Saturday, September 23, 2006

Email: The Rules [CH]

It's a common thread in all dating-advice books (going back to one called, and I am not making this up, The Rules) that the woman should never call the man because that gives her power away and will make him slough off like the lout he really must be. Similarly the man should always appear circumspect and never talk about his feelings (or whatever other claptrap they're claiming) because that would give away his power etc. It's a politically and strategically drawn drama that stands apart from the intimacy and tenderness of a real relationship (between equals). I doubt the harpies who write such stuff have ever been in love, or will be.

Books: Friedman's Fables by Edwin H. Friedman

(From the first fable to the last, this collection of modern-day wisdom in the form of rabbinical parables will hold your attention and teach you fresh perspective and insight.)

Press: iChurch: All We Like Sheep - Leadership Journal

iChurch: All We Like Sheep - "Being fully formed in a consumer worldview, Greg and Margaret intuitively accepted that the personal enrichment and fulfillment of desire is the highest good. As a result, they chose the church that best satisfied their family's preferences without bothering to consult their community, the Bible, or the Holy Spirit to gauge the legitimacy of those desires. After all, in consumerism a desire is never illegitimate, it is only unmet."

(Here is a great article about "church shopping" when it falls prey to impulsive consumerism. Just as universities should meet real academic needs, congregations should meet legitimate spiritual needs, not merely perceived or trendy ones. Similarly, students should choose a school, and congregants a congregation, less for the social aspects than the proven grounding they can gain through attendance and participation. Church is not a smorgasbord, it is a community.)

Email: Six-month rule [SD]

I think self-control is essential too. However, [engaging the passions] is more a political than a theological question: Conservatives say no, everyone else says yes (within reason, that is, a loving and responsible relationship). The thing is, conservatives have the most stark yet pure vision for what is loving and responsible: Nothing outside of marriage.

If you don't know you want to marry someone after dating for six months (or more), then it's probably in both your interests to remain friends but move on. Life is too short. I'm serious.

Email: Small-town romance [EH]

Watch out for those guys from small towns (no matter what state), they may be desperate and lack imagination. Mankato [Minnesota] is a good-sized city with a state university; it's cool.

Email: Generalities vs. particulars [CH]

I could write many generalities but those can never address the particulars of two persons. (Even the vocations page on my [Catholic] parish Web site says no generalities can tell specific persons if the religious life is for them because each of us is different.) Whenever a conversation gets bogged down in generalities, I always try to steer it toward particulars, toward specific examples.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Quotes: "Marriage has many pains" (S. Johnson)

"Marriage has many pains, but celibacy has no pleasures." -- Samuel Johnson

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Peeves: Guys who spray

Guys who sprinkle or spray all over the seat in the public restroom -- and then leave without washing their hands!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Humor: Preemptive Salvage Specialist Day

(Just seen on a colleague's whiteboard.)

Email: 9/19 Talk Like A Pirate Day [EH]

I think boys are really into pirates because of the Johnny Depp (and Orlando Bloom) movies. Quite popular. It's an Internet-spread holiday that's been gaining attention these past few years (thanks to newspaper articles that mention it as an oddity, I'm sure). I can't imagine what purpose it serves beyond historically anachronistic novelty. (Most people have no idea of what real historical pirates talked like, and the pirates of today are vicious murdering thugs whose prison/sailor vocabulary is less colorful, if you get my drift.)