Listen: we don’t want to tell you how to act or anything. But if you run into us on the street and we are accompanied by one or more of our family members, could you do us a favor? Just don’t bring up our little talks here, OK? Not that we would ever say anything that blah blah blah, but still? They don’t read the paper, so let’s not pique their curiosity. And we never remember what we’ve written, anyway. So a generous smile will be sufficient. Or a discreet spit on the sidewalk.

That said, and this is totally unrelated, we all need to register right now for Communication Skills for the 21st Century, a workshop that offers “specific communication skills that give you more confidence in working with conflict and difficult people.” Know any difficult people? So do we. “This workshop is open to anyone wishing to learn how to work more effectively with their emotions.” That will probably scare some of you off, and if so, FINE! We don’t want our experience frustrated by you wusses who fear to feel. The program is offered by the Zen Community of Oak Park as an “Inner Disarmament Workshop.” We ask you: who among us could not afford to lay down our inner arms? Yes, it is expensive: $175. But that’s for three days, Friday, August 12, through Sunday, August 14, so it only works out to about $10.30 an hour. OK, so that’s still expensive, but you miss our point! Perhaps you are fending us off with your inner arms.

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