1781: Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown
On this day in 1781, British General Charles Cornwallis formally surrenders 8,000 British soldiers and seamen to a French and American force at Yorktown, Virginia, effectively bringing an end to the American Revolution and paving the way for American independence. Interestingly, as the British and Hessian troops marched out to surrender, the British band played the song "The World Upside Down." The Treaty of Paris, signed in 1783, formally recognized the United States as a free and independent nation.
1796: Editorial accuses Jefferson of affair with slave
On October 19, 1796, an essay appears in the Gazette of the United States in which a writer by the name of "Phocion" craftily attacks presidential candidate Thomas Jefferson, who was running against incumbent president John Adams in a bitter, contested campaign. That writer turned out to be none other than former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton -- the inspiration for the hit Broadway musical Hamilton -- with whom he'd served in George Washington's first cabinet.
The ever-verbose Hamilton wrote 25 essays under the name Phocion for the Gazette over the next few weeks in which he fulminated against Jefferson and republicanism. He went on to accuse Jefferson of carrying on an affair with one of his slaves, which is believed to have been Sally Hemings. Jefferson opted not to respond to the allegations.
1985: First Blockbuster store opens
On this day in 1985, the first Blockbuster video-rental store opened in Dallas, Texas, with with roughly 8,000 tapes displayed on shelves as well as a computerized check-out process.
The first store was a success, and Blockbuster expanded rapidly in the years that followed. Soon it became one of the world's largest providers of in-home movies and games. And by 1988, Blockbuster was America's biggest video chain, with approximately 400 stores. Steep competition from the likes of competitors like Netflix led to the company's eventual demise.
When things aren't exactly going our way, we have a tendency to harp on the negative. Unfortunately, this makes us lose sight of the fact that there are positive aspects to these very things we complain about.
Take your job, for example. Chances are there are things you might dislike -- if not dread about it -- from your obnoxious boss to your paltry benefits. At the end of the day, though, it still helps you put food on the table and a roof over your head. It might be the ideal job, but it certainly beats being unemployed. Plus, you can always look at it as a stepping stone toward something better.
As far as relationships, we it's normal to have gripes about our partners. They're lazy. They don't take care of themselves. They don't do the little things anymore. They fritter away their money. But for every negative quality, we're bound to come up with a positive one. Perhaps he or she is a good parent, an attentive friend, or a charitable soul who does lots of charity work.
Moreover, it's important to try see the big picture, as hard as that may be when, say, you're upset with your boss or partner for something they did that rubbed you the wrong way.
Yes, our job and significant other are far from perfect. But they enhance our lives in ways we sometimes may take for granted. Remind yourself that this storm, just like those of the past, shall pass; it is just a transitory hiccup. better days lie ahead, and you probably won't remember the incident in a year's time.
Of course, once it becomes apparent that the job or individual is more trouble than they're worth, it's probably best to test your options.
But don't let negativity impede your ability to be thankful for the good things and people in your life, even if they might frustrate you at times. Sometimes we become so preoccupied with thoughts of venturing over to the other side, where the grass is presumably greener, that we fail to appreciate what we have. What's more, we may later find the hard way that we had it a lot better than we thought.
Be thankful for your blessings. While you should never settle for less, you should not hold unrealistic expectations either. Everything and everyone -- from jobs to partners -- brings its own unique set of flaws.
Now, a distinction should be made between challenging women and playing games with them.
If not returning texts and trying to make the woman jealous is his idea of challenging her, he's in for a rude awakening.
As surprising as it may seem to some men, women don't want to feel or be told they're right all the time. They want a man to stand up for what he believes in, even if it ruffles her feathers and runs contrary to her longstanding beliefs or opinions.
Because it betrays a sense of confidence, which women find irresistible.
It conveys that whether or not she agrees with him, he's going to speak his mind -- in a firm if diplomatic manner.
Many men avoid doing this for fear that she'll get upset and lose interest. But this couldn't be farther from the truth.
The last thing a woman wants -- even if she might not say so -- is for a man to compromise his principles for her. Not only does it signal that she's in full control (a position most women would be glad to turn down), but it shows that he's needy and seeking her approval. Women aren't attracted to such obsequiousness.
At the end of the day, women want a mixed bag of sorts -- someone who's charming, intelligent, respectful, and hard-working. At the same time, he should be firm in his convictions. If she's out of line, she expects him to put her in her place.
Once she realizes she can get away with anything she wants -- that he doesn't challenge her in any way -- her respect for and attraction toward him will hit the floor.
Ladies, do you agree? How highly do you value a confident man who challenges you?
Some might say it's a good thing, as it allows you to pick what best suits your needs.
Others contend it can be a bad thing in that it causes you to second guess your decisions, especially if the alternatives are fairly comparable.
We face this type of conundrum on an almost-daily basis. Which job offer should I accept? Which computer should I buy? Which of these two guys should I become exclusive with?
About a month or two before graduating from college, I was hitting the pavement hard in hopes of landing a full-time job. (Mind you, this wasn't long before the global recession began.)
I went on a flurry of interviews and was offered nearly every position I applied for. I turned down the first two because I thought the salary being offered was a tad low. Besides, I didn't want to run after the first opportunity that came my way; I wished to take a little more time testing the job market waters.
Unfortunately, the position I wound up taking at a young start-up lasted a measly four months thanks to company-wide layoffs prompted by the recession. I spent the next couple of months kicking myself for not having accepted one of the earlier job offers. "If only I had accepted the offer from XYZ Company," I lamented, "I wouldn't be in this mess."
Later I realized that coming down so hard on myself was neither fair nor healthy. I made the decision I thought was right at the time. I could never have foreseen that I'd be handed a pink slip in a matter of months. (It's not as if I was provided with company financials beforehand that may have informed my decision not to accept the job.)
A similar scenario plays out in the realm of relationships for many of us. We have a choice of suitors and end up picking the person that, in hindsight, we should not have gone with.
That's called living and learning. Even if we make our choices very carefully, we can never know for sure whether they're the right ones until we've given them a shot, e.g., we've been on the job or with the person for a while.
Thus, it's no surprise that some would rather have fewer choices available to them. The fewer the alternatives, the less likely they are to experience buyer's remorse.
For example, many shoppers become overwhelmed at the sheer variety of brands/products on display at grocery stores, especially when cost, functionality, and other attributes are just about identical. Yet, competition in the marketplace is a good thing; it ensures that one company does not monopolize the market and have free rein to charge astronomical prices.
Bottom line: Having several choices is good -- to a certain degree. A person can have a wealth of options and still make a bad decision. The way to minimize the likelihood of a bad choice is by evaluating those alternatives carefully. But it's really experience, more than anything else, that guides us toward optimal decisions in the future.
Infusing variety into your relationship keeps it fresh and exciting.
Remember the so-called honeymoon stage? You know, the one where you and your partner were getting to know each other and every date seemed like a new adventure?
Neither of you had to put much effort into the relationship, your hormones were raging, and any flaws were as yet undiscovered. It's as if you were floating on cloud nine.
However, as time passed, the intense passion gave way to a calmer, more mature phase where you weren't all about jumping each other's bones. You grew accustomed to and comfortable around one another. Your foibles were put on your display and your relationship was tested in a number of ways.
If you managed to weather such storms and opted to stay together in spite of all the negative qualities about each other that came to light, there's no question that the two of you share a deep, abiding love.
However, just like a car, a relationship needs maintenance. Once you're well past the honeymoon stage, you must invest time and effort to keep the relationship exciting. Otherwise, you'll fall into a routine and risk growing bored of one another.
The surest way to keep it exciting is by adding variety. Travel to an exciting new destination every year. Check out new restaurants around town. Surprise each other with little notes and gifts like you did when you first got together. Learn a new skill together, or work on new projects around the house.
The reason the honeymoon stage seemed so exhilarating is because you were doing things together for the first time. The good news is that even if you've been together for a month, a year, or 20 years, you can still aim for novel pursuits and experiences.
There's nothing wrong with being comfortable in the relationship, as it's to be expected when two people have been together for a while. But becoming a little too comfortable -- complacent, if you will -- can lead one or both partners to feel bored, dissatisfied, and/or taken for granted.
Again, both partners should make a conscious effort to enrich the relationship with unexpected surprises and experiences. Being spontaneous and unpredictable can go a long way toward making your partner itch for more, which enhances the relationship in a huge way.