Ramon Presson

This column is dedicated to folks with an ex-spouse, ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, current and/or former co-worker, or a boss they are struggling to forgive. The title and the following “lyrics” represent a slight shift (approximately 180 degrees) from Lee Ann Womack’s "I Hope You Dance." I actually like the song. It’s just that sometimes you need different words to convey your true feelings.

Dear _______, I want to commend you for your success in making me profoundly miserable. In fact, I don’t know that I could have ever reached this current depth of despair and bitterness without your help. To return the favor, I want to offer you these words of encouragement and wisdom.

Words to Live By

When you’re walking in a lightning storm remember to protect yourself by holding something metal over your head like a golf club or a fireplace poker.

The best time to check emails on your phone is while driving on icy mountain roads.

To get the best view always hang over the balcony.

Don’t go scuba diving with a full tank of air — it adds unnecessary weight.

Always wear a Duke jersey to any basketball game in Kentucky.

Never be fooled by an evacuation order.

Always wear black when you’re running on a narrow road at night.

When a tornado watch is upgraded to a tornado warning immediately seek shelter on a rooftop.

Never let lack of knowledge or experience keep you from trying a new hobby such as hang gliding or breeding venomous snakes.

When you’re in a hurry you can save time by blow drying your hair in the shower.

Embrace solitude and get lost at sea.

Make a name for yourself by being a very slow rodeo clown.

Don’t fall for the myth that skunks don’t like to have their bellies rubbed.

On New Year’s Day participate in a local Polar Bear Plunge and see how long you can hold your breath under water.

Make new friends by shouting, "Guns are for cowards!" at an NRA convention.

Give a tattoo parlor intern an opportunity to learn valuable lessons through making mistakes.

When you go camping drape slabs of raw bacon over your tent to keep the bears away.

Remember that there are often hidden gems on dating sites such as Sociopaths.com and LosersOnly.net.

Try a new hairstyle to complement your new lifestyle. P.S. Dying your mohawk purple and green conveys confidence.

Remember that you can never have too many cats or too many friends with allergies.


We must be able to occasionally laugh at ourselves when we see the futility of our attitudes and actions. And then choose a different course.

As writer and theologian, Frederick Buechner wrote, “Of the Seven Deadly Sins, anger is possibly the most fun. To lick your wounds, to smack your lips over grievances long past, to roll over your tongue the prospect of bitter confrontations still to come, to savor to the last toothsome morsel both the pain you are given and the pain you are giving back — in many ways it is a feast fit for a king. The chief drawback is that what you are wolfing down is yourself. The skeleton at the feast is you.”

Ramon Presson, PhD, is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Franklin (www.ramonpressontherapy.com) and the author of several books. Reach him at ramonpresson@gmail.com.

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