No one cares how you feel. Move on.

Despite what you might think from reading this blog, there is an awful lot about my feelings that I keep to myself, which leads me to

#51 of 55 things I have learned in (almost) 55 years – No one really cares about your feelings all that much.

Maybe your parents do. Perhaps your boyfriend/ girlfriend does. That’s about it. Please don’t write long blog posts full of angst – which the wonderful urban dictionary defines as

 a transcendent emotion in that it combines the unbearable anguish of life with the hopes of overcoming this seemingly impossible situation

Oh, seriously, shut up. Your biggest problem is that you told your toddler to be quiet while you checked your text messages. Now you are going on a 1,500 page self-flagellation of your emotional distress at being a bad mother.

When my children were young and fighting while I was trying to write the next grant that would pay money to put food on the table, I would tell them,

If you don’t be quiet, I’m going to sell you for scientific experiments. I work at a university. I know just the right people to talk to.

I also told them that I would skin them alive and tack their hides beside the door as a warning to their sisters if they didn’t shut the hell up.

Maria at desk studying

More than one person has told me that my children could have believed me and been psychologically scarred for life. That makes me laugh. I think what my children learned was not to waste their time ruminating about what some person might casually say to them.

As for the never-ending stream of posts from people who are seeking “someone who truly understands me” – as I said in #47, It’s Mr. Right, not Mr. Perfect, maybe you are so focused on how YOU feel and what YOU want and what YOU need that you are missing a very good person with whom you could be very happy. Why does someone have to “completely get you” ? I don’t know what the hell that means, anyway. I’m not sure Mrs. Shakespeare “completely got” William, or that Barbara McClintock had a “soul mate” and I don’t think Mother Teresa spent a lot of time worrying if the lepers truly understood her motivation. Freud was wrong. Your internal life is not that interesting. Move on.


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  1. Great post – For years, my wife and I have told our three sons that the first was a biological experiment. The second still wasn’t quite right. And the third was perfect so we stopped. They always knew we were joking and the older two still make jokes about how great their “little” brother is. He’s more than an inch taller than both his “big” brothers.

  2. Aaahhhhh, so thaaaat’s where the X ‘Wo’men in your family came from! I should call you Dr.X instead of Dr.D!
    Thanks for saying what others don’t, the truth.

  3. “…skin them alive and tack their hides beside the door as a warning to their sisters…”

    When the kids were unruly, my wife would threaten to “rip your arm off and beat you with it.” Sounds like a case for Youth and Family Services, but it was just insane enough that the kids would stop to laugh about the threat, and things would settle down.

  4. Absolutely brilliant! I want to put a bumper sticker on my car that says, ‘Your kid may be an honor student, but mine has a sense of humor and common sense.’ We’ll see which one becomes a stable adult.

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