Monday, October 22, 2012

Cerebral Sunday--Good for the Brain and Lots of Other Things

Aside from seeing some clients in the afternoon, Sundays have become precious days for my gentleman friend and me.

Busy people that we are, it's tough to scrounge out the time to do things that we both enjoy. Bless his heart, my dearie shuffles around his schedule and drives quite a distance to be with me. We are also looking, like many Americans, to be economical and also creative. Breaking the bank isn't as worrisome to me as the risk of falling into a rut of "same ol'" leisure activities. How many of us know--or are ourselves--older couples whose conversations have become painfully stale over time?

Aesop warned, "Familiarity breeds contempt." I would also say it builds up boredom, a corrosive element in individuals' lives and couples' relationships. Sexy lingerie and weekends trips are indeed provocative and wonderful tools to keep the fires stoked--for awhile. But what about when one is catching one's breath after the intense heat? Boredom is one of the reasons many of my clients cite for occurrences of infidelity, impulsive behaviors, and depression.

I've lost count of how many I've seen professionally, who say that they've flat-out lost interest in a partner who can't hold an adult conversation, or whose fund of knowledge stopped expanding beyond the eighth-grade level. Perhaps something about this should be incorporated into modern wedding vows, such as "to love, honor, and to always endeavor to intrigue and amaze...". Just a thought.

In some of my recent alone-time, I was amused to read in the latest (November 2012) issue of Mental Floss Magazine about "penny stinkers" in the Old Globe Theater--theatergoers who paid a penny for admission, and whose hygiene was less than adequate. Grab a copy and have a read of this short piece on page 24. On the next page is the history of the American institution known as the green bean casserole (or GBCs for short), including how it came to incorporate those wonderfully unhealthy French's Onions. This article states that "an estimated 30,000,000 GBCs are served each Thanksgiving" (and, yes, at my house, too).

Many scholars I know, including my dearie, sniff at this publication as "research-lite." My view is that Mental Floss is pure fun; if I want to read a weighty, peer-reviewed tome, I have my resources for that.

Yesterday, we strolled through Brand Park in Glendale for some fresh air and exercise. Unfortunately, two of my favorite haunts, the library and the art gallery, are closed for renovations into 2014. We made up for this by a visit to Brand Bookshop, a venerable store on Brand Boulevard that's a refreshing departure from the cookie-cutter mega-booksellers of recent decades. There are few things more stimulating than floor-to-ceiling shelves of volumes exuding that comforting old-paper aroma. They should bottle that smell as a cologne!

We were able to snag a few discounted books, and my usually-unflappable gentleman friend's eyebrows shot up when he saw my selections. That's the topic of my next post, but it made for wonderful conversations for the rest of the weekend!

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