Writers tend to be solitary, introverted people, quietly weaving stories, and breathing life into imaginary characters who become real. For many, the thought of co-authoring a book is a nightmare not visited, and for good reason, as this professor discovered when he paired his students for an exercise in ‘tandem writing.’
After reading this, I’ll never think about co-authoring the same way again. Hop over to The Federalist Papers to read Jason W. Stevens’ post about this sometimes disastrous form of writing in all of its humorous glory!
It’s here at last! The day of romance and wonder. The day girls often dread because their clueless boyfriends/husbands always buy them something they hate. The day guys dread because they can’t figure out what to buy and are running around the mall in panic mode. This isn’t an exhaustive list, because there isn’t enough room on the entire internet for ALL the bad Valentine’s Days gifts that exist. So here’s some of what I found:
Gift Cards – nothing says “I forgot” more than a gift card.
Costume Jewelry – if it turns her finger or ears green, it wasn’t a good idea.
T-Shirts with tacky lingerie drawn on it. A drawing of a voluptuous, naked woman with big ta-tas isn’t any better. Trust me.
Small Appliances – never good unless she loves to cook and specifically asks for something. Otherwise, it’s just something to make her work more, and it will take up space in a closet, OR you’ll wind up using it yourself.
Gym Membership – “What? You think I’m fat?” Then she’ll cry, and you’ll find yourself sleeping on the sofa for more than a few nights over this faux pas.
Red Roses, a Box of Assorted Chocolates, and a Stuffed Animal – how predictable can you be? Roses aren’t the only flowers on the planet and some of those boxes of chocolates don’t taste very good. If you can find (even online) a good place to buy candy she DOES like, you’ll hit one out of the ballpark! And the stuffed animal? Don’t EVEN go there.
Padded Panties and Push-Up Bras – it’s as bad as a gym membership. They sort of go together. We women know–we KNOW that eventually the cute butt of our younger years will one day be knocking on the back of our knees. We also KNOW that our once perky ta-tas will sink south, as well. What we DON’T want is you reminding us.
Nothing. Probably the worst of them all. She’ll think you don’t care enough to even try. After all, you’ve known for 364 days that February 14th would eventually show up on the calendar.
Now, before the guys get mad because I haven’t mentioned them, I WILL say that it often seems harder to buy for the man in your life since the whole holiday seems geared toward women. That said, here are a few things that might be a HUGE turn off for guys:
Gift Cards – again? Yeah, it’s just not romantic. Sorry.
Stuffed Animals – ditto for guys. He won’t be caught dead with one of those cutesy, dust catchers in his bedroom.
If a woman screams at the thought of a Gym Membership–ladies, don’t turn around and buy your guy a Self Help Book to help him do ANYTHING! Don’t help him get organized, or to become a better communicator or to help him get in touch with his feminine side. If you do, it’ll find a happy home under the stuffed animal you bought him last year and eventually disappear into the round file.
A Tattoo with your name. Funny how guys live to regret that one!
A Gift Basket of Grooming Products – just like women and their sagging everything, men don’t want to be reminded that, not only is their hair disappearing from the top of their heads at an alarming rate, but it’s growing out their noses and ears. If he doesn’t do body hair removal, don’t think for one moment that having all the tools to make it happen will–uh, make it happen. Resist the urge to include tongue scrapers, bald head wipes, and breath freshener. Remember, you have 364 other days of the year to talk about hygiene. Valentine’s Day isn’t that day. And while you’re at it, ditch the gift basket. Even filling it with manly tools, knives, guns, and boxes of ammo won’t hide what it really is–a gift basket!
Video Games – if your guy is already spending too much time killing zombies, why would you give him a gift will cause him to spend even MORE time away from you? Might as well shoot yourself in the foot. Unless, of course, you love killing zombies, too.
A Tie – I learned this one the hard way a looooooong time ago. I don’t buy my husband clothing items of ANY kind. He always returns them. Ties are also on the so predictable list. He gets one from his mother. He gets one from his grandmother. He gets yet another one from his sister. Beware predictable!
Nothing – most men I’ve known don’t seem to mind if they don’t get anything. Maybe deep down they want to be remembered and we should let them know how much they mean to us. And the Golden Rule would seem to apply here. Ladies, if you want to be remembered on Valentine’s Day, then DO some remembering of your own.
Most of all, don’t buy any combination of the above items. It will only end in tears for her and frustration for him. She’ll be alone for the day while he goes off with his friends to drown his sorrow in beer and games of pool.
Instead, enjoy the day and enjoy each other’s company. That’s what it’s really about. Loving and being loved. There’s no gift under heaven that can truly express what it means to have a special someone in your life. Tell them today. Don’t wait.
This e-mail was sent to me and I just thought there were so many amazing photos, I must share it with you:Thank you to all of those unknown photographers, and to all the guys who participated in these daring feats! No wonder women live longer than men. Wishing you a relaxing Sunday!
Or . . . My Tongue In Cheek Ode to the First Month of the Year
There’s only one thing that bothers the fire out of me every year. You see, it’s January 31st. The last day of the month. One-twelfth of the year gone. But, January is also evil. Sure it’s the first month of the year, a time for renewal and resolutions, indoor games, hot cocoa with marshmallows, and the month of white sales (a tradition that began in 1878; all sheets were white back then), but it’s still evil, and I’ll tell you why. Our objective to keep everyone in the family healthy during the month of January failed. Again. For the eleventh–11th, ELEVENTH!–January in a row, we got sick. Colds. Runny noses. Coughs.
One year it was strep throat. Another year, it was an intestinal bug. Usually colds–but it’s always something. We were close–so close to making this an illness free month. It didn’t happen. January is evil. We fear January.
January doesn’t seem to be kind to anyone. Bitter cold. Winter blizzards. Shoveling snow. Red noses and cheeks. More shoveling snow. Vehicles sliding amuck on icy roads. Still more shoveling snow. People fighting back with cups of hot cocoa, tea, and toddies in front of crackling fires. And bowls of hot soup. Now, I love snow–don’t get me wrong. Winter is my favorite season of the year.
When I was growing up, we had one winter storm that dumped more snow than I’d ever seen. The wind howled around the house and the temperature sank t0 -20 degrees F below zero. The wind chill was -60 degrees F below zero. We had sparkling icicles as thick as my wrist hanging like a curtain from the roof. Which proves that January has crystalline fangs and is out to get us.
On the other hand, maybe 12 is a lucky number. Maybe we won’t get sick next January.