A Bastion of Good Advice

It’s a word! And not to be confused with another of similar sound (most of the time).

Late in my daughter’s senior year, I was given the task of sharing advice as she headed to college. I believe I offered sound, excellent advice that is good for anyone who is forced into a new situation.

I humbly submit my advice:



The best way to deal with the problems of life after high school by sharing them with intimate friends.  Making friends who won’t

a) drag you down,  or

b) be a complete time and emotional drain.

This can be hard.

Your mother isn’t good at these things, so I’m going to give you some advice that has helped me through many new beginnings.  First, you have to identify a friend target.  Look for someone with whom you may have things in common and approach cautiously.  Once within range, start a generic conversation.  If you get those initial, warm feelings that they might be suitable as a friend, loosen up and fart.  It doesn’t have to be a chair-rattler – just a little shooter.  If they act startled and remove themselves from your company, they weren’t meant for you.  If they are unfazed or better yet, laugh with you, you might have the makings of a friend.

The next step to further test your friendship is to pick a conspicuous moment about a week later and up the ante with another fart, building some resonance and duration to the effort.  (It would be best to have some broccoli or chili the evening prior to the second salvo to add smell, really testing their resolve.)  If at this point, you haven’t run the poor kid off, you may just have the beginnings of a wonderful friendship – the kind you’ll need to weather the storms of life.


Of course, farting is an allegory for sharing feelings of fear, doubt, uncertainty, homesickness, loneliness, and/or angst. Either will work for this exercise, but farting is by far funnier and more memorable. Think about the stories you’ll have looking back on your very first encounter. Good luck.

Remember we are always here for you, but we know the face you make when you’re gassy.



Now you may consider the other word…

The Key to Relationship Bliss

It’s an odd thing to accept that your daughter’s boyfriend isn’t going away. No, we even got him a Christmas present this year. He’s a fixture. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a good kid and treats her very well. It’s just that I used to be a part of her profile picture and now it’s the two of them. Instead of Daddy the Great, I’m the old guy who barks at them to keep it down at midnight. The transition was sudden.

I knew it had to happen, and I’m actually glad it did. I want all of my girls to grow up and be independent. After all, I have big plans for their rooms when they go. Each will be a strategic part of what I have deemed The Naked Corridor. I figure I will be able to shift locations for weeks without the Crazy Pants Lady trying to cover me up. But I digress.

Odder than her having the boyfriend is that I have now actually given him relationship advice on how to keep my daughter happy. All 20 year-old boys are clueless sometimes (Heck, so are 47 year-olds). He often reminds me of another boy who dipped his toe into several very short relationship pools until he figured out that one must consider how his actions affect the other swimmer before he acts.Bichon maltais blanc assis & coquin sur fond blanc

That’s the key isn’t it? If you want to have a healthy relationship of any kind, you have to consider how every nuance of what you are doing or intend to do will affect the other participant until at some point, that consideration becomes automatic. Oh, I’m not perfect. Just ask LW – she would laugh and tell you many stories of times I have subverted and nearly destroyed our relationship. Twenty-two years of marriage is a testament to her patience, not my consideration. Still, I try.

And so, I gave the young pup my number one tip on making a relationship work. Gather round boys and listen. Here it is. A Pearl of Wisdom sought after by lonely sailors and bachelors for centuries. You all ready?  Put the toilet seat down.

That’s it. It’s so easy, but it is the absolute key to happiness.

You scoff, but think about it. We men navigate life with barely a rational thought in our mind. We get accustomed to routine and tend to expect the world to mold into our flow. As stated before and confirmed by years of experimentation in selfishness, that type of thinking doesn’t work in a relationship with the fairer sex. Sick of cleaning up our mess, our mothers drilled into our heads for years the need to lift the lid until it became routine. We even did it in our sleep (most of the time). When we learn to put the seat back down for the lady who may follow us into the bathroom, we have ceased being senseless drones and started thinking about someone else.

I submit that putting the toilet seat down is the first step toward a life of consideration.

So I told him. Not in a mean way, just in a “You’ll be better off” kind of way. I don’t know if he is permanent. Only time will tell. I like him enough to invest a little bit here and there. He’ll do better with my daughter or future women when he takes to heart this lesson I’ve so graciously bestowed. Plus, if my butt gets wet one more time, I just might have to wring his neck!