And it just so happens that my sister is pretty handy with the words of wisdom herself. One of the smartest things that my sister ever said - and that rings true even to this day like tinnitus of the soul - is an adage useful in just about any situation life can fling at you:
"Sometimes you just have to throw your hat over the fence and then go chase it."
My sister should have been a character in Hamlet, because that play would have been about an hour shorter. No hemming and hawing, no worry-warting and going over the if's, and's and but's yet another time. No waiting until you're 100% sure of any course of action because, brother, there just aren't that many 100% sure's out there.
Sometimes, you just gotta mortgage the house and take that trip around the world.
Sometimes, you gotta try to jump the Snake River Canyon and trust in your parachute packer.
Sometimes, you gotta throw caution and condoms to the wind, down that bottle of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, and get busy gettin' it on. Can you really handle one more kid? Yes. No. Maybe. Who really knows? You're almost sure...but...but...but...
Time to throw those panties...I mean hats...into the next yard, and just go after them.
Which in no way segues to our question of the week, but what the heck. I'm writing a post every 24 hours. You want solid editing, go read the National Review.
Our question this week comes from Concerned in Schuylkill County.
He or she writes
dear ugly sisters,
i have two friends whom i believe to be on a bit of a self destructive path. i'm worried they may not be able to live up to all of their personal goals and expectations, and their possible failure may adversely affect their relationship, or some innocent person who doesn't know that this month is not a normal everymonth-month. i hope you can advise me as to how to stop these friends from hurting themselves or someone they may love, before november is over.
signed: concerned in schuylkill county
First of all, I'm a strong believer in self-destructive paths.
I think that every seven years, just as the body renews and replaces a good chunk of itself with new cell growth, the psyche should likewise pack itself with Pop Rocks and then down a bottle of Coca-Cola just to blast a bit of the psychological stink out, or even setting off a rather large and firey explosion causing the psyche to rain down upon itself like confetti in Times Square, some of the bits getting blown into the gutters and washed out into the Hudson to be eaten by large sea bass.
And speaking of sea bass, wasn't it Pablo Picasso who said "Every act of creation is first an act of destruction?"
See how I completely destroyed that last extended metaphor, turned it into a fish, and then Voila!...Pablo Picasso was resurrected from the ashes of that sentence?
(NOTE: Please do not try this at home; I am a semi-professional blogger and have been writing nonsensical sentences for as long as I can remember.)
Self-destruction is nothing to fear!
In fact, I would encourage it in your friends.
And I would film their self-destruction and then post it on YouTube as a piece of cinematic fine art entitled Homage to Jean Tinguely.
And now to answer the second part of your question regarding personal goals, possible failure, expectations, relationships...blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
In response to all this, I need to now quote another great modern philosopher, Doris Day, when she so cogently observed
"Que sera, sera.
Whatever will be, will be.
The future's not ours to see,
Que sera, sera."
What I have found to be true is that, sure, people will say that they care about their friends and they fear for their friends' health and welfare as they watch their beloved skidding down the road to hell like sea bass on ball bearings, but do people ever do anything about it other than worry and talk, worry and talk? No, everyone wants the sordid excitement of an intervention where they can sit their friends under a 120 watt lightbulb and then put forth with their own words of wisdom, play the hero a la Dr. Phil and - let's be honest here - feel good about the fact that this time it's not them making a fool out of themselves and being put in the hot seat.
Oh sure, everyone wants to talk, talk, talk, talk, talk.
No one every thinks of throwing down a more practical roadblock on that Highway to Hades in the form of, say, a nice pasta dinner with salad, fresh bread and a bottle of wine. Maybe with a back rub thrown in for good measure. And don't forget the tiramisu, Kenny.
I mean, "Concerned in Schuylkill County".
I'm sure your friends will be free the first weekend in December, and you can help them pick up the pieces of their shattered lives with a nice red sauce and some calamari.
In the meantime, look at this serene view and relax, would ya?
Ugly Sister #1
If you have a question for the Ugly Sisters, write to us at TheUglySisters@yahoo.com