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Showing posts with the label cultural differences

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Fathers Who Harm

Father's Day has become a more highlighted day of celebration than when I was a child. My father was born in 1927 and lived a pretty long life: he died in 2013, a few months into his 86th year. He was not a bad father. He did struggle with alcohol addiction and was imperfect in other ways, but he was basically loving and kind. He was a workaholic, so we did not have access to him for emotional affirmation, but he told me in his old age that he always loved everything about us kids and felt sad that he had not been a better parent, and he was sorry he was most of all that he had not spent more time with us.  Other men in my family– my grandfathers, my husband, son, uncles, brother– have all shown themselves to be good guys and have adult children whom they love(d) and who love them back.  But I think to myself, having been a social worker to women and children who fled lives with men who put them and their children through Hell, that there are probably a fair number of children, te

How To Tell A Good Joke

  Telling a good joke can be a fine art. In our family it is an emotional connector, an indicator of mental health, and a boost to positive energy.   While humor is subjective, there are some general principles that can help increase the likelihood of successful pulling off a knee-slapping pun or cracking a witty story.  Here are some tips on what's required to tell a good joke: 1. Know Your Audience: Understanding who you're telling the joke to is crucial. Different people find different things funny, so tailor your joke to your audience's sensibilities.  When my husband and I were "new" together, I was invited to a few events with his family. These were lovely, warm European folks who sometimes inserted jokes in their language into the general dinner conversation. When I looked rather lost, my then-boyfriend attempted a translation of the joke that they had all laughed uproariously at.  I don't remember what it was, but I do remember thinking, "Ick! Tha