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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Learn to Entertain Yourself

Everyone who hangs around with me has heard about My Friend Wayne.

A confirmed bachelor who has visited over half the world's countries (and, I think, every state in the U.S.), he's also a highly competent pianist, piano teacher, voice coach, etc.

And he has more friends on Facebook than anyone I know.

We've traveled together in the American Southwest, and he stayed with me a few days in Tokyo.

Like any seasoned traveler, he has devised little games to pass the time during long hops between destinations, or those dismal times in departure lobbies.

One of them goes like this: find two people--from any time in history--with the same last name, as incongruous a pairing as possible, and marry them. His prime example is: "Dinah and George Washington." George and Kate Bush, Norah and John Paul Jones, O.J. and Marge Simpson (to slip into fictional characters), Sarah and Maynard Ferguson. You get the idea.

Another of his recurrent sillinesses is a variation on the famous palindrome (apocryphally attributed to Napoleon): "Able was I ere I saw Elba." A palindrome, you probably know, reads the same forward and backward, like the name "Otto."

So Wayne would take the name of a city on our itinerary and insert it--first backward, then properly--into the saying, like this: "Okyot was I ere I saw Tokyo."

The point is, Wayne knows how to entertain himself. This skill is one step in becoming "your own best friend," as my Aunt Til (another life-long single person) used to call herself.

So develop some little games that make you laugh. Learn to entertain yourself.

You'll be happier.

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