2009March14 2:55 PM What I’ve Learned

Approximate Reading Time: 3 minutes
  • Whatever the motive of the person who feels compelled to talk about your behavior, if you feel it requires a response: comment or explanation, don’t bother. Whatever you say, you’ll then be told you’re being defensive.
  • Many women will see the only gauge of your interest in them in terms of your asking questions of them, about their lives, about how their day went at work, about where they bought the blouse they’re wearing, about the age of their children, whatever… It doesn’t matter what your personal strategy for learning about another person. It doesn’t matter how patient you may know yourself to be about the time the process takes. Ask questions. Force yourself.
  • The only people who are truly interested in your friendship are the ones who have the money ready for their share of the check when it arrives. If they do nothing, even as you pick up the check, they have other motives. With some it involves you. With others it has nothing to do with you, and never will.
  • Believe nothing you are told by someone other than your spouse what the true feelings of your spouse are. If your spouse is dead, believe nothing you are told by anyone concerning your spouse and you. It doesn’t matter if the other person believes every word they are telling you is true. They will swear to it in court. They’re not telling the truth. It’s best to concentrate on controlling your feelings and keeping them to yourself.
  • Don’t wait for the phone to ring. It won’t. If you want to talk to someone, anyone, you call them. If you have to leave a message, leave it. And call again later until you reach them.
  • To quote Stephen Sondheim, “…the kind of woman willing to wait’s/not the kind you want to find waiting.” It’s one of those cruel truths you have to accept about your own nature.
  • The grief will never end. Concentrate on learning to accept it, and finding a place for it. It’s one of those cruel truths about life.
  • No one is a replacement for anyone else, and cannot be. Stop looking for the same woman. Only one of her will ever exist.
  • If you enjoy your own company, you’re ahead of the game. If you’re not there yet, start playing your favorite music. Have something playing all the time.
  • Friendship is a two way street. No doubt about it. However, assume you are the only driver. Accept it. Get the keys out of your pocket and drive.
  • As a man, you can be friends with a woman, with nothing else happening, ever. Three women in ten believe this too. One in ten accepts it.
  • Tell people how you feel. Don’t wait for them to ask.
  • The list of things you will never get unless you ask is endless. Ask.
  • Never ever make a promise you know you can’t or won’t keep.
  • If another person does you an injury, even if you know it was unconscious or an accident, tell them.
  • If you discover you have done someone an injury, apologize, and mean it. Don’t worry about the words. Use the best ones you can think of. It’s the speaking, not the eloquence, that counts. If you can’t or don’t mean it, don’t bother. And accept that your victim is not a friend of yours.
  • Some people simply cannot accept that you are perfectly entitled to have nothing to do with your blood relatives. And that you don’t have to explain yourself. So don’t try. In their eyes, you’ll only look worse.
  • You can love someone your entire life. Even if you never see that person again, up to the moment you die.
  • Everybody you know is truly busy, or so they believe. Don’t ever take it personally.
  • Don’t tell anyone the truth as you see it about their children or grandchildren. Even if it’s spot on. Even if they know it. They don’t want to hear it. Unless it's praise.
  • If someone gets your goat, that’s what they were trying to do. Don’t take it personally. Some people have nothing better to do. As for the rest, it’s just part of their personalities.
  • Never cook to satisfy anyone but yourself with the results. If other people enjoy it too, consider it a bonus.
  • As a man, if you think a woman’s age is critical, you probably don’t feel very good about how old you are. Grow up.
  • A woman can be 25 and beautiful. A woman can be 65 and beautiful. The only difference, which is irrelevant, is elasticity.
  • Living successfully and happily with a another person is a co-production. Always be prepared to negotiate with an open mind.
  • If someone does something that pleases you there are two things you must do as basics. Smile, and thank them.
  • Look people in the eye.
  • Smile at people.
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