Marriage advice for Women: Communication



Before marriage, most couples spend a lot of time together, which as you know, leads to talking. Lots of talking. Enough to send aloft a fleet of hot air balloons for the mass ascension at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, “The World’s Premier Balloon Event.”


Falling in love means finding someone who lives to listen to your every thought, no matter how inane or frankly lame those thoughts are. Having someone hang on your every word as if it were ResQLadder’s 15-foot two-story portable emergency escape ladder with sleeves on chain (now just $128.45) makes you feel important and needed.


After marriage you may find that you send up fewer hot air balloons. In a simile vein, it may seem as if your lover would prefer to stay in the burning building rather than hang on your every word. You have now entered what is known as the “wedding vow” phase of your relationship.


“Give and take” characterizes this type of communication: Would you give me some of your cash? Are you going to take out the garbage? Would you give me some of the cover, all right already? Did you take my towel again? Would you just give me the keys, so I can drive? This question-based form of discourse usually ends with simple wedding-vow type answers: I do, I did, I didn’t, I will, or I won’t.


The hours once spent talking face-to-face or on the phone are repurposed for taking out the garbage, buying groceries, struggling for more of the blanket, and walking through the house naked and dripping wet in search of a clean towel, which by the way, was on the designated towel rack: mine, not yours.


Where once the new couple thought nothing of disturbing the air by vocalizing their thoughts about life, now they may become overly accustomed to certain vibrations in the air and begin to tune them out. Men often lose the ability to hear the higher frequency or pitch associated with women’s air disturbances. This makes starting a conversation more difficult, especially if you have something important that you want to talk about, but you don’t want to bring it up because if your husband truly loved you, he would already know and would admit that he was wrong.


What can be done? First, try changing your pitch. For example, pitch your dishes or other breakable items on an uncarpeted floor. Most men are sensitive to this pitch level and will desire to enter into dialog with you. Commonly, it will cause a husband to ask, “Is anything wrong?” or “Are you upset?”


Rather than expressing your true feelings too soon, which may result in a short conversation and quick resolution, answer, “No. What made you think that?” Then you can infuse the conversation with a sense of playfulness by making your husband guess why you changed your pitch.


If you have break-resistant Corelle dishes, which are not only dishwasher safe, chip resistant, lightweight, stackable and microwave safe, you may eschew* this method. Instead, try slamming drawers or doors. Like sign language, this type of sound language can communicate an infinite variety of messages that jumpstart dialog with your loved one as if you were using Duralast Gold twenty-foot 2 AWG battery booster cables.


Finally, if none of these nonverbal communication methods work, try to find a time when both you and your husband are alone and free from distractions. (Duct tape may be needed.) Sit close to him and cuddle a bit. Look him straight in the eye and lower your voice. Then whisper, “Darling, I’m thinking of becoming a widow.”


Many women notice an almost immediate attentiveness in their husbands after uttering this phrase.


I hope this has helped. And remember: Keep flapping your lips, shaking your hips, and dipping your chips.

  • I have it on good authority that you receive a 15% discount on all Corelle products if you know how to pronounce “eschew.” Use the promo code: yearstricken.


♥   ♥   ♥   ♥   ♥   ♥   ♥   ♥

Photo: By John Boyd [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. Thanks, John. A Boyd in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Doggone Good: Now available!


Since I am irredeemably humble and self-effacing, I have hesitated to let you know that I recently published a cookbook for old people called Doggone Good: Cheap Meals That Will Have You Licking Your Dish!


After surveying at least two websites, including a trek through the, I found that the marketplace is glutted with niche cookbooks, but none target Boomers entering retirement with little or no savings. Few of these people realize that Social Security will eventually go “Boom!” just as their generation did in 1946 when they began popping out. Since I can read, I found out that some time around 2033, the security in Social Security (We are 100% behind you) will literally be completely behind us, and the program will be renamed Social Insecurity. At that time, it will be able to provide just 75% of scheduled benefits. That gave me pause. Like other Boomers, one of my dreams of retirement has included eating on a daily basis.

Then it hit me like a well-thrown Frisbee, I could write a cookbook based on dog food recipes for old people. I felt confident that people would lap it up, and I realized I could achieve three things by publishing such a cookbook: serve my fellow-Boomers, become well-heeled, and slip in gratuitous puns.

Here’s what reviewers are saying:

“Just reading the recipes made me so hungry, I could eat a horse. Imagine how happy I was to realize many of the dishes contain horse meat!”



“After years of swallowing the lies politicians have given me, I didn’t gag once on these dog food recipes. Thank you, Congress!”


If it's good enough for Andy Griffith..

Endorsed by Andy Griffith!

Bonus to my readers!

As a service to my readers, I am including two of the most popular dishes. (Please don’t expect any more free recipes, though. I’m trying to save for my own retirement.)

Whole-y Hamburgers (serves 12)

 1 can Whole Earth Farms canned dog food

1 very large stick or baseball bat (optional)

 Form patties. Cook on a stove if you have electricity or gas. Otherwise, chop down one of your dining room chairs and create a small fire in your backyard. Use the stick or baseball bat to keep away neighborhood dogs.


Alpo Alfredo (serves 24)

1 box of pasta (optional)        1 cup of reconstituted powdered milk (optional)

2 Tbsp. of oil  (optional)        Cheese-flavored Cheetos (to taste) (also optional)

4 tsp. of flour (optional)         1 can of Alpo Chop House dog food (NOT optional)

 Using optional ingredients:

 Cook pasta on stove, or if you don’t have electricity or gas, soak in water overnight. Heat oil in pan or over the small fire in your backyard. Stir in flour until you have a nice roux. Slowly add powdered milk concoction and crushed Cheetos. Place some pasta on each plate along with a generous dollop of Alpo, and pour cheese sauce over top. Buon appetito!

 Without optional ingredients:

 Place Alpo serving in each dish. Sit! Eat! Enjoy!

Hurry! Fetch your copy now!

Send as much money as you can to me at Yearstricken, % Heartbreak Hotel, My faithful companions are standing by to take orders.



According to me, clichés, once très nouveaux, began life as bon mots, lighting up conversations like small flambeaux, small feathers in speakers’ verbal chapeaux, as tasty as escargots. But, alas, alack the day, they grew stale, worn, dim, left as empty shells on the conversationalists’ dinner plate, having had their meat carefully extracted years ago.



The matrix.

According to reliable sources (not me), printers are responsible for the first clichés, French for the stereotype blocks used to make books, pamphlets, and advertisements. Cliché, past participle of clicher, is derived from cliquer, the sound you know in English as “click.” After setting type, printers used pressure or heat to create a copy on heavy paper, plaster of Paris, or felt. They placed this copy, known as a matrix or mat, in a casting box, poured molten metal in, and voila, created a stereotype that could print endless copies of the original.


The stereotype.

The stereotype.


If you’re like me (and if so, please send my condolences to your family), you read that last paragraph and something in you clicked. Cliché, stereotype, casting – are we heading into a post about Hollywood movies? No, not today.



I have a soft spot in my heart for clichés. They remind me of photos of people in Wal-Mart. With a haircut, more clothes, and intensive therapy they would look just fine.


So, without further hellos, or as Shakespeare would surely say, without further ado about nothing, or as so many Americans mistakenly say, without further adieu, here are my suggestions.


At the crack of dawn could be the dawn-crack (much like daybreak) or dawn’s crack. Example: The minute I saw dawn’s crack, I knew it was time to leave. (Note: If your name is Dawn and you visit Wal-Mart, I am not talking about you.)



Few people cry over spilled milk, but many parents cry over spilled red Kool-Aid.



Since people are busier these days than they used to be, help in your hour of need needs to be reduced to your half-hour of need. The internet-addicted could stand by people in their five minutes of need.



We could give last but not least a rest and start using first but not most.



Climbing the ladder of success could be restated for the rich and powerful as stepping on the escalator of success.



The two clichés using “sad” need antonyms. Sad but true provides happy but false, and sadder but wiser gives us happier but stupider. Example: Yearstricken lost hours of her life clicking on links to funny tweets and lolcats, leaving her happier but stupider.



And finally, when people are clearly not worth their weight in gold, we could at least allow that they are worth their weight in aluminum.







Your syllabus for Life Studies 2013


Course  #2013                                     Life Studies                             Instructor: TBA


Required Materials

No materials are provided by the instructor(s), but all materials are required.


Course Description


This course introduces the student to the beauty of sunrises, children’s laughter, and human touch. All students will do an in-depth study of private success and public failure through hands-on experience. Topics covered may include, but are not limited to, falling in love, watching dreams shatter, burping loudly in public, enduring bores, throwing hissy fits, and taking out the garbage. Students will develop and hone the skills of procrastination, denial, acceptance, gratitude, and losing keys. As well, students will test the limits of their patience by working closely with and driving on the same roads with large numbers of blithering idiots. While taking part in various public humiliations, students will pass gas and pass the blame, often simultaneously; laugh inappropriately; cry for no reason; and engage in long conversations with themselves in front of mirrors. Finally, students will create a twelve-month portfolio of words and actions that will become part of their permanent record. NB: This course is a requirement if you plan to take Life Studies Course #2014.


Course Competencies

Upon completion of Life 2013, students will be able to

  • Overlook dirty pots when doing the dishes;
  • Embellish stories of remembered events at social gatherings;
  • Floss religiously for the four weeks prior to and after dental exams;
  • Refrain from slamming on the brakes when followed by tailgaters;
  • Demonstrate growth (probably in the hips);
  • Kill time;
  • Accomplish something;
  • Deepen wrinkles; and
  • Do the Hokey Pokey (because that’s what it’s all about).


Course Expectations

(1)  Attendance

 Plan to attend every day. Attendance, along with breathing, is mandatory if you expect to be successful in this course.  Students who stop breathing at any point within the term will be terminated. Once a student permanently withdraws, he or she cannot be reinstated.


(2)  Quizzes and Tests

Pop quizzes and major tests will occur throughout the course, willy-nilly, when you least expect it and at the most inconvenient times. Instructor(s) cannot inform you of the timing, duration, or content of tests. Once a test is begun, you must finish it. It can’t be stopped, so don’t ask. No one likes a whiner.


(3)  Student Etiquette

Appropriate and respectful behavior is expected at all times, but instructors will not be holding their collective breath. Students who routinely disturb others with incessant text messaging, annoying and repetitive stories, unrelenting bragging, or otherwise distracting behaviors will face potential permanent removal from the course. Throttling may be involved.


(4)  Assignments

Students choose their own assignments. Please put your best effort into all that you do, or at least appear to be trying.



No grades are given in this course. You either pass or pass away.


Students’ Rights

Students who use dark chocolate for medicinal purposes are not required to disclose dosage or share with the others.


Elastic Clause

The instructor(s) have the right to make arbitrary, capricious, and kooky exceptions to policies, guidelines, and/or expectations throughout the term as he/she/they feel necessary. And there’s not a thing you can do about it.


Course Schedule

 Students are responsible for creating their own schedules and will be held responsible for any errors or failures.


Remember, successful completion of Life Studies 2013 requires hard work, dark chocolate, sufficient sleep, lots of play, good food, dark chocolate, and daily hugs. Enjoy your year!


Students practice listening to interminable lectures prior  to returning home for the holidays. Courtesy:

Life Studies students practice listening to interminable lectures prior to returning home for the holidays where they will be required to listen to parents and relatives. Courtesy: