A "Taker" Searches for happiness

Written by David Leonhardt

"There are two kinds of people inrepparttar world: givers and takers. Takers might eat well, but givers sleep better at night." Aha!

Your humble scribe has had a tough time sleeping lately. I thought it might have something to do withrepparttar 118250 happiness of keeping pace with a tornado toddler and an almost bursting-at-the-seams, more-than-pregnant wife. Orrepparttar 118251 joy of fending backrepparttar 118252 weeds threatening to overrunrepparttar 118253 house and take overrepparttar 118254 kingdom in a bloody coup. Orrepparttar 118255 excitement of renovating an old room with crooked walls and a slanted floor to become a perfectly straight, modern nursery for our Beany-Baby-to-be. Orrepparttar 118256 thrill of somehow trying to earn a few dollars to keep my ever-so-friendly and oh-so-understanding bank manager from gleefully slapping past-due stickers all over my front door.

Now I learn that my lack of sleep is from taking too much and not giving enough. So I set out to give as much as I could.

I decided to start by giving advice. "The blue would look better on you."

"What?" my wife asked. "You never comment on what I'm wearing, at least not voluntarily."

"It's my new sleeping therapy," I explained with excitement. "Givers sleep better than takers, so I just gave you some advice."

"Well, while you're at it, is there anything else you want to comment on?"

I saw my chance to give a compliment. "Overall, you are really beautiful."

"Why, thank you."

I was on a roll. I was really giving. This was my chance to give her my opinion. "Your hair is kind of ugly like that."

"What?! You take that back!"

"No, I can't," I protested. "That would make me a taker and I won't be able to sleep."

"Then you can just take your silly opinions and get out of here."

"No, I can't do that. I can't take ..." My sentence was cut short byrepparttar 118257 hard realization that my nose and a door could not occupyrepparttar 118258 same space atrepparttar 118259 same time.

Beware of radical mint enthusiasts

Written by David Leonhardt

Some things are as boring asrepparttar dust that clings to your TV screen.

Take toothpaste, for example. If you happen to be a radical mint enthusiast, brushing your teeth might berepparttar 118249 highlight of your day. You might haverepparttar 118250 shiniest teeth in town. You might not want to interrupt your brushing for dinner ... unlessrepparttar 118251 menu includes mint jelly pâté.

I remember one of my favorite comic strips, when Adam was trying so hard to diet. Of course, my memory is fading faster than my jeans, but here is roughly how it went:

FRAME ONE: Adam is sneaking back into bed, when his wife asks if he had been snacking.

FRAME TWO: She gives him a passionate kiss ... or at least as passionate as a two-dimensional, black and white cartoon character can give.

FRAME THREE: No. All "fresh and minty", she concludes.

FRAME FOUR: Adam thinks to himself: "Should be. I ate three tubes of toothpaste."

For those of us who use toothpaste for brushing, it is at best bearable. There is obviously collusion atrepparttar 118252 highest levels ofrepparttar 118253 mint flavor industry to squash our democratic right to a full range of toothpaste flavors.

But what ifrepparttar 118254 Big Mint stranglehold could be broken? What if brushing our teeth could become a custom-designed exhilaration? What if toothpaste came in as many flavors as, say, jelly beans?

We recently tried some new jelly bean flavors on our wedding anniversary. (Oh, come on. What could be more romantic than a romp throughrepparttar 118255 jelly bean dispensers?)

The strawberry daiquiri jelly beans tasted delicious. So didrepparttar 118256 strawberry cheesecake ones. The buttered popcorn ones were so-so, butrepparttar 118257 caramel popcorn jelly beans were oh-so yummy.

We triedrepparttar 118258 chocolate fudge flavor andrepparttar 118259 chocolate pudding flavor, but we passed overrepparttar 118260 chocolate covered grasshopper flavor.

They had three kinds of melon, four flavors of apple and three different toffee flavored jelly beans. But toothpaste comes in just mint. Do I hear you say, "Conspiracy theory"?

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