Human Trafficking a Mother’s Love

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by Ira Gelb, Flickr.com

Buenos Aires, Argentina — 13 people accused of human trafficking and in the disappearance of a young woman who was allegedly kidnapped and forced into prostitution which is just another kind of modern slavery.

What is human trafficking?

The typical countries that are plagued by people trafficking humans, are normally lawless, places where the police are ineffective, typically a place where corruption and bribery are rife. These kinds of countries are prone to kidnapping, forcing women and children in prostitution, sometimes through drug addiction and almost always through coercion.

People who live on the fringes of society are often most affected by this, or even persecuted groups that have little legal status. Mostly it’s women and children who which are the unfortunate targets, for this life of sex and slavery.

My country doesn’t have that problem

You would be wrong to think this. Human traffickers are in every country, but what are the statistics for human trafficking? It’s estimated by organizations that as many as 3 million people women and children every year are the targets of the human trafficking trade.

The U.S. State Department’s estimated numbers for trafficking of people, in and across US borders are somewhat lower, at something between 600,000 and 800,000 per year. This is still too high by a long way. It’s been estimated that trafficking in women makes up some 80% of the human trafficking trade.

What about slavery?

Lets look again at the numbers – an estimated 3 million per year! So in the 21st century there is more trafficking in women and young girls than slavery in the 18th century. So basically, how far have we really evolved? There are more women and girls being forced into brothels annually than African slaves sent to toil in the plantations 300 years ago. According to a US report, the volume of human trafficking in the Middle East, and Africa are at critical levels, a trend that is likely to continue unless more is done about it.

Prostitution is not a crime everywhere

It’s true in many countries, it’s not illegal. What about Argentina? Argentina like some European countries allow prostitution. But whether you agree with this or not that’s a different point. But the prevailing thought is, if it’s legalized and governed there is less chance for the underworld element, and the business of trafficking humans to take advantage of it.

What’s the Buenos Aires connection?

At the start of the story I mentioned Buenos Aires, so what’s so special about Argentina? Well at the moment, Argentina is at the focus of the world’s attention and at the epicenter of a movement that’s working hard to break up human trafficking, within its borders

At the center of that movement is a mother, her name is Susana Trimarco’s. Her story is as equally inspiring as it is sad and tragic. She lost her daughter to human trafficking, she was snatched while coming back from a doctors appointment, leaving a 3 year old daughter behind. I say lost because in the process of freeing 100’s of women, Susana has yet to find her daughter.

Susana has her work cut out for her as she fights corruption in the police force, and within corruption in the political system. As a result of her investigations 13 ringleaders have come under arrest, but in case that’s dawn massive amount of media attention the ringleaders (who have all been implicated in her daughters disappearance and forced prostitution have just been acquitted and will not face any further jail time. The 13 ringleaders include both men and women, it was part of a well organized family business – women also often play key roles in women trafficking, sometimes as recruiters or in managing victims of human trafficking.

Raised Awareness

She has won recognition across her own, country, South America, North America and even won a Noble nomination for her work. But I am sure, the only thing on her mind is helping women like her daughter and the fight to find her daughter again. In this, her Mother’s love will not let her rest until she is found.

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(more on Susana Trimarco, coming soon)

Paparazzi vs Anne Hathaway 2:1

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by Horustr4n’s, flickr.com

Hollywood’s sweetheart Anne Hathaway’s wedding to Adam Shulman, was perfect friends and family were all there, the kind of wedding any woman would dream about. The wedding planers had done the perfect job. There really was only one problem, yes that’s right wedding crashers and I’m not talking about the movie with Vince Vaughan. You’re probably way ahead of me, and you’re right. I’m talking about the beloved, ever present, yet necessary paparazzi.

Why do I say necessary? Well if you remember the Diana incident several holier than thou celebs jumped on the paparazzi bashing band wagon, and did vehemently in public – which was covered rather ironically by the paparazzi. However it appears that even the paparazzi have feelings because after the event several of crusading stars, failed to get any newspaper attention for their, movies, bust-ups and premiers – the paparazzi boycotted them.

Back to Anne Hathaway. She had no such problem for her wedding as helicopter whizzed overhead, loaded with paparazzi. So we can call that 1:0 to the paparazzi.

But Anne Hathaway was not finished. She announced on David Letterman’s Late Show that she was incredibly angry and frustrated, as they’d tried very to avoid that very situation. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned – she wanted nothing better than to give the paparazzi the finger – can you imagine that! It would have been way better than any scene in her Bride Wars movie. Good sense prevailed, when Adam her hubby, advised against it, according to Dave’s interview.  Then a clever insider came up with the idea to steal the paparazzi’s thunder. They sold authorized pictures to a magazine and donated the proceeds to a support a Gay Charity Group. Very cunning indeed. Anne Hathaway 1, Paparazzi 1 – it’s looking like a draw, but the game’s not over.

If you have been reading the news yesterday and today, you would have seen the video interview of Anne with Dave. Yep, that’s the one, Anne is giving the paparazzi a belated two handed two fingered – up your’s. That showed the paparazzi! They won’t mess with feisty Anne again! Wrong!

Anne is being critically acclaimed and looks a very strong contender to receive and an Academy Award for her role of the emaciated Fantine, in Les Miserables film. As she arrived at the Ziegfeld Theatre wearing her bondage inspired dress, she had the ultimate dress malfunction happened (no photo provided). She stepped out of her SUV, she showed a lot too much leg and not enough underwear to all her Les Miserable fans. In fact there wasn’t any underwear, which was the crux of the problem.

It wasn’t all bad news though. Her friends were there – the paparazzi. The ever vigilant paparazzi, displayed their characteristic determination, and dedication in documenting every single embarrassing moment of the celeb lifestyle (and sell it!). Then bingo!

Final score 2:1 to the paparazzi! But the celeb soccer arena that’s called Hollywood, has many teams and even more players. There are sure to be more close games and re-matches and cries of fowl play. Just keep an eye out for the flashing cameras and for the les miserables caught on film.

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Jennie Garth’s Ex’s New Relationship Stings

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by watchwithkristin, flickr.com

Jennie Garth Beverly Hills 90210 star who was ranked 59th on the FHM 100 Sexiest Women of 2000 admitted that her ex’s (Peter Facineelli) new relationship hurts. But after 11 years of marriage you really can’t blame her. It was about nine months ago when Peter Facinelli announced their divorce. Even though Jennie is making positive steps to move on – she’s dating someone special. It still hurts.

Peter Facinelli announced just last month that he was dating Jaimie Alexander who is a star of the Thor movies and 10 years younger than him.  But that’s okay because he’s a man. He’s definitely not Demi Moore, and there’s no danger of him being compared to a female cougar. Double standards? I think so.

Jennie in my opinion is being a bit more classy about the whole thing and is keeping her lips sealed about who her new flame is. She has so far avoided taking her new man to any blockbuster movie premiers – unlike her Ex! She went on to tell People magazine. “I think there will come a time when it won’t sting so bad, but I’m not quite there yet.”

Despite the sting of it all, the two still remain friends and by all reports she is glad, he is happy with his new relationship. Unlike other Hollywood couples – I’m really tempted to mention certain former bond girl and her men. They have both remained on good terms for the sake of their three lovely daughters Luca, Lola and Fiona.

In rather un-Hollywood fashion they have apparently sat down, and rather sensibly worked out an agreement for sharing their beautiful kids over the Christmas holidays. In Jennie’s own words “We are co-parenting and getting the hang of it”.

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Anne Hathaway in Focus

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by Horustr4n’s, flickr.com

Anne Hathaway in my opinion is probably the most beautiful woman in Hollywood today. She has even been rated as one the Hottest Stars Under 25 back in Teen People Magazine in their June 2002 issue.

Her Early Career

Hathaway is called Annie by her friends and by all who know her best. Annie was born in Brooklyn, New York she studied acting at the Paper Mill Playhouse. Although Halthaway appeared in many plays as a youth, she first grabbed the attention of executives at Miramax when she was playing Megan Green, on the TV series Get Real. She was bold enough even then to turn down a three picture deal with Miramax because she wasn’t happy with the scripts. However it wasn’t until a starring role in The Princess Diaries (2001) opposite Julie Andrews that the offers for movies came flying in. She has recently said in an interview with Glamour magazine:

I was labeled a good girl, and for the first eight years of my career I had to fight to get any other kind of role. But I like fighting for a job, actually. Once you get it, you feel like you’ve emerged victorious from the scrap and you’re like, “OK, this one’s mine.

Her Movies

She was in Broke Back Mountain (2005)! I’m a big movie nut and although I’m a fairly late comer in terms of being a Anne Hathaway admirer, how did I miss it! I’ve only seen the movie 4 times. There’s 4 points here, the topic was very distracting, secondly the cinema photography (actually the best part) was stunning. The late Keith Ledger totally stole the show in terms of acting, or did he? I might be wrong, but was Anne Hathaway was pretty unrecognizable as Jake Gyllenhaal’s wife?  The next year she played another strong role in The Devil Wears Prada (2006), which actually is her best in my opinion. Later roles included Becoming Jane and bit later Rachel Getting Married (2008), which she won an Oscar nomination.

Personal Life

Controversy has followed Anne Hathaway though with her ex-boyfriend Raffaello Follieri was arrested for fraud. Anne was never suspected of anything although allegedly the FBI did take her diary and recently jewelry given to her by Follieri was auctioned by the US Marshalls. Making her next movie Love and Other Drugs with her Broke Back co-star Jake Gyllenhaal helped her get through the tough time. These days Anne is happily married to Adam Shulman, a famous jewelry designer. Anne who was previously a cynic of marriage is loving her new life, and when asked by Glamour – what changed her mind, she replied:

Him. I would never have gotten married if it weren’t for him. He’s a good man. He’s beyond intelligent. He loves fearlessly.”

And..

“But there’s not a lot of positive information out there about marriage. It’s the old ball and chain, the seven-year itch, the divorce rate. Still, my parents have been married for 30 years; his parents have been married for 40 years. Mine had great moments and some really sh-tty moments. But they couldn’t have been married to anyone else, and they make each other better.”

Timeless Beauty?

How beautiful a woman is Anne Hathaway? Is she a timeless beauty comparable to such a woman as Audrey Hepburn? Perhaps.. at least I think so. Although Hepburn and Hathaway come from very different backgrounds – Hepburn was British, and lived Belgium there are some other striking similarities. Both unarguably elegant and beautiful, Hepburn left the whole Hollywood scene do focus on her international charity work – recently Hathaway has become the face of One Billion Rising. When talking to Glamour magazine she said:

It’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that a billion women have been raped or beaten, When I was in college, I’d heard that one in four women would be raped, and I thought, God, that means I must know someone who was raped. Sure enough, I found out a week later that a friend had been. A billion is too big because one is too big.”

Vogue in 2010, Hathaway did a stunning photo shoot which mirrored many of Hepburn most iconic images. If you haven’t seen them you must take a look.

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by twm1340, flickr.com

More Recently

Her public roles have not always gone so smoothly. Her the 83rd Academy Awards performance with James Franco totally bombed in front of 35 million viewers. Although the blame was mostly directed at the lack luster Franco.

The trend continued into her next atrocious ensemble the rom-com Valentine’s Day, as well as the comedy Bride Wars. It was later named as being one of the 10 worst chick flicks by Time Magazine. Other critical performances included An Education,  where Hathaway’s mangled British accent drew fire.

The Dark Knight Rises – fanboys of Batman were unsure at the news of Hathaway in the role of Catwoman but she blasted the role, and made it her own. She stood toe to toe with her more famous male co-stars, and shone. She displayed the wiliness and toughness the role needed while being demure and as sexy as Michelle Pfeiffer.  Bringing her critical acclaim from all corners of the industry.

Anne Hathaway may not be popular with everyone, and she has had her fair share of both fans and detractors. But she looks sure to stay, and continues to shine – she is a strong competitor for the next an Academy Awards  for her role in Les Miserables.

A Man Needs a Woman, Does a Woman Need a Man?

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by *martin*, flickr.com

Women are tougher than men! The word is out, it’s official but I guess all you girls knew that already. My two big sisters who bullied me for most of my life knew it too, but that’s another post…

Men who lose their wives have a 30% greater chance of passing into the great beyond! The research was carried out by Professor Javier Espinosa, who led the research project at Rochester Institute of Technology, in the US.

We can’t avoid it obviously. It all happens to us all, unless you spend a million dollars to freeze your head in a dodgy facility. But apparently but the loss of a wife, or I guess a long time partner, leads to an increased chance of mortality for elderly men within 2 years.

Professor Javier Espinosa suggests that after a death of their partner elderly men are less prepared to take care of themselves than women. The reverse situation is quite different. It seems that a man needs a woman, but does a woman need a man? In the reverse situation the statistics don’t play out the same at all. The research didn’t uncover evidence of a statistically increased chance for recently widowed woman to suffer the same fate.

This research raises more questions than it answers. Did they factor in health, or physically differences between women and men? I’m not sure they did, but the Professor did suggest it might be down to a care-giving mechanism. He went further to suggest that this mechanism prepares women to carry on their lives, alone.

His research was carried out on couples who were born between 1910 – 1930. Another interesting yet sad aspect of the research was highlighted. He found that after a loss of a child, a woman was 3 times more likely to suffer mortality. This seemed to be independent of social factors such as education, class or marital status.

For some of us this research may seem to make sense, my experience of parents and grandparents seem to bear this out. My grandmother outlasted a husband and a live-in-partner. Is it possible for us to die of a broken heart? University Clinic of Rostock, Germany suggest this might be the case due to increased level of stress and adrenaline.

Prof Espinosa’s study, co-written by William Evans from the University of Notre Dame, was published in the Economics and Human Biology journal

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Demi Moore The Cougar?

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By TechCrunch50-2008, flickr.com

Demi Moore is apparently dating another younger man 26 years old! Is she alone? Valerie Gibson, a famous Canadian celebrity who wrote for the Toronto Sun newspaper as their their sex and relationship columnist. It’s said she was the first to have coined the phrase “cougar” which refers to the older woman dating the younger man. Gibson herself has been married 5 times, the last time was to a man years younger than her.

So what do we do? Do we shame, ignore them or congratulate them for still being sexy, attractive empowered women? Are we even being fair in regards to this topic,  I pretty sure Bruce Willis has dated much younger women. It’s normal such a normal thing in Hollywood for man to date the younger woman, it’s so normal that people hardly talk about it. Double standards? I say hell yes! But what do you think?

Historical cougars

So why are young guys even dating older cougars, in the first place? What is it about the woman who’s a little older? Possibly there’s too much competition for younger girls? Possibly because the older successful man is snapping up the younger woman at every opportunity, at least it’s seem this way with the celebs and elite.  I’m not sure it’s even fair to be focusing on the cougars themselves, it does take two to tango afterall. Perhaps it’s the fashion for the younger man to date the older woman. Maybe it’s the guys who chooses to hunt for the older beautiful woman and not the other way around.

Younger men have been attracted to powerful women since long before we came up modern day concepts of right or wrong.  Such cougars included, Elizabeth I, Catherine the Great, more recently Elizabeth Taylor and even a goddess – guess that would be the ultimate cougar catch. I wouldn’t want to be the young buck dumping Aphrodite, I bet she would do than just divorce you and take the dog. See full article.

Why now?

So what’s happening why does it seem to be a bit of trend at the moment? For decades women have been fighting for more equality, and since the 1950, 60’s, and 70’s the woman’s lifestyle, image and life choices have improved immensely. But what has changed? Women have better jobs, they have  equality, both in the law and in society’s eyes. Women’s health has also be brought into the fore of the  public’s consciousness.  Divorce rates in most western countries have sky rocketed since the 1980’s, you could say that the fall of religion is to blame, or even the stresses of modern life. However I’d like to thing a big contributing factor would be the increased ability of the woman to make her own marital choices, and to seize their own fate, free of public judgement or contempt.

Whatever lead to the present is one huge question and I’m not an expert. But what I know is that there are a lot of women over 40 who are empowered, wealthy or financially stable. A young woman is drawn to an older strong man. So why can’t the same be said of a young man to a  mature empowered woman? There’s simply no reason at all. Gone are they days where a divorced, or the widowed woman is expected to just fade away and become old maids. So what so special about the woman now? Nothing really but they do have the same rights to go out, and do the same stupid, smart things or even questionable things that a man can do. Although this is not the case in every country, but women have earned the right to be a cougar, if that’s what they want to do. Life’s too damn short.

I say power to Demi! I just hope she takes a bit more care of her heart and mind this time. I also wish good luck to whoever she dates. Demi is a talented actress, a mother and incredibly beautiful woman. She in many ways is the ultimate cougar, am I jealous? Maybe just a little.

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Halle Berry’s Gabriel Can’t See Kid

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Gabriel Abury’s bad luck held out today as he got squashed again, this time in the court. Gabriel had hoped to get his restraining order lifted, but the Judge refused according to TMZ. Originally he had hoped to get it lifted on the 28th but now looks more likely on the 29th.

In another twist Gabriel has referred to Halle Berry as being his ex-wife in court. The information came out in the open according to Extra after he submitted court documents on Monday. This could well be an attempt to rub salt into the wounds, as the relations between him, Halle Berry and Olivier Martinez look set to sour further. See the full story at here.

This all comes days after a vicious assault that left Gabriel hospitalized. Both Gabriel and Olivier are pointing the fingers of blame at each other.

Meanwhile Christmas is coming, and it should be one to remember, for the Berry bunch.

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Dating Tips For Men

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About The Woman – Dating and Relationships

What do you want from a relationship?

Most of us are defined by our lifestyle, friends and all the other things we like to do.  So you’re a single man, she’s a single woman but would you be willing to change a little for a new love prospect? It’s impossible to have your cake and eat it, so what compromises are you willing to make? Remember when you have your first couple of dates everyone’s going to be on their best behavior, and a woman may tolerate the horrible shirt you’re wearing, or even the bar you’re meeting your buddies at. But once you’ve decided it’s a relationship you want to be in, it’s probably time to figure out what you both want. Problems come in a relationships when people are unwilling to change, or unwilling to communicate about their needs clearly.

Be yourself

A woman’s either going to like you or she’s not, so just be yourself. If you’re trying to be somebody you’re not then it’s pretty damn difficult to look genuine. The truth is, most of us are funny enough, smart enough and we already have our own set of individual advantages. So give yourself a chance to let them shine. Be attentive, listen to your date, find out more about them, try to make them smile, and feel comfortable. Remember the reason you’re there is for them, not for the red wine, or because the bar has pay per view. It’s also good idea to leave the tech gadgets behind too. A girl may like your new iPhone 5, but it doesn’t mean a woman wants to see you playing with your apps, or tweeting to your mates about your date. It’s okay to be a geek, geeks are cool now, just be attentive.

Flirting is good

If the date is going badly you’re not going to have to worry about this, because you will know it! But as long as you’re getting on well, and you’re feeling pretty comfortable then why not test the water? I’m not suggesting that you swing your arm around the woman’s shoulders and start grinding hip. I’m talking subtle things, like touching her arm, or standing near her. If your date looks like she’s going to have kittens, or flinches then it’s probably way too early, or worse the attraction is not there. However, if none of these things happen it’s certainly a good clue that things are going as planned.

What if you’re not feeling it?

It happens, attraction is not always mutual by any stretch of the imagination.  If you’re not feeling the attraction, then don’t worry carry on with the date, and have a good time. It never hurts to make a new friend. However to give the wrong signals back to a woman would be unfair, I think we’ve all experienced that one.

Bad Vibes

Listen to your instinct if your “spider sense is tingling” try to end the date at the first polite opportunity. However you might feel, don’t run for the fire exit, or leaving the woman clutching the bill, while you’re climb through the men’s room window. Listen to your instincts, life’s tough enough already without jumping on the crazy train.

Put yourself in the woman’s shoes

You’re not digging it, she’s jumping into the cab and then you lie “I’ll call you!” If she senses the dates not gone well, you’re going to look like a real jerk. If she likes you, you’re going to be feeding a woman false hope and that’s never nice.

Confidence is the key

here’s a huge difference between my obnoxiously arrogant and confident. Women dislike arrogance, but they thrive on confidence. Practice does make perfect, and dating is no exception. My suggestion is that you talk to, or grab a coffee with a as many a woman as you can (mums don’t count). The lucky ladies might be friends or colleagues, it really doesn’t matter. The point is to get out there! Get back into the cut and thrust, it’s especially important if you’re painfully shy. Women like a man who can make eye contact, make decisions and men who are able to talk confidently on different topics. Although it might be an idea to avoid sounding like an expert on playing online games – I’ve met a lot of cool women but none were that cool.

Lack of eye contact is a big one, as is missing physical queues. This or misinterpreting body language can be disastrous in a date. Sometimes it’s as plain as your face, that a woman is interested. But if you’re too shy to return the attention, or you just don’t read it right, you could be missing your chance.

Something else to think about, you’ve had a few dates but you’re still not sure. Then why not introduce her to one of your female friends (again mums don’t count). This way, she can chat woman to woman and perhaps you can get some valuable feedback.

Places you know

It can be very interesting to introduce a date to a nice place you know, but a place they might not. You can use this to your advantage. Let’s face it, the timing of dates is not always synced with when we have lots of cash. The economy is hard everywhere right now, and the job market outright sucks. So why not choose a place where you know the prices are reasonable. It’s the worst feeling in the world to be afraid of what the bill is going to look like. At the end of the day, if you’re happy and relaxed the date will go better. Although KFC is never a good idea unless you’re in high school, just apply some common sense.

The truth is most women are looking for a good, kind guy, who’s genuinely interested in them. Despite movies and what most men think, fast cars, yachts, and diamond rings are not always what women want. There’s a beautiful woman out there for all of us, we just have to look around a bit sometimes.

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Halle Berry’s Men Make War Not Love

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Halle Berry’s love rival’s face off again, this time it’s a battle of words (luckily for Gaberiel). The news has broke and the pictures are out! Just in case you haven’t seen the photos, the confrontation has left Gaberiel Aubry looking like “Mr Potato Head”, meanwhile Oliver Martinez’s left hand is possibly disfigured for life, with a badly swollen left knuckle. In a haggard photo of Halle Berry she is seen leaving the hospital on Thursday, with poor Oliver Martinez’s rubbng the offending Knuckle – See Daily mail. In a tit for tat media, legal spat, both Aubry and Martinez have made public statements, leading to one set of lawyers getting a restraining order.

First of all I would like to congratulate both parties on making front page news again! And secondly for leaving a trail of lovely photos behind them. Just so that we can witness and know how retarded they really are. Although in Gaberiel’s defense he did try to hide under a shiny, fluffy blanket (I call it a comforter), after being charged with “battery over a brawl”. However the clever paparazzi saw past the ruse (rather ironically a French word) and took lots of photos of him hiding under the said comfortable looking blanket.

Allegedly it all kicked off when one party said “we are going to France to live” (understandably), along with a string of threats from the other. It’s hard to follow what really happened because according to TMZ, some of the later details were not included in the arresting statement by Aubrey

There are two nuggets of good news from this debacle. The most important, Nahla was saved from seeing the punch up, which allegdy led to her father being pounded into the drive way. The second is I had a very easy choice on what to write when I woke up this morning.

I wonder how Halle Berry is going to explain away the bruises, which are covering her daughter’s father from head to foot. But there again she is an actress. The whole story by the way has the makings of a Halle Berry film.

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Surviving Family Gatherings

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About The Woman – Happy Families

Walking on egg shells, might be a good analogy for how some of us might feel at family reunions, whether it be thanksgiving or Christmas. With my last article in mind (Halle’s Thanksgiving Bash) let’s look at some ways that we can promote a healthier environment for our families at such tense times. After all they are our loved ones! The holidays can be stressful on everyone, and often unfairly hard on  a woman,  rightly or wrongly they are often under the spotlight especially from the partner’s family. Mum’s, wives and girlfriends can suddenly find themselves in the middle a world wind of activity, so it’s important not to forget for us guys to pull our weight too. It should be an opportunity to cement your relationship, rather than straining it.

Step 1

Small talk, are safe subjects we bring up so we don’t get into fights with people we hardly know.In fact we often nicer to people we hardly know, than to the people we grew up with, shared bedrooms with. I’m not saying we should sit around talking about the weather, or whether the ducks have flown south for the winter, but we could certainly go some ways to avoid sensitive topics. Make a mental list of what they are, although you probably know what they are already – money, inheritance, politics, religion, health issues, wars or perhaps even fantasy football. Just don’t go there!

Step 2

Do something that will bring you together, a game or a sport – I’m not talking about full contact sports in the living room. Watch a movie, talk about the good times, watch a sports game or even pick up a board game. Head off to the back garden, to a park kick, or throw a ball around. At holiday times, money can be a sensitive topic, so focus on the things you can do together. There are plenty of things you can do that won’t deepen your sense of stress, or fire feelings of inadequacy, or agitate emotional conflict.

Step 3

There’s been times in my own family, where my sister’s haven’t got on, or times when individual have expressed poor judgment with money, or other things. Whether feelings spring from jealous, or just personality clashes, it’s worth giving everyone a heads up on who’s coming, changes in the arrangements. It’s worth even sitting down with some members of your family, before hand to ask them to be on their best behavior. Nobody likes bad news or trouble, but if you know or talk about sticking points as early as possible, then at least people are prepared.

Step 4

It’s good to have a game plan. Ready yourself for mentally and physically for an extended period of time with your family. I still remember my Mother (a beautiful woman, a very talented lady) working days ahead of family events, with the help of my Dad. Planning and preparation, can be dull, just the logistics of planning a family day can overwhelming for anyone one person. But it should been seen as chance to get involved, showing that support and love. This will go a long way to minimize potential stress and conflict at family reunions. Whatever you do, don’t leave things to the last minute, make sure you’re not freaking out when the family day or period arrives.

Step 5

Last of all “don’t push it”, by this I mean don’t force issues. Give people time and space to work things over naturally. Don’t expect people who really don’t get on, to sit down next to each other and enjoy a beer while chatting happily. It’s important to remember who the peace makers are, who the inflexible people are, some individual even thrive on bickering and if you have one in your family then you know exactly what I mean.

Family reunions can be demanding to say the least, but when it’s all done and the dust settles, it’s probably time to go back to work. On the plus side this gives you enough time to think about the woman you love and time to plan your next vacation, hopefully far away from the family.

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