StatMom is - at least indefinitely - hanging it up. She's not sure if she'll do much more good by continuing to post, especially given how stubborn people tend to be, and she needs her energy to fight for her two young children who, like her (and her husband) are on the autism spectrum. Her blog, over three years old by now, is coming to an end.
If only I'd learned this, say, a decade or two ago:
One of the most painful experiences a person can undergo is having an outlook on life that doesn't sync with how the world works. For example, we all go through this stage when we are teenagers. Where our expectations and attitudes begin to run headlong into adult-sized issues. Most people adapt. They do this by adjusting their attitudes and expectations of the world. However, the people who will go through life having the most trouble are the ones who refuse to let go of certain assumptions and beliefs. (Emphasis added.)
I spent it with a couple of acquaintances in Arlington, going out to eat, watching the National Mall Concert on TV and then watching the fireworks.
While waiting to change trains in Washington, DC on the way there, I saw a couple of men looking at the map and trying to find their destination. I told them how to get to their stop, and then advised another man to go to the other side of the station for the train going the other way, and a woman on how to get to her stop. Another man suggested maybe I should get paid for this. I just smiled.
When I took the Metro back home and got off at my rather crowded station, a boy came up to me and asked me if a nearby door led to the bathroom. Knowing that it did, and that the station management often allowed customers to use it - but not wanting to usurp their authority (let alone suddenly become everyone's go-to person on an occasion like this) - I pointed him to the managers' kiosk and suggested he talk to someone who was there to help him.
Seen at the National Mall in Washington, DC today:
A young boy wearing a T-shirt saying: "You're not that bad - I'm just that awesome".
Yeah, it seems a little pompous. On the other hand, it also avoids putting down others - a model for anyone.
Good salespeople don't insult the competition, and in fact may compliment them a bit. The idea is that the prospective customer sees that the salesperson seems confident enough about one's own product. And that attracts customers.
Don't just take my word for it - Dale Carnegie makes just the same point in his classic How to Win Friends and Influence People.
Sometimes, we should build ourselves up. But tearing others down doesn't work - not with those you'll really want to deal with.
In particular, note Ms. Wisch's emphasis on reading body language and other subtle signals. Maybe guys in general are perfectly able to infer whether or not a woman is interested without being told so in so many words, as she seems to believe. Or maybe not.
In any case, she gives a few good signs to look for either way. And she's certainly right in that the more able we are to use nonverbal signals - both ways - the better we can communicate and hence the luckier we will get in the dating game.
I went back to Subway today. The manager was there again - and as soon as he saw me come in he told the worker just how to prepare my sandwich, and had my cookies ready for me. Things went much better; just to be sure I took the tray with my sandwich and cookies to the table, then went back and filled up my drink and carried it separately. When I went to the men's room I put the (very large) key ring around my arm so I wouldn't forget it.
This little episode straddles the midpoint of 2010. Hopefully the second half will go as well as the first half has!