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The Stress Doc Letter
Cybernotes from the Online Psychohumorist (tm)

December 1998, No. 2

Dear Readers. By popular demand, here is your gumbo of the sublime, the spicy and the ridiculous: a tasty mix of my writings along with humor jokes, lists and other sparkling entities that have descended from cyberspace. For more articles on a variety of psychology topics, try these links: www.stressdoc.com or on AOL -- <A HREF="www.stressdoc.com">STRESSDOC HOMEPAGE </A> or Keyword: Stress Doc, <A HREF="aol://4344:972.doc.1264535.556723207"> The Stress Doc @ Online Psych</A> . And here's an AOL link with with series of articles on downsizing, layoffs and career transition, <A HREF="aol://4344:972.docwork.1255066.562088752">The Stress Doc Interview @ Online Psych</A> .

If you know others who would like to receive "The Stress Doc Newsletter," please pass their names along. (AOL subscription link <A HREF="aol://1391:43-61027">form driven mail</A> .) And, if you wish not to receive the newsletter, just email me with, "unsubscribe." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Stress Doc goes with the holiday flow, drawing upon readers' heartfelt musings to his holiday newsletter. From poignant loss to passionate living, savor this generous gift of distinctive individuality and shared humanity.

Readers Respond to Holiday Stress

The holiday newsletter elicited a poignant, passionate and playful mix from readers. It was so tasty, I wanted to share this generous gumbo with you. Topics include: a) reflections on a transformative year, b) thoughts of a recently deceased loved one, c) concern about the lack of reciprocity in family communication, d) a poetic image of love countered by some irreverent mother-in-law musings, e) loving play between mother and daughter along with ponderings about poppa and panda, and f) a tiding of comfort and joy.

From: SLaird

Dear MARK, Last MAY I wrote to you with much unhappiness and a heavy heart. I lost my Favorite Aunt to Death and my Job. I hit FIFTY and put myself in a place working where I did not need to keep challanging myself.

I took some good advice and got some help. Being fifty isn't so bad. I STARTED A NEW Business. I HAVE BEEN TAKING a course called PSI seminars and I am on my way to Being who I am. Listening more clearly to people, enjoying my life and being the best that I can be! Contributing something back to society with out asking back and not counting how many deeds I DID that were goooooood............. THANK YOU FOR YOUR ADVICE. You told me that I needed to get some help and I did!!!!! HAVE an awsome holiday !!!!!!! SHARON LAIRD

(Editor's Note: If you have a question, assuming the time and energy, I will try to answer your email. Send to stressdoc@aol.com .) ------------------------------------------------------------

From: Astern

Dear SD, Thanks for your Dec. Newsletter. It is Monday morning and I was thinking of my companion of many years who died Aug. lst and feeling a lot down. I am going to his sister's house for Christmas with my kids which we did every year (l7) and he will not be there. Talk about holiday blues. He was R. C. and I'm Jewish and I enjoyed the day very much. I was worrying about being a boiled potato because I miss him so much and after reading your newsletter the feeling I got was that it is OK. I loved the Dec. letter and all of them. You are great. Happy holidays, Astern ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Juice215

Thanks Doc for the newsletter! I really enjoyed "I Can't Remember"!!!! Sounds exactly like me. LOL!! However, I need to send this to my family and friends in Michigan! Seems like I am doing all of the writing and not getting any replies. It seems writing is a lost art nowadays!

I have learned long ago not to let the holidays make me stressful. I make a small list of what I am going to give and only charge what I can pay off by Feb.!

Thanks again for the newsletter! Juice ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Lilly10033

Mark,

Very touching newsletter today about holidays. There's so many hues and moods to holiday's yet prevailing is laughter at the stress and humor at people arriving from Euribias aka down under LOL. But in the end tis just a laughin one must do at what we try so hard to make the season be. When all it takes is love, laughter, and tolerance, and charity. Then in some cases the better part of valor is to get thee to a far away place out of town; for the better part of valor is to run like hell if nothing else works... Stress you bet there is stress. Some good and totally amusing and some sad for some of my family. But all will go well. Of this I'm positive because love is the the ribbon that ties us all together no matter where we are,together or naye. And when one in the family gets news that the mother-in-law from Hell is coming not only to test your marriage to the limits and make all around including her son generally miserable, and this we know because divorce was almost a done deal two times she visited before. One knows friends and family will rally and help them thru it...Perhaps it's Satan that makes her do those things she does so well. Enough. Love will win the day if laughter holds its hand.and the people in your family hold yours . Tis a happy holiday season , challenges, stresses, and all. Maybe I'll go to the bahamas this year. LOL -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: SeaOfStars

My dear friend, another wonderful newsletter....how very much I love this time of year..... Katie and I put the tree up this year.... and we shared so much laughter ...she straddled the tree and sat on it outside while I tried to saw the bottom even.... that's after we got it un-stuck from the trunk of the car..... and after we put it up, it was going down.... W grabbed it.... tried moving it a half inch at the bottom, but moved it an inch and half...going down the other way!!!!!.... grabbed it again.... we held, we edged the bottom over.... very carefully and slowly let go of it, and voila!!!, it stood up!!!!...until I decided I needed to turn it just a little...... going down again..... but we finally got it to stand straight and tied it with red ribbon to the bannister to steady it since the cats were extremely interested in it..... yesterday, before I drove her back, we managed to decorate most of it.... a wonderful weekend full of real Christmas spirit.... I always tried to show the girls what Christmas really means... it isn't presents and stress.... it's calm and love and sharing and remembering the real reason for the day....

I fight my own ghosts at this time of year Mark... Christmas 1957 the doctors allowed my dad to come home from the hospital for a few days... he went back to the hospital and died the following March... my brother gave me a tall stand up panda bear that year... the bear still stands in my bedroom next to the rocking chair my dad would rock me in as we watched Nat King Cole and Perry Como.... you would have loved my dad Mark... he was so warm and caring.... a person with a warm heart and sharing soul.... how much I still miss him, and still can't listen to "I'll Be Home For Christmas" without tears filling my eyes thinking of him.... but Mark, this is a magical time of year where the impossible becomes probable and love should fill the being.... oh gosh... rambling... I've been accused of being a Pollyanna... I don't think so... maybe my dad lives through me ... quiet smiles.... Barb -------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Fabulous M

Just wanted to say a heart-y Thanks for the Holiday Newsletter! I loved the jokes about the family vis a vis blues v. stress; the characterization of St. Nick as a dysfunctional, over-eating role model for the holiday, your apt advice on "presence, not presents" and the wonderful lines from readers at the end.

You are a national treasure, and I want you to know how much I've appreciated all your mailings this past year, especially this one, but not to overlook the poignant self-disclosures around Prozac and the Tales of Sun and Moon.

I wish for you the very things you work so diligently to help others discover: peace, well-being and joy of living. Lots of love to you, every day of the year,

Marilyn

(I'll be sending a new stress management associate to your web pages soon!)

(Ed. Note: Aw shucks ;-). Thank you all for your thought and caring. And for any missed newsletters or articles, just email.)

For all, a graceful and joyful holiday! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Stress Doc Newsletter The Higher Power of Humor Section...

The second section will consist of humor material that filters down from cyberspace. Since the above letters all came from women, they get the chance to strut their stuff. Do I play favorites?...You bet I do!

Women's Words/Women's Worlds From: Bogie 361

I'm not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I'm not dumb...and I also know that I'm not blonde. --- Dolly Parton

You see a lot of smart guys with dumb women, but you hardly ever see a smart woman with a dumb guy. ---- Erica Jong

I want to have children, but my friends scare me. One of my friends told me she was in labor for 36 hours. I don't even want to do anything that feels GOOD for 36 hours. ---- Rita Rudner

I figure that if the children are alive when I get home, I've done my job. ---- Roseanne

My husband and I are either going to buy a dog or have a child. We can't decide to ruin our carpet or ruin our lives. ---- Rita Rudner

I was on a date recently, and the guy took me horseback riding. That was kind of fun, until we ran out of quarters. ----- Susie Loucks

I've been on so many blind dates, I should get a free dog. ---- Wendy Liebman

Never lend your car to anyone to whom you have given birth to. ---- Erma Bombeck

I'm not going to vacuum 'til Sears makes one you can ride on. ---- Roseanne

I would love to speak a foreign language, but I can't. So I grew hair under my arms instead. ---- Sue Kolinsky

I look just like the girls next door... if you happen to live next door to an amusement park. ----- Dolly Parton

I found out why cats drink out of the toilet. My mother told me it's because it's cold in there. And I'm like: How did my mother know THAT? --- Wendy Liebman

I think-therefore I'm single. ---- Lizz Winstead

"When women are depressed they either eat or go shopping. Men invade another country."

"I base most of my fashion taste on what doesn't itch." --- Gilda Radner

"Behind every successful man is a surprised woman." --- Maryon Pearson

"Our struggle today is not to have a female Einstein get appointed as an assistant professor. It is for a woman schlemiel to get as quickly promoted as a male schlemiel." --- Bella Abzug

"In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man; if you want anything done, ask a woman." --- Margaret Thatcher

"I have yet to hear a man ask for advice on how to combine marriage and a career." --- Gloria Steinem

Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then." --- Katharine Hepburn

"I never married because there was no need. I have three pets at home which answer the same purpose as a husband. I have a dog which growls every morning, a parrot which swears all afternoon and a cat that comes home late at night." ---- Marie Corelli

"Nagging is the repetition of unpalatable truths." ---- Baroness Edith Summerskill

"If men can run the world, why can't they stop wearing neckties? How intelligent is it to start the day by tying a little noose around your neck?" ---- Linda Ellerbee

"I am a marvelous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man I keep his house." --- Zsa Zsa Gabor ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Benefits Of Older Women From: SWells1835

An older woman will never wake you up in the middle of the night and ask you, "What are you thinking?" An older woman doesn't care what you think.

An older woman always carries a condom in her purse. A younger woman is still hoping the guy might have one on him.

An older woman is a cheaper date. A younger woman will cost you 12 beers, but an older woman will sleep with you after a cup of a herbal tea.

The older a woman gets, the stronger her libido gets and the older a man gets, the weaker his libido gets... which is why nature intended young guys to go out with older women and young women to go out with older men.

An older woman can wear bright red lipstick during the day without looking like she just had an adventure inside a jam jar. This is not true of younger women or drag queens.

Older women can run faster because they're always wearing sensible shoes.

(Ed. Note. I have to question this one. About a dozen years ago I appeared as a guest expert on cable television. The program was a gumbo of talk show and infomercial called, "The Yvonne La Fleur Show: The Boutique for the Sensual Southern Belle." (Or something like that.) Naturally, this occurred dueing my creative exile in New Orleans. Anyway, my topic: "The Psychology of Women's Shoes." Hey, I discovered every woman has a shoe story. And, the absurdity of the moment inspired my first blues number (precursor to my pioneering work in the field of psychologically humorous rap music - "Shrink Rap" Productions). Here it is: "That New Pair of Shoes."

Well you got the blues, still you just can't lose Cause your ready to cruise in your new pair of shoes.

Now you've paid your dues, so your feet can choose To amuse or make news, in those new pair of shoes.

Don't let them confuse your personal views There's only one muse; Yvonne La Fleur Shoes!

Needless to say, Yvonne and the camera crew went wild. ;-)

An older woman is into free sex! An older woman is almost always already attached to someone, so there's no need to develop a phobia about committing to her. The last thing she needs in her life is another clingy, whiny, dependent man.

Older women are more honest. An older woman will tell you that you are an asshole if you're acting like one. A young woman will say nothing, just in case it means you might break up with her.

An older woman will never get pregnant and then suddenly demand that the two of you get married. In fact, if you impregnate an older woman, you will probably be the last to know...

Older women have jobs with dental plans. Younger women can't help you when your teeth get knocked out playing hockey.

An older woman will never accuse you of "using her." She's using you!

Older women take charge of the situation. An older woman will call you up and ask you for a date. A younger woman will wait forever, by the phone, for you to call...

Older women know how to cook. Young women know how to dial Pizza Hut Take Out.

An older woman will introduce you to all of her girlfriends. A younger woman will avoid her girlfriends when she's with you, in case you get any ideas...

Older women are psychic. You never have to confess to having an affair, because somehow they always know.

Older women often own an interesting collection of lingerie that they have acquired from admirers over the years. Young women often don't wear underpants at all, thus practically eliminating all possibility of a strip-tease.

An older woman will agree to go to McDonald's with you for a meal. Younger women are too nervous to eat anything in front of somebody that they might possibly boff later.

Older women are dignified. They are beyond having a screaming match with you in the middle of the night in a public park.

Older women are experienced. They understand that sometimes, after 12 beers, a boy just can't get it up. A younger woman may need some time to grasp this fact.

An older woman has lots of girlfriends... and most of them will want to screw you too.

An older woman will always meet the minimum height requirement to go on an amusement ride.

An older woman will never accuse you of stealing the best years of her youth because chances are someone else has stolen them first.

Seek the higher power of humor...May the Farce Be with You!

And, of course...Practice Safe Stress! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ -------------------

Mark Gorkin, "The Stress Doc," Licensed Clinical Social Worker, is a nationally recognized speaker, workshop leader and author on stress, reorganizational change, anger, team building, creativity and humor. He is also the internet's and the nation's leading "Psychohumorist." The Stress Doc is a columnist for the popular cyber-newsletter, Humor From The Edge . Mark is also the "Online Psychohumorist" for the major AOL mental health resource network, Online Psych and Financial Services Journal Online -- http://fsc.fsonline.com/fsj . And he is an offline writer for two mental health/substance abuse publications -- Treatment Today and Paradigm Magazine. His motto: Have Stress? Will Travel: A Smart Mouth for Hire! Reach "The Doc" at (202) 232-8662, email: Stress Doc@aol.com, or check out his "Hot Site" website: http://www.stressdoc.com . (The site was selected as a USA Today Online "Hot Site" and designated a four-star, top-rated site by Mental Health Net.)

(c) Mark Gorkin 1998 Shrink Rap Productions