Relationship Advice

So, women, do you know how the overwhelming majority of men is not brought up to be able to name and process their emotions? And that 98 out of 100 men automatically look to women to tell them what they feel and what to do with it? Because having a vagina somehow magically qualifies one to be an expert on emotions?

OK, if you know this, then I’m sure you realize why it’s a bad idea to say to a man things like “You don’t love me,” “You don’t even care about me,” “You are so insensitive,” etc. No matter how he really feels, he probably believes you are a much greater authority on feelings than he is. So he might just end up believing you.

I made this mistake once. I started with the “You don’t love me” thing not because I believed it but because I wanted reassurance. I knew the guy loved me to bits, so I wanted to get him into an enjoyable “Yes, I do. – No, you don’t. – Yes, I do” exchange. Instead, though, the poor creature looked completely devastated and decided he’s not even capable of love if what he’s feeling is not considered love by the Great Expert on Feelings, aka me.

It is so much more productive to switch to “You are a very sensitive person,” “You love me so much, “I can see how much you care.” Even if it’s not true, he is more than likely to end up believing it.

The Sarcophagus in the Red Square

It’s like Putin is trying to freak everybody out on purpose. I’m sure you are familiar with the following famous image of the Spasskaya Tower of the Kremlin:

As the clock strikes 12 on the most important night of the year (the New Year’s eve), the people of Russia and the Russian-speaking immigrants all stare at this image.

But this year, the famous tower looks like this:

There is a whole variety of conspiracy theories explaining that scary sarcophagus. My theory is that Putin wanted people to concentrate on something even uglier than him during the festive season. And he is succeeding.

Consumerist Birds

When I filled my bird-feeder with the expensive $2-per-pound bird-seed, I had crowds of birds visiting the feeder. 

But when I ran out and filled it with the cheaper $0,99-per-pound seed, birds refused to come. 

This is society of consumer at its worst. Even birds understand brands and despise the cheaper offerings. Maybe I should put a copy of Naomi Klein’s book outside. These spoiled birds might be interested.

Five Great Jews

The great Jew #1 was King Solomon. He said, “The most important part of a human being is this” and pointed to his head.

The great Jew #2 was Jesus. He said, “The most important part of a human being is this” and pointed to his heart.

The great Jew #3 was Karl Marx. He said, “The most important part of a human being is this” and pointed to his belly.

The great Jew #4 was Sigmund Freud. He said, “The most important part of a human being is this” and pointed to his genitals.

The great Jew #5 was Albert Einstein. He listened to the other four guys and said, “You know, folks, it’s all relative.”

Penis or Family Jewels?

A conversation with a senior colleague:

Clarissa: Do you remember this play we saw last year?

Colleague: No, what play?

Clarissa: The one with a penis!

Colleague: I have no idea what you are talking about. What was the play’s title?

Clarissa: I don’t remember the title but there was a naked guy in the play. With a penis!

Colleague: Who was the author, then?

Clarissa: I don’t know. I just remember the penis.

Colleague: Oh, was that the play where we bought jewelry during the intermission?

Clarissa: I don’t know from jewelry. The penis is all I retained from the play.

Colleague: Yes, that was some really cool jewelry.

Perfect People and a Sense of Humor

So yesterday we finished watching the movie Nine Queens in the two sections of my language course. One of the sections enjoyed the film. People laughed, one student clapped, another student made enthusiastic “woo-hoo” noises, everything went great.

In the other section, however, as the credits started to roll, I perceived a gathering tension.

“What could possibly be wrong now?” I wondered. “There is no sex, no nudity, no politics, and there’s a happy ending. Why are the students uncomfortable?”

“So did you like the movie?” I asked.

“Nah. . .”, was the response.

“Why didn’t you like it?”

“We thought Juan was a good person but he turned out to be dishonest.”

“Well, the only person he tricked was a con man who had hurt a lot of people,” I tried to argue.

“But he lied,” the students drawled.

“He only wanted to restore to a young woman and her teenage brother the inheritance that was rightfully theirs.”

“But he lied.”

“And he was desperate to help his elderly father,” I persevered.

“BUT HE LIED!” the students chanted.

So now I’m looking for a movie where fully clothed angelical human beings go around being perfect all the time. Any suggestions?

P.S. No, I’m not inventing these stories. If I had that kind of imagination, I’d already be a bestselling author.

Choose Your Religion

I consulted this great chart I found at Hattie’s web, and it suggested to me that I should be a Jehova’s witness:

All I know about Jehova’s Witnesses is that they distribute little books with creepy-looking kids, so that did not attract me. I decided to pretend that I was indifferent to bacon and the chart told me I should be a Muslim. Of course, I could give up hummus, too, and become a Jew, but life without both bacon and hummus looks bleak. So Islam it is for me.

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

Have you considered him who calls the judgment a lie?
That is the one who treats the orphan with harshness,
And does not urge (others) to feed the poor.
So woe to the praying ones,
Who are unmindful of their prayers,
Who do (good) to be seen,
And withhold the necessaries of life.

Can anybody disagree with these beautiful words?

A Funny Teaching Story

I know you like them. 🙂

We are practicing irregular verbs in the Preterite (those who have taken Spanish know what a pain in the behind those verbs are) when a student suddenly explodes.

Student: I don’t understand how everybody else is just guessing these conjugations!

Clarissa: They aren’t guessing, Andrew. They are consulting pages 267-8.

Student: Pages 267-8 where?

Clarissa: In the textbook.

Student: How did everybody just know that they had to look at pages 267-8?

Clarissa: It was our homework for today.

Student: Our homework? Where do I find the homework? Do you post it online somewhere?

Clarissa: It’s in the syllabus.

Student: Oh, the syllabus. . . I had no idea I was supposed to keep it. Do you have an extra copy?


It’s finally snowing.

All year long, I wait for this magical moment when I will be sitting in the study at night, blogging and looking at the snowflakes dancing in the street-light. I’m a Northern cold- and snow-loving person who is stuck in this tropical climate of Southern Illinois.

And then every day people show extreme insensitivity by saying to me, “Wonderful weather! It is so sunny and warm!”

Yes, 65F in February makes total sense. It’s like they are rubbing it in or something. I have these beautiful red boots that I bought to wear in winter. And I haven’t even taken them out of the closet yet. It’s February 8th! And I’m walking around in a short-sleeved dress and the same shoes I wore in August.

But it’s finally snowing and I’m planning to stay up all night to avoid losing even a second of it. Now I will go outside and walk in the snow. In the middle of the night. Listening to the sounds it makes as it falls and feeling it cover my hair, my face, my hands.

I know that talking about weather is boring but I’m suffering here and I needed to share. Feel free not to comment.

P.S. Have you ever walked barefoot in the snow? It’s exhilarating, people. Orgasmic. And no, it doesn’t make you sick. It makes you healthy. This is an old remedy for sickly people.