Got a bit of a sad story this week Dear Readers. It didn’t start off as a sad story, but they often don’t do they? A lot of the time they start off as a terrific, funny story and then, as the former Premier Anna Bligh put it so deftly in her memoir, it goes tits up in a ditch.
My blossoming romance – and to be truthful, I’m not 100% sure that’s what it would have turned into – was cut tragically short when my PNB* was deported.
Yes, Dear Readers. DEPORTED.
Quite recently I met a handsome foreign gentleman working out here, in the colonies, who had neglected to do all the proper paperwork and let his visa expire. There are very serious penalties for this, you become what is called an ‘unlawful non-citizen’ with the risk of being detained and then deported. Sometimes, they hit you up to pay the Australian Government for the cost of sending you home. He was even and banned from re-entering Australia for a few years!
At least I hope that’s what really happened. That’s only a few rungs down the ladder from faking your own death to get away from someone really isn’t it?
Although it’s much harder to do that these days with all the technology tracking your every move. You would really need to go off the radar.
I thought I’d look at some of the literature on the market to assist people who had a relationship end suddenly/unexpectedly. I can’t say I actually thought there would be a book specifically for if your PNB was unexpectedly deported but let’s be honest, it’s not completely impossible.
Turns out there isn’t a specific book for that – yet – but it’s only a matter of time because there’s one for every other situation imaginable. It’s staggering the amount of literature out there in the self help category.
I took a straw poll from a couple of close friends on the world of the self-help book. The control group consisted of the following women: one divorced with another partner, one recently separated, one married mother of four and one married with two dogs.
Survey results included:
“People read blogs now Dumb-Arse.”
“Who has time to read them? Although I appreciate the concept, I get my advice from my girlfriends and anything cold from the Adelaide Hills.”
“Yeah, I think it’s really good to keep evolving. You don’t just stop learning because you’re getting older. In fact that’s probably when you need to learn more about yourself and all your relationships.”
“No. I’m still trying to get through ‘Wild Swans’ from 1995.”
Self help books aren’t new. They’ve been around forever. Literally, forever – since Ancient times.
Many of the most ancient self help texts are still in print. Sun Zsu’s The Art of War, an ancient chinese military treatise is popular in the business sector and Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations is a bestseller in China today.
During the 1600 and 1700s, books on how to behave in polite society were all the rage in Italy, France, and England. In the 1800s people voraciously consumed advice on weight-loss, parenting, marriage, time management, home management, etiquette, success, self-control, mind power and grief.
I think it’s only fitting that the publishing industry has the final say on this subject. Statistics claim that 80% of self-help book customers are repeat buyers, so couldn’t that mean the books aren’t actually helping? There’s also suggestion that buyers of self-help books don’t read more than the first twenty pages, if they open them at all. Just the act of buying a self-help book is reported to make someone feel better.
So from the Ancients to now, people have been trying to figure it out – life and all the crap it throws at us. Aristotle was on to something when he said reading had healing capabilities.
*PBN – Potential New Boyfriend