Do any of you watch The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel? One of the current storylines reminded me of a long-forgotten (subconsciously buried?) episode in my own life.
In the show, Joel’s interfering mother keeps trying to set him up with a “nice, appropriate, Jewish girl”, while he is secretly dating medical student Mei Lin, whose parents are the landlords of his Chinatown nightclub.
It was the 70s. I was in my early twenties, living in Manhattan, and had been seriously dating a Canadian artist for about a year who was not remotely Jewish and therefore not even borderline acceptable to my parents as a potential suitor despite his charm and talent.
My mother– never the most open-minded of people — opposed him sight unseen and started a campaign to “help” me come to my senses. This mostly took the form of not-so-subtle hints and comments. Then, one day, she learned that a neighbor’s father was in the hospital and his doctor was single and Jewish. Jackpot! My mother, never having met the man herself and knowing nothing else about him, told her neighbor to give the doctor my phone number — needless to say without my permission — even though she knew I was in a relationship.
I was livid. But it wasn’t the poor guy’s fault, so when he called I agreed to meet him for coffee.
Was he Prince Charming? Not in the least. I found him unattractive, timid, too old, and boring, and we had nothing in common except the same religion. I daresay he was not drawn to me either.
Ultimately, the artist and I broke up — for reasons having nothing to do with our families. But I’d learned my lesson: Keep my private life private unless I wanted to endure a boatload more unsolicited advice.
As a parent, I know it’s hard to see our kids making choices we feel are wrong for them. But unless their latest love interest is a criminal mastermind or serial killer, it seems wise to stay out of their relationships unless they ask for our opinions.
Who knows? With a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T, they might even listen.
Just came across this lovely story. Happy Valentines Day, everyone!
A kangaroo was saved after taking a dunk in the ocean off the coast of Australia by a rookie lifeguard.
Onlookers enjoying the surf and scenery on a rock shelf over-hanging the ocean in Bundjalung National Park were surprised to see an eastern grey kangaroo jumping across rock pools and tumbling into rough surf.
“My other workmate, Carissa and I, we were sitting on the tractor and she goes, ‘Oh my God, there’s a kangaroo jumping off the rocks!’” said 17-year old Lillian Bee-Young, a new lifeguard who had a surfboard nearby. “We were just figuring out what we should do… because we’ve never had that happen before.”
There were rough conditions that day on the north coast of New South Wales. Lillian believed the kangaroo was trying to avoid some fishermen and just “got wiped out by a set (of waves).”
Lillian told ABC News Australia that she didn’t quite know how to proceed as she paddled out with the rescue board. She didn’t know whether to try and get it onto the board, for example, or if that would put her in danger and stress the marsupial out even more.
It was just managing to keep its head above the water, but didn’t want to come ashore due to a gathering crowd.
Her friend Carissa cleared an avenue to allow Roo to feel comfortable, and after a few stumbles, it made it back onto dry land and immediately went off into the bushes.
“It was quite special. There were people cheering and clapping… and then [the kangaroo] was just sitting there up in the bushes, almost, I thought, as a thank you… It was really serene,” Lillian said.
For my stepdaughter’s upcoming bachelorette weekend, attendees have been asked to offer a piece of marriage advice. Below are some observations to ponder, serious and otherwise.
“A wedding may require a team of professionals; a marriage only requires two amateurs.”
“It’s so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.” ~Rita Rudner
“In olden times, sacrifices were made at the altar. They still are.”
“Marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.”
“Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards.” ~Benjamin Franklin”
“Marriage is the bond between a person who never remembers anniversaries and another who never forgets them.” ~Ogden Nash
“The best way to get most husbands to do something is to suggest that perhaps they’re too old to do it.” ~Anne Bancroft
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again.”
On a less-snarky note, the following is a good checklist for how to get along in any long-term partnership. Condensed here, so click for the full article.
Remember Your Commitment Life is busy and unpredictable. You both signed up to ride together during whatever comes your way. A foundation of love and caring helps you get through the tough times.
Assume the Best of One Another Unless you’re married to a total rotter, your partner probably means the best. Even if they piss you off — and they will — their intentions were likely pure. So, as a general rule, assume you both have each other’s best interests in mind. (Unless proven otherwise.)
Don’t Ever Stop Trying Make the commitment to keep being generous, showing appreciation, and saying thank you more than you probably are. Being taken for granted is never sexy.
Stop Stonewalling This is the act of shutting down during an argument. The person stonewalling stops responding and maintains a calm exterior, which tells their partner that they don’t care at all about what they’re saying. What to do instead? Ask for a break. Then return to the discussion — sooner rather than later — when you’re ready.
Communicate Respectfully Argue and attack the issues at hand without getting defensive, digging up the past and throwing it in the other’s face, dismissing a partner’s experience, or any other caustic habit.
Always Be Flexible Life’s full of surprises, not always pleasant ones. A couple’s ability to ‘go with the flow’ – especially when it’s dramatically different from what they expected – gives them the opportunity to learn new skills and get to know each other in ways they might never have known before.
Curiosity Saves Couples Your partner will likely change over time, so being open to the ways in which he or she changes can allow you to identify the ways you’ve changed as well. Shared curiosity — learning a new skill, hobby, traveling, etc. — creates new opportunities to bond.
Be Willing to Grow and Learn Everyone screws up, says dumb things, gets stuff wrong. It’s all about how people react that defines a relationship. Being willing to admit mistakes, and apologize sincerely, is an important key in creating a deeper bond with your partner.
Stop Invalidating This type of belittling can be incredibly destructive to a relationship, implying that what they’re doing or saying means they must be either crazy, stupid, or some combination of the two. It can happen in a quick, almost casual manner (“That’s ridiculous”), or it can be passive-aggressive, telling a partner how they should react before you even speak (“Don’t freak out, but I have to tell you something…”). Marriages thrive on mutual trust, respect, and security. Without this, the relationship will eventually corrode.
Prioritize Sex and Date Nights When you’re busy, this means putting it on a schedule and sticking to it. Like other self-care activities (e.g., going to the gym) if you don’t block time out in your schedule, it’s not going to happen. Especially if you have young kids.
Get on the Same Page Whether it’s how and what involvement the in-laws will have, how many activities the kids should participate in, or even when/if to have children, having the same priorities builds trust and reduces stress.
Learn How to Move On From Arguments Disagreement is unavoidable in any marriage — as are spats, snipes, and all-out fights. “It’s important to talk about what happened afterward and own your part,” says one marriage and family therapist.
Laugh it Up If you can laugh together, you can survive anything.
Always Be Validating Having your partner listen, appreciate, and understand you speaks to a basic need for connection. It’s okay to disagree, as long as you respect each other.
Stop Obsessing Over Who Wins When couples respect each other, they can accept not being right in favor of maintaining a healthy balance. Successful couples choose their battles, knowing that closeness can sometimes be more satisfying than being right.
Make Time for Self-Care Don’t just take care of your spouse; look after yourself. That means exercising regularly, eating well, getting enough sleep, and making regular doctor and dentist appointments. Investing in yourself and your own well-being shows your partner that you want to be at your best for them.
Pay Attention to the Little Things For couples who have mutual respect, small gestures are second-nature. A simple love note, a slightly longer hug or kiss goodbye can make your partner feel validated and appreciated.
Give One Another Space It’s important to be supportive and engaged with your spouse. But you also can’t hover over them and try and solve all their problems for them. Have enough faith in each other to know when to step back and let them handle something on their own.
Happy Valentine’s Day! What do I love, besides my husband, children, friends, and you, my dear readers? This week’s find: Clinique’s Chubby Stick in my-lips-but-better Fuller Fig, a rosy brown. (If you have less pink you might like the Curviest Caramel shade.)
The product has been around for years but somehow I never tried it. The moisturizing lip balm gives a subtle wash of color and feels light, not gloppy. Won’t feather like lipstick or run like a gloss.
Basic, and yet rather elegant in its functionality.
Hope you have a wonderful day and celebrate the one who loves you best: yourself!
(*If you’re too young to remember this acronym, ask your mom or grandma.)
As a preteen, “liking” a boy was the highest form of attachment. Somewhere along the way, though, like was deemed second best to “love”. If you liked someone, that meant you were (only) friends but if you loved them, well, that was the romantic ideal.
I’ve been thinking lately that we shortchange ourselves when love supersedes like.
Shouldn’t our romantic partners/spouses etc. also be our close friends? People whom we respect, admire, enjoy and actually like? If those who set our hearts a-flutter are also good company, doesn’t that have more staying power?
Something else I liked this week: some hints on motivation.
We usually know what we ought to be doing at any given moment – begin a project, get out and exercise, etc. — but feeling motivated enough to start may be more of a challenge.
So when I read this trick to outsmart your brain, it caught my attention.
A woman named Mel Robbins started researching the science behind motivation and discovered that our brains have an innate need to protect us. When we’re stressed, afraid, or in pain, our mind will keep us from doing the uncomfortable activity by communicating, “It’s ok, you don’t need to do that; do this instead”.
It’s not necessarily a lack of willpower or commitment that keeps us from pursuing what we ought to; it seems to be an innate response we can train ourselves to override.
Ms. Robbins has given talks and written a book about her 5-second rule and how to use it in every area of your life. It’s quite simple: when you find yourself procrastinating, count backward from 5 and then begin the activity. Apparently, it’s a form of metacognition that interrupts the excuses. Here’s more detail if you’re interested.
This sounds very cool and I’m going to use it right now to make myself pull some pesky weeds.