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.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is a perfect way to start my Monday.
Hope you’re well.
Hugs,
Bruce

Anonymous said...

love it mama
xo
jilleeee

Anonymous said...

You are so fun to read E! Love it.
P.S. I no longer have phone envy!

Sent from my iPhone

Phil

Eric said...

That first paragraph is top-notch writing, Elaine. Totally sucked me in. Bravo.
I must admit, tho, i'm one of those schmoes who sigh when the phone rings.
Be well,
eric

Anonymous said...

Very nicely written, Elaine!
That's a great message for anyone to hear.

Eric

Anonymous said...

This blog is such a fun-read. Judging from the responses, you obviously have a big fan club out there. Keep it up!

Chris

Anonymous said...

Elaine:

Loved it. Clearly, "free advice" ain't free (nor should it be). Thanks for sharing.


Cheers,

Chuck

BAC said...

This is excellent ... and now I know who to call!


BAC

Anonymous said...

Great essay. Loved your choice of illustrations.....Moses?

Renee

Anonymous said...

Elaine: This is almost spooky. This has been one of those days of problems with everyone. I was passing your house this evening on the way home, noticed your living room lights on, and had the fantasy of coming into your cozy house for a glass of wine and some coaching or sympathy or whatever--but definitely the wine. I didn't, of course. .
Anyway, loved the piece--you have the knack.
Paula

Veronica said...

Perhaps I know who to call when I need motherly advise. Great post.

Anonymous said...

Elaine,
Enjoyed your article on "I'm all ears" - funny and clever. I can't count the times I turned to you for advice, but here is one more - I finally gave in to your prompting and decided to buy a Mac., desk model. Love & XOXOX Isolde

Anonymous said...

Once again, enjoyed your blog!!

Rosetta