Sunday, November 4, 2007

I'm Thankful for...Perceptiveness

If you're like me (and I think you are), nothing irks you more than unqualified "professionals" spouting advice about subjects of which they have limited knowledge. Like a teenage babysitter giving parenting tips. Or Oprah Winfrey giving pointers on how to live on a shoestring budget. No matter their good intentions, these "professionals" simply can't relate.

For this reason, I am always reticent to give advice on anything other than the proper way to ice a squirrel. (Trust me--those buggers have it coming!) I'm also leery of taking advice from strangers. Unless you're Bob Ross, don't even try to tell me how to paint happy little clouds. I won't listen.

I read an article yesterday that caught my eye. It was called "Surprising Love-Life Boosters", and was written by a woman named Margot Carmichael Lester, "self-proclaimed verbal tycoon".

Excuse me a moment while I resort to snark.

Verbal tycoon? That's an apt label. She writes articles on everything from writing to architecture to relationships to religion to education to...

Blah blah blah blah blah.

Are you familiar with the term "jack of all trades, master of none"?

That's not to say an individual can't have knowledge in a wide variety of subjects. But having read the article, I feel totally qualified to declare Margot Carmichael Lester a prolific windbag.

Consider these pointers on how to improve your relationship:

1. Get a pet.
Great idea. Husband is emotionally absent. Wife is a nag. Things are going downhill fast, so one resorts to looking up articles online to fix the gaping hole where love used to be. What a fantastic home that would make for Fido! He'll be the miracle cure, just like a child or an expensive sports car would be. Good call, MCL!

2. Cook together.
Know why this won't work? If one or the other liked to cook, they'd be in the kitchen doing it already. If the other avoids it like the plague, chances are it doesn't appeal. It equates to scrubbing toilets to get in the mood. Maybe that does it for you... I won't judge.

3. Volunteer together.
Let me make it clear, I am not knocking volunteering. I am knocking it as a romance-building exercise. If you go into it thinking your partner is going to see you in a different light (like a backlight haloing you in an ethereal glow), let me remind you of all the times he/she has seen you flip off hobos.

4. Hula hoop.
Yes, it really says that.

5. Go stag.
Hey, she's 1 for 5! This I agree with. Couples must cultivate their own interests and hobbies, and time apart is just the way to do that. Could she be turning this thing around?

6. Meditate together.
Nope. Communal meditation? I have three words for you: Damn. Dirty. Hippies.

7. Read together.
Great. If you and your significant other share the same taste in reading material. Not so great if, say, one of you likes chick lit, and the other likes operating manuals for the robotic arms on chemical reactors. (Not that I'd know anyone else who could relate to that.) Listening to my husband read is like nails on a chalkboard. His monotone rendition of "Cat in the Hat" not only puts my son to sleep, it has me nodding, too. Him listening to me read from one of my books would put him in a catatonic stupor. So, I don't ever see it happening.

So, what do you think? Does Margot have the right of it, or is she a know-nothing blabbermonkey?

Whose advice do you detest most in the world?


meleah rebeccah said...

Verbal Tycoon....My Ass.

However your commentary knocking her ideas down was HILARIOUS.

Thanks for the laughs!

Foo said...

Whose advice do I hate most? "Dr." Phil, hands down. The mere sound of his sanctimonious, opportunistic drawl makes my eyes bleed.

Heather, Queen of Shake-Shake said...

See, this is why I talk about farts so much.

I know ALL about those.

Mike said...

I'm gonna go with talk show hosts, especially radio ones. These are people whose job it is to come up with things to say each day. Unsurprisingly, most of those things are meritless.

Emma Sometimes said...

I like Dr. Phil (foo, I say :p~ hehehe). Dr Phil tells it like it is. The idiots on his show, though?

Dr. Spock irks the desitin out of me, he was the know it all when it came to raising children and then recanted his methodology before he died.

Dr. Atkins ANYTHING....the man died clinically obese at 6ft and 258lbs, after a fall (speculated due to heart attack/stroke) do you think his diet advice was anything worth reading or doing?

newnorth said...

lol. I love number six. The three words, hahaha.

I hate anyone's advice that goes against whatever I really want to do.

Avery Gray said...

Meleah--thanks, sweetie!

Foo--you don't like Dr. Phil? How's that workin' for ya?

Heather--I come to you for all my fart related queries. You are the authori-tay!

Mike--you mean I shouldn't flash my boobs just because Howard Stern tells me I should? But he's on the radio! And I do have impressive boobs.

Emma--oh, here here! Dr. Spock, what with his "attachment parenting" BS! What a load of malarkey. And Atkins? Don't get me started!

Newnorth--spoken like...well, me! ;o)

Fooferoo said...

Oprah! I think she left planet Earth 3 billion dollars ago.

Avery Gray said...

Fooferoo--Shannon and I think you need to start a blog. It's not like you have anything else to do, right?

Bec said...

Thanks to this article I have several, seemingly unrelated, comments to make.

Firstly. Cooking together is GREAT. If you've had a really bad day it's so easy to let off steam! It's just a simple matter of a little burn here, a flying knife there. Boy do you feel better after cooking together!

Secondly, hey! I meditate! Secondly p1 meditating together is akin to going on a a movie. You might be together, but your attention is so not on each other.

Thirdly, do you think this Margot woman has ever actually had a relationship?

Kimberly said...

Oh Avery, that was brilliant! I loved how you cleverly slammed every chunk of spewy advice. I want to cheer, seriously I do.

Avery Gray said...

Bec--you're right. If you enjoy doing those things together, they're great. My point (though I don't think I made it well) was if you like those things, you're probably already doing them. Know what I mean?

Kimberly--thank you, my dear. You're making me blush!

Deb said...

"... seen you flip off hobos."

You have just made my entire week with that one line.

I detest my mother-in-law's advice the most.

Lilacspecs said...

I dislike Dr. Phil because his degree is in neuropsychology (in other words, he has never been, nor is he currently a CLINCIAL psychologist and should not portray himself as such). Whose advice don't I like....hrm...pretty much anyone who makes there decisions or dictates what others should do based on any kind of religion.

Sorry, I'm sort of one of those liberal, damn dirty hippies...I bathe and I'm too allergic to nature to hug a tree, but for the most part I'm a left-swinging agnostic (raised Jewish, but against organized religion).

R said...

Love it.

I um, don't like taking advice from my neighbor. She drives me crazy, really, and she thinks she knows everything. Especially how Sagitariuses are so selfish, and then I tell her that I am one, and she says that it doesn't count because I am a girl and I am not the "norm". I can tell her that Astrology is a bunch of junk, but she will come back with, "oh, yeah, I know."

Dear Sir and I could read together, he reads wonderfully out loud. But volunteer together?!? The glow?!? I was laughing at that....when things are going bad I think all of us fanciful women hope that our man will drop his shovel when he sees this sparkling beauty of his wife as she is digging a hole next to him. He will seize her and kiss her as he did when they were dating, and the rest will be history. Love is sparked once again. The reality of it is that while the kiss is going on we will think about how bad his breath is, how we noticed he used mouthwash instead of actually brushing his teeth this morning in a rush to get out the door to volunteer, and the magic is suddenly gone.

J. Anthony Holloway said...

I just suggested to my wife that we scrub the toilets together...but she just handed me the brush and said "I'll be in shortly. You go ahead and get started."

Thanks for the laughs!

Avery Gray said...

Deb--I'm so with you on the MIL thing! You have no idea!!!

Lilac--you're a damn dirty hippy? That makes me sad. :o( I was just getting to know you, and now I have to shun you. ;o)

R--your neighbor sounds like a nutjob. My kinda people.

Tony--I like your wife!

Nap Warden said...

Number five is the only one we do...As far as who's advice I hate, gotta be the Mother in law...crazy! Does that count?

Mike said...

Avery, oh dear god, that is NOT what I meant to convey. Let it never be said that I discouraged a woman from showing her breasts. Of course you should flash your boobs!

Edge said...

I miss that dude who paints. You had to have guts to be white have an afro and paint clouds and talk like you just hit acid.


Lizzi said...

How is it even remotely possible that I don't have you in my Google reader?? And your son makes an awesome Optimus Prime too!

QZ~Ba Doozie said...

Well I'm pretty sure my advice is stellar. I advise on anything from good toilet cleaning products to how to shake a clingtard in 2 days or less. check one two...the mike is a back up mike right here....and they ain't takin no flack. no..I make no sense. I'm braindead

Regan Blair said...

Oh, Avery. If you could see the tears of laughter running down my cheeks! I definitely hate taking advice from the evil MIL, the sound of her voice sends me scurrying for my nearest hidey- hole.

Anyone who is clearly clueless on any subject (but especially writing) trying to give me advice, as if they have a damn Phd in English Lit, makes me just want to screeeech.


Jennifer said...

Meh, I don't like Dr. Phil anymore after hearing the inside scoop on how his show is run and the audience stacked. He's Hollywood. :-P

loveyh said...

Stacked or not, Dr. Phil is my man. Those Judge Judy-esque shows--bleh. Just cuff 'em and stuff 'em.

Advice I detest: hmmm....does the Deadliest Catch mean anything to you??

Redneck Nerdboy! said...

You actually found a Bob Ross video! Haha! I love that guy's afro.

So let's see. My wife and I should probably hula hoop instead of paying rediculous sums of money we don't have to a therapist, huh?

Life can be so easy if we just let it!

Avery Gray said...

Warden--ugh! MILs! Ugh!

Mike--okay, but just for you.

( o )( o ) Impressed?

Edge--Bob Ross, RIP! He is missed!

Lizzi--I don't know. I made it a requirement! ;o)

Doozer--your pop culture references astound me! I salute you!

Regan--MILs are quite the recurring theme, aren't they?!

Jennifer--I haven't heard the scoop! Where can I find the scoop?

Lovey--yeah, but not much. ;o)

RNNB--love your name! Yes, as I often say, "Hula it out, bitch!" Works every time.

Mike said...

No! So... so... so two-dimensional!

Avery Gray said...

Ha! I don't think I've been called flat in... uh, ever! ;o)

cate said...

pfft...the things people will do to make a buck. does this lady actually believe the crap she's spouting????

Fooferoo said...

Avery, actually I have a blog with all the "nothing else to do" time I have. I thought clicking on my name linked to my blog...guess not. I'll work on that.


Pinky said...

Avery, not that you need anymore comments here, you comment hog!...but I SWERAR you must write a book and capture all of this insanity! You'd make a fortune and never have to wait on another washer repairman again- just go buy another!

Bec said...

I don't think I explained very well.

Cooking together is great, particularly when your shitted off with your partner. It's amazing how a few small "accidents" can make you feel SO much better ;)

belle said...

The advice I most detested receiving? That prize has to go to my daughter's Year 5 (ages 9-10) teacher. At the grand old age of 22 with no personal experience and only the professional experience of a newly qualified primary school teacher she spouted forth parenting advise. I didn't take it well. Actually I took it very badly. Suffice to say she started the hyperventilate in anticipation of our next meeting.

btw - would love to link you on my blog. Would that be ok?