in, wailing about what "she did!"

Yeah, right. I hate snow days.

But I'm smiling! I'm smiling!

What time is it? Is my husband on his way home from work yet?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Dating an Aggressive Driver?

Here's a tip: Don't.

He's a jerk, and his behavior will probably creep into your relationship. (Creep being the operative word.)

Feel like I should hit Confession after going to Hel-Mart yesterday. Was duly spanked by readers of this blog, even if it was for a good cause (still don't understand why I couldn't go to Target or, even better, Lord & Taylor; they run excellent sales, you know).

It's cold in Connecticut. Cold! (Well, not if you're from Michigan, but...)

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Pre-Christmas Cheer

Finishing up an article on dating an aggressive driver for a Connecticut paper.

I'm blah this week. Scooted into Wal-Mart today (yes, I know; I'm not supposed to go to Wal-Mart, but the domestic violence center that's doing the Christmas gift drive directed me to go there and buy a gift card. Personally, if I had to leave my husband due to any kind of abuse, I would find it doubly depressing to have to shop at Wal-Mart).

Sure enough, I got busted in there by not one but two friends who know my hostile stance toward America's Largest Retailer. Had a bit of explaining to do.

Well, the offspring have unearthed every Christmas decoration from The Year 12 and hauled them up from the basement. Remind me to throw half the crap out when I take it down after New Year's. I'm tired of looking at it.

In happy news, I'm meeting L and A and U and P and A and M for dinner in Manhattan Saturday night. I'm sure it'll be a mad scene with everybody and their Aunt Lucy in to see the tree, but I'm looking forward to it. I need an adults' night out.

In dating news, I put out the most recent newsletter yesterday. If you missed it and would like to get it, email me at terry@marrysmart.com. It's informative (if I don't say so myself), and it's free.

Did you see Jimmy Carter on The Daily Show the other night? Thank God for Jimmy Carter. The man will go down in history as a great man and a great president.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Flirt While You Can

"When you flirt, you gain valuable information about the nature of another person -- his or her sense of fun, adventure, and potential as a romantic candidate. You quickly find out if he's classy, trashy, shy, leering, desperate, sweet, funny, or any combination of the above."

-Sara Tanner, Creator of the LIFELONG FLIRTING COURSE


If you're shy, tongue-tied, or have been out of the dating game too long, Sara Tanner will teach you how to wow the opposite sex.

You'll get lessons and fun assignments via email. Tuition for Sara's course is usually $47.00, but her Thanksgiving week special of $37.00 runs through tomorrow.

How to Get Over a Bad Boyfriend

Dear Terry,

This is probably one of the most stupid letters you will ever read, but I just had to write. I need a slap!

I lived with a guy for two years. He had all kinds of problems, from health to gambling. For the first eight months of our relationship I paid for almost everything. We had plans to move where I am now living, but those plans were cut short. I moved alone. One night after a lot of feelings of hate mixed up with frustration, my washing machine overflowed. I started crying, needed him to hold me, but he took the hammer and broke my washing machine. I told him to leave. I called the cops but didn't sign a complaint. He left. I left. I needed someone to understand me, so I drove 400 miles to my daughter's place (I didn't know what I was doing, what would become of my life. I even thought of ending it).

Then I drove back! I wanted to talk to him, reason with him, but when I finally got home, nobody was there. A few minutes later, there he was with his daughter. Like a bat out of hell he grabbed the satellite machine, the only thing that was his, and I got very angry. Who would do a thing like that after all I had done for him? Who would even think of taking away a stupid satellite machine? Wasn't I worth more than a satellite? Enraged, I called the cops, and he ended up in court.

He cannot be within 500 feet of me for three years! I was shocked to get this news and found out that he was living with somebody else. That should be enough for me to hate him. Right? But I think of him every day. He even came down to see me this summer but says he is afraid of me because I called the cops on him. He leaves me messages on my machine and says he cannot forget me (I'm not stupid. I have a brain).

If he really loved me, he would still be with me. Right? Why am I still thinking of him? He's living with another woman! I know deep down that I could no longer have a trusting relationship with him, and I could not have sex with him again (just the thought that he had sex with God knows who makes me sick). I wish I could meet somebody worthwhile. But I go to bed at night thinking of him, and I wake up thinking of him.

I'm fighting to survive, no job, times are rough. I cannot go out and do things due to a lack of money. Christmas is coming, and I just hate the thought of it. I have found a little job cleaning , but it doesn't pay enough to spoil my grandchild. I wish I was dead!

So, you see, I need a good kick maybe.

-Got a Big Sign Taped to My Back



Dear Big Sign-

I'm not going to give you a kick. For whatever reason, you're hung up on this guy even though he's obviously a bedbug. I'm no psychiatrist, but clearly he has problems. Perhaps he's been horrible to you because he knows he doesn't deserve the kindness you've shown him, and for some warped reason he actually resents you for it.

But enough about him.

A lot of the time we get hooked on people who treat us poorly because part of us (a buried part, I'd guess) thinks we deserve it. Or we get hooked because the person didn't treat us badly all the time; now and again, he actually made us laugh and gave us a warm, glowy feeling inside.

Since you're still obsessing about him, I suggest that you write down every single thing about him that you dislike on a sheet of paper, which you will leave on your pillow. Before you fall asleep at night (when you are tempted to relive the good ol' days), read this list and let it sink into your subconscious. Read it again before your feet touch the floor in the morning.

You might also consider changing your telephone number so that you don't have to hear his voice ever again. He knows he has an emotional hold over you (and even goes on the offensive by saying he's afraid of your behavior--huh?), and so he calls you.

He's living with someone else now, probably sucking her dry. You know perfectly well you're better off without him, but you're lonely. I suggest that you begin to treat yourself the way he should have treated you. Become your very own best boyfriend; it doesn't have to cost a lot of money. Take yourself out to a movie (matinees are fairly cheap), buy yourself flowers at the grocery store once in a while, speak to yourself as if you were a beloved child (how would you speak to your grandchild, for instance?). Write a list of your very best qualities and read it often. You have to start loving yourself. You have to start enjoying your own company.

You have the cleaning job. That's a start. Don't worry about spoiling your grandchild. Your grandchild can only benefit from having a happy, healthy grandmother, instead of a sad woman who buys presents but wishes she were dead. See your daughter when you can, but your goal right now is to stop wishing you were dead and start enjoying life, as you deserve to and should.

Is there a community center in your neighborhood where you could take classes cheaply? Perhaps you could learn yoga or something new, which would allow you to meet new people and to feel good about yourself.

My next suggestion is to volunteer in a hospital or someplace else where people are less fortunate. (I know you need money, but I'm talking about just an hour or two every week.) You would meet new people and perhaps come across a paying job opportunity. And the best way to feel better is to help somebody else feel better.

You're in a new place, and you have an opportunity to build a new life. You cared very much (and hard) for a man who didn't value you, but you have much to offer and there are other people who will value that--and you.

I hope this helps, and I wish you the very best of everything.

Terry

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Working Mothers Who Can't Get a Break

This morning's Connecticut Post featured a story about a woman who left her children in her car while she went to work her shift at Stop & Shop. She was arrested on two counts of risk of injury to a minor and leaving a child unattended in a motor vehicle. She was also charged with operating a motor vehicle without insurance and misuse of registration plates.

She was released after posting $25,000 bond. She later begged a reporter not to write about her arrest, saying that she is a hard-working single parent who struggles to pay bills and find day care for her children.

Instead of making this woman out to be a villain, did it occur to anybody that she has no choice except to leave her children in her car while she makes money to buy them something to eat?

My next question:

Where is the children's father?

Where the hell is he? Does he offer his children any kind of support whatsoever? Why is this woman forced to leave his children in a parking lot to be able to provide for them? And why am I the one asking these questions instead of authorities who could actually help her?

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Wal-Mart and the Running of the Bulls

This Christmas season, I refuse to shop in any store that encourages people to gouge and trample each other in an attempt to score a cheap laptop.

I also refuse to shop in stores that refer to sales as "Door Busters." The day I "bust" a door is the day I start giving cash instead of buying gifts for Christmas.

In its never-ending quest to score unprecedented profits, corporate America would reduce us to animals. Unfortunately, too many of us are willing to let them get away with it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

How to Flirt

I have much to be thankful for this year, including my association with Sara Tanner, an expert on dating and relationships.

She's a shameless flirt who wants to take you by the hand and teach you this alluring art (and, while she and I don't agree on everything, I've learned a good deal from her. She's never boring, that's for sure).

She's offering an e-course entitled "Lifelong Flirting," which is fun and affordably priced. I'll let her tell you:

"Flirting is a subject that has always been close to my heart. Since I was a young teenager, I've collected every book on 'how to get a man' that I could get my hands on. It's a subject that is endlessly interesting, and flirting is certainly one of the most fun parts of the interaction between men and women.

I just started this class earlier this year, and it's my 'baby.' The class includes members who are shy; members who are already experienced flirts - and even a couple of men have joined the class out of their love for women and desire to learn and grow.

It's an online class that you can take at times which are convenient to you - the lessons come to you through email. There are unadvertised bonuses, as well as lifetime membership on the Lifelong Flirting forum. At the end of the class, you also receive a bonus book: 'The Etiquette Handbook.'

Everyone who takes this course comes away with a new understanding of the foundations of flirting, and with the frame of mind to put their new skills into action. The class is being expanded, and as a result, the price is about to go to $47, but for this Thanksgiving holiday week, it will stay $37 to show my own thankfulness for the faithful readers of my own emails. I have over twelve thousand subscribers and I'm very blessed to have them.

I think women owe it to themselves to flirt - married or single. If you don't flirt, you are missing out on one of life's greatest joys - on an inherent part of our birthright as people! Without flirting on some level in your daily interactions, life's a deadly bore!

You can read about the first time anyone every flirted with me - I was a mere 12 years old - here.

Flirting does indeed start early in life. Flirting situations start when we least expect them, too - so every woman should be 'armed' and prepared for this immensely fun and positive aspect of life.

Would you like to learn how to cast a spell on a man?

Then, by all means, join me.

-Sara Tanner

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Meet Men, Meet Women

Coming out of the mist to let you know that my correspondent, A., tells me she tried speed-dating with delightful results.

Here's what she says:

"Just wanted to fill you in on my speed-dating event last night. I have to tell you, it was far more fun and less intimidating than I'd anticipated. I actually met someone I found attractive and would like to get to know better. He was interesting, successful, the right age and is a Democrat like me (very important)!

He and I are exchanging e-mails, and I definitely intend to attend another event. It's so much better to see someone face to face, and see if there is chemistry, unlike the Internet personals, where there is ample opportunity for embellishment and outright lies.

Anyway, just wanted to let you know that this is a great venue for meeting people. I'll let you know how things go. I may not meet Mr. Right through speed-dating, but the experience was a great ego-builder that let me know that, even at so-called "middle age" (44), I am still very marketable, more so than many of my peers. I received an e-mail today that 7 out of the ten men there last night wanted to get to know me better.

I was skeptical but now believe that this is a very viable option for people to meet, especially busy professionals. Keep your wonderful e-mails and blog coming. We appreciate you!"


And I appreciate, you, A. Thanks for the important information!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

If You Want Him to Open Up, Don't Use a Can Opener

Dear Terry,

I want to thank you again for the teleclass. It was really inspirational. I am sure that I can put what you discussed into practice rather soon. I do have a question though. How do you get a man to open up to you about all parts of his life, even those that do not concern you, without curbing his freedom and independence?

-Quite Curious


Well, hello, Quite-

I'm glad you enjoyed the call.

If you're spending a lot of time with a man, he should eventually trust you enough to open up about himself. I wouldn't force anything. If, after a reasonable amount of time, you feel that you don't really know him much better than you did when you first met, you can say, "We've been going out together for (insert amount of time), but I don't know you very well." See what happens.

If he takes that as a cue to be forthcoming, good. If he doesn't, you could make a joke. Smile and say something like, "You're very mysterious, but I'm really into comedies these days." If he remains clammed up, I would take that as a sign to keep moving.

You never want to interrogate a guy, but it's perfectly acceptable to open up about your experiences. For instance, you could say: "My favorite Christmas was (fill in the blank) when (fill in the blank); and "I love the Fall because it reminds me of (insert your very special memory here). This way, you're giving him an opportunity to tell you about himself and his experiences.

A good relationship depends on respect, consideration, and, most of all, communication. You can't do it alone, and you shouldn't try. Be sure to keep that in mind.


Terry

Monday, October 31, 2005

Prescription for a Marriage in Hell

Hi, Terry-

I have been dating my boyfriend for five and a half years. We are 23 years old, and I would really like a commitment. We have talked about getting married, but he says he probably doesn't want to get married for another three or four years. I love him so much, but I feel it's unfair that I have to wait around. It's as if everything is on his schedule. I think it's ridiculous to wait that long. We are thinking about moving in together, but now I'm having second thoughts. I'm worried that if we move in together, we will never get married! He says that moving in together is a commitment in itself. I want to be with him and have a ceremony where we can pronounce our love in front of everyone.

He lives his life and expects me to just follow along. For example, he always plans his weekends around what he wants to do and just assumes I will do what he wants. He doesn't keep me in mind. I took off work on Friday so we could spend time
together (we have completely opposite work schedules), and he slept the whole day! What a waste! When I confronted him about it he says he didn't mean to hurt my feelings. I want him to plan things for us to do, instead of me always having to make the plans and figure everything out. I've just become increasingly angry and feel like he doesn't understand. He says that if we both know that we want to get married it shouldn't matter if it's now or in four years.

Should I stick around or move on? I don't want to wait, and then three years from now have him decide that he doesn't want to get married for another four. Please help!

-Confused


Hello, Confused-

If you're angry now because your boyfriend doesn't consider your feelings, how do you think you'll feel in another five years?

The thing is, you can't make him commit to you (nor should you try). You deserve a guy who's quite literally jumping off the couch to marry you, and he's not doing that.

I understand why you'd want to get married after 5 1/2 years together, but if he's not willing, then it's not your job to change his mind. Instead, you might ask yourself if he's doing you a favor. You're not happy about the way he treats you, and marriage is not going to change him (in fact, he's probably going to get worse).

The idea of proclaiming your love for one another in front of the entire world is romantic, but think about it: A wedding lasts a couple of hours. A marriage is meant to last a lifetime.

Let me ask you a question.

Do you really think you would be happy spending your life with this man (the way he is now, not the way you think he might turn out to be)?

If the answer is no, then you owe it to yourself to move on. If the answer is yes, you truly love him and want to marry him, then I'd advise you to spend less time with him, instead of more. I would definitely never take a day off work to hang out with him, that's for sure. It sounds as if your boyfriend is taking you for granted, and you need to step back a bit.

Be less available.

I'm not telling you to play games. But it's time this guy stopped assuming you're going to do whatever he wants every weekend. You can give him the message by going out with your friends often(if you don't have any friends, make some). If you're interested in learning something new, like pottery, yoga, or beermaking, I suggest you take a class that gets you out of the house one day a week. It will introduce you to new people and new situations, and learning new things makes you more interesting.

If you have a habit of stopping by to see your boyfriend after work, taper that off. Don't see him all the time. Expand your horizons. Do different things with different people.

After a while (or maybe even immediately), he'll either notice and stop taking you for granted, or he won't. If he does, then, good, keep it up (and if you do marry him, keep it up 25 years from now). If he doesn't, then keep moving in the other direction. Build a life for yourself.

I know you don't want to hear this, but you're young. And I'm afraid that if you twist this guy's arm, and he marries you, you'll be a fat old woman in a sweatsuit by the tender age of 30. I'm afraid that you'll be doing all the work around the house, shuttling kids around to soccer and helping them with their homework, while he continues to do what he always did: what he wants.

As far as living together goes, you're right. It's not a commitment, and that would be fine if you were both happy with that. But you're not. So do not move in with him(but if you decide to disregard my advice on this score, make sure you clear up who's going to cook on which nights. In other words, you're not to become anybody's maid).

Please do not let the image of yourself in a Vera Wang dress cloud your judgment. Repeat after me: A wedding lasts just a few hours. A marriage to the wrong guy could mean a lifetime of misery.

Don't believe me? Head to a family restaurant on a Friday night. Check out all the unhappily married couples who talk to their children but not to each other.

I hope this helps.

Terry

Friday, October 28, 2005

How to Attract and Marry the Man of Your Dreams

Listed my ebook on a cool new directory.

Want to save $19.97 on the ebook? Sign up for my free teleclass, scheduled for this coming Tuesday, November 1st at 7PM/EST. I'll cram all the secrets to attracting the right man I can into a 60-minute session.

Drop me an email now at terry@marrysmart.com. Seats are going fast!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Tom DeLay's Mug Shot

Somebody take away this guy's motivational tapes.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Get Him to Commit?

Hi, Terry-

This is my first time to your site, and I think your advice is wonderful. Give me your honest advice. I have been dating my boyfriend for 6 years. We don't live together, but he sleeps at my place at least 6 nights a week, and we have a 2-year- old son. Recently, I asked him where our relationship was going, and after a day of silence, his answer was, "I don't want to live together, and I don't want to get married."

We had a huge fight and didn't speak for three weeks. Now he is all loving, and "I miss you, and I don't want us to break up," but after so many years, I am ready for a commitment, and he doesn't want to commit. I spent a long time loving and caring for him, and I think it's clouding my better judgment. I feel confused when I don't think I should be. Any help?

-Confused


Hello, Confused-

Thanks for the compliment.

You obviously have a lot invested in this relationship because you've been in it for six years, and you have a little boy with the man. So it had to be painful when the guy stonewalled you on the subject of commitment, and then had a huge fight about it.

It doesn't seem fair that he sits on your couch, uses your electricity and your phone, consumes the food you buy, and takes up space in your bed six nights a week, only to flip out when you ask him where the relationship is going.

You say that you spent a lot of time loving and caring for him. Now, let me ask you, has he spent a lot of time loving and caring for you?

Are you satisfied with the relationship?

How do you feel when he's with you?

How do you feel when he's away (confident and secure of your place with him, or scared that he's with someone else)?

How does he care for your child? (Does he share responsibilities with you, or are they your problem?)

If he committed to you, what would that mean? (Would he treat you the way you deserve to be treated, or would you always be fighting for his attention?)

If he doesn't commit to you, what would that mean? (Would you be willing to get over him, spend time giving yourself the love and care you once gave him, and ultimately moving on to another relationship?)

When a man refuses to give you a commitment, there's the possibility that he's doing you a favor. Is he?

I don't have the answers to any of these questions, but you do.

I definitely respect your decision to hold out for what you want, but since he's "all loving" all of a sudden, it's probably getting harder to say no to him. But stick to your guns. He's going to be part of your life because he's the father of your son, but, if he remains unwilling to give you the commitment you want, then he shouldn't be allowed to spend the night at your house, eat your food, or watch your TV.

I hope this helps.

Terry

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Please Stop Reproducing

Rod Stewart, I'm talking to you.

You've already spawned offspring with Alana Hamilton, Kelly Emberg, Rachel Hunter, and they're just the women we know about. Now your latest girlfriend is pregnant, too.

Yuck.

Does she squeeze her eyes shut during sex? I would. Damn, Man, you're 60 years old!

Monday, October 17, 2005

You're No Paris Hilton

Dear Terry,

I met a man a couple of months ago, and we liked one another. Problem is, I live in the USA, and he lives in France. He asked me for pictures so, I sent him some nice photos of myself.

But this isn't what he wanted. One night while we were IMing each other, he said he had something to show me and sent me a naked picture of himself. I was taken aback for a moment.

The next day he e-mails me, telling me to send him nude pictures of myself. He says he "wants to know all of me." I was polite, but I told him I don't do that kind of thing. When the time is right, he will see me. But not on a screen.

He kept insisting, "If you love me, you will do this." I feel it is emotional blackmail. I told him I respect myself. If it meant not seeing him again then, so be it. He let up on me. Now he is starting the same old story. If I have to hear his reasoning one more time, I will scream!

Why does he insist? Is he mad? Maybe he wants to make sure he is getting "Miss Perfect." If I'm not perfect, then he will go away. Please advise me. I am tired of this. If he wants to be with me, then he must respect me.

I haven't e-mailed him as much. He wants to know what is wrong with me. I don't want to keep going over this subject. Thank you for listening. Help me?

-No Nude Is Good Nude



Hello, No Nude-

Whatever you do, do not--I repeat--do not send Henri naked pictures of yourself. Your instincts are right. Think about it: What if you were to email him the pictures, and he were to get mad at you about something? What might he do with those photos then? Blackmail you with them? Your image could be all over the Internet.

You're also right to take a statement as lame as, "If you loved me, you will do this," as a warning sign. If he loved you, he'd respect your feelings about the matter and let it drop.

I have serious reservations about this fellow. I really admire you for standing up to him, though, and I encourage you to stick to your guns. The next time somebody says, "If you loved me, you'd....," you can answer, "I guess you're right. I don't love you."

You can do better than this clown.

To your happily ever after,

Terry

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Where Are You, Jon Stewart?

Come back to us, Jon! Your country needs you!

We've gotten six days of pelting rain to make up for the zero days we got over the summer. Connecticut's flooding, New Jersey's flooding, and Long Islanders are suffering massive power outages.

I tried to write acknowledgements to the people who sent flowers and attended my mother's wake, but my fingers are so cold I couldn't write (they're not having much luck typing, either). I probably should have sent acknowlegements earlier, but I wasn't up to it, you know? And the woman hasn't been dead two months yet, so perhaps Emily Post will forgive me.

As for the cold, I suppose I could turn on the heat in here, but I won't. Oil companies are showing record profits; I refuse to participate for as long as I can. I really feel for people who can't afford to heat their homes this winter.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Falling in Love, Not on Your Head

Dear Terry-

I broke up with my ex-boyfriend of two and a half years almost three years ago now. We broke up because we were too young and needed time to grow. Although we have tried on numerous occasions to get back together, it has never been successful. We've both had other partners since, but we haven't been happy.

Now he has once again come back to me asking me to try again. I love him more than the world itself, and we get on great but there are a few things I don't understand.

1) Why now after three years?
2) Why is it that if he really loves me does he not ring every day?
3) Does he mean it this time?

How do you answer without saying no, but without getting your heart broken all over again? Plus, he says he can't talk to other women. Does that make me a woman of convenience?

We come from two different worlds, as well; he's a party animal, and I'm a bit more quiet. I prefer to enjoy a night with close friends, rather than go out to a busy night club.

-English Tenderheart




Hello, Tender-

You love him, but you're afraid of being hurt. That seems pretty human to me. Even if you didn't have a history with this guy, you'd be afraid of having your heart broken. The rotten thing about embarking on a relationship is that it requires you to make yourself vulnerable.

That said, you can ease your fear a bit by asking this fellow exactly what you asked me. Why doesn't he call every day if he's so crazy about you? He may have a good reason (maybe he's afraid of making himself vulnerable, too, or maybe it's a case of actions not matching up with words). Why does he want you back after three years? Only he can say, so ask him and look him in the eye when he answers. You're both a couple of years older. Is he willing to spend more quiet nights at home these days? If not, how will you feel about it?

Now, if you're afraid that you're a "woman of convenience," the answer here is not to be too convenient. See him (if, after asking the previous questions, you decide he's worth it), but you don't have to see him every day. Keep yourself busy. Continue to see your friends and, whatever you do, never break a date with a friend to be with him (unless, of course, you get a call that he's been rushed to the hospital).

To your happily ever,

Terry

Friday, October 07, 2005

The Year in Dating Advice

Dear Terry,

I really enjoy the Attracting True Love emails that
you send on a regular basis. I have been saving each
and everyone of them. I deleted them by mistake.
Would it be possible to receive past emails that
you sent your readers this year?

-Hit the Wrong Button



Dear Hit-

Whew! Had to send them one by one, but the ezines are on their way to your inbox. Thanks for the very kind words.

Anybody else who'd like to sign up for future issues of Attracting True Love (the subscription is free), sign up now!

Now I Know How Joan of Arc Felt

Just discovered this Yahoo 1980s radio station (and for the slow people in the crowd...), and what comes on but "Big Mouth" by The Smiths. I love the freaking Smiths. Saw them on the Pier in New York in 1986. The band came on over an hour late, and Morrisey was in a rotten mood, but hey, it was a great show nonetheless.

Oh! Oh! Here comes "Jane Says" by Jane's Addiction. Heaven on a rainy Friday afternoon!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Demi, Ashton, Donald, Melania, Tom, Katie

Interesting that, according to TV talking heads, Demi Moore robbed the cradle by marrying a man 15 years her junior, yet 60-year-old Donald Trump announces that he and his 35-year-old wife are going to have a baby, and nobody makes a peep.

Melania must have an excellent sense of humor. Can you imagine banging Donald Trump? Imagine what that flap of hair of his is doing while he's heaving away (sorry for the visual, but it's been keeping me up at night).

I think it was yesterday that Jon Stewart told me that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes have a bun in the oven. He did this hilarous bit about Tom's penis leaping off the couch to impregnate Katie. Subsequent talking heads took snipes at Tom being a "43-year-old parent," like the guy has one foot in the grave.

Tom Cruise does carry on like a nut job, so it's fine if Jon Stewart portrays him as such. What I don't get is why the rest of the media keep playing on his--and Demi's--so-called advanced age. Why do people like Mick Jagger (who reportedly travels the globe hitting on young women), Jack Nicholson (who famously dated much-younger Lara Flynn Boyle), and Michael Douglas (who has two children with a woman exactly 25 years his junior) get a free pass?

It's stupid.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

From the Mailbag...

Found some interesting stuff in the inbox this week. Here's a sampling:

Terry-

I don't know too many people in any type of business who would take the time to write such a personal response. I think what you are doing is great and a service to many single women. I feel so fortunate to have found your website, because you remind me of myself in so many ways, especially in your viewpoints and background. I saw your beautiful picture, and we even resemble each other in a way(I have red hair too). Hell, I'm damn proud of being Irish, and we are a beautiful people!

-A Fetching Fan of the Cleveland Indians


Funny, I don't remember mentioning being Irish. Is it that obvious? Your lovely comments will keep me warm all winter.

Dear Terry-

I just love all your advice because it's all so true, and it works. Thanks.

-A Lovely Lass from England


Letters like this one make my day. Unfortunately, not everyone's so generous.

Terry-

From your website you look like a prissy bitch who sits at home all day and lets her cats piss all over the house while your hard working husband shleps to work. Now that he does the laundry, maybe you can get him sanitary napkins so he can fulfill your role and you can be the man you always wanted to be. Go back to Long Island you phony bitch.

-A Douchbag in Connecticut


Have you seen my husband? Well, I've seen you (your real name came up on your email, Dimwit). He could mash you like a potato and eat you for lunch. Get help and learn how to punctuate.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Free Teleclass: Attract the Man of Your Dreams!

Want to learn sure-fire methods for attracting a man who will love you and make you happy for the rest of your life?

Do you dream of getting married to an honest, loyal, loving, successful, fun man but wind up with men who disappoint you?

Would you like to meet a considerate, exciting man who makes your happiness his first priority?

Then join me for a free one-hour teleclass on Tuesday, October 11 at 7PM/EST. I'll teach you the techniques (not tricks!) that work. The teleclass is free (your long-distance rates will still apply), but seats are limited. Write to terry@marrysmart.com to register.

This offer may not be repeated again!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Rubbing it In

At the gas station today, a man asked me if I was "rubbing it in" because I'm still driving around with a Kerry/Edwards bumper sticker.

Well, kind of.

Terrible news about Kate Moss losing three modeling contracts due to cocaine use. This guy she's dating, the unhygenic-looking singer from the Babyshambles, is, according to last month's Vanity Fair, wrecking the woman's life. Here's a lesson for you, Girls: Stay away from druggies.

I really like Kate Moss, as far as models go. The Burberry ads won't be the same without her.

I'm supposed to be putting together a synopsis for my novel. In order to avoid this, I did a little Christmas shopping this morning. I don't think I've ever gone Christmas shopping in September before.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Are You a Romantic?

I saw Bride and Prejudice today, and it made my heart glad. If you have a chance, see it!

Will lend my copy to my amazing friend, V.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

My Lipstick is Trying to Kill Me!

My lovely friend, V, sent me a link to a site that tells you what the ingredients in household cleaners and cosmetics are doing to your body. While looking into lipstick, I discovered that my brand (my brand!) contains at least two hydrogenated oils.

I have been known to spend 45 minutes in the soup aisle reading labels to avoid hydrogenated oils (they've been linked to cancer, MS, heart attack, you name it; even the FDA says there's no acceptable level for ingestion). I've sidestepped every cookie-wielding Girl Scout who's crossed my path since those little green goblins allowed hydrogenated oils into their famous confections.

And here I am eating hydrogenated oil every single day of my life through my lipstick! I don't even go out for the mail unless I'm wearing lipstick! I'm doomed!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

He Won't Commit

Hi, Terry-

I've been dating a guy for almost five months now. We knew each other before we started dating - while we were both dating other people. A couple of weeks after I broke up with my ex he broke up with his ex. He then asked me out only about a week later. Before we ever started dating, I always talked to my neighbors, including him, about my guy troubles. We had many conversations about why I was gonna break up with my ex and what I wanted from a guy. He would then point to himself and say that he was all of those things that I wanted.

I've been dating him since May. He is the most considerate, attentive, thoughtful guy I've ever dated. My question is at what point should I expect to call each other boyfriend/girlfriend? He asked me to be patient with him because as he says, "I'm not ready to admit it, but I really like you A LOT." I'm not dating anyone else, and he knows it, and I don't believe he's dating anyone else either.

It makes me feel very insecure. In my experience, I would wait for what I wanted and would never get it. I was way too patient. I'd stay in long-term relationships forever. I'm 34 and am not willing to do that anymore. (He's 31.) I just don't want to jump the gun now and do the opposite of what I've always done for no good reason.

We've touched on the subject a couple of times, and he's just admitted that he's basically afraid of a commitment so soon after leaving his ex.

Any opinions?

-Gotta Have Him


Dear Gotta-

I'm full of opinions.

You like him, he likes you, but he's afraid to define it. I can't say I blame him since he's just broken up with his ex, and you just broke up with yours. Getting involved with a new person is scary for so many different reasons. Hey, we've all been there.

I'm not going to tell you to wait around forever, but I don't think you should push the issue, either. He's not ready to commit. Accept that. See him when you see him, but don't be available all the time. If he calls you, call him back, but I wouldn't call him too often. (I know this is easier said than done, but it must be done.)

It helps (and it's attractive) to give him a little space (and I would suggest he give you space if it were he who wrote to me about you), so that he can better define his feelings. Don't play games with him, but he doesn't need to know your every move. Give him a chance to miss you.

Go out with your friends (if you don't have any, make some), and don't always include him in your plans. People with full, happy lives are a turn-on. In the end, if it's meant to be with this particular guy, it'll be, but if you push him to hard, you'll turn him off. That'll end it.

Put yourself in his place: Imagine dating a guy you really like but aren't sure of yet. He calls you 3 times a day, gives you a hard time when you go out with your friends (I'm not suggesting you do any of these things, but you get the picture), and so on. It's a turn off.

Go about your life, and please stop talking to your neighbors about your man problems. They only make you look like a sad sack, most importantly to yourself. Change your self-image. Tell yourself you're young, attractive, and desirable. Repeat. Repeat again.

Act accordingly.

To your happily ever after,

Terry

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Querying an Agent

I've finished checking emails, taking lessons from Martha Stewart on how to fold a T-shirt (for the second time in three days), and reading the free weeklies lying about the place.

I actually sat down and drafted the query for my novel. Of course I was terrified; just put something down, I told myself. Anything. Move your fingers. The result (and it's just a first draft) isn't bad. At least I don't think it's bad.

Send your good thoughts and prayers my way, if you're so inclined. Time to clean this house; my mother-in-law is back from Nova Scotia and will conduct an inspection some time this evening.

Your Help Don't Cost a Thing

Received a missive from Equality Now asking me to write to Pakistani officials to see that a man, who raped a woman by the name of Dr. Shazia, is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

As I write, the slug still crawls freely along Pakistani streets, while his victim fends off death threats (from her husband's family, who feel her rape has dishonored them, and from certain factions of the government). Equality Now also asked me to email Canadian authorities to give Dr. Shazia, her husband, and son asylum.

You can dash off two emails to help her, too.

It'll just take you a minute or two. You'll be so glad you did.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Plot Thickens

This letter is a continuation of the story from In the Dark in Canada, whose situation we first addressed yesterday.


Dearest Terry-

The man moved downstairs this weekend, and it just left me rocked. I found myself going into his old room just to be near his smell and vibes, and now he's gone. I really love this guy.

Yes, I know if you look at the details, he looks really bad, but he used to never want to be apart from me. How do you know when to give up on a relationship?

I have been abused a few times, but this man was more than not an abuser. He was my best friend. I've hurt him deeply. I hurt my back at work three years ago and began to abuse painkillers. I went into rehab. He missed me so much that he wanted me to leave the program and come home. This is where it gets gray because I really felt he was being selfish and questioned whether it was love asking me to come home, or something else. I began to question our relationship.

I met a guy at one of the meetings who left me with that "tingly" feeling. There was very little to do at rehab, and I like to write. I wrote a little about him, and then started asking questions like "What am I thinking?" and "Affair?" As I wrote the word "affair" down, I had a strong feeling that was the wrong thing to do.

I left the program early so I could work out my relationship with my guy. He found the piece of paper! (I should've thrown it out because it was garbage.) He walked out on me, heartbroken. His feelings for were tainted. Can a man get over this kind of thing? He's treating me like I cheated on him, but I feel like he read my diary.

Got any more advice?

-Still Dark in Canada

Hello, there-

Okay, so now I know more of the story.

I'm no psychologist, but seems to me that this man had some trust issues, despite the fact that you'd happily been together for several years. I'm not quite sure why he didn't want you to continue with rehab. You needed help. He should have helped you get it.

Now, when he found the piece of paper, had he been snooping or did you leave it in a conspicuous place? Because if he was snooping,that indicates lack of trust as well. But if you left it lying around, perhaps subconsciously you wanted him to know you were attracted to another person. I don't mean you deliberately set out to hurt him, but sometimes we do things to sabotage ourselves without even thinking about it.

So, he found out about this attraction, and now he doesn't trust you. I guess you have to put yourself in his place: How would you feel if you found out he was considering an affair with another woman?

In other words, what would he have to do to win back your trust? Could he? I would think less about him being a man whose mind you have to change, and more about him as another human being whose trust you want to earn back.

But, before you do that, think about this attraction you harbored for another man. Even though you didn't have the affair, it was a possibility for you. This is what's getting the guy. You didn't do it this time, but you might another time. From his perspective, that's a scary proposition.

Just because you move into a house with a guy doesn't mean all the other attractive men in the world will slide off the planet. Temptation abounds. He needs to know that you're big enough to handle it.

If you think you are, then by all means, tell this guy what you told me: Yes, you were attracted to another man, you considered an affair, but didn't go through with it because you knew it was wrong. Tell him you love him.

Then, go back upstairs and back to your own life. Take good care of yourself and your boys. Your guy may need time to think things out in the privacy of his own space, or he may have already made his decision. He may come back, or he may not. Respect his decision and move on.

Before you talk to him, though, consider whether he ever really trusted you from the very beginning. It's hard to build a house on quick sand, you know. And it still bothers me that he took it out on your boys. None of this was ever their fault.

Terry

Monday, September 12, 2005

Scrape Him From Your Life Like a Bush/Cheney Bumper Sticker

Dearest Terry,

I'm 36 years old with two boys, 13 and 15, from my first marriage. I've now been married twice and had basically five failed relationships in 21 years. This last one was 4 years. It seemed like one of the better ones, as he never raised his voice or his fist, worked steady, had a good sense of humor, but some things were not right.

He never wanted to go anywhere and hung out in the bedroom all the time with the TV and the computer. Basically, he ignored the kids. He would never help me out around the house we bought a year and a half ago. He would complain if I asked him for anything. I was unhappy in a lot of ways. I could not pull a compliment out of him, and if I cooked him a nice dinner, I would have to ask him if he liked it, if you know what I mean (like one of your comments on your blog "if you have to get the guy to marry you you'll have to get the guy to do stuff for the rest of your life).

Now he wants out. I really loved and trusted this man, believed him that the life we were building together was forever blah blah blah. Now I have my two kids, two dogs, two cats and I have to sell my house I have wanted so badly and tear everything apart.

I am stuck in the same house with him because we cannot afford to move apart until we sell it. Judging by how little he has done in the past, I can't see him moving too quickly on this.

He is staying in the bedroom beside me and acts like I don't exist. He doesn't talk to me unless absolutely necessary. He would rather hang out with the tenant that he dislikes than me. Now all of a sudden he has a newfound social life that doesn't include me (obviously).

He went to visit his mom for six days, and that time was quite glorious. I really felt that I could move on without him. Now that he's been back, I'm starting to feel upset about the breakup again and wishing we could work it out. I don't want to be dumped. I don't want to let my "baby" go. I don't want turn my life and my kids' life upside down.

We agreed he would move into the suite downstairs; that would make him self sufficient, and I wouldn't have to see him constantly. But he hasn't made the effort to move. Is there any point in trying for the umpteenth time to ask him if he'd give us another chance? On top of all this I lost my job of five years three days ago. I don't have it in me to tell him. He already thinks I'm a loser if he's dumping me-- this will just confirm it.

What's wrong with me? Why can't I find real happiness? Can this be salvaged, or am I even an idiot for wishing so? I really feel like I'm in hell. Got any advice?

- In the Dark in Canada


Dear In the Dark-

Do I have any advice for you? Where do I start?

First off, stop thinking of yourself as a loser. Immediately. You're not a loser. You've made a bad choice in letting this guy jerk you around, but that doesn't make you a loser.

Your description of him scared me a bit: You said he "seemed like one of the better ones, he never raised his voice or his fist, worked steady." The fact that he never raised his fist doesn't make him a decent man! It merely means that he may not be a terrible one. What I'm getting from this statement is that you have a history of dating abusers and men who can't hold a job. Come on! You have to set your standards higher than this.

Now, this guy wants out of the relationship. Well, good for him. The sooner you stop "looking after him," perhaps the sooner he'll move into the suite downstairs. If you're still cooking for him, doing his laundry, packing his lunch, it's time to stop. Indeed, if you were both working and contributed to the purchase of your house, it was never your responsibility to do it anyway.

It seems that he does very little for you (and why should he? You have been quite willing to do everything). I've read your letter at least five times, and I'm still trying to figure out what you ever got out of this relationship.

Let's put things in perspective:

1) He doesn't help around the house
2) He never wants to go anywhere
3) He ignores your children
4) You make a nice dinner, and he doesn't thank you for it
5) He doesn't talk to you and pretends you don't exist
6) He has a social life that doesn't include you

You mentioned that he went to visit his mother for a while, and you found the time away from him "glorious" (not "miserable," "tolerable," or "just okay"). You actually used the word "glorious." Glorious! So, where is the conflict here? Get rid of this loser (yes, he's the loser. Not you).

You also mention that you don't want to "get dumped." Why? The guy is doing you a favor. What? Are you afraid your neighbors will think you're damaged goods? Undesirable? Put back on the shelf? A sad old maid? Who cares! Chances are, the ones trapped in their own miserable relationships will envy you your freedom.

I also have to wonder how letting this individual continue to share your home affects your sons. His sorry behavior toward you teaches them that they can disrespect women and still get what they want. And his rejection of them has to be damaging their self-esteem.

Do all you can to encourage this guy to move downstairs: Inform him that he will no longer be living with you and your children. He'll have to manage his own meals. He is no longer welcome in your part of the house.

Once you successfully dislodge this person, it's time to start treating yourself like your own best boyfriend. You must learn to love yourself and enjoy your own company before you can ever hope to attract a man who'll do the same (read this sentence again, please). Money may be tight, but that doesn't mean you can't cook yourself a delightful meal, or buy yourself flowers once in a while. In other words, treat yourself as the most perfect man in the world would.

If friends, coworkers, relatives bring you down about not having a guy, it may be time to phase those people out of your life, as well. You may want to join a reading group at the library (or some other free activity) to make new friends. But you're not to date any of them until you've had time to learn to like being alone!

Spend time with your boys. Have fun with them! By loving yourself and taking care of yourself, you give them a gift. Whatever you do, don't feel guilty because there is no longer a man in their life. The man you're trying to unstick yourself from never really was.

I wish you the best of everything. You deserve it.

To your happily ever after,
Terry

P.S. When you look for a new job, please set your standards reasonably high: You need money, for sure, but you also want to work in a place where they pay you well and treat you with respect.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Another Reason to Book That Vacation

On August 30, I told you how Ellen Schultz will donate a percentage of her commission when you book your next vacation through her website. Well, as you know, things have gone awry in a certain part of this country since then, so Ellen has switched gears.

She'll donate her commissions from now until the end of 2005 to the American Red Cross for the benefit of the victims of Hurricane Katrina. You can book tours, cruises, and flights through Ellen's site, and you can buy travel insurance through it, too.

Got the itch to see Tuscany? London? How about a Hawaiian cruise? New England in the Fall?

Check out Ellen's site and go for it.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Clueless Quote of the Week

"What I’m hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality.... And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them."

- Barbara Bush, mother of the President of the United States, observing the mulitude of newly homeless families living it up in the Houston Astrodome.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

He Left His Wife--- Now What?

Terry,

I fell for a man twice my age, who is married. I decided that he was a no-go, as my parents wouldn't approve. Secondly, he has children my age (21).

However, to my suprise he has left his wife. What do I do now?

-Baffled




Okay, Baffled-

He's left his wife. Ask yourself:

1. Is there any chance he'll go back to her?

2. How do you feel about dating a man his age? How would you feel about it 20 years from now?

3. If things progress, how would you feel about being a stepmother to people your own age?

4. Do you love him (or like him enough to find out if you could)?

5. Do you think he is capable of being faithful to you?

6. Since your parents' opinions matter, will they approve of your having a relationship with an older, divorced man with children?

Only you know can answer these questions. Proceed accordingly.

To your happily ever after,

Terry

Friday, September 02, 2005

Her Long-Distance Relationship

Hi Terry,

Two years ago I met a wonderful guy, but I was going through a phase and things didn't work out. Destiny seems to have put us together again, although now he lives in Montreal and I live in Mexico. He now has a job that will bring him to Mexico once every two months.

On his first trip, he was supposed to be here for a week, but he has been here for two-and-a-half and will be leaving on Monday. We've had a really wonderful time together. I really want to make this work, but I don't want to pressure him. He seems very happy too.

What is your best advice on long-distance relationships? We want this to work!

Thanks-
Out on a Limb in Mexico


Okay, Limb-

Before the man heads for the airport, tell him the truth: You care about him, and you hope to hear from him often.

Then let it go. The ball will be in his court, so let him take the initiative and contact you after he gets to Montreal. If he calls and you're not in, call him back. (If you don't hear from him, wait a few days and call to make sure he got home safely. But only call once.)

The man should definitely know that you care about him, but he should never get the sense that you're sitting by the phone waiting for him to call.

While he's away, try not to focus on him as if he's the last bus out of the depot. Make a point to do the things you love. Treat yourself well. Go out with your friends, but keep your conversation about Mr. Montreal to a minimum. Do not obsess over him.

Take comfort in this: You cannot make any relationship, long-distance or otherwise, happen. It will develop in its own time, if it's meant to be, and if you don't push it.

Have a wonderful last weekend with this fellow. When you kiss him goodbye, make sure he knows that you'll miss him. Then walk away and leave the next move up to him.

To your happily ever after,
Terry

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Horror in New Orleans

Can't bear to watch any more of the suffering in that magnificent city. All that's left to do now is pray and donate to the Red Cross.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Your Next Vacation Can Save Lives

Love to travel?

A lovely woman by the name of Ellen Schultz has asked me to let you know that you can travel and raise money to help save the lives of women and children in the United States and in Africa. Book your next vacation through Ellen's new website: http://teawoman.globaltravel.com, and she'll donate a percentage of her commission to two charities.

Half of her proceeds will go to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation; the other half will benefit an African AIDS charity. She's still researching worthy AIDS charities and welcomes your suggestions (send 'em to EllenNewYork@aol.com).

Help her raise funds by doing something you might already do: Book a cruise, a tour, a flight, or buy travel insurance.

It won't cost you a penny extra, and you'll rack up excellent karma.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Rest in Peace, Ellen Marie

My mother died in her sleep, surrounded by my father, my siblings, and me, shortly after midnight on Saturday, August 20. Here's the eulogy my brother-in-law read for me at her funeral:

Ellen Marie Cummins Hernon was born on Friday, August 14th 1936. According to the plaque I had in my childhood bedroom, Friday’s child is loving and giving. That describes my mother. It’s not a good idea to make a person out to be a saint when writing her eulogy, but my mother definitely qualified as a good soul. No, she was an excellent soul. That’s not to say that she didn’t have faults, but we can talk about them later.

My mother liked people. I can’t remember a single instance when she was rude to anybody. Our kitchen in Flushing often overflowed with people of various ages, drinking instant coffee. Most of the time they were friends of mine, my sisters and brother, but they came to see our mother as much as they came to see us. Once I came home to find Mom and my brother, who was about 12 at the time, playing board games with a boy I’d known in high school but hadn’t seen in years.

My mother treasured her own friendships and enjoyed a close one with her sister, Maureen. When we were children, my mother would rattle off tales from her days at Ladycliff College until we could recite them in our sleep. The years she spent in Highland Falls were the happiest of her young life, and she made important friends there. Later on, geography and circumstances prevented her from seeing them as often as she’d like, but she continued to talk of them as if they’d just left the room.

After college, Mom became a teacher but cut short her career to raise her children. She returned to teaching many years later and made new friends who brought her great happiness. After she retired and moved to Manhattan, she became involved in the parish council of this church, which allowed her to enjoy the company of new and interesting people. Living in Manhattan also allowed Mom to meet her beloved friend and college roommate, Juliann Gill, for lunch every chance she could.

My mother’s great love was my father. One of my father’s favorite memories is of my mother walking up the aisle—all by herself—to meet him at the altar at their wedding. He had never seen a bride walk herself up the aisle before then, or since. With typical understatement, he said, “She pulled it off.”

While we were growing up, my mother had a habit of giving my father his breakfast, and then watching him walk to the bus stop from the dining room window until he was a speck in the distance. While waiting for her to scramble my egg, I found this behavior highly annoying. “Why do you do that?” I finally asked her. “Because anything could happen,” she answered. “There could be an accident, and I might never see him again.”

So, she loved in a big way, and that love extended to social causes. She was a proponent of fair trade and a passionate supporter of Amnesty International. Shortly before her illness, she marched in a peace rally in Washington. She held Native Americans in the highest regard and contributed to their causes.

Now, as I said, the woman did have a fault or two: You could always count on her to be late, for instance, which got me into trouble with teachers whenever she offered to drive me to school instead of letting me walk. She was notorious for showing up at church just behind the bride or the casket.

And, although she fiercely believed that all people were created equal, she never could understand why a person who had the benefit of a Second Grade education would use double negatives. She was forever correcting our English. And while most people would consider her highly intelligent, she could be a terrific space cadet. Lost in thought, she’d drive past exits. She’d occasionally forget to pick up one of her children. She could sit down to a meal she’d cooked and chew it for ten minutes before it dawned on her that she’d forgotten to include some important ingredient; for instance, the meat.

Here’s one of my favorite stories: When my brother was young, he developed an affinity for black light posters, the glow-in-the-dark wall hangings that proclaimed the greatness of rock bands like Led Zeppelin and The Who.

There was only one place in town where you could buy them, and that was at the head shop on Main Street. Now, the other women of our parish had mounted a campaign against this purveyor of pot-smoking paraphernalia, but that didn’t trouble our mother a bit. She and my brother set off for the head shop. A few days later, I was in a record store when a guy I went to grammar school with tapped me on the shoulder. “Terry Hernon!” he said. “I just ran into your mother in Jolly Joint!”

My mother could be howlingly funny. She had an absurd sense of humor. Very often, while setting out the tuna fish on a Friday night, she would burst into hooting laughter because something comical popped into her consciousness. But she was also wise. She liked to encourage us by saying, “It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.” When we were tempted to do something wrong, she’d say, “Maybe nobody else will know, but you’ll know.” She insisted that the surest way to make yourself unpopular was to complain about your ailments. She died as she lived, never complaining, usually smiling, always with more concern for the other person than for herself.

Of course she was special to me; she was my mother. But I like to believe she was special to all who knew her. She wouldn’t want us to feel sorry for her, though. She would hate for anybody to be unhappy on her account. As much as we’ll miss her, this passage from Anam Cara by the Irish philosopher, John O’Donohue, offers hope:

“We do not need to grieve for the dead. Why should we grieve for them? They are now in a place where there is no more shadow, darkness, loneliness, isolation, or pain. They are home. They are with God from whom they came. They have returned to the nest of their identity within the great circle of God. God is the greatest circle of all, the largest embrace in the universe, which holds visible and invisible, temporal and eternal, as one.”

I like to think of my mother drinking coffee with the invisible, the people she loved who left the earth before she did, her mother, the aunts who helped raise her, the father who died when she was just 11 years old, the sister and brother who died before she was even born. I like to think of her having a big laugh and too much dessert for her own good with her friend, Maureen Holmes.

This is what comforts me. I hope it brings you comfort, too.

Thank you.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

She's No Slut!

Dear Terry,

When is the right time to have sex with a guy, without setting yourself up to be called a slut and turning the relationship around to be all about sex? Because unfortunately this always happens to me. It kills my self-esteem!

-Baffled



Dear Baffled-

Why do you get to be the slut? Um, the guy you're with is doing the same thing you're doing; why is it wrong for you and right for him?

But to answer your question: If you're really interested in a guy, it's best not to have sex with him for a good while, until you're sure the relationship is about you and him and not about your bodies. If you have sex too soon, everything goes awry. Often, you'll find yourself obsessing about a guy you really aren't that crazy about.

Develop a friendship first. Go to movies, have dinner together, climb the Empire State Building together if you want, but don't sleep with the guy. Don't assume that you owe him anything because he's graced you with his presence on three separate occasions.

Back to my disdain for the double standard (the woman ending up with the slut label, while the guy saunters off happily in search of the next mattress): It doesn't take into account the fact that women like sex. It's all about punishing her for giving into some guy when she's really giving into her own desires.

So you have desires, and you're entitled to them. He has desires, too. But his are not more important than yours. If you end up in bed together too soon, the relationship may end before it really started, but you are no more a slut than he.

As far as your self-esteem goes, don't wrap it up in some guy. If you think sleeping with him will jeopardize the way you feel about yourself, don't do it. Treating others as they would treat you is the best way to go through life, but make sure others treat you as you would treat them.

Would you sleep with a guy and then run around and tell everybody he's a total slut? Of course you wouldn't. So, don't waste another minute on anyone you suspect would do it to you.

To your happily ever after,

Terry

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Guy Wants Commitment

Hi, Terry-

I recently read your article on how to get over breakups (or being dumped) and thought perhaps you could give me some quick advice because your article was so good. I'm desperate! I have been seeing a girl for 3 years, and we lived together the past two. I am almost 23, and she is 22. Four weeks ago, we moved out. Now we live about 40 minutes away from each other, due to my changing schools and her getting a job. Looking back, I definitely see all the warning signs of something wrong while we lived together. She was often distant from me, etc.

Recently, I told her I wasn't getting what I wanted out of the relationship because it seemed like a lot of the time I was the only one into it. I said I needed to know what her deal was. She has been at an intense 6-week training course, which has been a sleep-over thing with intensive 16-hour days for her new job(teaching). She has been even more distant, but I have kept telling myself how busy she is. That was her excuse for a while too. So I gave her the scoop on my feelings and left the ball in her court. Last Sunday, she said she needed time to think things over. She called it a "break". This "break" is essentially a breakup, but she said she wants to leave the possibility of us getting back together open. I told her this was unreasonable, as my feeling for her are still strong.

Nevertheless, I agreed to the "break" and am now wondering if I should call and demand an answer. It has been 5 days and its driving me nuts. She has just finished her 6-week course so now she has "time to think", but I wonder if this is even really necessary as it seems she has already made up her mind. I need time to heal because I need to have a clear head before school starts up again. So my question is this: Should I call and demand an answer so I can move on? Or should I wait in hopes that maybe she still wants to be with me? This "break" has a deadline of August 20th (school starts) agreed to by both of us. Help me! Should I call sooner or give her time?

-In Limbo Land Man


Hello, In Limbo-

Thanks for the nice comment about my article.

Now, about this girl...

Since you've very smartly put the ball in her court, you should definitely leave it there. It's possible that she's overwhelmed with her studies, or then she may feel that it's time to end the relationship.

Whatever it is, it'll do no good to call her up and ask her if she's made up her mind. But I also don't think you should wait around, hoping that she'll come back to you. Since you're on a break, why not use the time to do the things you couldn't while you were living with this girl? See the friends she hated, see the movies she didn't like, and so on. Fill your time with things and people you enjoy. If her face pops into your head, banish it. If someone brings up her name, say "She's fine," and change the subject.

Look at it this way: Say you're the one in the relationship who's been distant, needs time to think, and so on. What would be your reaction if she called you or insisted on an answer? Would you like that, or would it make you feel less attracted to her?

So, stay away. Let the girl come to her own conclusions. Let her wonder what you're up to.

Now, if she doesn't get ever back to you, or gives you the answer you dread, it's going to hurt, for sure. In time, you will definitely get over it (yeah, I know you don't believe me, but if you're willing you can get over almost anything).

If she decides to say goodbye, you must avoid turning her into "the one who got away." It helps to remember what you didn't like about her and remind yourself whenever you're tempted to fantasize about how great things were. The benefit of this scenario is that you'll free yourself to meet a girl who's mad about you and gives you the love and attention you need.

Now, on the other hand, absence may clarify things for this girl in another way. Maybe it will dawn on her what she's missing (because you haven't called her), and she'll make a firm and happy decision to get back together with you.

The only way to find out is to let her come to you. If she doesn't, she's done you a favor. (One thing I really admire about you is your ability to say what you feel. You didn't play games with the girl, just told her straight out you weren't getting what you need from the relationship.) You deserve a girl who's crazy about you and never lets you forget it.

Terry

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Cheating Bastard's Girlfriend Writes Again

(Note: Read August 1st's post to get up to speed on this one.)

Terry-

This all sounds good, and I do have a lot to think about, but it is hard when he has started back on the kick that he cannot live without me. I feel like a yo-yo.

-A.



Well, A-

You're not a yo-yo, so don't allow yourself to be treated like one. It's time to make a decision. Are you in or are you out? If you're out, then stop taking this guy's calls and emails. Make a clean break.

As for his saying he can't live without you, how very romantic! But he's still breathing, isn't he?

You're in pain, so take care of yourself. Only you can end the torture.

Terry

Monday, August 01, 2005

She Continues to Attract Cheating Bastards

Dear Terry-

I have basically had it with men. I have been married and divorced twice. I met the man I thought loved me when he started working with me in 2002. He was a married doctor doing his residency in our office. We slowly became better friends during his second year of residency. When I found out that my second husband cheated on me, he was the one there who helped me get through it.

Even though we both knew it was wrong, we became intimately involved. We continued to have a relationship for the rest of his stay here. Then when it was time for him to graduate and move to another state. We made a promise that we would still make it work. (His new office is only an hour away).

During his first week there, we still talked often. He asked me to let him live with his children for four more years. That would be when his contract was up, and he could move wherever he wanted; basically, he would have to move to wherever his wife wanted after he left her so that he could still have a relationship with his children. In four years we would be married and supposedly live happily ever after.

On July 1, 2005 we spent another wonderful night together and told each other how much we loved each other. Then on July 12, 2005 he left for a family vacation. During this time I rarely spoke to him. When he finally called me on July 17, 2005 he informed me that he was still on vacation and he missed me. We argued a little due to the fact that he wasn't honest about his venture, and that I was all alone while he was having fun.

Well, once he was at home the emails started again and I once again thought that everything would be ok, but little did I know that the emails would eventually only come once maybe twice a day. Finally, I made a break for it and offered him the easy way out. I told him that I thought that his feelings for me had changed and that he didn't want me anymore; that is when he gave me this story about his children and how we couldn't be together permanently. He closed with "I love you and I know that I don't tell you enough. I can't imagine my life without you in it." Being the fed up person that I am, I replied "I know what I have to do now"...meaning it was time for me to move on.

The problem is that I honestly love this man. He was my best friend who helped me to overcome so many obstacles. I haven't heard anything from him since our latest argument, and I am starting to feel like he never loved me at all, and I was delusional for thinking that he did. I have been on your site, and I have read and re-read every one of your steps to getting over this person, but I don't know what to do. I feel like a fool. This man promised me everything, but all that he gave me was a broken heart. Please help me.


-A.

Hello, A-

Your break-up is virtually seconds old. There is no way at this tender stage for you to be completely over this man. The good news is that you can definitely get over him, but you must be patient. Give yourself time, treat yourself well, and every time you're tempted to relive a happy memory you shared with him, stop yourself. Make a habit of banishing him from your mind, and eventually, he'll stop popping in.

Keep yourself busy. Indulge in unabashed escapism and see a movie you've been dying to see-- by yourself. See all the movies you want by yourself! If you don't want to be seen going to a theater on your own (I enjoy it, actually), go to a Saturday matinee (couples tend to hit pre- and after-dinner showings). Treat yourself exquisitely. Buy yourself flowers. Sleep late. Enjoy lovely meals and other luxuries; just avoid going into debt.

If this doesn't sound good to you, picture this scenario instead: The guy in question decides he wants to be with you. You'll get married and spend the rest of your lives together. Everything will be just as you dreamed.

Or will it? The guy cheated on his wife to be with you. That makes him, like your former husband, a cheater. If you were to marry this man, you would be looking over your shoulder for the rest of your life. You'll be afraid to go to the Ladies' Room for fear that he'll be chatting up another woman while you're in there. And what will he be doing at work? Solving another woman's problems over the water cooler?

For some reason, you've attracted at least two cheaters. And, worse, you were attracted to them. Why? Only you can answer these questions. The world is full of fun, monogamous, cute guys, and you deserve a joyous, peaceful, lasting relationship with one of them.

My best advice is to stay the course and let Dr. Feelgood go. You've been married twice, so perhaps it's time for you to give yourself some space and really get to know yourself and enjoy your life. You don't need a man. You need yourself. Once you get to the point where you love yourself too much to waste time with somebody else's cheating husband, you'll start attracting better men. Best of all, you'll be attracted to them, too.

You'll run into this guy on the street five years from now and wonder what the hell you were thinking.

To your happily ever after,

Terry

Friday, July 29, 2005

The Man of Her Dreams? A Freaking Nightmare, is More Like It

Dear Terry,

I downloaded your interesting e-book How to Attract and Marry the Man of Your Dreams a while ago. I enjoyed the book a great deal and have been trying to attract the man of my dreams eagerly ever since.

I thought I already met the man of my dreams last year via Internet. He turned out to live in the neigborhood, a divorced man with 3 kids. He was handsome, kind, polite, well tempered, loving, caring, good in bed and in kissing, wealthy, sporty... there were so many good qualities in him and I felt that I want to spend the rest of my life with him. It was so good to be in his company that I wanted to turn off the time so that I didn't have to be separated from him ever!

Then he e-mailed me that he wants to be alone. It was quite a shock to me. We met few times during the winter and phoned and e-mailed occasionally. Last April we met in the south of Finland. He told me there that he had met someone and had feelings for her. It was even harder shock to me, although it didn't prevent him spending a lovely evening and night with with me in his hotel room. I met him last time - so far - in the middle of June and he kept hugging and kissing and caressing me while we met and he told that he's seeing that woman whom he told me about in April. I wondered if he had told her about our meeting in April.

I love this guy a great deal, but I sense that he's is not so good as he first seemed. He has been lying to me more than once and it hurt a great deal that he rather slept with his 14-year-old girl than me while he was still living in the same municipality as me. The girl wanted to and of course Daddy couldn't say "no", because he can't say "no" to me, either, but only on e-mail or text-message, not ever face to face!

Any good advice? Probably not the man of my dreams? I loved him, respected and valued him, never was mean or disgusting, but always loving and caring as it's my nature. Eventually, he was distant and cool on emotional level and didn't return my feelings. I just don't know what did I do wrong. Love to hear your comments!

-R



Hi, R-

Thanks for your nice comments about my book.

Now, this fellow you wrote me about, the one you say that emailed you that he wants to be left alone, took up with another woman (but hit the sheets with you on the sly), slept with his 14-year-old (did I miss something here, or did you write that the dude slept with a 14-year-old?), hardly qualifies as anybody's dream man, let alone yours.

So he seemed to have great qualities at first, and oh yeah, he was good in bed (if I had a nickel for every woman lost her head over a guy who was good in bed!), but after a while he began to reveal himself for what he really is: A slimy bastard who may, if I understand you correctly, belong in jail.

Please read your letter again. Read it out loud.

This man is not for you, and you know it. Stop wasting your life thinking about him. The world is full of so many lovely men, and as long as you're fixated on this loser (I don't care what kind of job he has, how polite he is, what a great kisser he is, he's a loser!), you'll never meet the one who's right for you.

You say that this man was emotionally distant. How would it feel to attract a man who isn't emotionally distant, who returns your feelings, and lets you know it every day of your life? How would it feel? Think about it. Write it down. Do you feel any fear when you think about being with a man who truly values you? If so, why do you think that is? What's the downside of being in a truly affectionate relationship?

What does the perfect relationship feel like to you? Write that down. Visualize it. Incorporate all your senses and make it real for you. It doesn't matter if you don't have all the details at first (or even if you believe it's possible). Do this for a few minutes every day, and new details will start to emerge. Refer to How to Attract and Marry the Man of Your Dreams and write a script around what you come up with.

Put this clown out of your mind. Stop blaming yourself for doing something wrong. This guy wouldn't be right for you under any circumstances, so be grateful you found out sooner rather than later.

Please do the exercises I describe in the ebook faithfully. Idiots like the one you describe will eventually cease to clutter your path. Treat yourself like a treasure yet to be discovered, and one day, you'll attract a genuinely good man who's actually worthy of you.

To your happily ever after,

Terry

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Running Up a Hill

Went in to see Mom yesterday. She was about the same, asleep most of the time and when her eyes were open, they were focused on something else, usually the crucifix over my father's bed.

Dad was extremely quiet, but then it was nearly 100 degrees. He hates air conditioning, so we sat in the heat and tried to read our newspapers. I wore a dress that kept sticking to my legs. I brought Dad the cottage cheese he asked me to pick up for lunch, but he ate a sandwich instead. After a while, I took his book of Irish short stories from the bookcase and read a funny but sad piece by Joseph O'Connor. I think it was called "All Mothers Were the Same."

Went home and drank a bunch of Guinesses with my amazing neighbor, V, who took the offspring to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory while I was gone. She stir-fried asparagus and sesame seeds in her new wok and boiled some dumplings she got from Trader Joe's for dinner. Then Peter came over with some pizzas.

Today I took the girls to piano lessons and changed the sheets. Whenever I'm out of this place for a whole day, it takes me another day to catch up. I managed to cook dinner for the first time in almost a week. Didn't get any real writing done, though, which irritates me.

My cousin, Chris, just called me with the names of some restaurants in Westchester we'll consider for the reception after my Mother's burial. Sibling 2 asked him for them; she figures it's better that we make arrangements now, instead of trying to plan a menu between appearances at the wake.

Peter is home. I'm hungry. Let's eat.

Monday, July 25, 2005

My Mother

Spent Saturday night with Mom and Dad. The priest from their parish came over and said a Mass for them. Mom is still sleeping most of the time, and her breathing is often hard and labored. She talks but we can't understand what she's saying.

Was reading her New York Times and was heartened to see a byline by Maureen Dowd, who's been on book leave. She wrote a lovely piece for her mother who died last week.

I have been asked to write the eulogy for my mother when the time comes.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Run, Sienna Miller, Run!

Just logged on to my homepage and found the following headline: Jude Law Publicly Apologizes to Fiancee." If a guy is publicly apologizing about something, the story can't based on the type of half-baked speculation that follows Jennifer Aniston around these days. I had to check it out.

Turns out old Jude, who's engaged to his Alfie co-star Sienna Miller, has been banging one of his children's nannies. How very sad.

You know, there's nothing wrong with being single and having fun. Obviously, Jude isn't ready to be married (again!), so why doesn't he do all of womankind a favor and stop proposing to people.

Hey Jude, go out and have all the sex you want. Just don't do it while you're engaged to be married, you dumb slut.

Friday, July 15, 2005

On Bringing Back a Lost Love

Hi Terry!

There are many e-books that have been written about sure fire ways to bring back ex-loves, regardless of the circumstance. I would love to have your spin on their theories, or additional tips, as I really respect your opinion. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Regards,

L


Hi, L-

Thanks for writing and for the kind words.

I'm not familiar with the books you mention, but as far as bringing back a lost love is concerned it can certainly be done, as long as the man is willing.

It's definitely worth it, though, to sit down and write down exactly why you want him back. Then write down why you might not want him back. The goal is to remember realistically what the relationship was really like, and if it's worth having again.

In the news lately there have been lots of reports of people who've reunited with lost loves and had happy results (Donna Hanover, the former First Lady of New York and ex-wife of Rudy Giuliani, recently married an old schoolmate, for example). But, apparently, most of these people once had good relationships, which make great foundations for new ones.

But I worry about people who long for a lost love who once cheated on them, repeatedly disappointed them, and eventually left them in the dust, often for somebody else. A lot of the time we tend to romanticize "the one who got away" when he never deserved us in the first place.

Before you buy a book that instructs you how to bring back an old love, ask yourself if the person you long for is really worth it. If the answer is yes, go for it. There are no guarantees, of course. You risk rejection, but you'll still achieve peace of mind knowing whether or not the relationship was meant to be.

If you decide that the man is not worth it, ask yourself what kind of person would thrill you the way he once did. What qualities are you looking for? What kinds of things would you do together?

It helps to write a list of these things and contemplate it often. You can write an affirmation (don't ever discount the power of affirmations; they worked for me) like "I am now happily married (or dating) a loyal, loving, reliable, successful, fun man." Write it 10 times a day. Say it out loud before your feet hit the floor in the morning. Repeat it to yourself as you're dropping off to sleep at night.

Just replace the qualities I used for the ones you prefer and be sure to put your affirmation in the present tense. And make sure the guy you envision treats you well and has a sense of humor!


To your happily ever after,
Terry

Thursday, July 14, 2005

On Dating, Tama Janowitz, Coldplay, and More

Just finished sending the newsletter. Am thinking of discontinuing it and starting a second blog devoted entirely to dating and relationships instead. What do you think?

Am almost finished with Mansfield Park, which is by far the best book I've read in a year. Next up, A Certain Age by Tama Janowitz and Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman. Saw Hotel Rwanda over the weekend, which renewed my desire to press my representatives to aid Dafur.

The new Coldplay CD is astounding and constantly running in my head. Their performance at Live 8 blew me away, and Madonna certainly silenced critics who've accused her of decaying into a boring housewife. The fellows who gathered around my barbecue table Saturday evening expressed undying admiration for her.

Will spend the weekend with Mommy, who is no longer responsive. The woman who takes care of her still manages to get her to eat, which is a miracle.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Don't Get Sucked In By a Bad Boy

Hi, Terry-

I know you said to stop seeing and cut off the person who is no good for you, but what if you have a child with that person? How do you not get sucked back in?

-m


Hello, M-

Sorry for the delay in responding. I was out of town.

You're in a tough spot. You want to put the guy out of your head, but you have to maintain some sort of relationship with him because you have a child. The best advice I can give you is to write down on a piece of paper exactly what what he's done (every single thing you can think of) that brought you to the conclusion that he is no good for you.

Carry that piece of paper around with you. Read it when you get up in the morning. Read it whenever a happy memory you shared together pops into your head. Read it before you drop off to sleep at night. Read it before he shows up at your house to visit your child. Go into the bathroom and read it after he gives you that smile that makes you want to forgive him for every bad thing he's ever done.

I don't think you should walk around harboring a grudge (because that's not good for your health), but being with a man who you know is not good for you is certainly not good for your health, either. So you do need to remind yourself-- constantly--why you want to break free of this guy.

I don't know if you signed your name with a lower case "M" because it's a style thing, or if subconsciously, you think you don't rate a capital letter. You do.

You deserve the best in life. Please start to think about what the "best in life" means to you in terms of a boyfriend or a husband. Start to formulate a picture of him in your mind. Treat yourself really, really well. Buy yourself flowers once in a while.

If you start treating yourself like the wonderful person you are, eventually other people will, too. And the people who don't (and didn't) will no longer appeal to you.

To your happily ever after,
Terry

Friday, July 01, 2005

Maybe Tom Cruise Isn't Crazy After All

Like the rest of the free world, I've been scratching my head over Tom Cruise's recent desperate attempts for attention. I don't buy the fairy tale romance with Katie Holmes, for instance, especially after his divorces from Mimi Rogers and Nicole Kidman. (He was really, really, really in love with them, too.)

But when I saw him battling it out about psychiatry and prescription drugs with Matt Lauer last week, I had a change of heart. The guy went whacko on Matt, shouting him down about psychiatry being a pseudoscience and, "Do you know about Adderall, Matt? Do you know about Ritalin?"

And Matt, instead of remaining calm and asking, "I guess I don't, Tom. Why don't you tell me about them?" got defensive. He didn't question Cruise about why he objects so strenuously to psychiatry. Later on in the broadcast, Al Roker remarked that Tom Cruise had been "rude" to Mr. Lauer. Maybe. But Matt definitely lost control of the interview.

When Tom was beating Matt over the head about psychiatry and prescription drugs, he reminded me exactly of a man I know who, as a child, had learning disabilities, and is now angry about the treatment he suffered as a result. Teachers told his mother he needed counseling, but they didn't harbor high hopes for him. In desperation, his mother traipsed him in and out of psychiatrists' offices, took him to "learning specialists" (ha!), "focusing doctors," and on and on and on.

None of them helped. They put him on Ritalin. It didn't help.

Today, through his own determination, the man is a college graduate and has worked, quite profitably, for the same company for almost 15 years. He owns an apartment in Manhattan and is a good deal more successful than the little bastard who used to taunt him on the Pee Wee soccer team.

So, when I see Tom Cruise freaking out about Ritalin and psychiatry, I wonder if he once had a similar experience. I have read that he suffered from learning disorders and dyslexia.

As for his comments about Brooke Shields, I don't agree.

But, interestingly, an AP report in yesterday's Newsday revealed that the FDA plans to strengthen warnings about Concerta, the slow-release version of Ritalin, because a routine review found more psychiatric reactions to the drug than had been previously stated.

Those reactions? Suicidal thoughts, hallucinations, and violent behavior.

This is especially interesting to me because both my children have been diagnosed with ADHD and were prescribed Concerta, after our pediatrician reassured us that Ritalin has been "used safely for 30 years."

I wonder if Matt Lauer will pick up on the AP report that seems to vindicate Tom Cruise. In the meantime, I'll tear up my children's prescription for a Concerta refill.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Get a Second Opinion

Working on an article entitled, "Do Aggressive Drivers Make Lousy Husbands?" Got some excellent experts to give me quotes, and I'd like to finish the damn thing except the offspring are about. I can't write three words without one of them interrupting me.

Spoke to Mom this morning. Her voice is even smaller now; it's almost impossible to hear her. To make things worse, my cousin K. called me at 7:28 this morning to report that a needle biopsy reveals that she, at 47 years of age, has cancer. The doctors say it's a secondary tumor, but they can't seem to find the primary source.

I say it's time to find another doctor. Called Dad, who agreed, and offered some other advice, which I left later in the day on K's answering machine. She is convinced she is going to die, but since she's been given virtually no answers, I wouldn't panic just yet.

Our childhood neighbor, J, was diagnosed in November with an "inoperable brain tumor," which was found to be easily operable upon a second opinion. She's since had surgery and is doing just about everything she used to, save driving.

Missed Kept on Thursday and expected to catch a rerun on Sunday evening, but it didn't air. Now what do I do? Hope I have the stamina to stay up for Rescue Me tonight at 10.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Am I Being Paranoid?

Just sent out the newsletter. It's about time; it's been almost two weeks since the last one.

Took the ferry from Bridgeport to Port Jeff on Saturday. Peter and I and the offspring went to A. and M.'s block party in Bethpage. Mike's mother was there, flaming mad at George Pataki for his treatment of the families of 9/11 victims (her sister lost a son). Promised I'd write a letter on behalf of the cause if she sends me information.

Left Peter and offspring at the party and hopped the LIRR into Manhattan to see Mom. She hardly talks at all anymore, and when she does, you have to put your ear to her mouth to hear what she's saying. It's like watching a lightbulb go out.

Sibling One brought her new baby, who is so adorable he makes us forget our mother is dying. He has the most amazing round, peachlike head.

When I arrived home yesterday evening, the in-laws, who'd been visiting off and on for a week, were packing their car for their trip up to Nova Scotia, where they have a summer home. They peeled out of here at 6:10 this morning.

The account from which I send my email newsletter has been bombarded with messages with headings like, "Returned Mail: User Unknown." The thing is, until I sent my newsletter a few minutes ago, I hadn't sent anything from that account in days.

Is it possible somebody is using my email address to send SPAM, or am I just being paranoid?