The Philadelphia Inquirer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on February 28, 1987 · Page 34
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The Philadelphia Inquirer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania · Page 34

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Saturday, February 28, 1987
Page 34
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2-CT Saturday, Feb. 28, 1987 The Philadelphia Inquirer . Here's help Mh Rogers On Childhood By Fred Rogers Remember Baked Alaska? A rarity nowadays, but it's a dessert with cold ice cream inside and hot meringue' on top, so it's hot and cold at the same time. I used to marvel that it could be so, and it can come as a surprise to many children to find that their feelings often turn out like Baked Alaska, too. All of us, as children, wrestled with mixed feelings toward Mom. At first, our closest care-giver was a source of nurture and comfort for us, though even in early infancy it may have seemed that Mom was part of our hunger pangs, too. By the time we'd sorted out the fact that Mom brought us our pleasure but didn't cause our pain, we were old enough to understand something else about Mom: She could say no. Mom could be prohibitive as well as permitting. She could withhold as well as give. Sometimes we felt our love for her and sometimes we felt our anger. That's how it came to be with all the important adults in our lives as they went about setting limits on our behavior loving limits that they set out of concern for our well-being. Here's how a 6-year-old found expression for her mixed feelings: She had been' scolded and sent to her room. Under her door she slipped a note on which she'd written, "I hate you, Mommy." Later on, when the crisis was ovdr; she took back her piece of paper and wrote on the other side, "I love yon, Mommy." Then she added, "P.S. I will never hate you as much as I love you," That little girl, like many of us growing up, may have had other people who wereimportant to her, too and not only adults. She may, for example, have had brothers and sisters, and you can be sure that she had mixed feelings about them, as well. How strong a child's mixed feelings can be when a baby brother or sister comes back from the hospital for the first time. "Who is this little intruder who's getting all the attention I used to get?" a child may wonder, while worrying that mommies can be mommies to only one child at a time. But along with the anger and anxiety children may feel about a new baby, they usually also feel loving and protective at times when they don't feel threatened. They can also feel proud about being the older child once they know that their place in the family, though different, is still secure. It:s not only younger brothers and sisters who come in for mixed feelings, either. I remember asking a 10-year-old how he felt about his older brother going away to school. He looked perplexed as he said, "Most of the time I'm glad he's gone, but then sometimes I miss him, too." Thai boy was old enough for me to tell him there was a word for those kinds of feelings ambivalence and I wrote the word on a slip of paper for him. He-must have found it good to know his feelings were widely enough shared to merit a word, because his family told me later he used ambivalent many times: lKan be a big help for any of us to know that our feelings are all right tha'f'lhere's nothing wrong with having them, and that lots of other people have the same kinds of feelings as well. If-we look at our relationships with any of the many, many people in our lives, I believe we'll always find a measure of ambivalence about our parents, brothers and sisters, other relatives, friends and even ourselves. An ability to accept our ambivalence toward others may be an important ingredient in relationships that are healthy and lasting. People sometimes want to be together, and at other times they want to be alone as that boy felt about his older brother. The people you love the most are the ones who can make you feel maddest as that little girl felt about her mother. At the same time, being able to accept our ambivalence toward ourselves may be an important component in our own self-esteem. Even though ambivalence keeps us hot and cold at the same time, there's a healthy wholeness to it. That's something children need to know. There's a wholeness to Baked Alaska, too, and if you can find a recipe that works, you might like to make your child one sometime. I'd be happy to get a copy of that rec'ip'e as well. This column was written with Hedda Sharapan. Miss Manners By Judith Martin Commercials don't have their timing right I)ear Miss Manners: I am a rancher iff South Texas. Despite the climate, some of us Texans still appear in public in a coat and tie, or the equivalent, as our ancestors did (however inexpensive or worn the clothing may have been). I understand that this is still proper; it is certainly more private. One does not have to display defects in anatomy and skin, or show pocket items or perspiration. Why the bigotry against people like us nowadays? Hosts insist on taking our coats and ties; even other guests nag. It seems the only way to keep one's clothing is to claim that one has spilled food on his shirt and needs the coat to cover it. No one feels threatened around a slob with a dirty shirt. Are all Americans so insecure nowadays? Gentle Reader: Let us rather say naiye. People who refuse to acknowledge the symbolic value of clothing, professing a belief in individual freedom of choice, always seem to try to tyrannize those of us whose choices are different from theirs. In the name of comfort, they harass people who are most comfortable when dressed as grown-ups. In addition to the practical advantages you point out, such clothing conveys a formality suitable to people who wish to be taken seriously rather than be mistaken for children at play in their play clothes. Miss Manners urges you not to give in to this silly peer pressure, even to the extent of making any excuse. A firm "Thank you, but I prefer to keep my jacket" is enough. Dear Miss Manners: After a funeral service I attended, people stopped for a few words with members of the family. Just ahead of me, a lady offered her condolences to the widow and at the same time leaned toward her. The latter, who was somewhat formidable in manner, accepted the other woman's hand but drew back from the intended kiss on the cheek. The first lady must have been hurt and embarrassed by the action. How does one know, in any such situation, if the gesture is expected or if it would be unwelcome? I can't help thinking that the con-sfaiif emotional embracing that seems to be considered such a necessary part of any TV drama isn't really representative of general custom. Gentle Reader: Heaven help the people who take their manners from television. Not only is it unreasonable to expect performers to be paragons of proper behavior, but there wouldn't be much drama worth watching if they were. You must therefore go instead with your manners problems to Miss Manners. The answer is that only in certain very limited circles does the cheek kiss serve the purpose that the warm handshake serves for the rest of us sensible people. Unless you are in one of those circles, you must judge whether you are on sufficient terms of intimacy with someone to make such a kiss welcome rather than intrusive. What comes across as phony over-familiarity can be as chilling as too little warmth. The lady at the funeral meant well, and Miss Manners is sorry if she felt rebuffed. But she should have judged before she kissed. Dear Miss Manners: Please understand that there is nothing I enjoy more than giving a truly nice wedding gift, either when I receive a wedding invitation or when I choose to do so where no invitation is involved. But the pleasure is greatly diminished upon receipt of not only a wedding invitation but numerous invitations to showers for the same person. I always thought many showers were given to accommodate different sets of friends, not for inviting the same person repeatedly. And what about the giving of showers by relatives? I thought relatives who gave showers invited other relatives only, since it is almost like asking for a gift for oneself. I have come to value very highly the people who decline their friends' and relatives' offers of showers and choose parties instead. I find myself being much more generous to them. Too many invitations that entail gift-giving seem uncouth to me. Am I wrong? Gentle Reader: Although you are right, Miss Manners would like to calm you down just a little. Invitations should not be taken as insults. Probably the various hostesses did not check with one another, but simply got from the bride a list of her good friends. All you have to do is to choose the shower you want to attend and to decline the other invitations. Feeling incorrect? Address your etiquette questions (in black or blue-Meek ink on white writing paper) to Miss Manners, The Inquirer, Box 8263, Philadelphia 19101. Sometimes I think writers who produce commercials don't know people at all. The other night I watched an elderly couple turn off the lights to go to bed when the woman turned to her husband and said, "I think we ought to talk about our insurance program." No woman in her right mind would discuss insurance coverage with a husband who is about to fall asleep. It's an insult to women everywhere. We are noted for our timing. Do you sell aspirin to a man who doesn't have a headache? Of course not! Any woman knows the moment to bring up insurance is when your husband is sicker than a dog with flu and thinks he's going to that big golf course in the sky. As his wife forces water between his parched, feverish lips, she says, "By the way, dear, do you happen to re- ByERMABOMBECK call that insurance company that gives coverage over the phone regardless of your age or disabilities?" Now you've got the man's attention. Most women, if they really have something important to say to their husbands, will wait until they are in bed and their husband is feeling romantic. At this point they will whisper huskily, "I love you too. Don't you think the living room car pet is looking a little threadbare?" Women have found they have never been in a better position to bargain. Don't believe what you see on television. Love is not necessarily a moment when two people think as one. More women than you can imagine find it a great time to bring up Sandra's overbite and why he didn't eat the broccoli casserole, at dinner. The prime time to discuss anything with men is during a bowl game. Any bowl. Once during a Super Bowl encounter, I emerged with a new set of dishes, a promise to get the disposer repaired, a new car and a picture hung on a nail in the living room. The man would have signed away five years of his life to get me to shut up. If television commercials knew anything about dialogue between men and women, they would show a man buying a new car, anci as he folded up the warranties and the payment schedule, his wifa would smile and say, "I'm happy for your new toy. Now let's talk about something to keep your wife warm that is furry and diminishes guilt." The realism on commercials just isn't there. I watched a beautiful girl the other night scale a mountain and, as she got to the top, hand a box of cereal to a young stranger with a backpack. "This one has fiber," she said by way of introduction. His face reflected the ecstasy of a man who had just discovered the meaning of life. The timing was all wrong. My husband would have said, "Did you lock the car? Where's my Shirley Temple bowl? I suppose you forgot the milk?" 'NEWSMAKERS Griffm O'Neal gets probation and fine ,1 ' i' ' By W. Speers inquirer Staff Writer Griffin O'Neal, son of actor Ryan O'Neal, was fined $200 and placed on 18 months of probation with stringent requirements yesterday for his involvement in a Maryland boating accident on Memorial Day that killed Gian Carlo Coppola, son of filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola. O'Neal, 23, must submit to periodic drug testing, attend school or hold a job, and perform 416 hours of community service. On Dec. 19, he was convicted of negligent operation of a boat. In imposing the sentence, Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Martin Wolff told O'Neal: "You have a history of lying with little respect for others." Holding back tears, O'Neal replied: "I've had somewhat of a tough life. I'm trying to settle down to begin to be a responsible human being. I feel very sorry for what happened." His father was in Europe. Homeward bound Millicent Fenwick formally retired from her four-year job as the first U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization yesterday and seemed eager to come home today from Rome. "I'm flying home ... to Bernardsviile, N.J., and I'm going to have supper with my son at Mrs. Pistelli's restaurant," said Fenwick, a former congress-woman from New Jersey. The retirement ends more than 50 years in public service for Fenwick, who turned 77 Wednesday. "It's time," she said. "My third pacemaker is not quite the unobtrusive friend the second was." , The darker side Actress Rita Gam, friend and roommate of Princess Grace's during their early Hollywood years, writes in her new book that the former Grace Kelly was never allowed to fully develop her acting talents and that the mantle of fame hung heavily on her. "I think that living with the media as your bed partner is not conducive to a happy life," Gam said in a Los Angeles radio interview Thursday, touting Actress to Actress. "Fame became a pain to Grace, I know, especially during the last few years of her life. She was bored and annoyed with all the attention and found it intrusive to a degree that it was distasteful. I admit I was jealous of her in some ways, but I did not envy her life." Video winners Peter Gabriel won big at the American Video Awards Thursday in Los Angeles as his "Sledgehammer" took prizes for best pop video, best male performance, best direction, best editing and best special effects. In addition, Gabriel was inducted into the National Academy of Video Arts and Sciences. Madonna won best female performance for "Papa Don't Preach," the Bangles won s UsV$ i j.KvZ oMM. :, vW4 , WH iii. Mi iiWft A IwiMW ' It.tii ' hfer toh ji imilfit if fttf- jiff. 'Iff Associated Press With an affectionate lick, Jackie, a terrier mix, snuggles up to actress Audrey Meadows in Chicago. Jackie, a onetime stray, is a pet in a new Chicago program that provides homeless dogs and cats to the elderly. ,:-.,:. s j'X sKf M' pi' k UMt tM Associated Press Not at odds, Jack Klugman (left) and Tony Randall clown backstage in New York City during a rehearsal yesterday of their "Odd Couple" roles for tomorrow's salute to playwright Neil Simon at the Shubert Theater. best group performance for "Walk Like an Egyptian" and Peter Cetera was voted best new artist. The ceremonies will be televised May 11. Paley in hospital William S. Paley, founder of CBS, was reported stable and "responding well" yesterday at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, where he is being treated for pneumonia. Paley, 85, entered the hospital Sunday after returning from a vacation in the Bahamas. No word on when he'll be released. Untapped rock band Christopher Guest, seen in the movie Beyond Therapy, says offers still pour in for the rock group Spinal Tap, even though it doesn't exist and never did, except on celluloid. Guest played a band member in the 1984 cinematic spoof of heavy-metal rockers, This Js Spinal Tap. "It's people who don't know it's a joke, people who know it's a joke, and then there are people in the middle," he said. Noted Philadelphia-born contralto Marian Anderson was given the Honorary Fellowship Award of Jerusalem's Hebrew University yesterday at a luncheon ceremony in New York. Soprano Roberta Peters presented the award to Anderson, 85, who was cited for "her lifelong struggle for human rights, her deep sense of justice, her caring for people and her avowed friendship with Israel." In 1939, Anderson sang on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial after the Daughters of the American Revolution would not allow her to sing in their concert 5 fif 1 v Peier Gabriel hall, and in 1955 she became the first black woman to sing at the Metropolitan Opera. Markings Elizabeth Taylor was all set to observe her 55th birthday with a party last night in Tucson, Ariz., where she's making a TV movie. She'll have another do tonight in Los Angeles, at the Bel-Air house of neighbors Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sayer, who've invited about a hundred of La Liz's friends. And if Sen. Edward M. Kennedy is looking smaller these days, it's because he is. His press secretary revealed Thursday that the Massachusetts Democrat has dropped 30 pounds since Christmas. How? "Basically, he ate less and exercised, and made up his mind to do it," said the spokeswoman. Contributing to this report were the Associated Press, United Press International and USA Today. Peoplctalk By Liz Smith When Vanna White's neckline goes up, stock prices go down, according to an obscure investment index developed by a small brokerage in Tijuana, Mexico. It seems that heavy traders are buying and selling in a pattern that matches the changes in Vanna's dresses on Wheel of Fortune. Bruce Collins' Off-the-Wall-Street Newsletter, which contains tips on how to make money watching "offbeat indicators" in the stock market, discovered the Tijuana firm's study. Collins' report was quoted in Barron's. "If Vanna sports a white. strapless dress, a 'buy' program appears to follow," Barron's reports. " 'Sell' programs are initiated if she wears neck-high garments." Warner Bros, is in a good mood over the forthcoming movie directed by Joel Schumacher, titled Lost Boys. The studio has had two secret sneak previews in L.A. of this comic vampire thriller, and the reaction was spectacular. So Warner's will make the movie its big summer surprise, releasing around Aug. 1. Every director in Hollywood is not a household name, so let me remind you that Schumacher was also at the helm for St. Elmo's Fire, D.C. Cab, The Incredible Shrinking Woman and Car Wash. Speaking of directors, the other eve I was downtown at the New York nightspot Nell's, and I asked one of the workers in Nell's vineyard to tell me who was sitting that night at the V.I.P. "Frank Sinatra table." The answer came: "Oh, just Oliver Stone of Platoon and a bunch of sycophants!" Andy Warhol was one of the seminal cultural influences of our time. But he wasn't someone to try to talk to in depth. He was too much of a voyeur himself, a watcher, a recorder, a litmus paper for whatever was happening. As for David Susskind, I'm glad he was able to leave this life at a point of personal happiness. He wasn't down and out; he was "up." His love affair with the model Carmen was first written about in this column a few months ago. I saw them out together at a supper club only two nights before David died. They were holding hands, and David looked happier than he had in years. The tragedies caused by those no longer in condition to drive Dear Ann Landers: "The Fink in San Diego" made me write my first letter to a newspaper. I have been involved in two auto accidents in the last jdozen years. Both drivers were elderly. Both had been drinking. One left the scene of the accident. Nei-tttci; incident, however, matched the horror of one that occurred recently. My elderly mother and her sister were walking on the sidewalk along a busy street. A car careened onto the sidewalk and hit my aunt. Mom somehow jumped out of the way. Aunt "Sara" was caught under the car and dragged off. An alert passerby forced the driver to stop. He backed up and dropped the body, By ANN LANDERS 1 ,mammmTmfmBS!iFmmmi then proceeded to take off. Other cars blocked his way. The police put him in handcuffs and took him to the station. By some miracle, Aunt Sara survived. She will be in the hospital for many months. The driver was 85 years old. He couldn't see over the hood in broad daylight. He couldn't differentiate between the street and the sidewalk. Yet he has a valid driver's license. My mother is a nervous wreck. She may never get over it. My aunt, much younger, is a fighter. She will take up Fink's ca ise in Canada, and because she vacations in Florida, she will make waves down there, too. I intend to join her and Fink in their efforts. We are going to lobby for mandatory testing of drivers over 70 and we shall fight for transportation alternatives so old people won't lose their mobility when they lose their licenses. The insurance companies come down hard on young drivers. Undoubtedly there are careless young people out there, but I believe it's the older incompetent ones who are making the streets and roads unsafe and causing untold misery for the rest of us. God bless you, Fink for sticking up for my rights. You will never be forgotten by this family. CM. in Ontario, Canada Dear CM.: Thanks for cutting us in on your plans. They sound grest Go, go, go! Dear Ann Landers: I am a "nixie" clerk in a large post office. "Nixies" are pieces of mail with a wrong or incomplete address, or no sign of "I sender. It is sad when a letter ends up in the dead-letter office. It may be a mortgage payment, a postcard to a sick friend or a letter from a child on vacation saying, "I love you, Grandma!" The most frequent offense is leaving off the state. For example: There are seven Greenvilles. Another problem: Foreign mail that bears the name of the city (Stockholm), but no country (Sweden). At least 100 postcards a day are dead-lettered because the name of 'he country was omitted. As a favor to the public, will you please remind them to be more careful? weary of the Slip-Shod , (Texas) Dear Weary: Tl ; i my song. I'm soihs ,i , ity on half-baked uia... ,t t m,. , our office hundreds of seif-addrccu envelopes that have no state, no zip codes and insufficient postage. People complain daily because they haven't received a reply or a booklet, when in fact they gave us an incomplete address or none! I hope your letter makes an impression. Frustrated in Chicago Do you feel awkward, serf conscious lonely? Welcome to the club. There's help for you in Ann Landers' booklet "The Key to Popularity." Send 50 cents with your request and a long, stamped. sH-addressed envelope to Ann Landers. The Philadelphia Inquirer, Box 11996, Chicago, M. 60611. r i n if rrtW

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