It’s high time we put the most enduring myths about human behavior to bed, and see the mind—and the world—as it is.
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Laughter, pleasure, malice, and the pursuit of adult fun
Gina Barreca Ph.D.
Why is it more satisfying to trap speculation inside the cage of bet than simply to disagree, allow the question go free-range, and see what happens?
“They still sell Jean Nate, Gina. You can buy it at Walgreens. You can get it at Target. They didn’t stop making it just because you stopped buying it."
My problems, both emotional and cognitive, had to do with getting stuff in the right order: I couldn’t do it.
Losing something adds a moment of chaos to life by introducing an unforeseen element into our day. It’s a humbling experience—and one that makes us face our own lack of control.
I typed in a constellation of physical ailments bothering me that night. Then I hit "search." It was a mistake. Even the cats became anxious.
I've had a lot of experience with losing. I was always on the losing team—if I made it onto a team—at school. You probably have your own version of the same story. Most of us do.
“Candidate Pete Buttigieg will find himself scrutinized continually for every hug and touch he initiates—and even those he doesn’t initiate,” argues Guest Blogger Nicholas Newman.
A tender and intelligent approach to dementia changes our vocabulary and helps us understand it without fear.
Male lawmakers outraged by the thought that women can freely make our own decisions about sex and reproduction are infuriated by women wanting choice.
I once flew to Perth, Australia, to give a talk on humor and confidence because it’s not fair for me to tell others, “Face your fears! But I’m taking the bus.”
Immaturity whines; immaturity rolls its eyes; immaturity takes everything personally; immaturity accepts no responsibility; immaturity shows up late and leaves early. It's selfish.
What do you wish you’d had the opportunity, talent, and discipline to place into your intellectual carry-on? What holds you back from learning more now?
As soon as Clairol colored your hair, life was guaranteed to be nice and easy. This is what I learned when I was 10 years old and reading ladies’ magazines looking for advice.
The most terrible pronouncements in ancient times, verdicts considered worse than death, were exile and banishment: denying the right to have intimate contact with loved ones.
You never know what will be the beginning of things until you’re in the middle; it’s only in retrospect that you learn the importance of what started it all.
Divorce, disconnection and distance feel as irrevocable as death. A decisive split with family can leave you lonely. Yet we must leave the past to the past. Celebrate the present.
Nothing significant has ever started with a general idea. It starts with a memory. A piece of dialogue. A perspective. And it takes courage.
There are right ways to begin disagreement, but the wrong way is to start with "Look, this is how I DO IT. Let me show you."
I’m trying to figure out if I got my 34-cent discount by looking old.
The word "diet" comes from the classical Greek "diaita" for "mode of life," so it's not surprising that we've spoken for years of "regular diets."
To those who accuse me of elitism, I'll borrow the words of Inigo Montoya from “The Princess Bride”: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
How can we see colors with our eyes closed? "On Color" will help you see the world around you with more acuity—and more joy—because you'll be asking more and better questions.
My friend Heidi gave birth to her daughter on Labor Day. She tends to take things literally.
The phrases “alternative facts” and “fake news’” are the political equivalent of “I love her but I’m not in love with her,” and “I'd never cheat on you: I'm too busy!"
To defend, without examination or information, platitudes designed to prey on tribal and vicious emotions is to betray those very principles upon which the U.S.A. was founded.
There are lousy male bosses, but we usually drop the lowest common denominator and simply refer to that person as the “lousy boss” without emphasizing his gender. Why?
When I moved as a kid and left all my friends behind, I was desperately lonely and convinced myself I needed one thing to make me happy.
It's tough to relinquish grudges. Are there words and actions you find unforgivable, even if they happened in the past? Here's how others have handled being unable to forgive.
Along with days of glory, garden-variety moments of satisfaction are also fleeting. Our ordinary days need cultivation and attention: They are what we harvest in our lifetimes.
A dazzlingly honest memoir about teaching Shakespeare in Italy as his wife confronts cancer—and his students confront their own identity issues—"The Good New" is a must-read.
Gina Barreca, Ph.D., is a professor of English at UConn, and the author of It's Not That I'm Bitter: How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Visible Panty Lines and Conquered the World.