Sunday, March 9, 2014

When You Start With A False Premise...

It all goes to hell pretty fast.  A case in point:    "How to be a Friend to a Friend Who's Sick" by Letty Cottin Pogrebin   Public Affairs Publishing   283 pages   $24.99

Pogrebin's false premise is that we don't know how to read our friends and I would argue (forcefully, if necessary) that she's dead solid wrong.  "Friends" means -- not implies - that you ad the friend have exchanged confidences, shared experiences and know each other inside and out.  You're friends because you're on the same wave length.  You both "get it" about each other and life itself. 

So at least three-quarters of this book is a lecture on when to visit a friend in the hospital (Don't!  They're there because they're sick, fool!) or at home.  She says that we must Ask and Act and to be specific about it.  "How about I take the dog for a walk?" 

The only vaguely helpful bits I gleaned were that none of us are God.  No one is at fault except the successful suicide.  After a child dies, it's okay to mention the kid's name and a nice memory -- the parents are already thinking of the child 24/7 anyhow; a mention isn't going to make them suddenly remember, "Oh, yeah,  that's right!  Kid's dead."  The parents welcome an opportunity to talk about the child.
You may note an angry tone to this and you'd be right.  Lecturing implies an "I'm above you" attitude which grates.  My friends know what I'm talking about...

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