Posts Tagged "relationships"

How the Silent Treatment Really Works | Part Deux

Dear Kid,

Now that you know how to deliver The Silent Treatment (read about the silent treatment here), you should know that it sometimes often generally doesn’t work. At least not the way the person inflicting the ST might intend.

Silent Treatment? I think not! (And here's how it actually works.) DearKidLoveMom.comThinks the inflict-or (let’s call him Bob): Ha! I shall punish MaryEllen by not speaking to her. She will (of course) read my thoughts, recognize how brilliant and correct I am, and beg me to speak to her. After sufficient punishing I will deign to delight her with my acceptance of her sincere apology.

Bob is (of course) a twit.

Possible thoughts MaryEllen is having:

Scenario A
Well, thank goodness for this bit of quiet.

Scenario B
He finally stopped talking. Now I can give him a piece of my mind!

Scenario C
What a twit.

Scenario D
All of the above.

You’re a college student. Bet you know the correct answer.

Love, Mom


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Conversation (Sort of) with an Otter

Dear Kid,

Did I mention we went to the Newport Aquarium? (I did, it was just a way to get you to click on yesterday’s blog if you’ve forgotten.)

One of my favorite parts was seeing the Asian Small Clawed Otter.

Just so we’re clear, there is nothing about this small otter that would make it a good choice for a house pet. Nothing. They aren’t social, they mark their territory in a very odor-ful way, they are rather vicious, and they can bite through a steel-toed boot.

On the other hand, they pack a LOT of cute into their little bodies.

Look how well I've trained this human. Nita, the Asian Small Clawed Otter Newport Aquarium. DearKidLoveMom.comI tried to have a conversation with Nita (the 6 year old Asian Small Clawed Otter on display) before the education talk.

Me: Hi

Nita: Can’t talk now. Too excited. I have to run around because it’s almost time for the humans! Did you know that visitors come to watch the humans? Visitors sometimes watch me during the day, but when I bring out the humans, they all sit down and pay attention.

Gotta swim.

I’m back. Look at all the visitors! They really like my humans. Come on, humans! What are you waiting for?

Hiding. Bet you can’t find me. Just kidding. I’m right here in the log.

Gotta swim.

The humans never come through the water, but I thought I’d check.

Hey humans! I’m on top of the steps looking for you.

Gotta swim.

Where are you! I’m ready, ready, ready!

There you are. What took you so long? Silly humans.

And with that, Nita the Asian Small Clawed Otter, put her humans through their paces. Mostly, she touched a stick. She had taught them that when she touched the stick they should feed her. Nita’s humans were very well trained.

Why yes, thank you. I'd love another small fish. Asian Small Clawed Otter at Newport Aquarium.

Asian Small Clawed Otters are related to weasels (Not responsible for that branch of the family!), and they are the smallest otters in the world (Hey! A little sensitivity please!).

The Aquarium has another Asian Small Clawed Otter, a 4 year old male named Porkchop. Porkchop and Nita have not yet established that they want to be on the same planet, much less in the same display area so the Aquarium only has one out at a time. Apparently, the Aquarium did not consult an online dating site before pairing them up. Nor did they read any of my blogs on relationships (like this one, or this one, or this one).

Silly humans.

Love, Mom

Remember to share DearKidLoveMom here and on Dear Kid Love Mom Facebook. Don’t keep all the love to yourself! (Otters don’t share; let the humans do it.)


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Keeping Myself Company

Dear Kid,

A week or so ago, I was at a restaurant, eating by myself.

Society of course disapproves. Society believes people should dine en masse and singles should remain behind closed doors. Society can take a flying leap.

In this particular instance, I was on a business trip and was delighted to have some alone time. I had contemplated room service (all the better to eat barefoot), but a quick glance at the room service menu convinced me that was Not Going to Be a Good Idea.

There are advantages to dining alone. I got to remain at the table for exactly the amount of time I wanted to be there. No one tried to share my crab legs or teased me about eating them indelicately. And no one expected me to come up with sparkling conversation. I was – at the time – sparkle-less and conversationed-out.

Do not waste your time on Social Questions. What is the matter with the poor is Poverty; what is the matter with the rich is Uselessness. ~George Bernard Shaw DearKidLoveMom.comSociety frowned. I ignored Society. Especially because at that moment Society consisted of two people who had lost a considerable amount of money gambling and who were therefore drowning their losses in heaping plates of buffet food.

There are people who seem permanently in need of companionship. You know the type. They hop into a new relationship the nanosecond one ends, never taking the time to listen to themselves. They are the ones who would never consider going someplace by themselves (probably not even the restroom). They are the ones who would rather starve to death (or deal with an inadequate room service menu) than venture into a restaurant solo.

They miss a lot of life.

There is nothing wrong with friends and relationships and dinner companions. But there is also nothing wrong with keeping yourself company.

Love, Mom

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Relationships | Part III

relationships Dear Kid (and Bunny),

Let’s face it, it’s the people closest to us who have the ability to hurt us the most. It’s their opinion we value, their respect we seek, and their praise and approval we crave.

How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child–King Lear

Sometimes we change our behaviors and opinions to “fit” better with what we think those people who are important to us want.

That can be a good thing (like agreeing to wear a suit to your cousin’s wedding because your mother expects you to look decent even  though you’d rather be in a pair of jeans and a blazer); it can also be problematic (agreeing to jumping off a bridge without a bungee cord because your significant other goads you into it).

Those are extreme examples, but the point is that it can be difficult to figure out when you’re doing something because you care about someone (sure, we can go for Mexican food AGAIN) and when you are being manipulated or changing your thoughts/behaviors in an unhealthy way. It can be even more difficult for those around you to tell which is which. Although (and here’s the real kicker) sometimes it can be easier for others to see what we can’t see for ourselves. Darn this is hard.

It’s called Growing Up. Sometimes it’s called Life.

Bottom line, kiddo. When someone has concerns about a relationship you’re in, take a deep breath and try to hear what they are really telling you (the real message probably isn’t that the person didn’t say “hello”). When two someones have concerns about a relationship you’re in, take an even deeper breath and really, really try to hear what they saying. No one says you have to act on that information (unless you’re talking to me, in which case you really do), but listen. Ask yourself “what would it mean if they are right?”

And then respond politely. There are lots of people who love you and are trying to help you through life with as  few major injuries as possible.

Love, Mom


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Relationships | Part II

Relationships Trust your spidey senseDear Kid (and Bunny),

You look across the room and see the most gorgeous creature imaginable. ZAP!! You fall instantly, totally, completely, 100% in….lust. Raging hormones. Sweaty palms. Dilated pupils. LUST.

In general, there is nothing wrong with lust. Combined with alcohol, drugs, too little sleep, too much stress (the list goes on), it can lead to some wildly stupid decisions. And—oh, dear—there can be a lot of alcohol, drugs, too little sleep, too much stress (the list goes on) during your college years.

Stupid decisions can lead to long term problems.

There is no need to have sex in public. Ever.
More on that another time.

Love, lust, relationships. You can tell they aren’t the same thing because we actually have different words for them.

Relationships—the important kind, not the kind with your barista or the UPS guy—can be hard. They often require contemplating murder. (Word of advice: don’t act on it, but sometimes imagining creative solutions can be a good outlet for frustration.)

More seriously:

Relationships need to be balanced. I do not mean you need to be equally athletic or have equal incomes. But if one of you is always giving in or doing all the compromising, you don’t have balance. If one person is always being blamed (for whatever), you don’t have balance.

Relationships need to have open communication. Some things should be kept secret. Like birthday presents and how often you have your eyebrows waxed. But too many secrets and a preponderance of secretive behavior is a sign you are not in a healthy relationship.

Relationships need to be respectful. Of each other and of the people around you. That means physically and verbally and in any other way imaginable. “I’m sorry” is important and reasonable when someone is 10 minutes late to dinner. “I’m sorry” is not even close to sufficient if there is any kind of abuse. Get help. And Get Out.

The thing is, you know people who are in great relationships. You know people who are destructive, horrible relationships. And you know people who are in relationships you simply cannot understand but seem to work well for them.

You have great instincts. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

We’re going to need a Part III. See you tomorrow.

Love, Mom

P.S. Your parents really are wonderful people. If they’re concerned, perhaps it’s worth at least understanding what has their spidey sense tingling.

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