Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Books · Why Mars & Venus collide
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Why Mars & Venus collide

Robert Downes - February 11th, 2008
“Why Mars & Venus Collide”
By John Gray
272 pages

Is your relationship cosmically stressed out? Is a meteor shower of
hassles and time-pressure tearing up your world of love and commitment?
Is your rocket to romance stalled on the launching pad because you can’t
choose between Mars and Venus as a destination?
If so, you may wish to consult “Why Mars & Venus Collide,” the latest
self-help book for relationships by space explorer and love coach John
Gray is the author who charted the differences between men and women in
the 1992 bestseller, “Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus.”
In that book, Martians (men) and
Venusians (women) fell in love, and moved to planet Earth, where things
quickly started falling apart because “they forgot they were from
different planets.”
A couples counselor, Gray outlined the differences between the sexes with
a blend of humor, insight and common sense. Since that time, he’s made a
franchise of the Mars and Venus schtick with 15 books, including “Mars and
Venus Together Forever,” “Mars and Venus in the Bedroom,” “Mars and Venus
on a Date,” and “Mars and Venus Starting Over.”

The cosmic question with his latest book is whether Gray can keep pumping
air into the vacuum between Mars and Venus to resuscitate one more
interplanetary ‘how-to’ book for improving your relationship.
The answer to that lies with whether you believe Gray’s premise that men
and women are on a collision course over too much stress in their lives as
a result of the modern workaday world and its demands.
“Over the last fifteen years, a new trend in relationships has emerged,
linked to increasing stress,” Gray writes. “Both couples and singles
believe they are too busy or too exhausted to resolve their relationship
issues, and often think their partners are either too demanding or just
too different to understand...
“Everyday stress drains our energy and patience and leaves us feeling too
exhausted or overwhelmed to enjoy and support each other,” he continues.
“We are often too busy to see what is obvious. A man will give his heart
and soul to make enough money to provide for his family and return home
too tired even to talk with them. A woman will give and give to support
her husband and children and then resent them for not giving back the kind
of support she thrives on giving. Under the influence of stress, men and
women forget why we do what we do.”

Not everyone will buy the idea that modern stress is so all-consuming that
we’re “too exhausted or overwhelmed” to sustain happy relationships.
After all, this is the era when the Nielsen ratings report that the
average American spends four and a half hours in front of the television
each day -- not the most stressful of activities. And are people really
more stressed now than they were, say, while starving on their farms
during the Great Depression, or while worried about getting shot and
having the house burned down during the Civil War?
And is it really so bad, as Gray claims, that couples enjoy text-messaging
and emailing each other rather than “communicating”? For many of us, TMing
or email is a fun reminder that “I’m thinking of you.”
If anything, one could just as easily make the claim that relationships
suffer today because we live under less stress than at any time in human
history. The flip side of stress is malaise and ambivalence.
But fans will be more inclined to agree with Gray, who cites a rogue’s
gallery of stress-producers, such as longer working hours, credit card
debt, health care issues, rising costs for food and housing, and the
problems of raising children in two-career families. If you’re in this
orbit, “Why Mars & Venus Collide” offers advice for recognizing the
problem and learning how to lower your stress and that of your partner’s.

Gray is at his best when he’s offering practical advice and making common
sense observations about the differences between men and women.
In one provocative passage, he says that men and women tend to award each
other “points” for good behavior. But whereas men tend to think that
grand gestures should be worth a large number of points, women tend to
award a single point for every effort, be it the gift of a Mexican
vacation, or volunteering to vacuum the house.
A man receives one point each for going to work each day, coming home at
night, and remaining faithful, Gray says. But if he fails to perform any
of those requirements, all of his points go up in smoke. Gray also claims
that women award a single point for gifts, no matter how grand; so a man
would do better to give his sweetheart a single rose daily for 12 days
than to buy a bouquet of a dozen roses... good advice, perhaps, for
Valentines Day.

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