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by Christopher Mudiappahpillai

I’m a big fan of Salon.com’s advice columnist – Cary Tennis – because, frankly, he gives good advice.

Here are some highlights from recent letters he’s replied:

In reply to a woman who lost her engagement ring during a vacation trip, replaced it with something much cheaper from Wal-Mart, and then got found out by her fiancé’s family, he suggests that she first put things right when her husband to be:

[Then] After you’re married, use the $900 [from the insurance] to buy a fishing rod and some top-notch camping gear and go back to the same lake with your same friends.

Go fishing.

When you catch a fish, clean it carefully. Look for the ring. Then cook it over an open flame and eat it by firelight.

Maybe one day you’ll catch a fish and inside the fish will be the ring. In fact, you could make it a tradition; you could go fishing there every year, and that will remind you and your husband of your early happiness and frivolity and your early mistakes, and it will become a tradition that will help your friendships endure. This innocent mistake thereby becomes a lifelong gift.

In reply to a 23-year old woman who feels she hasn’t experienced the important things in life as yet, he stresses patiences:

How do you learn patience when you are too young to have had enough practice? After all, you have never waited 20 years for a knotted obsession to slowly unravel, for someone’s heart to unbend, for a nation to come to its senses and then lose them again. That’s not your fault. You cannot have waited long enough to learn what it’s like to wait longer than you think you should, longer than you thought possible.

If the old were the only ones who could learn patience, however, the young would have no hope of serenity. Luckily, time is not the only thing that can teach patience. It can also spring forth as a revelation. It can come to you in an instant; you can learn it over and over again in the moment as you need it. Patience in the moment is simply the decision to stop expecting…

You are 23. Patience is what you need. Patience is active waiting. So wait. Wait with grace and dignity. Plenty of stuff, including love, will come your way in due time.

I realise that many people give good advice. But he does it with such élan.

Here are the links for any who feel like reading more:
I lost my engagement ring — and secretly replaced it at Wal-Mart
I’m 23 but I don’t have everything I want yet

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