What are you after?
November 3, 2017

If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. So goes the advice often attributed to “Mom” -- but I’m not buying it. You can always find something nice to say. When’s the last time you had an adverse reaction, for example, to the following? “I feel so bad for you.”

Oh, wait. It’s happened to me. Sometimes I’ll wince at a report from Kate. What suddenly has me aching for her, she’ll promise, is way out of proportion to the actual event. “It’s fine,” she’ll say, like I’m taking the “Mom thing” (another “Mom thing,” that is) a little too far.

“Yeah?” I tease her right back. “Well, there are worse fates than knowing you matter this much to someone.” The last time it happened I reminded her how bad she’d felt for me when my restaurant order of salmon came slathered in something decidedly not Planworthy -- before she realized I’d added “salmon with the sauce scraped off” to The Plan.

But the look on her face when the waiter placed it in front of me? Actual pain. I'll never forget that look. It hurt me right back, before I decided all over again how wonderful it is to matter this much to someone.

Isn’t that what we all want? To know we matter? To someone?