Buffalo Woman brought a book with her to coffee a few weeks ago, and convinced me to borrow it.  The books she reads tend to be very spiritual in nature, while I prefer a good novel, and since I had two fat juicy ones waiting to be read, her little book got shoved aside for a while.  I finally got around to it this week -- a bit begrudgingly, I admit.  By the end of the first page, I was completely hooked.

The book, written by Andy Andrews, is called The Noticer, and it's filled with just the kind of down-to-earth common sense that I respond to.  It's about an elderly fellow named Jones who, as the title implies, has a gift for noticing things -- things that others just can't see for themselves.  He seems to wander in and out of people's lives just when they need him most, when they are stuck in a rut they have dug so deep that they just kind see how to move forward.  Once he shares with them a few of the things he has "noticed", it gives them a new perspective on their situation, finally allowing them to regroup and move ahead.

My favorite chapter so far, and one most appropriate for this Valentine's Eve, was about a couple who were headed for divorce.  The two were meeting at a cafe to hammer out a few of the details, when suddenly Jones appeared at their table.  He explained that he'd been watching them for a while, and was certain that they loved each other.  The problem was, one of them was American, and the other was Scottish.  They were both speaking English, but neither could understand a damn thing the other said!  The language we use to express love is like that.  There are several different dialects, and when two people don't speak the same one, it can lead to serious problems, even divorce.  This particular husband expressed his love using the spoken word, and that's also the only thing that made him feel loved.  His wife shows her love through favors and deeds, and no matter how many times he says he loves her, unless he backs it up with favors and deeds, she won't believe it.

In all, there are four basic dialects used to convey and feel love, and to help us understand them, Jones compared them to certain animals.  A canary is a person who expresses love in quality time spent.  A canary says "Just be with me!"  A goldfish feels loved based on favors and deeds.  You can't really touch them, they probably can't hear you, and they don't really care if you are there or not, as long as you feed them and clean the bowl when it's needed.  My hubby is a cat.  Cats are almost exclusively creatures of physical contact.  You don't really have to feed them.  They don't pay any attention to what you say or do.  No point in trying to call one.  Cats just want to be rubbed and scratched.  I happen to be a puppy dog.  I feel loved by spoken words of approval.  Tell a puppy how wonderful he is and his whole body wags.  How do you teach him most effectively?  With praise!  What is most devastating to a puppy? Words of disapproval spoken in an angry voice.

Thankfully, we once knew a noticer too.  He stumbled into our lives just when we needed him the most.  He was a most gifted linguist, for he was able to hear what each of us had been trying to say for so long, and translate it into words that the other could finally understand.  We shall be forever in his debt.

P.S.  Many thanks to for the image above.
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Reviewed by juragan asem
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Rating : 4.5