Why I Won’t Ever Marry Myself

Just MarriedI recently read about a new trend called SOLOGAMY. This is where longtime single people (primarily women) decide at a certain point in life that they are not going to find their soul mate, so they hold a marriage ceremony where they invite guests and recite vows and marry themselves. (I’m not making this up-it’s a real thing!)

The reasoning is that these folks want to make a public declaration that they are “complete and enough,” even if they are not partnered with someone else.

OK- Let’s review…I am the first one to applaud women believing in and cherishing themselves, in fact much of my work centers around helping women grow their self-awareness and confidence, but even for me, this behavior crosses a line into Sunset Boulevard territory… with Gloria Swanson’s final line…“Alright Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close up.”

 I get it, we all want the chance for our own “close-up” but  really – Am I the only one seeing the pitfalls of this idea?

21 Reasons Why I Won’t Ever Marry Myself:

  1. What if the chemistry just isn’t there?
  2. How wouId I separate the finances, so I didn’t hold all the control?
  3. Division of labor in a marriage is tantamount to success- where would I even start?
  4. The idea of walking myself down the aisle in public to recite vows to myself, is just plain sad.
  5. I guess the song, “Where two or more are gathered,” is out.
  6. I’m a Gemini- I don’t even think this is a realistic possibility for me.
  7. What if after I say “I DO,” I find out I don’t really like the person I married?
  8. I don’t want to have to worry about myself cheating on myself.
  9. It’d be hard to find wedding cake decorations with just one bride and I’d hate to pay for a groom I don’t need.
  10. I hate giving myself away.
  11. I’m afraid it would look less like a wedding and more like an over-dressed, confused woman talking to herself in front of her friends.
  12. If I were going to have a wedding ceremony and I couldn’t find a groom, I think I would at least marry my cat. (Luckily, he’s a Tuxedo.)
  13. I think the honeymoon might be disappointing.
  14. No matter how much I love myself, I can’t carry myself over the threshold.
  15. I think the proposal might be anti-climactic.
  16. Having to feign surprise as I pick out the engagement ring – “Oh, I think I’ll love it.”
  17. Some right-wing group would probably mount a protest and try to tell me it’s illegal.
  18. Not knowing how to handle the moment when they say, “You may now kiss the bride”- Personally, I don’t think that’s physically possible without a hand mirror.
  19. I think it would be tough to surprise myself every anniversary – and what would I tell people? “Yes, I’ve been together for 15 happy years now, and they said I wouldn’t last.”
  20. And if for some reason it didn’t work out, I don’t even want to think about the ramifications of a messy divorce from myself.
  21. The upside – I’d save on rice.

Karyn Ruth White is a “thought-laugher” in the exciting field of Human Potential.  She calls herself a Success Humorist (a job title she made up.) She energizes Conferences around the U.S. with her hilariously poignant Keynote talks. She is also an Author, a Comedian, a Keynote Coach and the proud owner of Laugh and Learn Productions, LLC, an enterprise helping people to marry their best selves with their best work. Visit her on-line at karynruth.com or email her at info@karynruth.com.

Procrastination

One of the most frustrating things in life is to start a project with the full intention of finishing it and then something bright and shiny grabs your attention, and before you know it, you’re off doing something else and you never get back to your original projec….

 

Karyn Ruth White is a Success Humorist, Comedian, Author and Keynote Speaker.  The good news is… unlike this blog post…she’s never stopped a Keynote in mid-thought. Visit her at www.karynruth.com, info@karynruth.com

100 Things I’m Grateful For

thank-you-971644_1280(In random order…can random be considered an order? Hmmm?)

  1. Oxygen
  2. Tea
  3. Coffee
  4. Cats
  5. The natural world
  6. Gravity (sometimes)
  7. Music
  8. Mozart
  9. PBS
  10. Art
  11. Skin
  12. Clothes
  13. Enough Food
  14. A home
  15. A new roof
  16. The Big Bang Theory
  17. Bugs Bunny
  18. Looney Tunes Cartoons
  19. The Ocean
  20. Water Fountains
  21. Sterling Silver
  22. Flowers
  23. Flowers
  24. Did I mention Flowers?
  25. Whimsy
  26. Friends
  27. The ability to walk
  28. My sense of humor
  29. and my willingness to use it
  30. and share it
  31. and encourage it in others.
  32. Swimming
  33. Riding my bike
  34. The bright blue skies of Colorado
  35. No humidity
  36. The Moon
  37. Laughing out loud
  38. Laughing so hard I snort
  39. Laughing so hard I pee
  40. Having friends I can do both with
  41. My vision
  42. Dreamers
  43. Artists
  44. Optimists
  45. Patient people
  46. To be listened to
  47. Whimsy (I may have listed this twice…but…oh well…one can never have too much whimsy)
  48. My hearing
  49. My unique ability to accessorize
  50. My decorating gifts
  51. My teaching gifts
  52. My passion
  53. My heart
  54. The kindness of my heart
  55. Being a person who wants to keep doing better
  56. A roaring fire
  57. Great craftsmen (and women) ship
  58. People who care about excellence
  59. People who can see past their own nose
  60. People who listen well
  61. The purr of a cat
  62. Candles
  63. Bonfires on the beach
  64. The smell of burning wood
  65. A good Bloody Mary
  66. Country Gravy
  67. BACON
  68. Real Butter
  69. Milk
  70. Half and Half
  71. A strong body
  72. A strong mind
  73. A soft heart
  74. Being tall
  75. My freedoms
  76. My gift to help people laugh more and think better
  77. To live in America
  78. The Constitution
  79. The American Flag
  80. The right to question
  81. The right to speak
  82. The right to vote
  83. My connection with the Divine
  84. My creative spirit
  85. Money
  86. Water
  87. White cotton
  88. Linen
  89. Cashmere
  90. Umbrellas
  91. The ability to empathize
  92. My generous spirt
  93. My cautious spirit
  94. Victorian Antiques
  95. Junk Stores
  96. My ability to leave it better than I found it
  97. Trees
  98. The songs of birds
  99. Public Radio
  100. My vivid and busy imagination- I think I’m grateful for that- most of all. Right after- Oxygen.)

Enjoy celebrating what you’re most grateful for this Thanksgiving.

No Question, I Miss You Terribly

question-1500086_1280Remember…Ah…I remember…

The days when you could have an actual conversation with another person?

No little screen to distract either of you, no beeping interruptions.  Just pure, wonderful, intoxicating, give and take conversation.

For those of you who don’t remember what that was like, it would go something like this:

You would start by telling the other person something about your day or your life, or your thoughts on a particular subject, and while you were speaking, the other person would give you their full attention, including eye-contact, (that’s right – people used to actually look at one another when they spoke,) and then they would ask you…wait for it…a follow-up question.

THAT’S RIGHT! A FOLLOW-UP QUESTION.

…and here’s the incredible part, their follow-up question would refer in some way to what you had just shared. (This is why it’s called a follow-up question.)

For those of you who have never been on the receiving end of a follow-up question, here are some examples of a few of my personal favorites:

“What was that like for you?

How fascinating, would you tell me more about that?

How did that make you feel?

So, then what did you do?

What happened next?”

You might want to re-read these questions over and over again, because this is the only place you are ever going to see or hear them.

Because…it is official…the follow-up question is dead! Stone Cold Dead.

I am not sure when this happened exactly, but I think it’s safe to say that it drew its last breath within the past three years.

Perhaps the “Conversation Coroner” could provide us with the exact time of death.

There is a reason it is called: The ART of Conversation.

It is not called, “You mindlessly talk about you, I wait until you’re done (maybe), and then I mindlessly talk about me. Repeat.”

I have had to release several friends and colleagues over the past several years because when I talked with them, I didn’t feel like anything “stuck.” I call it having a Teflon™ Conversation. 

Most unaware people define “having a conversation” as; I’ll talk, you nod.

The “art” in the art of conversation, refers to the give and take involved.  Good conversation should flow from one person to the other and then back again. It should have a natural back and forth rhythm, kind of like great sex.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of verbal masturbation going on out there. And frankly, I don’t think anyone is satisfied.

There’s no more give and take. I am appalled at how many encounters I have had lately, where the dynamic is clearly take, take.  Where people continuously hijack the conversational ball and mindlessly bring all the focus back to them. 

I pour out my soul, and when I finish, rather than getting a follow-up question from the other person, which would indicate:

a) They are listening to me

b) They have processed anything I’ve said

c) They give a rip about me as a person.

instead, what I get is a blank stare, a short pause, and then they’re off to talking about themselves again. I want to reach over the table and smack them.  I just tune out when this happens and go into my own mind.  They no longer have my respect or attention. Because, as far as I am concerned, there is no chance that this is ever going to turn into a real conversation.

You want to look like a superstar in your relationships? You want to stand out at networking events? You want to close more business? Then do this…

ASK A FOLLOW-UP QUESTION. 

I know, I know, this is unfamiliar territory, but give it a try. Try it, see what happens. Watch how people respond to you, notice how the quality of your interactions improve, and then report back and tell me, 

“How did that feel for you?”

Karyn Ruth White is a thought-leader in the exciting field of Human Potential. She is a Success Humorist, Keynote Speaker, Author, Comedian and Speaker Coach. She is the proud owner of Laugh and Learn Productions, LLC, an enterprise dedicated to helping people live and work from their greatness. If you have a follow-up question, visit karynruth.com or email info@karynruth.com.

Round Up the Round Uppers

lasso2When did it become OK to ask me for extra money at time of checkout?

I don’t recall getting a memo announcing that this was to become accepted practice?  Did any of you see a memo?

I am already supporting your business by choosing to spend money with you. Isn’t that charity enough?

Apparently not. Apparently now, the actual sale isn’t good enough. Now you’re not happy unless I cough up a little something extra every time.

I could live the rest of my life very happily without ever again hearing those six annoying little words:

“WOULD YOU LIKE TO ROUND UP?”

I am so over dealing with the same irritating ritual every time I buy something;

“Would you like to round up today to support…Children without IPHONES?

Would you like to round up today to help…Women Who Are Mayonnaise Intolerant? 

Would you like to round up today to help find a cure for…Clowns with Turrets?”

ENOUGH ALREADY!!!

I want to say to the checkout person;                                                         

“Um, No.  Today I would prefer to “round down and donate the difference to my favorite charity…The Karyn Ruth White Kaaching Kaaching Fund. So… how much would you like to contribute today?”

And it’s not just happening at the physical check out, it’s also common practice online. Retailers like Go Daddy, Amazon and others ask this question at point of payment, “Would you like to round up for charity?” I “donate” plenty of money to Go Daddy and Amazon every year. I am not inclined to send them any “extra” coin.

Do I think that this practice has garnered some good results? I’m sure it has. But if you wanted my full participation, you should have consulted me first, before foisting this social shaming on me in a public place.

When I am asked the ubiquitous: “Would you like to round up today?”… my usual response is… “Not today, thanks.” In an effort to be polite, I hear myself actually thanking them for annoying me.

If I’m cranky and not in the mood for this bizarre ritual, I usually say NO before they can get to the word UP. So it sounds something like….

“Would you like to round.” “NO.”

 Sometimes just to keep life interesting, I surprise myself and them by saying,

“Oh sure, what the heck? Let’s Round’er Up.”

I think what bugs me most about this practice, is the subtle implication that if I choose not to round up, that I am somehow a bad person.  After I say “No,” I imagine all the people in line behind me shaking their heads in judgement.  I am pretty sure I have even heard an occasional “Tisk Tisk” from a fellow shopper.

What’s next? Automatic sirens and a voice coming over the loud speaker saying: “Security, you’re needed in Lane 3.  We have a customer who refuses to round up!” And you hear the whole store gasp in unison, and then let out a collective “Tisk Tisk.” And you are mortified. Few people ever fully recover from their first public Tisking. It’s powerful stuff.

I am perfectly capable of choosing and contributing to the charities of my choice.  In fact, I sent a donation check to a charity this very week…on my own…without any public prompting. Turns out, I don’t need the checker at Whole Foods to pick my charities for me after all.

Karyn Ruth White is a Success Humorist, Keynote Speaker, Author, Comedian and Presentation Coach. She is the proud owner of Laugh and Learn Productions, LLC, an enterprise dedicated to helping people live and work from their greatness. She has pretty much always been able to “round up” the courage to say what’s on her mind. Visit karynruth.com or email info@karynruth.com.