"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The view from the Big Comfy Chair.

I once told a co-worker that my perfect job would be to sit in a big, comfy chair and give people my opinion all day, to which he replied, "Apart from the big, comfy chair, what would be the difference?" It's true, although I don't see it as giving my opinion, I just view it as sharing the information I have tucked into my gray matter.

And I have a lot of info in my gray matter. I can't help but remember stupid bits of flotsam and jetsam that are only useful on a game show. It's possible, if I don't open my mouth and share some of this trivia, my brain cells might overload and shut all my circuits down, so I open my mouth often to let some of the data escape.

We wouldn't want my brain to implode, would we?

One area where I do not venture with advice is romance. Honestly, I don't know how people get together, why they stay together, and especially, why they "part amicably." If you're not throwing the good china at your soon-to-be ex-partner, why are you breaking up?

I just saw a commercial for one of those dating services (okay, I'll be brave – it was eHarmony), where one of the men looks into the camera and says, "The questionnaire really takes the work out of finding someone."

Work? You mean, the work involved in talking to people, making friends with them, finding out if you have anything in common, falling in love? Listen, Buddy, I got a shocker for you: if you think dating is work, you are in no shape for marriage.

I have a great marriage; we have complimentary personalities, we treat our partnership as a team, and we treat each other with respect. That being said, we still work at not running over each other in the driveway because he won't put his socks in the hamper and I find excuses for not wanting to go to the Dodgers game.

It's a good thing I write a humor column and not an advice column. Otherwise, I'd be telling people things like this:

Dear Miss Taken,

My girlfriend just dumped me for the second time. I'm miserable. The first time she broke up with me, I was sad and weepy and sat around, strumming my guitar and singing EMO songs. This time, I'm just mad and want to hit people with my guitar. Is this normal?

Sad, Mad & Feeling Had

* * * * * *

Dear SMFH,

No, it's not normal. Why were you expecting normal from a relationship? There's nothing normal about them. They rip out your heart, rub salt in the wound and feed it back to you with sour milk. You want normal? Join a monastery. Oh, and leave that girl alone. Being dumped twice should have taught you something, or you're also the biggest moron on the planet.

Miss Taken

As you can see, my advice to the lovelorn could result in the end of marriage, the annihilation of the planet, and would really mess up my comfy chair.

How about you? Do you like to give advice, or take it?


Enid Wilson said...

LOL, Gayle, I think you will do great as Aunt Agony because most people who write to newspapers or magazines do not follow the advice. They will go left when you tell them to go right.

Bargain with the Devil

Alexis Grant said...

Ha! Like you, I only give advice when I actually know what I'm talking about... Or know at least more than the person who's asking.

Patricia Stoltey said...

The older we get, the better our advice should be. Unfortunately, the crankier we get as well. Nothing like a daily dose of advise from a cranky old woman. Just ask my husband.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I mean, a daily dose of advice. Darn trifocals...

Gayle Carline said...

Patricia, you crack me up! I wear bifocals now, including bifocal contacts. The doctor tried to get me to wear graduated lenses, which I thought sounded like glasses for the highly educated. Turns out, they're for people who like the constant feeling of nausea from trying to find that "sweet spot" in the lenses where they can see the road while driving. At least, that's my opinion.

Marvin D Wilson said...

LMAO! Loved this post. Advice? I'll take it with a grain of salt, and I'll give it ONLY when asked and then with a heavy dallop of sugar. :)

The Old Silly

Ali said...

This just made me laugh so hard. You have a wonderful sense of humor. And yes, unless someone's breaking the china--why *are* you breaking up?

Personally, I give wonderful advice. I always try to inject a bit of humor, if I can. Things are better with laughter.

Great blog post. :-)

dino martin peters said...

Gayle, I think you would do great pontificatin' sittin' on a great big chair....to answer your question, I don't believe in givin' advice 'cause if I can't get my life together, how can I expect to help someone else gets their's together either...I believe in listenin' and lettin' people find answers to their own questions...

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