A Shocking Stay at a Hawaiian Resort

narcolepsy narrow

From: tuckermanroger@gmail.com
To: HHR@HawaiiHotels.com
Subject: Hotel Room Reservation

Dear General Manager,

I would like to stay at the Royal Lahaina Resort for seven nights, arriving May 1, 2018. However, I have a health condition that makes it difficult for me to travel. I suffer from narcolepsy. I have a rare form of the disorder where I fall asleep ten times a day for an hour or more, and then I’m awake all night. I was first afflicted with narcolepsy in 1999 while saying my wedding vows to my bride. Sadly, when I woke up, my bride was gone!

As a person with a disability, I have a special request I hope you can accommodate. I have a stock prodder that is clipped to a gold chain around my neck. If any of your staff find me sleeping, they will need to shock me with it until I regain consciousness. It is very easy to do! Just turn on the switch, and press it firmly against my triceps until I open my eyes. If your staff find me face-down, the safest place to do it is on my buttocks. However, there is no need to pull my pants down. That would be embarrassing.

I usually wake up within a minute or two, but if I seem disoriented, or groan and moan, I would like the staff member to ask me: “Are you fully conscious Mr. Tuckerman”? If I respond, “Yes, I am fully conscious!”, then there is no need to shock me again. However, if I utter anything else—especially profanity—I will need another shock.

A stock prodder is normally used to move stubborn farm animals, but it is the only thing that will wake me up. If you shake me or shout in my ear, I will only mumble incoherent words, or repeat one word endlessly. I’ve been told it’s really creepy!

I assume full responsibility for my health from the use of the stock prodder, and will present you with a signed waiver when I check in. If you have any doubts about the safety of the device, product details are available at this link: https://am.gallagher.com/media/5095/3e3131_stock_prod_range_brochure_nz.pdf

Your staff may feel reluctant at first to shock me, but most learn to really enjoy it, especially after a stressful day. One housekeeper told me that after a day of cleaning toilets, and dealing with whiny guests who think they deserve to be treated like kings and queens, shocking me was a total pleasure! Sometimes I go out with the staff member after, buy them a beer, and we take a few selfies.

As an extra incentive, I will give a ten-dollar gratuity to each staff member who shocks me. If you can accommodate this request, please email me your nightly rate at your earliest convenience. It costs a lot to fly to Hawaii, so I want to be fully conscious and enjoy every minute of it. As a narcoleptic, I live by this motto: Life is better when you’re wide awake!

Sincerely yours,

Roger Tuckerman

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A Dinner Reservation for a Narcissist

narcissismFrom: tuckermanroger@gmail.com
To: seattle@ilfo.com
Subject: Dinner Reservation at Il Fornaio

Dear General Manager,

I’m flying to Seattle on December 1st to celebrate my 40th birthday, and would like to make a reservation for 7 o’clock. However, I have a list of requests that I hope you can accommodate to make a memorable evening.

First, I do not want a corner table. I feel very alone and isolated when I sit in the corner. I would like a table in an open area, preferably in the center of the restaurant.

Second, I would like to have your finest server take my order.

I’m requesting your finest server because I’ve had many negative experiences of inadequate service in restaurants, and I can’t risk this happening on my 40th birthday. I recently went to a restaurant in Vancouver, BC, and the server forgot about me for 45 minutes! So incompetent!

Third, I would like to order a birthday cake with 40 candles and “Happy 40th Birthday You Very Sexy Man!” written on it. For the icing, any color is fine except pink or sarcoline. Please make sure the cake is large enough for all your staff to have at least one piece. I want everyone to remember me!

Fourth, when the cake is delivered to my table, I would like the servers to gather in a circle and sing “Happy Birthday, Mr. Tuckerman” to me, and then shout out loud: “You are amazing!” And for each server that sings, I will tip them a dollar in appreciation.

Fifth, and finally, after dessert, I would like to use a karaoke machine. I will have it delivered to your restaurant the day before. My girlfriend (who I hope soon to make my fiancé) will be travelling with me, and I want to surprise her by singing a few songs. She knows nothing of my plans for my 40th birthday. If she cries, I’m going to propose to her!

I know your patrons will love my performance. I used to be an Elvis impersonator in my home town of Falkland, BC, singing every weekend at Falkland Pub. The local ladies found me irresistible in my younger years, especially when I sang “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” They couldn’t help but fall in love with me! Needless to say, I never went home alone.

If you can accommodate these requests, please confirm my reservation at your earliest convenience. However, if you are unable to, can you recommend another restaurant for me?

Sincerely yours,

Roger Tuckerman

Image Credit: https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/issues/narcissism

Two Reasons Why Premarital Sex Increases the Risk of Divorce

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Nearly all adults in America have sex before marriage. According to the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth, “by age 44, 95% of respondents had had premarital sex.”1 Although sex can increase your feelings of love for your partner, research shows that premarital sex also increases the risk of divorce. Couples are more likely to neglect other aspects of relationship development, and to misjudge their compatibility for marriage.

Sex has the power to create an emotional bond between a man and a woman, resulting in increased feelings of love and intimacy. Jim Pfaus, a professor at Concordia University, published a study that showed “love and desire activate specific but related areas in the brain.”2 According to Pfaus, “Love is… a habit that is formed from sexual desire as desire is rewarded.”3 In other words, if you have sex with someone you are physically attracted to, the more likely your feelings of love for that person will grow.

Although sex is a “love drug” that can create an emotional bond with your partner, research shows that premarital sex does not lead to better marital outcomes. A 2010 study, which surveyed over 2,000 married individuals, found that “the longer a couple waited to become sexually involved, the better their sexual quality, relationship communication, relationship satisfaction, and perceived relationship stability was in marriage…”4 Couples who waited to have sex until their wedding night had the best marital outcomes with relationship stability rated 22% higher, sexual satisfaction 15% higher, and communication 12% better.5 The higher scores for couples who delayed having sex suggest that they put more time and effort into developing their personal relationship.

A 2016 study by the Institute for Family Studies found that women who marry as virgins have a much lower divorce rate than women who have had multiple sexual partners. Female virgins who married in the 2000s had a 6% divorce rate after five years, while women who had two sexual partners before marriage had a 30% divorce rate.6 Women with 10 or more sexual partners had the highest divorce rate at 33%.7 The percentage dipped slightly for women with three to nine partners,8 but the overall result is clear: Having one or more sexual partners before marriage increases the risk of divorce.

One reason is, couples who have premarital sex may place greater focus on the physical and sexual aspects of their relationship, and put less effort into other aspects of relationship development like communication. As a result, their future marriage will be less stable. In contrast, couples who abstain from premarital sex are likely to place greater focus on their personal relationship, making them better prepared for marriage. Further, by building a relationship on a foundation other than sex, both partners can better judge their compatibility.

Many people today believe that premarital sex is essential so both partners in a relationship can determine if they have sexual chemistry: the “mysterious, physical, emotional and sexual state that when present in a relationship creates something unique and explosive.”9 They reason that if marriage is a car you might want to purchase, then you need to take a test-drive first. However, if sexual chemistry is a prerequisite for a successful marriage, couples who have premarital sex should have lower divorce rates than couples who abstain. The results of the two aforementioned studies indicate that the opposite is true.

The second reason premarital sex increases the risk of divorce is the experience of sexual chemistry can cause a couple to misjudge their compatibility. Due to the increased feelings of love and intimacy that follow sex, a couple can become “prematurely entangled”10 and later get married. In other words, if you have a great sexual relationship with your partner, it can create the illusion that you are soul mates. Tragically, years later, when the flames of sexual passion have died down, many people realize they married the wrong person.

Sex is a vital aspect of marriage, strengthening the emotional bond between a husband and wife, but great sex is not what makes a marriage last. True love endures when a man and a woman are loving companions: two people who enjoy each other’s conversation and have shared interests and values. Engaging in premarital sex doesn’t mean you can’t have a successful marriage. (The Institute for Family Studies found that 75% of women who had six to nine sexual partners did not divorce after five years.11) However, by delaying sex until marriage, and building a relationship on the foundation of companionship, you have a greater chance of choosing the right partner, and being together until death do you part.

Notes

  1. Lawrence B. Finer, “Trends in Premarital Sex in the United States, 1954­2003,” Public Health Reports 122, no. 1: 73. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17236611
  2. “I want to know where love is,” Concordia University, June 19, 2012, http://www.concordia.ca/cunews/main/releases/2012/06/19/i-want-to-know-where-love-is.html
  3. Ibid.
  4. Dean M. Busby et al., “Compatibility or Restraint? The Effects of Sexual Timing on Marriage Relationships,” Journal of Family Psychology24, no. 6 (2010): 772. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21171775
  5. Brigham Young University, “Couples who delay having sex get benefits later, study suggests,” Science Daily, December 29, 2010, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101222112102.htm
  6. Nicholas H. Wolfinger, “Counterintuitive Trends in the Link Between Premarital Sex and Marital Stability,” Institute for Family Studies, June 6, 2016, https://ifstudies.org/blog/counterintuitive-trends-in-the-link-between-premarital-sex-and-marital-stability/
  7. Ibid.
  8. Ibid.
  9. Busby, “Compatibility or Restraint?”, 767.
  10. Busby, “Compatibility or Restraint?”, 772.
  11. Wolfinger, “Counterintuitive Trends,” https://ifstudies.org/blog/counterintuitive-trends-in-the-link-between-premarital-sex-and-marital-stability/

The Positive and Negative Uses of Stigmatization

stigmaTo stigmatize is to “describe or regard [someone] as worthy of disgrace or great disapproval.”1 For good or ill, stigmatization puts pressure on an individual to conform to societal values of right and wrong. While certain stigmas are necessary to prevent harm to innocent people, stigmatizing labels can be used to silence free speech. If you are going to stigmatize someone, you need to have proof that they are guilty of wrong behavior. Otherwise, you may be slandering them.

Stigmatization involves a value judgment of right and wrong. When a behavior is stigmatized, a person who engages in the behavior may be called a stigmatizing name. The resulting feelings of guilt and/or shame become a deterrent against repeating the behavior. Calling someone a stigmatizing name is a form of social pressure, so they will change how they act, at least publicly. Thus, for good or ill, stigmatization is a means of social control: “the enforcement of conformity by society upon its members…”2

When a behavior is no longer stigmatized, people are more likely to engage in the behavior. For example, in previous generations, women were shamed for having children out of wedlock. Today, that stigma has largely been removed, and a much higher percentage of women have children without getting married. In 1940, 3.8% of all births were to unmarried women.3 However, by 2014, the percentage had risen to 40.2%.4 While there are numerous reasons for this social change, the removal of the stigma against out-of-wedlock births is a significant factor.

Many stigmas are justified, especially if the behavior is harmful to other people. One example is Islamophobia, defined as “dislike of or prejudice against Islam or Muslims.”5 If someone expresses hatred or contempt for Muslims, it is fair and accurate to call them an Islamophobe. A social stigma against hatred serves an important function in society: If public declarations of hatred become widespread, it could result in violence against innocent people.

While a social stigma against hatred is justified, stigmatizing labels can be used to silence someone with a different point of view. For instance, a person can be called Islamophobic if they say anything critical of Islam. Islam is a religion, a set of beliefs and practices, and should not be immune from criticism. To disagree with the teachings of Islam is not the same as hating Muslims. Calling someone an Islamophobe because they are critical of Islam is bully behavior, an attempt to discourage them from exercising their right to free speech.

If you call someone a stigmatizing name, you need to be certain that they are guilty of the stigmatized behavior. During the 2016 President election, Hillary Clinton stigmatized millions of Americans who supported Donald Trump. She said, “You can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables… Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it.”6 Without citing any evidence, Clinton implied that 50 percent of Trump supporters hated minorities, immigrants, women, homosexuals, and Muslims. This was not only a false accusation, but an insult to millions of American voters.

If declared publicly, calling someone a stigmatizing name can be a form of slander: “oral defamation, in which someone tells one or more persons an untruth about another…”7 Unless a person expresses hatred or contempt for a group of people, they should not be called racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic, or Islamophobic. If you are incorrect in your judgment, you have slandered the person, damaging their public reputation.

When a person is stigmatized, it creates a public perception that they are a bad person. For this reason, no one should be stigmatized unless they do something bad without showing any regret or remorse. Whenever possible, a person should be corrected gently if they are guilty of wrong behavior; however, stigmatizing labels can be effective when they will not listen to reason. The proper goal of stigmatization is to make a person face the truth about their behavior, so they will stop doing what is wrong.

Notes

  1. Oxford Dictionaries, s.v. “Stigmatize,” accessed November 10, 2016, https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/stigmatize
  2. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House Inc. s.v. “Social Control,” accessed November 13, 2016, http://www.dictionary.com/browse/social-control
  3. Stephanie J. Ventur and Christine A. Bachrach, Nonmarital Childbearing in the United States, 1940–99, National Vital Statistics Reports, October 2000, 17, https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr48/nvs48_16.pdf
  4. Brady E. Hamilton, National Vital Statistics Reports, December 2015, 41, http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr64/nvsr64_12.pdf
  5. Oxford Dictionaries, s.v. “Islamophobia,” accessed November 10, 2016, https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/islamophobia
  6. Dan Merica and Sophie Tatum, “Clinton expresses regret for saying ‘half’ of Trump supporters are ‘deplorables’,” CNN, September 12, 2016, http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/09/politics/hillary-clinton-donald-trump-basket-of-deplorables/index.html
  7. Law.com, s.v. “Slander,” accessed August 10, 2017, http://dictionary.law.com/Default.aspx?selected=1969