Sunday, November 27, 2011

Who Knows?

"After two marriages that ended in divorce (Tommy Lee and Richie Sambora), I'm sure Heather knows what it takes to make a relationship work."
Quoted from thestir 

Ummm. . . anybody finding something wrong with that logic?  I'm sure Heather knows a few things that can make a marriage fail, but what evidence do we have that she knows what would make it work?  The logic that says that failure teaches you how to succeed is broken logic.  It simply teaches you how to fail.  Wisdom would tell you how to avoid the same failure again, but can failure alone be guaranteed to bring you to success?  I'm going to go with. . . NO!

So, where does this wisdom for success come from?  If you want to know how to do something right, then ask someone who's doing it right!  Who are you listening to?  Cultural generalization? 

Particularly in the areas of finances and marriage, I see people with similar problems talking to each other and giving advice to each other.  Is this really the best idea?  Why do we think that someone with similar problems will help solve our own?  Perhaps it just makes us feel better about the fact that we have problems.  I would assert that we should be cautious about the people we use for advice and the assumptions we make about what they know.  

You know what 'they' say.  

Do you know who 'they' are?

Well, if you know me, then you know that I'm going to take my advice from the Bible.  It's not always the easiest to apply to everyday life, but that's where the other people come in.  People with life experience that I want to duplicate.  I don't believe we are meant to live our lives alone.  I do, however, believe that we should be selective in choosing whom to emulate.  

Monday, November 21, 2011

Is Marriage Obsolete?

I was talking to a friend of mine recently.  He and his girlfriend live together and, he says, will probably never get married.  He says that they're already committed to each other for the long haul.  Marriage is just the expensive way to break up if it doesn't work out.

Is that really all there is to it?

If that's it, then you must be defining marriage to consist of the legal contract of joint material ownership.  Lots of people sign pre-nuptual agreements, though.  Are they still married if they don't agree that they own everything jointly?  What about common-law?  Not married, just living together.

Now we've gone from husband and wife to partners.  Long term commitment.  Best friends.  Same thing, right?  I mean, most places offer benefits to domestic partners.  Two-income households have no tax benefit from a legal marriage.  From the outside, it looks the same.  No rings--I guess, it's not exactly the same.  Close.  Perhaps that's why we're wondering if marriage has become obsolete.

In my estimation, these friends of mine that are living together are already as close to married as most people ever get--with or without the 'red tape.'  My definition of marriage includes an element of faith--a promise between two people and God.  My friends, however, don't believe in God.  That is the fundamental difference, as far as I can tell.  In the absence of that element of faith, I don't really see a difference.  I see no concrete advantage to telling the state of your intentions.

Is it marriage, or the sanctions of the state that have become obsolete?

Monday, November 14, 2011

'Tis the season. . .

My grandfather once told me, "You can tell a lot about a person by what makes them excited."


If you haven't already, this is the time to be thinking about a Christmas gift for your wife or girlfriend.  I find that lots of guys talk like they never get the right stuff.  Sometimes, they even feel like they've got a little making up do to next time.  I think that's because we, too often, go for the standards.  Mrs O is not identical to any other woman, so some standards just don't work for her.  They don't communicate that I love her.  It's not about the way I communicate, but the way she communicates.

When your girl is excited, what is she excited about?

Mrs O gets excited about quality time.  I discovered a long time ago that taking a surprise day off and making a simple itinerary of fun things to do together was one of the best ways to show Mrs O that I love her and that I know her.  I never would have put that together on my own, but I asked her about it.  I asked her what gifts meant the most to her.  Those are enlightening conversations.


If you find that your man is awkward when it comes to buying gifts, make sure you are vocal about your favorite ones, even if it's not exactly perfect.  Think about the little things he does--or used to do--and tell him how much you appreciated those things.  I remember one day when Mrs O told me that she really appreciated when I send her cards in the mail.  Her admiration meant so much to me.  It made me want to keep doing it!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Saving Daylight

photo courtesy of

Ahhh, this is my favorite morning of the whole year: the boys are awake at 5:30 because their internal clocks don't reset overnight, it'll be dark when I get out of work today, and we're all headed for a sound case of Seasonal Affective Disorder!  Can you hear my sarcasm?  It makes me wonder who ever thought 'daylight savings' was such a great idea in the first place.

I tried to research that a little bit. . . I admit, it wasn't important enough for real solid research, but some cursory web-surfing was in order.  I found it difficult to determine exactly who came up with the idea first.  There were several founding-father types suggested along with several long-obsolete reasons for doing it: Ben Franklin suggests saving whale oil in the street lamps, a meddling brit wants to prevent his neighbors from sleeping away useful daylight hours, but my favorite is the next one.  Wikipedia gives the true credit to an entomologist from New Zealand:

"Modern DST was first proposed by the New Zealand entomologist George Vernon Hudson, whose shift-work job gave him leisure time to collect insects, and led him to value after-hours daylight." 

Does this seem strange to anyone else?  A bug-collector needs light after work to seek out his critters and the whole world changes their clocks to accommodate?  

Oh well.  I guess it's not as bad as I make it out to be.  But, I do wonder why we quit saving daylight in the winter when it is the scarcest.