Happiness for Two, 101

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Your Cliff notes to living life better, together.

school kidsI've long thought that they teach us all the wrong things in school. While I love knowing that the mitochondria is the "powerhouse of the cell," I also wish I'd learned other subjects that would make me less successful at cellular biology, perhaps, but more successful at plain old life. Off the top of my head, stuff like: How to balance a checkbook, get a mortgage, start a Rolodex right away, when you're way too young to think about such a thing. And while we're at it, how about a course on love? How to find it, how to keep it, and how to keep it interesting. I guess that's why, out of all the relationship books piled up in Tango's personal Tower of Babel, I plucked out Happiness for Two: 75 Secrets for Finding More Joy Together, by Alexandra Stoddard.

Sure, I invite you to quibble over the word "joy." Which is, admittedly, kind of wonky. But some of the ideas here are sound. I like that the chapters open with quotes that actually make you think:

Who is the happiest of man? He who values the merits of others and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though it was his own. —Goethe

And I like that that particular quote introduces a chapter on ways to make our own selves happier every day—as a way of making our relationships better. Now that's useful knowledge.

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