June 26, 2011

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Unemployment lines

Like Deborah Good Miller, the author of “The Upside of Unemployment,” I am a middle-age woman who chose to leave a secure, well-paying job during a recession (Perspective, June 5). It took a lot of strength, but my heart was no longer there, and I needed to find a place where I could once again thrive. It took me two years to find a new job, but that doesn’t mean it will take her two years. She’s doing all the right things, and eventually it will just happen. After two years, I suddenly had three interviews in one day, and I’m now employed at an amazing place. Gratitude was the underlying theme of Miller’s essay, and I believe that is how we all should live each day. If only we would take the time to look past our difficulties and be thankful for what we have, then we might realize we’re doing pretty well. And I hope that one day, as I’m watching a Red Sox game, I suddenly see “Deborah Good Miller got a job!” on the jumbo screen at Fenway. It will happen. And she’ll be grateful.

JoAnn Goslin / Washington, D.C.

It’s a small comfort but still nice to know that I am not the only one having this struggle. I agree with a lot that Miller had to say about having time to do things like exercise, reconnect with people, make friends, and, oh, yeah, sleep without workplace nightmares returning in the wee hours. I, too, dream of a “you’re hired!” scenario, and I admit I will miss this freedom to be me I’ve had while unemployed. I would love some information on Miller’s strategizing dinners. Perhaps we can be new contacts for each other.

Jennifer Power / Brighton

The editor who decided to print Miller’s self-indulgent rant is as out of touch as she is. While the writer attempts to find herself, individuals who did not make the choice to leave their jobs experience tremendous pain as a consequence of unemployment. Families have lost their dignity, their homes, even given up beloved pets they were no longer able to feed. Sadly, while neighbors around her are suffering, I suspect that the writer’s meetings over lunch, coffee, and dinner will be itemized, claimed as job search expenses, and deducted at the end of the tax year.

Ellen Lennhoff Sears / Amesbury

Endangered species

Regarding Charles P. Pierce’s piece on risking your life as a Boston pedestrian (Pierced, June 12): I grew up in Quincy but always referred to Boston (nod to the Episcopal Church) as “the land of the quick and the dead.” Thanks for the memories.

Evie Kramer Michon / Falmouth

Judging the judgers

Three cheers and many more are due for Miss Conduct’s witty and sagacious columns. Even though I’m not a smoker, I relished her ironic descriptions of the intolerant (June 12). One such person made sure to scold me because my daughter has a South American woman helping her out with her twin boys. Miss Conduct’s witty reaction to the judgmental couple policing the plate-clearing at restaurants reminded me exactly of my late mother-in-law, who left much unhappiness in her wake. Thanks for making me smile!

Lorraine E. Roses / Newton Highlands

I quit smoking about 2½ years ago, and it gave me a whole new perspective. Smoking is not an excuse for people – either the smoker or the nonsmoker – to be rude or inconsiderate. While the smoker may have made the choice to start, quitting is a bit more involved. I can’t tell you how bad my nicotine-withdrawal symptoms were. Fortunately, I used that as motivation to never smoke again. Smoking is an addiction, period. It has been shown to cause permanent brain changes, and as little as one cigarette can cause the craving mechanism to kick right back in even years after quitting. As with losing weight, people will quit smoking when it is the right time for them. I no longer want to be around cigarettes, but I don’t think it’s my place to judge other people as long as

I don’t have to inhale their smoke.

Nancy H. Diettrich / Braintree

The Trump card

It was pretty neat how Dinner With Cupid’s dynamic duo managed to get in their political leanings by expressing their dislike of Sarah Palin and Donald Trump (June 12). What a wonderful basis for a friendship and romance. If they do get together, they truly deserve each other. Oh, yes, and the chopped liver, too!

Aileen Sandler / Dorchester

A balanced diet

I applaud your adherence to journalistic neutrality as demonstrated in the June 12 Globe Magazine. On Page 9, we have Dr. Allan Kornberg (above) espousing the virtues of a vegan and vegetarian diet and encouraging all to follow those practices (First Person). Overleaf, we have Dr. Robin Abrahams advising that we be silent with regard to our own and others’ food choices (Perspective). I am reminded of that adage “Everyone is entitled to an opinion.” Now, we can easily find a forum for expressing it.

Mike Serotta / Newton

Why don’t you interview a real expert in human nutrition for First Person? As to the honest, honorable, but sorely misinformed Kornberg, I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences on the severe deficits of cholesterol-sulfate in his system and brain. And I’m sorry for his misplaced glee at such a detrimental state of affairs in his body and mind.

Laurie Lentz-Marino / Belchertown

I just sat down to enjoy my favorite Sunday guilty pleasure: devouring the week’s edition of the Globe Magazine along with a handful of multi-grain bagel chips. While trying not to dwell on the thought that I should have chosen celery sticks instead, I came across the best article I have seen in a while. We all have fallen victim to both The Chorus and The Soloist types whom Abrahams describes in her Perspective essay, as well as endured the conversations of those who feel the need to discuss food choices and the merits of a good cleanse. While those people will never fall silent, I will now proudly respond that I am happy to define myself as a “mediocrevore.” Thank you for that term and the well-written essay.

Gail Riccardi / North Reading

Abrahams’s essay was very timely. As a vegan for more than 30 years, I have frequently been confronted with statements as silly as “Oh, I only eat white meat” or “I never eat red meat.” This usually happens when I’m dining with a new couple and question the waitstaff about vegan options. I have never wanted to be on a soapbox and frankly do not care if your lifestyle leads you into a nutritional or moral abyss. This fits perfectly with my wife’s current earworm: It’s OK not to like things, just don’t be a jerk about it.

Richard Dubois / Marshfield

Friends with(out) benefits

I really enjoyed Carrie English’s essay, “A Bridesmaid’s Lament” (Coupling, June 12). One thing that has always amazed me about friendships is how beautifully simple they are. There’s no sexual chemistry there, no bloodlines; you are with a friend simply because you genuinely like and care for that person. In my eyes, that’s the purest, and most accepting, form of love there is. I don’t know where I would have been without the support of my friends during my divorce six years ago. They are still there for me as I’m navigating the trials of middle-age dating, becoming an empty nester, losing my mom – just as I’m there for them as they go through their divorces, cancer treatments, or parenting issues. My friends are my greatest treasures. I’m so glad that English recognizes the gift of friendship. She sounds like someone I’d enjoy being friends with.

Lori Robak / Hopkinton

My best friend and I have been “together” for 24 years, since third grade. Christine is the sister I never had and my “life partner.” We are both married and living in different states now, but we still talk all the time and often celebrate our many years together. We have a deep relationship that comes with enduring life experiences together, such as divorces of parents, having children, and all the fun times in between. I know we will be there for each other through all our life stages, until the very end. I am so lucky to have her.

Marisa Little / Bedford

When I married young, I lost one of my dearest friends because I had to rededicate myself to my husband and soon-to-be firstborn. My marriage and newborn were too much for our friendship; it was very sad for both of us. Recently my friend and I reunited after many years of silence. Now that she, too, has a family, we have common ground and interests. Although the initial shock of a marriage may alter relationships, you never know when you may reunite.

Sue Miller / Oak Bluffs

Comments: Write to or The Boston Globe Magazine/Letters, PO Box 55819, Boston, MA 02205-5819. Letters are subject to editing.