Tag Archives: wisdom

Demeter Clarc Manners Moment: None of My Biznass

ITS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESSThis past weekend I was put in a weird predicament.  I am friendly with a couple.  I know the woman professionally, and she’s taken a liking to me.  Her live-in boyfriend also hangs around enough that I’ve gotten to know him fairly well.  They both take my class, so there’s also a student-teacher dynamic at play.SNL LOVAHSI must have a disarming effect on the woman, because lately almost every time I see her alone she collapses into a puddle of tears.  She cries over various aspects of her relationship and life.  I mostly just listen and hold her as she sobs.  This past weekend, boyfriend shows up to class alone and asks to see me after for a chat.  He begins the conversation by asking for my mentorship in his learning process, but then he veered off sharply into discussing the current strains on his relationship.  Two friends, both have asked for my advice, and I want to stay the fuck out of their relationship because this is CLEARLY NONE OF MY BIZNASS.STAY OUT OF IT CHARLOTTEThe less evolved me would have insinuated myself into the situation because I was nosy and controlling.  The better version of me has the good sense to see any involvement with this scenario is rife with conflict.NOSYI listened to boyfriend talk about his relationship.  I asked him a few neutral questions that I thought might set off his own self-inquiry.  Then I wrote down my therapist’s number and said you should really consider talking to a professional about this.MADE IN CHELSEA THERAPYThese overshares leave me in a weird and awkward position.  As much as I appreciate their trust, this pair should really pay a professional listener to help them work out their personal problems instead of inappropriately cornering me at work.It’s flattering to be asked for advice, but I’m slowly learning the wisdom of putting my ego and opinion aside and keeping my mouth shut when the matter is none of my concern. DR LAURA


Adult Lessons from Bringing Up Bebe

BRINGING UP BEBE COVER ARTI was desperate for something to read and in a weird mood, so I downloaded Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting.  As you well know, I am not a parent and have a deeply instilled aversion to most children.  I didn’t even like children when I was a child, so I’m not really sure why I wanted to read a parenting book.  As I read the book, it sent me into an analysis of my own deeply flawed upbringing.  I’m no gushing francophile either, but Pamela Druckerman’s conversational and confessional writing style drew me into her world of raising little Americans in Paris.DRUCKERMAN KIDSIn reading the parenting guide, I was struck just how few adults (including moi) have learned some of the basic lessons institutionalized in the French child-rearing philosophy.  Like what you ask?  How about….CA VA1) attendre – to wait.  According to Druckerman, instead of saying “stop” French parents say “attend” or “wait.”  This practice instills a sense of patience in the child and reminds the child that the world does not stop at his or her command.  Now how many rude and self-important adults do you know who could benefit from an understanding of this very basic principle?   CHILDREN WAIT2) cadre – Druckerman refers to the cadre or framework for French parenting.  Essentially, the framework consists of strict boundaries with much freedom within those boundaries.  For instance, in France a child can enjoy cake, chocolate, or other indulgences everyday, but only at the designated snack time and in a reasonable portion.  Perhaps with a little structure to my eating times I wouldn’t be devouring Chocolove pretzel bars at 10 am.  GOUTER3) sage – The French prefer their children wise and calm.  A kid must exercise self-control as well as be able to amuse oneself.  Based on my limited observations, self-control may be the single greatest factor in crafting a successful life.  Furthermore, a grown-ass person really has no excuse for complaining of boredom.  The French understand you must make your own fucking fun.LOVE HATE BABY

When a Fight Becomes a Friendship-ender

Those of you with long memories remember that just about a year ago I was preparing to attend the wedding of one of my best friends.  Despite the build-up, I mysteriously never mentioned the weekend again which some of you surely found annoying and some of you never noticed.

I’d rather not get into the complicated details out of respect for my former friend.  Needless to say, bad communication, weird energy, and selfish behavior all around caused what has amounted to an irreparable rift.

Keep in mind, this relationship spans over a decade.

So the question becomes, if neither party reaches out after an extended silence, is the friendship over?

Is it better to be stubborn, right, and lonely, or forgiving and rich with friends?

Or is it the very event of a wedding that shifts the agenda for all involved?  Can some friendships simply not survive a wedding?  Does the solidification of one relationship spell doom for another?  Only if you hate the person your friend is marrying.  Which isn’t necessarily the case here.  It isn’t so much I hated the groom.  It’s more that I hated who my friend became around the groom.

I’ve often considered reaching out to this friend, but something always stops me — usually one of my other friends who likes to periodically remind me how poorly we were treated at the ceremony after traveling many miles and undertaking great expense to support our friend’s union.

Knowing my dear friend as I do, I suspect she still checks this website from time to time.  If that’s the case, I hope she knows that despite the obstacles between us I do wish her and her husband well.  Perhaps now they’ve even begun on their little family.

Nearly a year has passed since we last spoke, and I suppose it is time to move this conflict from the active to closed file.  I do so with a heavy heart.  For many months, I held out hope we would reconcile, but some opposing forces are too polarized to ever meet in the middle.  The only useful thing I learned in Brownies – Make New Friends, but Keep the Old.  One is Silver and the Other Gold

Our friendship may be tarnished, but this girl will always be gold to me.

Back to School Advice: Front Row

Many of you are heading back to school.  Wanna avoid getting called on in class?  Try sitting in the front row.  Even in Socratic Method situations, sitting in the front row triggers some sort of reverse psychology that helps students evade attention.  Since you are right under the teacher’s nose, he or she tends to overlook you and focus on the middle to back half of the classroom.  In addition, many professors stereotype those seated in the front row as overachievers.  It may sound counter-intuitive, but you might be surprised how much daydreaming you can get away with down front.  Public speaking induces major anxiety for most folks.  The intimacy of the front row makes it feel like you are only speaking to a few people rather than the whole room.  In the event that one particular professor aggressively works the seating chart, consider volunteering an answer about every third class.

on grief