39: Not everyone grieves in the same way. Some throw themselves into work, others throw themselves into bed, others make jokes. It is not up to the jokers to refrain from joke-making and succumb to self-pity for the sake of those who want to be upset any more than it is up to those who want to be upset to join in joke-making. In these types of offenses, the fault is more with the offended than with the offender.
40: One man’s friendly is another man’s creepy, and one man’s respectful is another man’s cold.
41: The average male does not understand that when a woman complains, she is not (usually) looking for a solution to her problems (usually she can solve them herself). Rather, she is looking for affirmation of her feelings and to strengthen the bond of companionship by confronting a common problem together. The worst thing one can do is to belittle her for complaining. Her behavior is not irrational; it is merely arational. Men do not understand this phenomenon even though they often do the exact same thing themselves and have much the same emotional needs. Men are stupid.
42: I’ve heard it said that men bond side-to-side while women bond face-to-face, but the very nature of social bonding requires a subject to bond over – either a common interest or goal. Bonding cannot happen in a vacuum. A social bond is meaningless without an environment. Thus, all bonding is “side-to-side.”
43: It is no hero that arranges for the calamity that necessitates the heroic act, whether by outright villainy or imprudent risk-taking. One must be thrust into the situation without choice. The heroic impulse can never be truly satisfied without a little bad luck. One’s purpose can never come from oneself. Likewise, the desire to be loved can never be truly satisfied by any conscious action to encourage it, whether by outright manipulation of the other or even by merely being on one’s “best behavior” if unnatural. It is not love that which is not given freely.
44: Some people spontaneously find themselves romantically interested in another and focus on the other. Some other people find themselves desiring romance first and then actively seek and screen candidates to fulfill their own desires. It is only natural – indeed, a good thing – to desire companionship and intimacy, but to seek out these things is to rob them of the greatest part of their essence. To meet another on a date for the purpose of discovering interest when no interest previously exists places awkward and cumbersome expectations onto the relationship.
45: Few get married anymore. They move in together, sleep together, and have children, becoming effectively married. At the same time, few just date anymore. They hop from one exclusive relationship to another with almost no time in between to meet multiple people or for people to meet them. This makes it difficult for those who are single to find other available singles to date, leaving some perpetually single and tempting others to move in on what might be effective marriages.
46: We are all part-time asexuals. People spend time working, eating, sleeping, driving, and shopping. During these times, they (usually) do not have sex. Yet, to be merely single (let alone a committed celibate) in some places today is considered to be almost as shocking as is being a homosexual is in some other places.
47: Very few suggest that divorce should be illegal, but many recognize that a union carrying an expiration date from its inception is not a true marriage. Very few suggest that promiscuity among consenting adults should be illegal, but many recognize that a union of more than two individuals is not a true marriage either. Very few suggest that homosexual relationships should be illegal, but when it comes to whether homosexual unions are true marriages, we cannot seem to agree. It is one of the great debates of our time.
48: Explaining the inherently heterosexual nature of romantic love to a homosexual is like explaining color to a blind man, except of course, that when claiming the existence of color, nobody ever accuses us of being blindophobic.
49: People kiss in public restaurants, and nobody thinks anything of it. People tell dirty jokes at work every day and nobody even thinks of it as sexual harassment. Men and women alike pose for group photos while grasping another’s breasts, and display them publicly on Facebook. The few who complain put the photos on the news, only succeeding in increasing the segment of the public to see them, even while decrying such behavior. Even family sitcoms portray sexually allusive situations and dialogue, and there is no hint of suggestion for censorship. We live in a society with a high tolerance for what is considered by most sexually charged behavior in public. Yet at the same time, the mere human body – something we all have every one of us all the time every moment of the day, are born with and therefore already quite familiar with (even as children) – is considered so harmful simply to look at from afar that we make it illegal in public, censor it on television, and cry out for someone to “protect the children.”
50: Lips are the primary organs used in kissing, an activity commonly associated with romantic entanglements, yet they are not considered sexual organs. Hands may caress, and eyes may gaze, but neither hands nor eyes are considered especially sexual either. In contrast, breasts – the primary purpose of which is to nourish the young – are considered “sexual” organs.
51: A woman confident enough to strut around in a bikini at the beach, covering a mere three percent of her surface area, closely fitting her form so as not to obscure her outline, and leaving literally nothing to the imagination (as if women don’t all have the same parts), can still be very shy about removing the remaining three percent. It is one of the most terrifically inexplicable inconsistencies of the female psyche.
52: One can often call more attention to something by conspicuously hiding it than by freely displaying it. This is especially true of the human body, as any visitor to the beach can attest. One might think the whole purpose of swimsuits is not to protect us from suggestion, but rather to be as suggestive as possible.
53: When a woman poses nude to impress others with her looks it is labeled pornography and discouraged, but when a woman poses in a bright dress, lipstick, and jewels to impress others with her looks it is labeled classy and encouraged. On the other hand, when a man does either of these things it is labeled really, really weird.
54: To harass or deride another for dressing differently is called bullying – unless of course the victim isn’t dressed at all, in which case it’s called “taking a stand for decency.” Self-expression is considered important and encouraged – unless of course one expresses himself using only himself (or herself).
55: Everyone is abnormal. There are so many different attributes upon which people differ that to be within the normal range on every one of them is itself highly abnormal. Often, our evaluation of others as unusual tells more about which attributes we consider important and unimportant than it does about the true, objective measure of weirdness of the other.
56: To attach a name or label to one’s set of behaviors as the symptoms of an officially recognized medical condition can bring either comfort or despair - comfort even in the absence of any treatment or cure, and despair even with shifting the blame from the individual onto the disorder. Knowing someone has a condition can cause others to be patient with them, or it may cause others to dismiss their concerns as illegitimate more easily.
57: We live in a society wherein when one is rude, obnoxious, or makes stupid mistakes, we forgive them and tell ourselves that they are victims suffering from alcoholism, aspberger’s, senility, low intelligence, attention deficit disorder, homosexuality, or some other “mental disorder.” However, when others rudely make the mistake of calling them on their obnoxious behavior, forgiveness is unavailable and no name is given the mental condition of being a jerk (yet).
58: We live in a society wherein violent bombings in the name of Allah incite some preacher to burn the Koran and then we blame the preacher for inciting violence. We live in a society wherein government overreach and harassment (with implied threat of violence for non-compliance) incites the Tea Parties to speak out, and then we blame the Tea Parties for inciting violence. Is anyone responsible anymore?
59: Let people walk all over you and even your admirers will lose respect. Stand up for yourself, and you will be accused of being argumentative, pushy, short-tempered, vengeful, and possibly even charged with threatening someone. There is no happy medium. There is only an overlap area wherein you will be walked all over AND perceived as threatening.
60: There is no amount of punishment possible to deter someone from killing or injuring another when they perceive it as self-defense. When under the threat of bodily harm, what the law or the community will think of one’s actions later is the last thing on one’s mind.
61: Aspberger's is the new drapetomania.
62: Some people are made more tractable by yelling at them. At least as many people aren’t.
63: As bad as your shameful secrets being broadcast to the world is, it is far worse when others know you are ashamed of them.
64: No matter how bad it gets or how long it lasts, there is always hope of a better tomorrow. Believing this helps to get us through. However, by the thousandth time or so, this idea ceases to have any effect and no amount of reason or vigorous meditation will lift our despair one nanometer. Positive thinking has limits. Eventually, one has to have a genuine solution.
65: There is no way to control one's thoughts. To do so requires that we sense the thought coming that we want to avoid in order to avoid it, and to sense a thought coming is to think of it already. Positive thinking works only to remind us of why we needed it in the first place.