Things Grandma Joan Wants You To Know #1 ~ Learn About Sex

I know you would rather eat worms than have sex advice from your Grandmother, but its what she wanted you to know. And you never know…. you might learn something! So here goes:

Dear Jake, by this time you’re over eighteen and I’m sure know a great deal about sex from family, friends, and the great American entertainment business.  That is to say, I’m sure the mechanics are perfectly clear and may have been put into practice.  I’m sure you have also been advised about taking precautions not only for birth control, since having a baby at this stage in your life could ruin your future, but also making sure you know the medical history of anybody you take up with BEFORE you have sex.  STDs are hard to get rid of and easy to catch. 

When one is swept away by a moment of passion, it’s hard to exercise restraint and judgment, but there again remember that what you decide while under the stress of hormones could affect what is going to happen to you in the long run when there will be a lot of other things that are equally or perhaps even more important, believe it or not.

You’re probably tired of hearing all this.  But what you may not have heard is that the best sex is an art, for it involves learning about the other through the body, yours and theirs, and how you approach that can and will influence your relations with that same other person when you’re not having sex. 

Good sex is something that has to be learned and you’d be surprised, with all the talk of sex that goes on, how few men (and how few women) are willing and able to learn it as a skill.  It seems like a relatively simple business but it’s not.  People have simple physical sex just because it’s available or they just like somebody or are married to them.  And you can do that too, but my guess is that about 98% of American men don’t know how to make a woman or man feel fulfilled and I don’t want you to be a part of that 98%.   I want you to have a full and exciting sex life, because sex can be a wonderful event and an amazing phenomenon when both partners take the trouble to learn  how to please each other with tact and persistence while taking advantage of sensual impulses.  Ideally sex is not an act of power and dominance but an art practiced with a lot of affection and knowledge.

In other words, don’t be prudish or embarrassed but excited about learning and always think about the other person. And it’s okay to laugh a lot, because sex can be funny and dreamy as well as serious. And
always remember that it’s a waltz and not a fox trot.


Practical Advice For My Son #6 ~ 3 Teaspoons In A Tablespoon

There are many things that fill up a person’s mind. Often these things seem unimportant and seem to take up a lot of mental space; until you need to know them, then they are critical. As an aside many of those things I learned from my father, your grandfather. He really knows, or knew, a lot of things; he probably has the biggest fund of general knowledge of anyone I ever met. I have a pretty good sized fund myself. I couldn’t possibly think of all the things here that come in handy and are important, but here goes just a few.

There are three teaspoon in a tablespoon, two cups in a pint, two pints in a quart and four quarts in a gallon. A pint is a pound the world around. Five feet is sixty inches. Right for tight, left for loose (or as your father says righty tight, lefty loosey). If you put tape on a wall before you put in a nail it won’t make a messy hole when you move out. Adding salt to oil and vinegar makes a vinagrette dressing. Cleaning your toilets with vinegar will prevent the growth of germs. You can clean glass (like your windshield) with glass cleaner and newspaper, it will be streak free. Salt will take a spill out of a carpet and soda water will take a stain out of your shirt if you are out on a date. You can occasionally take Tylenol and Advil within an hour of each other if the fever doesn’t go down. Don’t eat dairy with the stomach flu; eat the BRAT diet, bananas, rices, apples and toast. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Carry your wallet in your front pocket in the city.

There is so much important trivia it is mind boggling but this stuff comes in handy so collect it, remember it, believe it. The things here are just examples of the things you might need in life. You never know when you will need to know how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon.

Things I Want My Son To Know #21 ~ Love With All Your Might

I didn’t know it at the time, but my parents were my first loves. As I get older I realize how much I love them, how much I have taken their presence in my life for granted. In facing the proximity of loss, I understand how much I will be losing.

I have come to love my friends. Learn this soon and remember it. Hold your friends close, cherish them, stay in touch with them and don’t let them go. Your friends will tell you the truth even if you don’t like it, your friends will bail you out, your friends will cover your butt and keep you company when you need it. You will tell your friends things you may not tell your wife, and that’s ok. Love your friends back.

When I was young I didn’t know anything about faith. Now I do. Having faith is about loving the God of your own understanding; believing that you are not alone. Love God with all your might by striving for great faith; with it life is much easier. You can talk to God when you can’t tell things to your friends or your wife. Treat this relationship with the same love you give to all your relationships.

And then I learned about perfect love, the day you were born. You will be stunned by how much you love your children. You will think you have never loved so much when you meet the person you decide to marry and you will be floored to discover the extent to which that love pales in the reflection of how you feel about your children. You will never understand how much we love you until you have children of your own. Love your children with all your might, and tell them often how much you love them.

When you forget about unconditional love, remember your pets. Your cats and dogs love you unconditionally, asking only in return that you do what they can’t do for themselves. you forget to feed them, they still love you. You accidentally lock them in a closet, they still love you. You step on a tail, its forgetten in seconds. Take a leaf out of their book and remember to love the people you love without question and without expectation.

And then there were all those “first” loves. Even having had two prior husbands, I don’t really remember being “in love”, but every one felt wonderful at the time. And I have learned from every relationship I have ever been in. No matter how much the end of a relationship hurts, no matter how afraid you are of failing, or having it end, you have to love with all your might. If you don’t you will miss knowing how wonderful it is to be in love, you will miss the feeling of that first kiss, and you may miss finding the one person you were meant to be with. You know your dad and I have had our ups and downs, but I know that he is my “meant to be”. Even when I want to kill him, I can’t imagine my life without him. You will never know how that feels if you don’t love with all your might.

Love is risky; all kinds of love. Our prayerbook says that “it is a terrible thing to love what death can touch” and that is true indeed. When you open your heart, it can get hurt. But you have to love with all your might, you have to keep your heart open, otherwise how will all those people find their way in?

Things I Want My Son To Know #20- What Is Polite

The standards of polite vary, depending on many things. Who are you with? Where are you? What are the expectations in that time and place?

Most importantly remember that no matter what the standards seem to be, no matter how they seem to be changing, some things are always rude. Some ways of acting are always polite. Holding the door for the person behind you is always polite. Looking someone in the eye while they are talking to you is always polite. Texting at the table is always rude. Texting while someone is talking to you is always rude; despite the fact that people seem to think its fine. When you are talking to someone, look them in the eye, give them your full attention. Dropping a call to take another is always rude; the second person can wait. Return your calls and answer your e-mails. And though they may be old fashioned, thank you notes make people feel really good.

A little trickier is the whole man/woman dating thing. Different kinds of women, raised in different kinds of home, expect different kinds of politeness. But trust me, offering to pay for a meal on a date is always okay. Opening a car door is so old fashioned that most women will love it. Walk on the street side so you get splashed, run over, whatever, and not your date. Pull out her chair in a nice restaurant and let her precede you through a door. Most young women will never have been treated with that much respect. But remember it is rude to treat women as different or less than equal. If she wants to pay, let her.

Remember the Queen of England expects a curtsy from the girls and a bow from the boys. Everyone rises when the President of the united States comes into a room, and they remain standing until he sits; its a matter of respect. Old folks go ahead of you and you always offer to help the helpless when you see them. Simple rules for the big things. Not so simple for all the things in between. Be respectful and pay attention to where you are and what is expected of you and by whom. Life’s an interesting dance, always make your partners feel special. Please and thank you are still the magic words.

Things I Want My Son To Know #19 ~ Love Books

Learn to love reading. There is a world of knowledge and imagination out there. You are absorbed in the virtual and technological worlds. But you are missing the life of imagination you had as a child.

In every area of our lives technology has stripped us of imagination. There are fantasy worlds and fantasy games and fantasy movies; but those fantasies are spelled out for us. In those fantasies the people all look like movie stars or the anime creations of someone else’s imaginations.

On the internet you can look up anything you want to know about, you can find information but you can’t necessarily confirm its accuracy, currency or relevance. Anyone can publish on the internet, make themselves an expert and how would you know if they really are. You can track down credentials but do they publish a bibliography?

You cannot learn anything without reading, whether on line or off. In every area of your life there will always be things to learn. You can learn much by experience, but experts in everything put down in words what they have mastered about the thing you are learning about and how you can do the same. The experience of others is only transmitted by words, generally written (like this blog!). In order to excel at anything, you have to learn about it.

People always ask if I have seen movies made from books. I always want to read the book first and I am almost always disappointed by the movie. When I read fiction (which is not for everyone I realize), I am able to populate the world of the book with my own vision of the scenery, my own imagination creates how the people look; the author creates how they act. And so the book is the stage setting for my own fantasy, not that of anyone else.

Don’t lose the life of the imagination; read and create your own worlds. Don’t neglect the life of learning; the experiences of generations, experts and whole cultures documented for you. Books may be becoming obsolete but you should hold on to them as long as you can. And don’t believe everything you read.

Practical Advice For My Son #5 ~ Take Care Of Your Car

You love your car. It is your first and it has to last. Your car will take care of you if you take care of it. You need to learn how to change the oil in your car, even if you don’t think you will generally have to do it yourself. Teenagers used to do all the work on their cars themselves or with their dads. Your dad knows how but doesn’t really like to work on cars, although he loves cars. And cars are harder to work on than they used to be, things are sealed, buried and electronic.

But you need to change the oil every 3-5,000 miles depending on what your mechanic says. And you need to put coolant/antifreeze in when its low, and windshield wiper fluid. If you live where they salt the roads, you need to wash off the salt, it causes rust.

Vacuum it out, polish it up, throw out the trash. Even if your room isn’t clean, your car should be. Remember how you felt when you got it, and take care of it that way. Nothing is more disgusting to single women than a nasty single man’s car or bathroom; we have to sit in both. At least in your apartment we have the choice to stand.

You will drive a lot of miles in your life. There is nothing worse than running out of gas when you are in a hurry, or breaking down by the side of the road when you are low on cash or in the middle of nowhere. If you do the maintenance, if you change the oil, if you have a mechanic you trust, mostly your car won’t let you down. Like most things in life, if you take care of it, it will take care of you

Things Grandma Diann Wants You To Know #1 ~ Live With Character

Here’s my list for Jake.
1. See the good in everyone. Life is much more interesting when you do; you will find friends when you least expect them.
2. Enjoy the blessings of each day. Being grateful means you don’t have to feel sorry for yourself; it can almost always be worse.
3. Find work you enjoy. Being fulfilled in your work life is important since you spend so much more time there.
4. Live the serenity prayer. Accept the things you cannot change, change the things you can; understand the difference.
5. Be a caring, loving husband and father. Nothing will bring you more joy than your children and nobody will matter so much as the person you choose to be your partner in life.
6. Be a loyal friend. Sometimes they will carry you when nothing else will; hold on to them throughout your life ~ don’t let them go.
7. Always have an open mind. People are full of surprises and new ideas can be inspiring.
8. Always try new things. You never know when something new will change your life.