Tough love is best served with a boot

I donít have anything interesting to say today. Trust me, I thought of everything. But nonetheless, no quirky anecdotes, no off-color references or mildly offensive dialogue to offer. The words just arenít there. Only a blank screen with a brown and sticky keyboard, because I thought a fudgesicle might get the creative juices flowing. It only slowed me down; part of me knew it would.

What else is there to say? Sometimes youíve got it, sometimes you donít. It doesnít happen often, but all Iím working with at the moment is an empty head and a full sweater, which, if I were a bouncer, would put me on a fast track to becoming head of bar security. But if your job is to write something people will read, it doesnít do a thing.

Nope, all there is to do is sit and sing the blues.

Itís not a good feeling, being unproductive. But at least Iím getting paid, right?

ďThatís a horrible outlook,Ē my conscious says. ďBuck up, squeeze something out, anything. But donít just wallow in your chair and make up lame excuses.Ē

Heís right. I had some lame ones, too, like: ďI wouldnít be so groggy if I hadnít been up all night worried about Jane Seymour, who couldnít perform on ĎDancing with the Starsí because sheís sick with food poisoning.Ē

But if excuses arenít allowed, what can you do when things arenít going your way?

Stealing ideas from other people seems like a good start. So I read a few columns in different newspapers to see what I could pirate from them, but that only made me feel worse, because their stuff was way better than mine.

Frustrated and sad, I did what anyone at the end of their rope would do Ė†I called my mommy.

ďThatís a horrible outlook,Ē my mom said. ďBuck up, squeeze something out, anything. But donít just wallow in your chair and make up excuses.Ē

Damn! I was hoping for a ďdonít be so hard on yourself,Ē or a ďIím sure itís not so bad. In fact, I bet youíre doing great. Why donít you forget all about it and Iíll make you some lasagna.Ē Instead, all I got was tough love.

Itís not always a bad thing, that tough love. It might not be what we want to hear, but sometimes a little shock can go a long way. I always think about that famous ďSnap out of it!Ē scene in Moonstruck, when Cher smacks Nicolas Cage across the face in the hopes heíll get his get act together and leave her alone.

Thereís not enough of that anymore. Instead of addressing problems, we address peopleís feelings, which isnít always bad, but it isnít always the same as fixing whatís wrong with them.

Itís not being insensitive. In fact, Iím a feelings guy all the way. But I can also smell B.S. a mile away, and itís usually my own. And when I say B.S., I mean milking being stuck in a rut for all itís worth.

In my opinion Ė not saying I look forward to people dishing out my own advice on me Ė the best cure for the blues is a good kick in the butt. Like it or not, it always seems to work.

Save the hugs and the tears of joy for when you get back on track. Consider that a good dessert after whatís been a lousy dinner.

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