Love thy neighbor...

What should we do when someone wears out their welcome? A friend of mine is currently struggling with a space invader. He has a friend who loves to stop by unannounced. This used to be an occasional occurrence, but lately it’s become a daily habit. My friend is threatening to develop a nasty habit himself — rudeness. He’s dropped subtle hints, then not-so-subtle hints. Neither has worked. It’s not like he can hide from this friend — he lives right nextdoor.

I suggested he just be direct and tell the neighbor he needs some time for himself. This provoked a laugh. I guess some guys have a hard time telling other guys to go away. Next, I suggested that he put a “closed” sign on his door when he doesn’t feel like having company. He thought about this for a moment, but then decided his neighbor would think it was a joke. He also explained that just because he doesn’t want this guy over every day, it doesn’t mean that others aren’t welcome. Poor guy. His girlfriend is way beyond irritated w…

Pass the arugula, please.

A good friend recently invited me over for a celebratory dinner in her home. I wasn’t sure what the celebration was all about, and my friend didn’t offer an explanation. I do know that it was the first time in a long while that I have heard her laugh. She told me that the celebration was a surprise and that all would be revealed in good time. As this friend and I were both born on the same day, we share a lot in common, including a rather “sideways” sense of humor.
This invitation and my friend’s welcome laughter took me by surprise. You see, she recently separated from her husband, and is in the process of going through a painful divorce. I suppose the word painful is redundant, but I say it anyway — to make a point. The point being that this friend has been going through a rough time. She was married for 14-years, has a young daughter, and is living on her own for the first time in years. I didn’t realize how much I missed the sound of her infectious laugh. So I marked my calendar …

Hotel, motel or no-tell Fred

So, you’re in a relationship and heading out for a long weekend with your partner. The weekend promises to be great fun. You’re looking forward to getting away and enjoying a few nice meals, perhaps some dancing or listening to some live music, sleeping in, and some lazy days by the pool with some refreshing libations. It’s a change of scenery you’re after…and some romance and relaxation. You get to your destination, check into the hotel, and whack…you are hit in the head with those interesting, yet predictable, expectations the moment the door to your room opens and your partner spies the bed. Perhaps you have the notion. Either way, my point is that the word “hotel” or the hint of the word “hotel” can be a powerful aphrodisiac.
Let me digress, cool off and explain where I’m going with this article. Bare with me please…and yes, the bad pun’s intended.
A few months ago, I read a silly article about the name “Fred.” I don’t remember all of the details, but I do remember that the point wa…

How does your garden grow?

Why is it that the grass always seems to be greener on the other side of the fence? Maybe it is and maybe it’s just an illusion—an oasis that will disappear the moment you stake your claim. You buy a new car, and then a few months later another car comes along that you think you might like better. Instead of enjoying your new car smell, you just can’t wait for the lease to end. Eventually you get the car you lusted after (note: the word "car" is exchangeable here). You drive the car a few miles—maybe on a weekender road trip—and it’s not at all what you expected. In fact, it’s not even as good as your last car. You know...the one you never appreciated until it (or he/or she) was gone. Maybe you long for what you don’t have simply because you don’t have it. Perhaps a friend’s new relationship seems more attractive than your current relationship. It’s always the same, and we’ve all been there—even if we won’t admit it. Married folk envy the singles—thinking they have more fun …

Quit screaming in my purse.

Recently, while in the checkout line at the grocery store, I heard this muffled voice squawking from somewhere below. I turned around and looked at the woman standing directly behind me. Apologetically, she glanced down at her purse and said, "I'm sorry, it's my husband. We have two-way radio calling and he's trying to get a hold of me." I asked her why she didn't take the call. She explained that she had already talked to him three times in the past four hours, camera phoned him pictures of the kids at the beach, and that she would be home in ten minutes anyway. The man in front of me asked her why she didn't just turn off the radio feature. "Impossible," she replied. "He would wonder where we are and go nuts." She then added, "I love that he misses us. I just wish he would quit screaming in my purse." As everyone in the checkout line laughed, it occurred to me how well, if not eloquently, this woman conveyed her point. Whil…