Monday, October 15, 2007

I'm All Ears

Pull up a chair; I'm all ears. Don't be embarrassed because you find yourself turning to me for advice. Many other souls -- lost, confused, or indecisive -- have made the very same pilgrimage. But before you surrender your woes, you should be forewarned there’s a hitch in my mode of problem solving.

First off, while I am a certified expert (photos of more well-known counselors are included in this post) in a variety of subjects, I know my limits. If you stick to relationships, child rearing, weight loss, memoir writing, and Macs, it'll be smooth sailing.

But if instead, you are querying about fashion, travel, sports, financial planning, religion, nightlife, deep sea diving, dog obedience, cooking, home decorating, sewing, crafting, carpentry (I could go on, but am trying to limit this to 500 words.), I'd suggest a Google search.

If you are like the hundreds (okay dozen, um, handful) of callers who ring me up, you're likely to begin our conversation with the standard, "Do you have a minute?" Now, others might respond to that question with an exasperated sigh, but for yours truly, it’s positively lyrical. "Absolutely," I invariably respond, pushing away my mate who's wondering when dinner will be served, or my pooch desperate for some tummy-rubbing attention.

With coffee cup in hand, I settle into my office chair, and depending upon the problem, either log on to my computer, retract a folder from my resource files, flip through my Rolodex, pull books from the appropriate shelf, or simply listen. There's likely to be a number of uh-huhs on my end, which I can assure you, doesn't signify inattentiveness, just eagerness to jump in once you've paused in your downloading.

If you're wondering where I have the chutzpah to claim wisdom in my handful of fields, consider this evidence: In the realm of Relationships, although my first marriage ended in divorce, it did last 30 years and my ex and I are on friendly terms, even vacationing together as a family. Also, my second spouse and I will be celebrating our 10th year in 2008.

Re: Childrearing. Have you met Faith or Jill? Need I say more? Weight loss, down from 119 to 102 and have kept it off for more than 10 years. Memoir-writing, check out the title of this blog at your local bookseller. And as for Macs, I may not be on par with the guys at the Genius Bar, but can hold my own with any of Apple's other black t-shirted personnel.

Now, as to the forewarning I hinted at: If you turn to me for counsel or problem solving, do not expect it to end there. While you may be satisfied your issue has been resolved, I, on the other hand, may not be ready to let go. I may have to press on, refuse to dislodge even when you plead, "That's fine, that's all I needed to know." Well, maybe that's fine for you, but I haven't gotten to the root of the problem. Surely there's more we can discuss to clarify the picture. And when I contact you tomorrow to learn how my advice changed your life, I'll expect you to answer the phone and not screen my calls.

But I'm all ears.