I was reminded of this resolution when I came across the “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks.
From now on, instead of getting annoyed by the rampant maltreatment of quotation marks, the existence of the blog makes them funny. When I spot an ungrammatical example, I can imagine myself posting a picture of it, so zillions of people could enjoy the fun.
But turning an irritation into a joke is hard, because when I’m feeling irritated, the first thing that goes is my sense of humor.
I did manage to do it with one of the Big Man’s annoying habits, and it really did help.
The Big Man has an odd quirk of hiding information. I’ll ask him, “What are you making for dinner?” or “What movie did you rent?” and he won’t tell me. Why not? I have no idea.
I’d been trying unsuccessfully to be patient about this idiosyncrasy, but then I decided to acknowledge my feelings—with humor.
“Are you in the C.I.A?” I asked him, after he refused to tell me what time he’d arranged for us to meet another family for brunch.
“Because you operate on a need-to-know basis,” I tell him. “N-2-K. You won’t tell me what time we need to leave, you won’t tell me why you’re going to the drugstore.”
He laughs. “That’s right, N2K! Need-to-know only!”
The next time he refused to answer me, I said something about N2K. It didn’t change what he did, but it did a lot to lighten my attitude.
Now, if only someone would start a blog for confused uses of “It’s” and “It is” and “Its.”
I’m very interested in the blog My Open Wallet. The relationship between money and happiness is very complex, and this blogger writes about her relationship with money in an unusually frank and open way. I was also very intrigued with her “My Rules” column in the upper right-hand corner. They reminded me of my Twelve Commandments. If you’re trying to shape your behavior, I really have come to believe in the efficacy of making a list like this.
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