Category Archives: RelationShaping

Giant Pile of Death Sucked Hollow

A long time ago, in a lifetime far, far away — when I was still eating flesh and muscle — there was a grand tradition during Summertime in Nebraska for family and friends to get together and eat outside under the sun, moon and stars.  BBQ was a rite of passage and to get there, you not only had to learn how to BBQ, you also had to be a master eater as well.

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Raising Cynical Children in an Idealized World

Ideally, we want to raise caring and tender children who rightfully grow into wise and smart adults.  Unfortunately, the way into adulthood is, and always had been, fraught with predators and disappointment and liars.  We prefer to pretend these evil elements are not among us — and within us — and the ability for adults to repress inherent danger in the spinning world is what particularly places children in a purposeful peril.

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Curse of Old Men: More Creepy than Funny

Unlike women, as men age, there’s a tendency to stigmatize our awful attempts at humor by branding us “creepy” or “perverted” or “just gross.”  Plant an unfunny line on a 20-year-old guy and a teenaged woman might giggle, while the same line said by a guy over 60, to the same young teen, begets the world breaking apart as the whole tone and timbre of the conversation changes to a perceived perversion.

Why is that?

Is there always some sort of unspoken sexual underpinning to every male-to-female interaction that cannot be denied or generationally negotiated?  Why doesn’t the curse cut the opposite way against older women who are labeled creepy and perverted in the same condition?

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Microaggressions: Microassaults, Microinsults and Microinvalidations

Have you heard about “microaggressions” that come in the form of “microassaults” and “microinsults” and “microinvalidations?”  You may not know those totems of pain by their formal names, but I’m certain, at times in your life, you’ve felt their sting and, perhaps, even employed a few of them.

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A Romanov in a Pau Garden: A Glorious Last Moment in Living History

One sunny morning in Pau, one of the neighbors came to take some plants for his garden.  The elderly gentleman in the photograph on the right is Monsieur Romanov — a  descendant of the Romanov family, rulers of Russia from 1613 until the Russian Revolution in 1917.

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The Sexualization of Platonic Business Relationships: How Many Families Do You Need?

I’ve always found it odd when people you work with, or collaborate with, or may work with in the future, use the phrase “getting into bed together” as a business condiment as if to somehow oddly sexualize what is, in fact and deed, a working relationship that is, if anything, asexually platonic by necessity of average function.

I wonder why there is a need to make a business contract a personal and intimate formality in such a dramatic manner.  Private relationships are bound by blood and emotion and decrees of love and passion.  No public business should operate under any of those terms.  I always wonder why that “in bed” phrase is so important for some people to utter during a negotiation or in a team spirit meeting.

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The Nunnery Door

As you know by now, I spent some helping clear out the aged aunts house at Pau.  The upside of this was that I was offered my choice of the goodies on offer — i.e first dibs on the treasure. There was one thing I particularly wanted, and I had the perfect space for it.

The piece looks unassuming — like a tired old door — which it is. In itself, it is an interesting object — showing its history in the layers of paint and the markings where the ornate hinges were once placed. It was recovered by Mr P’s aunt from a derelict nunnery in the south of France.

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