Beautiful photo? Or OMG run for your lives!

I live with negativity. My hunch is that you do too. It’s part of the human condition.

Now here’s the surprise. All that negativity?

It comes from me.

When my boss calls my work scattered, it is my response to his comment that creates the bad feeling in me, not the comment itself. Is he right? Am I going to get fired? Do you think he’s been talking to the baker I worked for when I was 16 who yelled at me for not keeping my mind on my work and dropping a tray of custard creams?

I label it negativity. I judge him as negative. I become depressed because his comment on my work pushes my buttons. I blame him for my paranoia about losing my job and leaving my family homeless. But, in reality, all those buttons are MINE.

My wife says, why don’t you EVER take out the trash. If she hadn’t said the word ‘EVER’ we’d be fine.

Is she actually saying I’ve never taken the trash out in our nearly 20 years of marriage? She exaggerates. She’s making a point. I get that. And if she has her way it will have its intended effect. I will get angry, yell something mean back at her, take the trash bag out and throw it against the refrigerator. Then I’ll feel bad, pick it up, wipe the smelly stains off the floor and take it out. See? That was my fault.

When I verbally attack the owner of a local bar for serving underaged drinkers and staying open ’til 4am so the police have to patrol and stop the fights of the drunks at all hours which is giving the town a bad name, he tells me politely but firmly that the town changed the parking rules to feed the meters until 11pm so no one goes to his bar anymore and he’s had to hire a chef to actually sell real food and change the dynamic of his establishment. I am left with this creepy feeling that my negativity got the best of me; that if I had just asked him how’s business, he would have told me the same thing without me throwing verbal punches.

Why do I need it so badly? What does all this negativity give me? Evidently I need to be right. The side of good is always my side, right? Whether I’ve thought two seconds about what I’m saying or not.

It’s surprising because when I look into the mirror in the morning, I’m pretty happy with my self, but sometimes when I look in other people’s eyes, and see the fear and trepidation and knee-jerk yesses on their lips, I’m a monster. Which is the real me?

That’s why I figured I needed a better mirror. One that shows that negativity so I can face it BEFORE I go out into the world.

That’s what my Buddhist practice does for me. The absolute worst thing looks better and becomes much more well-considered from my side of the mirror when I have chanted in the morning. I have no idea how it works. I know how it doesn’t work though. It doesn’t work on a level of intellect, knowledge or consciousness that my rational brain can predict or understand. It pushes me out of the brain roads I tend to travel. I just know that if I don’t face myself each day this way, all the negative stars come out shooting. This practice is like the sun. When I do it daily, the sun comes out and the shooting stars disappear. When I don’t…watch out for me.

If you need a hedge against your own negativity as I do, make a practice of taking a faith action strong enough to remind you that the thing that’s really bugging you…is you.



Old-fashioned four legged TV set isolated‘Tele’ — from the ancient greek, meaning I can hear you all the way over here, and ‘vision’ — Middle English for a trance-like state where you think Jennifer Anniston is funny. Copernicus was the first inventor of television. Other inventors were Galileo, John Coltrane and Bette Midler. Each had an instrument that allowed them to see from a distance (or in Bette’s case to sing “From a Distance”).

But does television exist any more? Probably not. You want to see Jennifer Anniston, go to Netflix. Not to be confused with Netscape. Which is something like Firefox. Not to be confused with Fios. But closer to Safari. Not to be confused with Amazon. Unless you’re wearing a pith helmet.

You see what I mean? You don’t need tele-vision for that. What you need is a degree from MIT.

With television, the challenge was all in snack preparation. But once you had your bowl of chips and Squirt the instructions were simple. 1. Sit on couch. 2. Turn on TV. 3. Fall asleep.

Today, no one has tele-visions, what they have instead are explicit blood-spattered nightmares, tasteless but titillating sexual inn-u-endo (as well as the actual endo itself when the Inn fills up and the ends spill out into the lobby), and amoral capitalistic rampages.  Just take a gander at some of the new programs that will be on this year.

Monkey Go Home Homeless monkeys read Beowulf on the streets of New York while begging for spare change. With their Malaysian habitat destroyed by logging corporations, the monkeys hop a plane to the big city and the hijinks begin. The first episode ends with the monkeys getting wise and catching pedestrians unawares with the old banana peel trick, then taking their victims’  wallets and house keys–proving once again that you can never go home.

McDonald’s Copter Gunship McDonald’s corporate PR firm decides that a helicopter gunship is just the thing to sell more hamburgers but the pilot can’t get the obese thing off the helipad. With a final 1,2,3 they lift it several feet in the air only to be foiled by a ketchup salesman from DesMoines who gets caught in the blades. Stars Bill Murray as Willy Loman, the ketchup salesman who Hunts for Red October.

Knit for Gnat Reality TV show about which insects are the best knitters. The spiders win legs down.

Sing for Your Supper Reality show with celebrity chefs about giving free gourmet food to people who make $9 an hour working at fast food restaurants, but only after they have been made to sing songs that are personally humiliating.  

Grandbaby Guignol Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese and the ghost of Sam Peckinipah are put into a pre-school nursery where they must eat strawberries and read Barney to three year olds. The one who signs an agreement to disavow violent imagery and become the new Mister Rogers first, is the winner.

The Original Channel A whole channel devoted to series’ by clever young writers and TV serialists who think they are making great new original TV series. What they don’t know is that their mothers sprinkled old videotapes on their Fruit Loops when they were kids. The results, while perhaps being original to them, are hardly original…

  • Seinfold – A quartet of cranky origami artists always seem to let the folds get the best of them.
  • House of Farts – Political intrigue and high-flying ambitions at a nursing home.
  • The Tenors – The mob makes patsy’s sing on a lower note.
  • Spar Check – When the USS Enterprise loses its main boom, Dr. Spock sets off on an adventure through the Whole Mast Catalog. When they send him rocket parts instead of the spars he ordered, he gives birth to a whole new Enterprise.
  • Al in the Family –  A bigot named Al, who is a penniless pauper, happens to knock on a working class, single mother family’s door one night, and is taken in by the family when they realize that they don’t have a bigoted father figure at their center.
  • Gomer Pyle CSI – Gomer and Aunt Bee track down Opie in the crack houses of Miami’s South Beach to investigate the death of innocence. Gollee!
  • The Gilligan Files – Agents Mulder and Scully investigate an island crash site where alien life forms are mixing martinis and putting on skits.

The National Fireside Dims

It was that moment I’d been waiting for. The big event. When together, as a family, we could share at the national fireside, (the TV) something we could all experience–our family and one billion others.

I’m not really a football fan or a Super Bowl fan, but there are so few public moments we share together. In my youth that’s all there was. Gathered around the television with Ma and Pa, drinking Diet Rite Cola and eating bags and bags of barbecued potato chips, we experienced something like national unity, night after night. “That’s the way it is, ” said Walter Cronkite each night, signing off.

That’s the way it was.

So now my teenaged children, who don’t get many chances to sit at the national fireside to experience this kind of family unity, would at the very least, if they’re not football fans, which they’re not, watch Katy Perry and Lenny Kravitz for the half time show. At least we would have that.

“It’s on,” I yelled as Katy entered on an enormous mechanical tiger singing, “Eye of the Tiger.”

“Look at that! Wow girls.  Look at that Hunger Games-style fire dress! Girls! You’re gonna miss it!”


“Whoa now she’s dancing with silver chess pieces doing backflips! Girls!!?”

“Oh my God, she changed into a beach dress in 5 seconds and she’s dancing with sharks and palm trees. Come down and watch!”

“Okay, in a minute!” I finally heard from one.

“But it’s on now! It’s gonna be over!”


Katy jumped around a stuffed dancing palm tree and my heart sank. They’re gonna miss it. This moment. What iPhone video game, what FaceTime phone conversation, what  Instagram photo share could possible be more important than this? I started to feel the blood rush to my face. They’re missing it.

I ran upstairs to my 17 year old daughter’s room. She was watching “Being Human” on my laptop.

“I hate Katy Perry,” she said, “She doesn’t stand for anything except crass American commercialism.”

“But this isn’t just Katy Perry, this is a global moment! The technology, the dancers, the pure bubble gum poppiness of it all. It may be popular culture at its crassest, but it’s worth seeing!”

“Not interested,” she monotoned.

I held my tongue and ran downstairs to ferret out my 13 year old daughter. She. Surely she would share this moment. She was on her iPhone with her friend.

“Don’t you want to see what all your school mates will be talking about tomorrow in the halls at school,” I ask.

“Not really. If I have to I’ll Youtube it on my iPhone later.”

“But you have to,” I demand.


Stumped and stymied I blurt out, “Come down to see the end with us or I’ll give you a consequence!”

She looks at me quizzically, shrugs her shoulders. “Alright Dad.”

“It’s on now,”I emphasize.

“I’ll be down.”

I return to the family TV, Katy is rapping about pedicures with Missy Elliott…but the joy has gone out of it.

“It’s almost over,” I yell. “You’re missing the best part,” I exclaim knowing that in this five minute tech orgy there really can be no best part.

Finally my 13 year old appears. Looks. Katy has silver eyeliner on and is flying around the stadium on a star crane with sparks coming out of every possible stadium orifice.

My 13 year old shrugs her shoulders. “Is there any cake left in the kitchen?”

So much for national fireside. Not Obama, disasters, moon landings, wars, peace, or as it turns out, Katy Perry being flown around a football stadium, can bring it back.

Apps for 2015

vectorstock_920968 New Year, New Apps. Well, it’s one way to think you control the world.

Habitual Light App My older European friends still behave like they live in a world with candles. Stand outside their homes at night and you can always tell which room they’re in. When they walk into a new room, they turn out the light in the old room. They have this strange, old-fashioned notion that light exists to illuminate the darkness. So this app makes you faux European. As you travel from kitchen to bedroom it automatically turns the lights out in the room you were just inhabiting. Simple, right? Go ahead, run through the house. It’s a light show all by itself. And, with the plus version you can add fans, TVs, computers, electronic meters, even plug in toys. Imagine the planetary savings, all for power you frankly aren’t really around to get the benefit of. If your chandeliers and power fans are playing to an empty room, this app is for you.

Saha App Points out negativity around you that you might have become inured to but which affects you nonetheless. For an extra $1.99, the Super Saha App points out the basic human fear behind each negativity so you can (1) ignore it if you’re a wallflower prone to depression, (2) do something about it if you are in a transformational stage and want to change your karma, (3) point it out to the source of negativity if you’re ready for a good old fashioned confrontation, or (4) pray for the negative source to change and recognize how human the fear is that the negative source is dealing with.

Anti-Saha app When you need to be entertained, and you’re willing to admit that negativity, though it is all around you, is rather entertaining, particularly in other people; turns off the Saha App so you can have a good laugh.

Seed Plant App Remember Johnny Appleseed? This app re-seeds the bottom of your shoe soles with seeds on a daily basis. That way whenever and wherever you walk, you’re greening the planet!  (Turn off app in suburban malls, movie theaters and performing arts auditoriums, car washes and for that matter in any auto at all, as it will inhibit operation of a motor vehicle. Or you could just tie your shoes on the door handles of your car as it drives and re-seed major highway shoulders and interchanges.) Climate specific seeds are perfect for your neighborhood! Choose from grass, marijuana, bird, sunflower and pomegranate.

Micro Macro This app sends a signal to your brain when your world balance tips too micro. This could be while studying any body part, or doctor’s report about a body part, looking in the mirror for longer than 60 seconds or feeling a complaint coming on. Automatically projects an image of the horse head galaxy, Milky Way (not the candy bar), Martin Luther raising his eyebrows, or other religious icon of your choice onto the Imax screen of your brain. Reminds you that the macrocosm is the Whole Earth Catalog and you are just the cat on the log (usually in mid-lake). Don’t jump to conclusions, just wait it out and watch the moon rise. Sooner or later the log will float close enough to shore so you can jump off without getting your feet wet. It just takes time. Pretty good for an app, right?

Goodbye Kiss Repeater Isn’t that goodbye kiss nearly always the sweetest? Even if you’ve been fighting, even if you’re dying to get out of the house. There’s something about the goodbye kiss that packs all the joys of the love, the parting, the bittersweet nature of life, etc. into one special moment. Don’t you wish it could go on forever? Now it can. Tap this app and any kiss can turn into a goodbye kiss. Fools you into thinking that you’re going on a long trip (maybe permanently) so that you can enjoy the moment that much more.

Facebook App No, not the one you have already. This is the new and improved one. It intuits your mood and suggests books you might want to read. In other words it’s time to face books. Remember them? Believe it or not there’s good therapy in them pages. Trouble with Mom? How about facing Joan Crawford instead? Mommy Dearest is still a pretty awesome reality check for Mom problems. This app doesn’t mess around, it gets you right to the point that will make you think your mom is Mother Teresa. Thinking of enlisting? Suddenly your Facebook app has plunged you deep into the heart, guts and sarcasm of Catch 22. Troubled by your parents divorce? Let Hamlet soothe your pain as he screams at his mother not to sleep with his uncle. Thinking about retiring? Don Quixote should put that need to rest. Want to be part of the 1%? Time to face The Great Gatsby. No matter what the personal problem or ambition, there’s a book to face that will cure it. This app is worth it’s weight in pixels.

Claptrap App Turns words you string together into something with actual meaning, no matter how inebriated you are. Go ahead, turn it on at a party and watch the reactions. You may go home newly accepted to Harvard. Click it as you read this…and it turns this blog into the Declaration of Independence.

In-the-Kingdom-of-the-Blind-the-One-Eyed-Man-is-King App Finds better glasses.

13 App When your formerly loving child is dissing relatives and giving you the finger both literally and subliminally, allows you to muster the fun and energy to be their bff, making fart jokes and bouncing soccer balls off kitchen walls until the microwave breaks. Turn on this app and it makes you think like a 13 year old. WARNING: For use ONLY by parents of 13 year olds! Dangerous in any other context!!

Worst Year Ever App Works for pessimists of all stripes. Fast forwards to next year so the worst year ever is always in the past.

The Sock Report


Socks are down, due to overexertion while commuting. The dark green ones that somehow go with everything brown are losing ground, victims of a cheap weave and their dollar store ipo (inexpensively produced output). While navy blue sock futures have tripled because the ones I bought at Macy’s in 1998 finally gave up the ghost. The little elastic threads woven into the socks along the top band look like the spores of a rare mushroom have taken root. The long-term forecast is dismal. Even the ones without holes in the toes look like ancient support hose for burghers in a Brueghel painting.

A merger report reveals the depth of the problem. The whole drawer looks like a singles bar at closing time. Slowing demand for the electric blue socks I bought in 2000 when the Yankees won the world series has stifled productivity of proper mergers. News of a singles riot in the Northwest corner paired gains made by couples in the South. Gay Southern socks have been making incremental progress towards their ultimate goal of equal marriage.

However, the high visibility scandal of the Santa Claus sock’s televised faux marriage with an Ann Taylor ped has hurt the cause.

Brooks Brothers hit a three year high of four pairs of socks properly put together–no holes, no frays, no runs, no semen stains, no bad behavior of any kind, except excessive bounce causing undue flatulence. Although it might have been the pate and vanilla milk shake I had for lunch.

The drawer closed down after profit taking left socks lumpy and generally uncomfortable, particularly the wool which is making me sneeze and how a sock on your foot can reach your nose on a regular basis to cause it to sneeze is anybody’s guess.

Note: Whether you’re sock or hose you’ll find your match in the Thread Bare classifieds.

Here’s a sample.
SBS (Single Black Sock) with forest green stripe down both sides seeks sole mate. Loves stretching, Woolite and long walks in loafers.
ASS (Athletic Stretch Sock) seeks Victoria’s Secret fishnet for kinky runs. No support hose need apply.
WS (Woolen Sock) with old-fashioned values (slightly worn) looking for woolen gloves to share the winter with. Ask for Spud.


You May Think I’m Lying But I’m Standing

davinci1How do I look?

Pretty good right? You may think I’m lying but I’m actually standing. You would be right if you said you thought I was lying. I feel like lying sometimes I really do. Blame it on my age. But I’m actually standing. I’ll always be standing. For all intents and purposes you can pretty much consider I’ll be standing forever. Even at those times when I feel like I’m lying. Why is that you ask? Because I’m a new paradigm.

You know how sometimes you feel so bad, because you can’t give the world what it wants: the cure to cancer or unlimited food supplies or tickets to a sold out show or you somehow feel you’ve offended people because they thought they should be able to buy tickets to the sold out show (they have the money, it’s not a matter of money) or they’re hungry and you’re out of Twinkies or they have a disease that has no name so it has no cure, if they could just name it, someone could endow a hospital and in 100 years we’d have a cure, but they have no name, they just hurt and feel trapped in their own fundamental darkness; and it’s at times like these that I feel like I must be lying.  I feel like I’d rather just lie here. I feel like you might just as well all stampede right over my body. There’s a lot of angry, needy people who need something I can’t give them and so I think I’ll just lay my body down and, go ahead, break my bones, just trample me, if you think that will help you.

But then sometimes when I think I’m down, waiting for the stampede to begin, I remember Leonardo. And I feel that my trampled body, is …art.  I put my legs like this and my arms like this … hey not bad. Thanks Leonardo. And he drew me at the dawn of the Renaissance. And the Renaissance was a renaissance because mostly the zeitgeist changed. And it used to be that God was foremost in our minds, and all our painters painted pictures of God and Gods and superhuman creatures that really, they thought, ran the world. And Apollo and Venus and Zeus and everybody; and then just God (he’s got no name cause he’s the only one).

And then somehow that changed and Michaelangelo painted God touching Man’s finger and now Man was like ET, he had the power and now Man wasn’t a caveman anymore, now he was beautiful; so beautiful that Michaelangelo made love to him and Shakespeare made him in love and Man was so fucking great, it just makes you wanna cry. And so that’s how I feel most of the time. I feel like Man, I mean I feel fucking great.  But these mood swings are scary — passive/aggressive, manic/depressive, bipolar/expressive.

I mean Dostoevsky and end-of-the-world summer movies, and the newspaper headlines and the global warming and Kim Kardashian and Man sucks, Man really sucks and that’s reality. But the reality is, that reality is also what you make it and it can be a particle or a wave and you get to decide, and it can be the time you say it is or some other time, you get to decide, because the truth of the matter is that they’ve discovered, all those scientists and Buddhists and Eastern thinkers and Western spiritual types, that it’s about you. See DaVinci was right and Shakespeare and Michaelangelo and Einstien and …it’s really all about you.

But no man is an island, and so it’s like you at the center of the universe of you, but touching everybody else. No hermits, no DaVinci men by themselves. No. It’s 8 billion DaVinci men and women and children and snails and puppies and birds and bees. It’s about us, but it’s really about us. And so that’s a lot of hope. That’s very hopeful. I have hope. The real world is hopeful. As long as it’s YOUR real world not Bernie Madoff’s.

Some say the Apollo moon landing never happened, they created it in a TV studio. But my real world says it happened. Because my real world has the possibility of optimism. Where Man is fucking great. Because Einstein and his pals according to Quantum Physics say that a cat in a box you can’t see is in limbo, which contains the possibility that the cat is dead and also the possibility that the cat is alive. I get to decide if the cat in that box you can’t see is alive or dead. And in my box it’s always alive. It will always be alive.

So take that all you nay-sayers and all you people who make money by being naysayers because other people just love to go into their own dead real world and just love to watch movies about how dead the cat actually is and how frankly it’s not only dead but someone attached a little suicide bomb to its back, those people just need to grow up and become humans, real humans and decide that their world includes the word faith and the word hope.

And as soon as I can get the energy up to believe I’m still standing I will tell them all to their faces that the world they live in is small and narcissistic, with the only panorama being video games and that they have innoculated themselves against the very thing they need to nurture. They think it’s too square I guess, but I say it’s round. Round and beautiful. And they are at the center of it, like me, and they are beautiful and they don’t even know it. Why don’t they see that? The cat is not dead. Long live the cat. And I am going to tell them that. I may look like I’m lying here to you, but if you realize I’m a new paradigm, I’m THE new paradigm,  I’m actually standing.

All You Need is Love*


Looking back after sixteen years of marriage to the same woman, I see now that love has gotten me to where I am today. I am a much stronger man than I was before, because of love—love-the word, love-the feeling, love-the idea, love-the romantic notion…love is the Styrofoam peanut of our existence. Without it the contents of our independent lives would bang together mercilessly. With it we are well-packed.

Clearly I am not the man I was a decade and a half ago. We use less words and we mean more, my spouse and I. We choose our words wisely so as not to push the other’s buttons involuntarily.  The Eskimos may have had hundreds of variations for the word ‘snow’. We’re the opposite. We have one word and we paste it everywhere. ‘Love’ is the common denominator.

“I love you.” (Translation: You have meaning for me, even if I don’t always love you.)

“I love YOU.” (Translation: I rarely love you, but thanks for being nice to me. So few are. I’m glad there’s someone who has to be or else.)

*                                                            *                                                       *

“Thank you for making my lunch this morning. I love that you stick notes in my sandwiches with toothpicks.” (But I don’t always get what they mean. For instance yesterday you punctured my bologna with “Consider alternate route”.)

“I love writing you notes that you don’t read until you’re at work.” (I’m watching you, pal. Don’t even think of looking twice at that new intern. I know you too well.)

*                                                            *                                                      *

“I love you.” (Thank you for taking the dog out.)

“I love YOU.” (It wasn’t my turn, but I respect the fact that whenever he has diarrhea, it’s automatically my turn.)

“You’re the best.” (Please wash your hands.)

*                                                            *                                                    *

“You’re the best.” (I’m glad we both work, because sometimes it’s easier to be in love with you from 30 miles distance than it is in person.)

“Thanks honey, you too.” (I agree. Sometimes when we’re home together, I’d prefer to get on the phone with you, because at least then you carry on one conversation instead of ignoring me in favor of tablecloths.)

“Can I get you breakfast?” (The table cloths are always dirty because you eat breakfast on them and have not yet figured out how to pour your milk without spilling it.)

“Thanks. I’d love some.” (That’s our seven-year-old, I pour milk perfectly well, thank you very much. Do you ever just break down and actually wash the damn thing?)

“Don’t give me that look.”

(Fuck you.)

*                                                          *                                                           *

“You look cute today.” (Is there sex in our future?)

“Thanks hon.” (Do you have your kneed pads?)

“I like your hair.” (I strained my left knee, could we try the bed for once?)

“Sure, thanks. You’re sweet.” (If  you make the bed first, get me a towel, find my pajamas, light a candle, warm the massage oil, put some music on, feed the dog, put the kids to sleep, help me print this out, fix my website and put insulation tape on the windows first.)

“I’ll be right back.”

*                                                             *                                                        *

“You’re my lover.” (I like what you do.)

“You’re my woman. We were meant to be. (No one else would put up with your shit.)

“Sweetheart.” (That’s funny, I was thinking the same thing.)

“Your smile turns me on.”

“You’re the single most important person in my life.” (Despite the fact that I don’t always love you.)

*                                                           *                                                         *

It is daily work simply understanding each other using so few words but somehow we’ve accomplished it. When nerves are unraveling we slap a sloppy coat of love on them and they ravel back up.

In addition to using love peanuts to pack away our problems, we’re currently deep at work on the cardboard box itself.  One of the biggest surprises of our marriage is that the great 70s philosopher Billy Joel was right. He said, “Blame it all on yourself, ’cause she’s always a woman to me.” This is truth.

We used to have enough cardboard construction between the two of us to start a small moving company. Now we have managed to lessen the number of walls we put up between us, down to one. Ourselves.  We used to encounter it constantly and think smugly, “Oh my God, what a jerk he/she is.” The Blame Game was simply too much fun and too easy to play.  Ahhhhh, there were some great blames in the old days. Record blames. Infamous blames. Blames of note. Not any more. Counter-intuitive though it might be, it turns out that what I see in her actually are MY shortcomings, and vice-versa.

Now when we come up against it, though it SEEMS to be the other person, we recognize it as our own karmic wall shaped EXACTLY like our spouse. Our response therefore has also changed. We no longer run at it fiercely with spears, throw bodies against it in a smack-down, or even, frankly, scale it. Sometimes we still run away screaming, but then with the full knowledge of 16 years of marriage, we creep back coweringly; wonderingly –“Could that really be me? It sure looks like her.”

And yet, as we look at the sorry state of some of the marriages around us, so many spouses are either still running head-long at a wall they think is the other person, or have not yet been able to develop our “crawl-back” ability. No wonder. It’s downright humiliating. Where divorce is rampant, perhaps we should consider ourselves lucky. On the other hand, those couples don’t have to wear knee pads 24/7.

The frisson of marriage is not acceptance of who she is, it’s acceptance of who you are. Once that’s done, Rumi is right, “Your task is not to seek love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

Our marriage is safe in a sturdy brown box with lots of bubble wrap for joy, peanuts for love, stamped, certified and addressed to the future. And here are the packing instructions…

– When she wakes up on the wrong side of the bed, turn the mattress over.

– Never engage in a conversation that she begins with “You should…” (Simply smile and nod and make yourself a nice ham sandwich, you’ll need it.)

– Eschew prepared statements. Better to sincerely open your heart and just talk to her.

– Don’t cry. You’re supposed to be the strong one.

– Don’t whine, you’re not ten anymore. (Unless of course whining still works in which case, whine away, they deserve it.)

– Never let  a computer come between you and your spouse.  All computers are mirrors of human inadequacy. If we were meant to be that logical, we wouldn’t drink beer.

– Learn to listen, whether you’re listening or not.

– There is no substitute for Date Night; no matter how good your Netflix subscription is or what game is on TV.

*This article has been approved by HRH, my wife, the Love Queen.