Complaints, pt. 1

"women hear complaint as an invitation to move closer, but a man hears it as, 'somehow i have failed, because if i were doing my job you would be happy' "

I jotted this note on a desktop stickie the other day as I was lstening to a podcast put out by the Conscious Relationship Institute. The recording was of one of the weekly tele-seminars that CRI puts on. I've been listening to the podcast versions for over a year now - one of my longer-lived subscriptions. This series is hit or miss, but the hits are REALLY hits and worth wading through the less relevant stuff. In my opinion, anyway...but I dig self-help. So.

The particular hit that I reference above is a discussion with Dr. Pat Love. She's written a few books - I think her most popular is called Hot Monogamy - and she's some kind of relationship expert or something. (With a name like Dr. Love, how could she not be??) (Read her bio here.) RCI has hosted her for several seminars, but with most of these the dialogue goes something like, "Do you have this problem or one of these problems? Well then, you need my book because it has all the answers." A lot of the time, no actual content is delivered. This seminar was different, though, because she discuseed a lot of the content of her latest book, called How to Improve your Marriage without Talking about It (coauthored by some dude named Dr. Steven Stosny, whose bio I didn't look up). I haven't read the book, but I'll be scouting for it in subsequent bookstore adventures.

(Did you notice that every other word in the book title is not capitalized? yeah, me too... anyway.)

It's another gender-difference book, but it doesn't quite take the extreme categorization stance that the Mars/Venus guy does. It also seems to be written with an assumption of an intelligent readership. This brings me to my first rant:

If you've taken the time to poke through my personal library, then you've probably realized that I kinda like to read self-help books, and relationship/family books in particular. I've read quite a few of these, and have only come across a couple that were helpful - and ONE that was worth reading from cover to cover. actually, make that 2. (Fascinating Womanhood, and It's Called a Breakup because It's Broken.) A lot of self-help books are built on a good premise, but ultimately suck. You know why? (I bet you don't, I bet I'm the only goober you know who goes and spends an hour in the self-help section of the book store!) Well let me just tell you. Self-help books usually start off with a bang, and then get exraordinarily tedious, because the authors tend to take an insight or a principle, explain it, and then spend the subsequent 12 chapters applying this principle to every scenario that they could imagine - one application per chapter. Really, most self-help books could be cut in half, with the explication chapters condensed into bullet paragraphs. It isn't that the insights themselves are bad or worn out, they just get so. tired. after. one. or. two. chap. ter. s. My survival tactic (ha! surviving self-help!) is, once I get to the part of the book that talks about issue by issue, chapter by chapter, I just...skip. Pages. Sections. Whole chapters, even. I mean for real tho, once you get it, good Lord you get it!

But I digress.

When Dr. Love said what she said, my ears did a double-take. I listened again. It resonated. And I wrote it down.

More on this later... for now, back to the boxes.