Amazing the counsel online advisers have been offering me lately:
1. From "12 Life Lessons You Can Learn From Jane Austen" (Bill Deresiewicz, HuffPost):
Listening to people's stories is the nicest thing you can do for them. (from Mansfield Park)
A person's story is the most personal thing about them, and paying attention to it is just about the most important thing you can do. Our stories are what make us human, and listening to someone else's stories - entering their feelings, validating their experiences - is the highest way of acknowledging their humanity.
2. From "How to be a MILF" (1) (Sarah Maizes, HuffPost):
Have sex before you go out.
You and your partner plan a nice dinner out: Some wine, a little garlic bread, the linguine and clam sauce special...you following me here? My point is that unless you and your partner agree that nothing is sexier than rolling around with a belly full of carbs, smelling of garlic and clam sauce, it might be nice to have a little "pre-Date" nookie with your partner. And added bonus: you'll feel gigglier and closer all night long.
3. From "18 common phrases to avoid in conversation" (Mary Mitchell, Seattle-based corporate-etiquette expert, RealSimple):
What not to say during a job interview: "My current boss is horrendous."
It's unprofessional. Your interviewer might wonder when you'd start bad-mouthing her. For all you know, she and your current boss are old pals. Instead say: "I'm ready for a new challenge" or a similarly positive remark.
4. From "Five reasons to be concerned your husband is a psychopath" (Jon Ronson, HuffPost):
He was very gallant when you first met him, not so gallant now.
Psychopaths can be very superficially charming. I knew a woman, Mary, who met an extremely gallant man while Internet dating. He was so gallant he'd even walk on the road side of the sidewalk. (I am so ungallant I didn't even know that was a thing. I am not a psychopath.) Mary married her man and he turned out to be a pedophile and a bigamist and a fraudster - a textbook psychopath. Okay, give your husband the benefit of the doubt if the intensity of his gallantry has diminished since the courtship days. That's normal. We can't keep that level up. But if he's replaced the gallantry with being a remorseless, unempathetic bastard, you may have a problem.
5. From "See, I told you so" (David Olive, EB):
Never eat eggs at night, listen to jazz only at night, don't date a woman whose favorite film is ET.
Works for me.
Note: The reference is of course to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the Filipino terrorist group.