Sharon Mindy

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On the Lighter Side

Lifestyle, On the Lighter Side

Traditions that Need to Go Out of Style: Thank You Notes

Thank you notes. Were they foisted upon us by greeting card companies, or is there someone else I should blame? I have nothing against thank you notes themselves, just the social compunction to write them. Most of the time, I still dutifully snail mail my “thank you’s” when somebody gives me a gift. I guess it’s a holdover from my more traditional days. But if this point of etiquette were to join those that have already fallen by the wayside, you won’t hear a  ...

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On the Lighter Side

Things People Say: Social Niceties Edition

1. “You’ve lost weight!” This is basically informing me that you thought I looked fat before. And it’s super awkward if I haven’t actually lost weight, or am not currently trying to lose weight. (This one is fair game among friends if we have discussed the topic of weight/fat/dieting etc. before. “You’ve lost weight” is mostly a problem when coming from random acquaintances who may or may not remember my name, but who for some reason have  ...

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On the Lighter Side

How not to be a Crotchety Old Person

While these suggestions can’t make you any younger, they can be a tremendously effective immunization against the dreaded and highly contagious old-and-crotchety persona. I’m tackling this one from an outsider’s perspective (the etic view, for my anthropologist friends). And yes, I am aware that I, too, will be “old” someday, so this list is for my own personal future reference as much as anything. 1.  Don’t complain about getting old. Discuss  ...

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On the Lighter Side

Things People Say: Tiresome Cliche Edition

Platitudes are irritating as a general rule, but some are just so bad, they deserve their own feature. Here’s a sampling of the best. I mean, the worst. 1. “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence/You always want whatever you can’t have.” Sorry, but no. This is not only overly simplistic; it’s inaccurate. If I want something, I desire it based on its perceived benefit to me, not on its relative scarcity. I can think of many,  ...

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