Pearl's Paradise

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled teams yearning to breath free…"

April 4, 2012
by Steve Pearl
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Learning about Love, One Day at a Time

Recently I was prompted to go back and look for resources that would help me do an extended study on the subject of "Love."  We all think we know what love is, right?  It's that gooey, warm feeling you get when you meet someone you think is your "soul" mate and then you start to plan your life together.

Wrong!

The infatuation that comes with that first meeting, that "love at first sight" encounter, is nothing but a passing fancy.  The first time you hit a speed bump you realize all is not well and perhaps, just perhaps, your "soul mate" really isn't all that and a bag of chips.

Perhaps you survive the speed bump.  Things get back on track and you move forward.  So you stop worrying about it and life gets back to "normal," whatever "normal" represents for you and yours.  Of course "normal" might not mean "healthy" and there might just be festering yuckiness lurking under the covers of your relationship.

Then you hit a bigger speed bump.  

This time it's a whopper.  You hit the wall at warp speed and this time things get really bitter, really fast.

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May 31, 2011
by Steve Pearl
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“Another Year Wiser…”

I celebrated my latest birthday last week.  (49th, in case you were wondering.)  It's funny, I really don't feel any older.  I think it was actually my birthday in some alternate universe somewhere and we just celebrated it here in this space-time continuum.

(Okay, I admit I watched a little too much, "Star Trek" as a child.)

Celebrating the event was a huge blessing in a lot of ways.  At the end of the day Leah, the kids, and I got together for Blizzards and other tasty grub at the Bear, Delaware DQ Grill-n-Chill.  It was the perfect birthday present to cap off the day, packing on the pounds with the family.

BTW…  To Mr. Don Graham, you run a really nice establishment at that Grill-n-Chill.  Good people, high-quality food, great time!

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March 27, 2009
by Steve Pearl
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facebook Reconsidered: Uniting or Dividing Families?

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am a debater at heart.  I love the challenge of a verbal and intellectual sparring match, especially when I think there is even the slightest chance of winning the argument.

It might seem obvious to anyone who has been married for any length of time, but when I get into debates with my bride (pictured top-left on the main page) I rarely win.  It’s not that I throw in the towel with my sweetheart just to maintain marital harmony.  No, you can count on the fact that I give her a good tussle whenever we disagree over an issue.

The reason I so rarely win when I debate my wife is that I am so seldom right.

(At this juncture I can hear the voices  of a thousand females shouting, “HALLELUJAH!  A man who knows when to admit he’s wrong!”)

The reasons I married Leah were fairly simple:

  1. There are few other women out there who could tolerate my ridiculously over-developed sense of ego
  2. There are few other women out there who would tolerate my ridiculously over-the-top penchant to debate
  3. There were no other women out there who did tolerate

The debate the other night involved “facebook.”  (Would somebody please tell me why they insist on lower-casing the name?  As someone who has been in the advertising business for a decade-and-a-half I still don’t get it.  But I digress.)

Speaking honestly, Facebook (there I go rebelling against the whole lower-case thing) creeps out my wife.  I know I won’t do her position full justice, but I think I can capture the gist of her argument.

Facebook, though ostensibly a public forum, is a method of communication that is still all about the individual.  And we’re not talking about deep communication.  We’re talking about the superficial, silly stuff that didn’t exist when people thought long and hard before penning a letter to a long-lost friend.  We’re talking about all those insipid “games” and “polls” and “causes,” some of which may have legitimacy but most of which are merely frivolous.  We’re talking about mundacity like, “25 things nobody knows about me”, that masquerade as revealing when all they are is usually superfluous.

Did you know, for example, that I had been arrested in my youth?

Now that’s not something you’re going to find on FaceBook.  (Double capitals!  YES!)

No, on Facebook (back to single caps again) we don’t get that deep.  We stay “pithy,” with short quips and minimalist clippings of the largely boring malarky of life.  It’s things like, “wishing I had another cup of coffee to get me through the day.”  Or how about, “Join the ‘What I hate about facebook’s new front page'” insurrection.  (As if I honestly cared a whit about what facebook’s (no caps this time) front page looked like.)

My wife’s point took me by surprise, so of course I battled her for more than 40 minutes until we both got bored with it and went to bed.

The next day I reflected on her point and realized just how right she was.

Let me set up the scene.  Without some background, the point I’m about to raise might come off sounding like petty jealousy or paranoia.  With some background – and some uncharacteristic depth, at least where anything about FaceBook is concerned – I think you’ll see just what it is about faceBook that can get creepy and just a little bit scary.

When I married my wife I remember making a lot of promises at the altar.  There were the usual, “love, honor, & cherish” phrases.  Tucked within those vows, though, were deeper promises and commitments.  To respect.  To communicate.  To elevate her above myself.  To never forget the importance of dialog in a marriage relationship.

March 24, 2009
by Steve Pearl
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“Dear Kate, End the show before it’s too late.”

Dear Kate,

You don’t know me.  You have no reason to trust my advice.  I am, after all, just a Christian guy who, along with his wife, has managed to stay happily married for nearly 21 years.  With just three kids (16, 14, and 11) living under the roof of our townhouse I know my experiences pale in comparison to the complexity of managing your brood.  Somehow, though, I hope you will hear what I have to say and take my advice to heart.

As I took my turn on the treadmill last night I tuned into the “season finale” of your show, “Jon and Kate Plus 8.”  Throughout the second half of the hour last night the producers repeatedly teased the “cliff hanger.”  They interspersed the cuts of the kids getting royal treatment court-side with the Harlem Globetrotters with cuts of Jon uttering phrases like, “…if we are back for a fifth season…” and “I can’t be just ‘Jon,’ I’m ‘Jon and Kate Plus 8’…”.

I knew where the trip was heading long before the train hit the station.  I have seen the rumors on the Internet.  I have seen the photos of Jon looking toasted as he visited a local bar near his parents house.  I knew there was trouble in Paradise (or whatever Lancaster area town in which you now live) months ago.  Over the past week the network made sure they milked your dilemma for all it was worth.

I am sure the ratings for last night’s show were through the roof.

There was, however, something vaguely creepy and distinctly ominous about the ending.  At the risk of speaking out of turn, I feel compelled to offer you some urgent advice.

Click to continue reading ““Dear Kate, End the show before it’s too late.””

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