In a struggle to be happy and free

Drystone Wall

Category: relationships Page 3 of 7

You’re dumped

I received a card in the mail yesterday. It was sent to my address, but the addressee was simply ‘Resident.’ How warm and personal. I was curious so I opened it.

The photo on the front of the card shows a young boy sitting on a park bench, absolutely forlorn. The text reads, “Something’s still missing. You.” I opened it and was amused to find that it was from Rogers. They want me back as a cable customer. Both Bell and Rogers are acting like needy dumped girlfriends, for goodness sakes. I wrote Bell yesterday asking them to stop sending me stuff. I may do the same with Rogers. We broke up for a reason!

It’s very difficult to get an ad right. I like the idea of the card and the photo is well suited for it. The problem is with the copy inside. The first paragraph makes me feel a bit uncomfortable:

The longer we spend away from each other, the more we’d like to have you back. To show you that we miss you more than ever, here’s an exclusive bonus just for you.

One can take an amusing analogy too far. With this paragraph, they’ve gone from an ex who wants me back, to an unstable ex who wants me back. And the exclusive bonus is just for me? Sorry honey, you say that to all the guys. When a relationship falters, fixing it requires communication and compromise. All I’m getting is a present, and I’ll surely be ignored again afterwards. No thanks.

At this point they drop the ‘relationship’ joke, but the ad copy is problematic if you think in a certain way … which I seem to. It says:

Get 25% OFF select Rogers Digital TV packages for the first 6 months! That’s a total value of up to $234.54!

They want you to believe you’ll save a fortune so they apply a dollar value to the savings if you choose the most expensive applicable package. My first thought was, “Hmmm, that’s a big saving!”

My second thought was, “Wait a second. If $235 is a savings of 25%, I’ll still be paying 75%. That’s three times as much, so three times $235 is $705 for the first six months! And after the first six months, the discount expires, so I’ll be paying four times as much. Four times $235 is $940 for the second six month! For the first year it’s $1645 and $1880 for subsequent years, ignoring any increases, which will certainly be hard to ignore.” I’m far better off with my current savings: 100%.

No wonder they want me back.


My parents and me. I’m somewhere in the 1½-2½ year-old range.

Photos like this one feel like they’re from some alternate reality. I clearly recognize my folks, but I don’t ever remember them looking this way. They’re not the same people I know. In the photo, my father is also perhaps two years older than I am now, which also is weird for me to imagine.

We think we know everything, but there’s far more to who our parents are than we’ll ever realize.

≤150 words

Boing Boing ran a contest for Valentine’s day. It was simply called, “Undying love in ≤150 characters.” As announced in the results post, the winner was:

It is dark
and when we kiss
my fingers find you
like candlelight


Unfortunately, I have no idea who misery4brett is so I can’t properly attribute his or her work. Still, I really like it, so here it is.

Be remarkable

I’ve written a few times about how much I enjoy Seth Godin’s Blog. He’s a marketer and writes about marketing, but since I’m not a marketer, I take what he says in other ways. Take this example:

You don’t get unboring for free. Remarkable costs time and money and effort, but most of all, remarkable costs a willingness to be wrong.

Remarkable is a choice.

He’s talking about products, customer service, and businesses. Still, what he says is no less true if applied to you. You as a person, an employee, a friend, a lover, a parent, or any other role you fill in this life.

You could do much worse than strive to be remarkable. Why not choose to try?


Most of us work for a living and we receive a set amount of money after taxes. We choose what to do with the remainder. Typically, rent/mortgage, utilities, and food are among the expenses that we make sure get paid. After those priorities come others. Regardless of our own specific priorities, we all prioritize and make sure the things we require are covered while also trying to make room for the things we want.

Similarly, we have a certain amount of emotional energy available to us. Overspend, deny those close to us, or expend too much on those who are not interested, and you’ll find youself in just as bad a place as if you don’t pay your rent or have no money left for food. The sooner you learn to see when others aren’t interested, the better.

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