The (sticky) business of love

People hold dear the idea of love, but they often confuse love with “being loved”.
They like to be loved, without giving much thought to responding in kind.
For love is a two-way street and reciprocity is one of its key elements.

Somebody remarked, “En amour il y a toujours quelqu’un qui embrasse et quelqu’un qui tend la joue”.
“In love, there is always someone who kisses and someone who offers the cheek.”
Unfortunately, it is often true.

In love, deeds speak louder than words.

-I love you my darling… For you I will cross oceans, I will fight dragons, I will…
-Come quickly my love, I cannot wait to hold you in my arms.
-Well… you live across town and it is a little foggy tonight… maybe tomorrow…

There is obviously a credibility gap between words and deeds, and some disparity between what people say and what people do.

Affirmations of love are nice to hear but they don’t carry much weight. They are like oral contracts, not really enforceable in a court of law.

In this day and age, before embarking on the love boat, lovers should consider a “cohabitation-prenup”, checked and approved by legal advisers from both parties.
If my memory serves me right, Jackie Kennedy and Ari Onassis went that way.

All the clauses of the merger, shopping, cooking, sex (three times a week), etc. were spelled out in details and in plain English. In case of conflict, this Magna Carta could be pulled out to refresh memories.

In the tennis game of love, you need equally talented partners for a good match.
Special attentions should be acknowledged, and like tennis balls, promptly returned.
A caring person always expresses appreciation for what is being done for him, or for her.
Thank you for that picture. Thank you for responding to my e-mail. Thank you for taking the garbage out.

Deeds reinforce feelings of love or friendship; empty phrases don’t.

Love is not a game, it is serious business, and partners (if they expect the commerce to flourish) should pay attention to details, and reciprocity is one.


A wolf in sheep’s clothing

“ … Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”  Mathew 7:15

You don’t have to look very far to find such wolves. They are everywhere, but right now the eyes of the world are sharply focused on one these hypocrites.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the current Prime Minister of “mildly Islamic” Turkey has shown his true colors.

Rather than listening to reason and seeking to compromise, the autocratic prime minister recently responded to protest demonstrations with hubris, water canons, rubber bullets and tear gas.
Did I also mention Police brutality?

Caught in a bind, the wolf reluctantly shed his sheep’s clothing and revealed his fangs. And there is nothing “mild” about this would-be sultan. He is a bully and a retrograde tyrant.

ataturk3He is bent on re-islamizing” Ataturk’s secular legacy who, almost a century ago, instituted the separation of the State and the Church.
Erdogan is fighting a shadowy war against Turkey’s secular lifestyle and trying to bring the country under the control of backward mullahs.

But in the age of the Internet, there is only so much that a young, worldly population will accept.
Young women refuse to be veiled again and be subservient to old men, and young men demand the right to think for themselves (and to drink liquor if they so desire).
And there is not much, short of very serious troubles, that the Islamists and their followers can do.

Religion should never control a country. It is up to the country to control religion.

In France, the young republic of 1790 understood this and took control of the Church’s affairs. The church balked, but since that time it is not up to the church to dictate but to follow the Republic’s edicts, and that’s the way it should be.

Erdogan, you sneaky Islamist, beware:

Arx tarpeia Capitoli proxima  (The Tarpeian Rock is close to the Capitol).

In other words, one’s fall from grace can come swiftly.



The man who talked to dogs

It’s me, I confess.
I cannot see a dog without having the irresistible urge to engage in a little “tête-à-tête ».
I walk almost daily through the woods near my house and I almost invariably bump into one of my four-legged acquaintances.

You can gauge a dog’s intentions by calmly looking at him and calling him.
Some, like inhibited women, will come running and throw themselves at you.

Some are more reserved (probably English dogs) and will take a wait-and-see attitude.
I then extend my hand and repeat my invitation again.
They will sniff it (their way of checking me out) and when satisfied, they signal that they are ready to have a little chat.

IMG_1692Some snobs will ignore me but some will want to play right away. They deposit a tennis ball or a stick  in front of me and invite me to play catch. I always oblige.
Some older dogs will just ask you to scratch or pet them. Not there… On the left… Under the belly… Yeah… That’s good!

I ask “how are you doing?”.
-Not bad, what about you?
-Not bad either, but it could be better.
-What’s the matter? Is you wife bugging you?
-Well, let me tell you what I do.
-Please do.
-When my keeper bugs me, I pee on the rug.
-I cannot do that!
-And when they really piss me off I chew on everything in sight.
-Does it work?
-I am not sure, but they pay more attention to me. I also get more treats. By the way, do have any munchies on you?
-I am afraid not.
-If you are coming tomorrow, don’t forget to bring me some Chew Sticks. I am trying to quit, but it is difficult…
-I understand.
-Say hello to the missus!
-I will.

That’s it.
Buddies don’t need to say much. They understand each other without having to spell things out.

A few drops on a tree to respond to a previous message and they are on their way.

-Hasta la vista!
-Vaya con dios amigo!
(Some of my friends are Hispanics)

I always feel better after such a meaningful exchange and I am pretty sure that they do too.