An ‘I love you’ post-it note on the refrigerator in her heart

(For Jenny)

My daughter is surprised that a friend of hers knows that she is feeling a certain way before she even knows it herself.

I tell her that the people that have keys to our hearts do that sometimes. They don’t knock or ask if they can come in. They say to themselves,“I’ll just let myself in.” And they do. They open the door and enter in and look around.They find what they find when they come in that way, unasked and uninvited.

This is an unexpected gift that those we love have access to us in this way. And sometimes they even do the dishes while they are there. Sometimes they leave flowers and balloons.

Father’s Day 2011: Running on the rocks

Beach Cliffs

As my brother tells it, I was following him as was my wont. Whatever my big brother did, I wanted to do also.

Running on the rocks beside the roaring surf of the Maryland coastline? Yes and yes. And just as you’d suspect, my shorter legs did not serve me well in keeping up with my big brother. In fact, the story goes, I tripped and fell tumbling headlong for the sea and that could have been, probably would have been, the end of me — I imagine myself swept out in the tides embrace — had not my father heroed me.

Daddy saved me — ran like a madman as he saw first the impending disaster, then the slow motion actuality of me tripping and the start of my tumble to the sea. He caught me by the scruff of my dress at neck and the hem of my dress at knee and threw me over his shoulder as he fell himself on the rocks breaking his leg but stopping his own fall into the hissing cauldron of waves by holding on to the granite outcrop with arms so big and strong I felt, as I lay bleeding from my fall to sharp safety, that he could hold the sky up with those arms, he could beat the sea with his fists and subdue its wild waves.

My Daddy saved me. He broke his leg in doing so and at the same time some restraint in me that had been in place broke also, let loose, and ever since and ever after I still find myself, I will find myself, running on the rocks.

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s day to all the little girl’s heroes and grown up daughter’s dads, the fathers of sons young and old. A father shapes and influences his children in countless ways. Even his absence will leave its mark.

Links of interest:

Dad’s good parenting may help daughters avoid risky sex
Study showing father’s influence: Dads can sway daughters towards math, science (PDF)
The Impact of Fathers

Dancing wedding party entrance

Joyous cavorting and happy gamboling

This St. Paul, Minnesota couple, Jill Peterson and Kevin Hines, look to be off to a joyful start. Adorable!

(Just ignore that it’s a Chris Brown song.)

YouTube Video: JK Wedding Entrance Dance

Here’s an update via Jezebel on 07/31/09:

“Wedding Dance” newlyweds speak out against domestic violence

After their wedding video rocketed to fame and sold thousands of downloads of Chris Brown’s song “Forever,” Jill and Kevin have launched a site of their own, soliciting donations to combat domestic violence. They seem pretty serious about it, too.

On their new site,, the couple states: “Due to the circumstances surrounding the song in our wedding video, we have chosen the Sheila Wellstone Institute. Sheila Wellstone was an advocate, organizer, and national champion in the effort to end domestic violence in our communities.” The site prominently displays links where readers can donate.

A statement from the Sheila Wellstone Institute points out that Jill’s current Ph.D. work “focuses on breaking cycles of violence in society” and that Kevin is on his way to law school “due to his passion for social justice.”

Your slippered tongue

By Annette Marie Hyder

Your tongue tries on each word,delicately
so that every thing you say is a perfect fit —
a glass slipper or elven cobble
but with the devil to pay for the rouge of its hue.
Your words join hands and form into sentences
never languish wilting shyly against a wall
but become stories
of dancing princesses
and bloody ogres
that enchant and repel equally
as you lick your way to shivery endings
that have even the seams of the stockings
on that slippered tongue
neat as a pin
but stitched to the skin.

The museum of failed relationships

Photo courtesy of Museum of Failed Relationships in Singapore

Romantic detritus and sentimental debris

A bottle opener shaped like a key, mannequin hands, fuzzy pink handcuffs, a tear soaked stuffed teddy bear, and more — music, books, a favorite t-shirt, a wedding gown: romantic detritus and sentimental debris. What do you do with the things that are the leftover remnants of a failed relationship? Donate them to the exhibition of the relics of failed love that hopes to bring solace to the heartbroken: The Museum of Broken Relationships.

The Museum of Broken Relationships, which opened in Singapore yesterday, is a traveling display of items related to failed relationships donated by people who live in the cities the museum has visited.

Concept founders Olinka Vistica and Drazen Grubisic decided to set up the exhibit in Croatia after consoling friends over failed romances. They hope its global tour will offer people the chance to overcome the pain of heartbreak through art.

These remnants of several love affairs have so far shown in Croatia, London and Berlin. Singapore is their first Asian stop.

“The Museum of Broken Relationships is an art concept which proceeds from the assumption that objects possess … holograms of memories and emotions, and intends with its layout to create a space of secure memory in order to preserve the heritage of broken relationships,” says the exhibit’s website.

“That’s why it could be therapeutic.”

Gets rid of, yet keeps safe, emotionally laden items

In Berlin, an axe used by a woman to break up her ex-girlfriend’s
furniture, along with the broken furniture, was on display alongside a
wedding dress and a pair of skates.

Every object in the museum is anonymous and has a short description of the relationship of which it was a part.

Olinka Vistica, co-founder of the concept said the exhibition helps give people a place to get rid of, yet keep safe, emotionally laden items.

The exhibition is a place at which everybody can exhibit a part of their personal history and compare it with others

People wanting to donate items can do so via its website, at the donations link.

From the Museum of Broken Relationships website:

The Museum of Broken Relationships is an art concept which proceeds from the assumption that objects possess integrated fields – holograms of memories and emotions – and intends with its layout to create a space of secure memory or protected remembrance in order to preserve the material and nonmaterial heritage of broken relationships.

Unlike the destructive self-help instructions for recovery from failed loves, the Museum offers every individual the chance to overcome the emotional collapse through creation, i.e., by contributing to the holdings of the Museum. The individual gets rid of controversial objects , triggers of momentarily undesirable emotions, by turning them into museum exhibits, i.e., artifacts and thereby participating in the creation of a preserved collective emotional history.

Photo galleries

Slide show at

Museum of Failed Relationships in Singapore

See the exhibition in the photo gallery at the project’s website.

Love skews your sense of smell: sense of smell guardian of the heart?

Photo courtesy of

Women who are deeply in love are less able to smell men who might be rivals for their affections

You knew that love put a gleam in your eye and a spring in your step, but did you know it also puts a filter on your sense of smell? According to a new study, being deeply in love creates a barrier to recognizing the smell of other possible rivals for your affections:

Body odours are known to play a role in human sexual attraction. But how does falling in love affect our perception and processing of these smells?

To find out, Johan Lundström and Marilyn Jones-Gotman of McGill University in Montreal, Canada, asked a group of 20 young women with boyfriends to fill in a Passionate Love Scale questionnaire (pdf format) to determine just how much in love they were. Meanwhile, the women’s partners and male and female friends slept for seven nights in a cotton T-shirt with pads sewn into the underarms to soak up their sweat.

In a series of trials, each woman was asked to pick out their lover’s or a friend’s T-shirt from three garments, two of which had been worn by strangers. The women’s scores on the Passionate Love Scale made no difference to their ability to recognise a lover’s shirt, or that worn by a female friend. But those who were more deeply in love were less good at distinguishing a male friend’s odour from those of strangers.

This backs a theory of romantic attraction known as “deflection”, which
argues that being in love with someone entails a reduction in the
amount of attention we give to other potential suitors.

Full article, here, at New Scientist

Your nostrils in love
Annette Marie Hyder

are gates guarded by armored affections
that protect against the onslaught
of temptation

your sense of smell when you are in love — a chastity belt
hung against wandering eyes and hands