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Tips For Adulthood: Five Reasons To Cheer Up This January

Every Wednesday I offer tips for adulthood. So in case you didn’t hear, Monday January 17th was allegedly the saddest day of the year. Based on...

Every Wednesday I offer tips for adulthood.

So in case you didn’t hear, Monday January 17th was allegedly the saddest day of the year. Based on a mathematical formula, sadness is predicted to peak on the third Monday of each new year. This is usually a result of post-holiday blues/failed New Years Resolutions/bad weather and the like. Some even refer to it as Blue Monday.

If you found yourself inordinately down on Monday – or any day this month – here are five reasons to cheer up:

1. You’re not Sarah Palin. Although she can seem sometimes like America’s Princess Diana, former Alaskan Governor and ex-Vice Presidential running mate Sarah Palin is having a bad month. In the aftermath of the tragic shootings in Arizona, Palin failed to adopt a sufficiently conciliatory and empathic response. Instead, she went on a tear, aggressively defending herself from insinuations that she was to blame for the massacre and painting herself as the victim, rather than the 6 people who died and 13 who were injured. (The press also played a hand in this, mind you.) A post-Tucson Gallup poll commissioned by USA Today found that Palin’s rating is at its lowest level since she burst onto the national political scene in September 2008. She is seen in a favourable light by 38% of US voters, while 53% have an unfavourable view.

2. You’re not Amy Chua. Amy Chua – a.k.a. Tiger Mother – wrote a chilling oped in the Wall Street Journal a couple of weeks back about the draconian tactics she uses to exact perfection from her two daughters. And the blogosphere hasn’t ceased talking about it since. (Initial WSJ article has 6,800 comments and counting…) As someone who wrestles with having high expectations for her children – albeit without denying them food, drink or bathroom breaks as Chua claims to – I’m not entirely immune to Tiger Mother-like tendencies. But, boy, is she in the dog house this month, especially among Mommy Bloggers. My colleague Joanne Bamberger likened Chua’s child-reading tactics to child abuse. Ouch.

3. You’re not Ricky Gervais. British comedian Ricky Gervais hosted this year’s Golden Globe Awards in Hollywood and the consensus in the American press, at least, seems to be that he bombed. I actually thought that with one or two exceptions, Gervais was pretty funny. (Watch his opening monologue and judge for yourself.) But the rumor is that he is persona non grata at the awards ceremony next year, which – not that you asked – he has no interest in hosting anyway.

4. You’re not Robert DeNiro. If you think Gervais stunk the place up at the Golden Globes, then Robert DeNiro really tanked. As a huge fan of award shows, I was totally befuddled by his acceptance speech for the Cecil B. De Mille Lifetime Achievement Award. This man needs to stop working in the Focker franchise and go back to real acting so that he remembers show to properly thank people for recognizing his amazing career.

5. You’re not Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali. Not a household name? This is the now-exiled former president of Tunisia who was just tossed out as leader of his country after ruling for – oh – about 25 years. We won’t feel too sorry for Mr. Ben Ali, who fled the country with 1.5 tonnes of gold worth more than $60 million. Still, it’s fair to say that it wasn’t a great month for him, either.


And speaking of having a bad month, in case you want a quick update on Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s latest sexual shenanigans, here’s my post for Politics Daily.

Image: BAFTA 2008 – Ricky Gervais by claire_h via Flickr under a Creative Commons license.

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  1. Erin January 19, 2011 at 4:40 pm #

    All good calls. I’ve been chuckling at Amy Chua’s book for days now. However, I am going to steal a few of her tactics, wrap them in love and ice cream and serve them up ’round here. Another one for your list: Jean Claude ‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier of Haiti.

  2. Erin January 19, 2011 at 4:42 pm #

    PS. I think Ricky Gervais was hilarious. It’s nice to see someone stand up to the pampered, catered-to Hollywood set and shout out their flaws to the world. Hear, hear!

  3. Colleen Wainwright January 19, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

    Missed the Globes—no TV—but laughed uproariously at the monologue afterward on YouTube. But what do I know? I thought the BBC version of The Office was the funny one.

    Oh—and I heard that Tiger Mom lady on NPR, yukking it up and playing it down. Hearing your recap, I’m now curious to read the book. Mission accomplished, Tiger Lady.

  4. Colleen Wainwright January 19, 2011 at 5:35 pm #

    P.S. (It’s the day for postscripts, apparently) Robert DeNiro is one of our more inarticulate great actors. I don’t think actors are particularly great with this in general—they get used to having their words written for them, for one, but also, in my own experience, anyway, intelligence (we’re talking verbal/mathematical/etc., not emotional) is not really an asset when it comes to acting. Super-smart-in-that-way can be a liability, b/c thinking gets in the way of expressing truth. Too much rationalizing or something.

    • delialloyd January 19, 2011 at 6:02 pm #

      interesting observation, colleen. i think that we as viewers (ok, i’ll speak for myself) always assume that b/c they are so articulate on screen, they will necessarily be so off screen. and then I’m wildly disappointed when they aren’t. This was esp true for De Niro since he gives so few interviews so I didn’t know what to expect. Also-he wasn’t funny which was disappointing. But I’d take smart over funny (in an actor) any day of the week. I too laughed out loud at Gervais…

  5. Daryl Boylan January 19, 2011 at 10:18 pm #

    Gee whiz. . .which bombing to pick. I have to go with Berlusconi, possibly the worst guy to happen to P.R. Italia since — the Borgias? Nero? Caligula?

  6. Patricia January 20, 2011 at 12:00 am #

    I thank you for the link to the opening of the Globes – no TV here and I thought it was very funny – Daily Show truly thought so too…and Palin is bombing big time, particularly with her show about discovering Alaska – easy to tell she has never been there! anywhere in Alaska and I have only been hiking there once!

    thanks for this news…though I am having a sunny January and today blue skies all day and no rain. And wow are the bulbs coming up – amazing

  7. BigLittleWolf January 20, 2011 at 12:37 am #

    Gervais cracked me up. He made the show. Along with Helena Bonham-Carter’s footwear. Very Carrie Bradshaw (Season 3 in L.A., perhaps?)

  8. Cecilia January 20, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

    Hilarious list! I too had my head-scratching moments reading Amy Chua’s article and listening to Robert DeNiro on the GG.

    Jan. 17 is the anniversary of the Kobe earthquake, as well as some other events that I can’t remember off the top of my head. So your statistic about the 17th is kind of eerie…

  9. Elizabeth January 21, 2011 at 2:26 am #

    Great list! Made me laugh out loud because its all so true.


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