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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan 3, 2012/ 8 Teves, 5772

Friends With Benefits

By Alan Douglas




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The phrase "Friends With Benefits" is now part of our popular culture. It describes two individuals who like each other, are not romantically involved, but they have sex for mutual convenience. The underlying reasoning is that rather engaging in risky, casual sex, with strangers, you can "share" sex with a friend. Before you jump on your soap box or start having sexual fantasies, I must tell you; this essay is about my mother-in-law.

Selma arrived for her visit to our new home and immediately went to use our phone. She explained that she had to call her daughter back in New Jersey to let her know that she had arrived safely. Back in the old days when travel was exotic, adventurous and pleasant this was the custom. The good old days had a very expensive telephone monopoly. Telephones and calls were relatively expensive for most of history. The first telephones in homes were often "party lines" shared by multiple families and they were payphones (now almost extinct) requiring the user to deposit special tokens in their telephones.

Selma got on the phone, and wanted to place a collect, person-to-person call to herself, for the phone number at the New Jersey daughter's home. The daughter would answer, refuse to accept the call, and know that her Mother had arrived safely. This ruse allowed travelers in "the old days" to signal their safe arrival, without paying for a phone call. We assured Selma that we could afford for her to go ahead and place the call.

As my wife and I waited, Selma told her daughter on the other line that she was in our home. And then she launched into an enthusiastic speech, saying, "Their home is so much bigger than yours, they have a much larger back yard. So many bedrooms, a big television, it is so nice. I tell you it is a dream house." My mother-in-law made our home seem like a mansion in her description. My wife looked at each other in wonder. We had never heard such superlatives, or compliments from Selma.

The fact that they were so exaggerated made Selma's behavior even more puzzling. After concluding with a few more "wonderfuls" and "out this worlds" Selma ended the call. My wife immediately proceeded to help her mother get settled in while I pondered the meaning of all this.

Later that day I asked Selma about her lavish report. She explained to me that she always tried to treat both of her daughters fairly. To be fair, she told each daughter how terrific the other daughter was doing, how great the other daughter looked, how great their husband was, etc. My mother-in-law pointed her finger at me and said, "You've got to keep a balance to be fair."

"But I never heard you give praise to either of your daughters like that?" I objected "No, that wouldn't be fair. You shouldn't make one child feel more special, or superior, than the other child", she instructed me. Not having children, and realizing this discussion was in the danger zone, even I realized that I should shut my mouth. Long ago it was written that arguing with in-laws will only result in trouble. I recall once when my wife complained that I didn't support her, and argue on her behalf when her mother had unjustly criticized her. A few months later when my mother-in-law accused my wife again I sprung to my wife's defense, and received a subsequent reprimand, with instructions, "Don't start arguing with my Mother. Why ruin a nice evening."

Over the years I have learned that "friends with benefits" is rarely fair. One person cares more, hopes it will grow into something else, is desperate, or generally doesn't benefit. At the very least, "comfortable" sabotages striving for better. The person who gains most benefit rejects any charge of unfairness, claiming consent or mutual benefit. Selma fostered a competition between her daughters that benefited her. Each daughter wanted to gain the approval and praise that their mother so apparently bestowed on their sister. Competitions in families can be fun, constructive, or pure manipulation. Adults should be given the opportunity to make their own mistakes in a free society. I just want to remind you that when you hear words like, "consensual", or "friends with benefits" that doesn't make it right, or kind.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

JWR contributor Alan Douglas, an author, media executive, speaker, and attorney, lives con brio- except when he is grumpy.


Previously:

Pilgrimages
Moneyball, Economics and Medicine
Justice, My Aunt, and Gretsky
Hurricanes, Earthquakes and Home Depot
Glenn Beck, Norway, Hitler and Me
D Day: The Ripple Effect
What are you paying for?
Law, Etiquette and 5 Rules
Inspiration
Confusing Kindness with Weakness
When Katie Couric Got Pulled Off the Air…
Don't second guess the deceased
Pain and legacies
Being in the No
The Sixth Sense
Dogs in Danger
Facebook, LinkedIn and the Zuckerberg Exit
Simon Bolivar Would Tell Glenn Beck to, ‘Put A Sock In It’
Children and Grandchildren
Swearing, Shoes, and Mark Twain
How my poor man's Porsche, Virgil, prepared me for life
Leases and Landing Gear
The Oscars, Obama and Job Creation
Damages and Penalties
Obstacles with Impossibilities
Making Others Feel Bad
Referrals and Recommendations
Woodpecker Frustration
Phrases, Not Resolutions
I Was A Crime Fighter and Super Hero
Comforting with Sympathizing
Nautical Worry Killers
Can You Keep A Secret?
Holiday Card Hazards
Gifts
Sharing, Transparency and Dumping
Red Alert
Readers Respond Regarding Rabbi
Readers: I Need Your Help with my Rabbi
Humphrey Bogart and P. T. Barnum on Fighting with Family and Friends
Columbus, Honors and Hound Dogs
The Free Lunch
When your child suffers
Conversational Transmitted Diseases
Conservative, Liberal or American
Paris, Antarctica and Shopping
Personal Protection
Dispute Resolution
Jumped or Pushed?
Friends and Acquaintances
Revenge and Vindication

© 2010 Alan Douglas

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