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.


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.