There are times the old filter just doesn’t work



On occassion, I have “filter” issues.

No, not the kind of filter one would find with an air conditioning unit, nor the kind that keeps coffee grounds out of your cup every morning. I’m talking about that metaphorical internal filter we’re all supposed to possess that provides us guidance in terms of what information we should share outwardly, and what we would best be served just keeping to ourselves.

It’s the one that has saved millions of marriages over the years when a husband is asked, “Do I look fat in this?” The one that kicks in to offer a breath of sanity when a guy built like a Mack truck on steroids looks directly into your eyes at a bar and asks, “You got something to say?”

It’s not that my filter is missing or doesn’t work entirely, mind you. It does indeed spring to life in instances such as the ones I listed above (though I do admit to having some filter issues in my youth that caused me to look at the aggressive big guy through whiskey-clouded eyes and clumsily offer, “Just your stupid face” — but a few raw steaks to the eyes over the years will get that part of your filter working much better).

My current filter issues are a bit more complicated, as is everything as we get older in life. While I do have the ability to utilize a little more self control in most instances, there are still those times when I’m sitting at my desk and a thought or idea pops in my mind that I most certainly know would not be a good idea to share with the world. But before I know what happened, I’m typing the words into my computer and...

Susan Lyons is 60 years old.

See? There it goes again. I knew without a doubt that our esteemed publisher would get upset with me if I shared with our readers and advertisers that she has reached this milestone in life, but my filter just seems to go on vacation at times. I told myself over and over again that I would allow this woman to privately enjoy her birthday with her family, and that I would preserve her dignity and sense of...

Susan Lyons is 60 years old.

Drats! No matter what I do, or how hard I try, there is just no way I can stop telling people that this remarkable woman who has been such an important figure in both my professional and personal lives is reaching this important milestone.

Now, to be fair, “milestone” might not be the right word in this context. It’s not like she is reaching the age to get into an R-rated movie or be served a glass of wine with dinner. The only real advantage she might be gaining with this is that she can now watch “Golden Girls” and “Murder She Wrote” as much as she wants without being judged. One could argue that she gains the benefit of added experience, but if she can’t remember where she put her phone or car keys, does experience really help all that much?

Well, now that I think about it, I guess there is an advantage that I didn’t consider before. When she goes kayaking, works 14-hour days or starts hauling around newspaper boxes in the heat of summer, people can now look at her and say, “Good for her. She’s not letting her age get in the way.”

So, yeah. There’s that.

This is just wrong on so many levels. Susan is one of my best friends on the planet — a person I love hanging around with, and a publisher I respect on every level. She has accepted me into her family for more than 15 years, and I consider her husband and children some of my most treasured friends. I have the honor of being godfather to one of her granddaughters, and have dined, drank and vacationed with her over the ye...

Susan Lyons is 60 years old.

Aargh. There’s just no controlling the impulse. I thought for a second there that I would be able to finish this column by simply pointing out all her strengths and accomplishments. This would be an opportunity to publicly thank her for being the kind of publisher that allows us on the editorial side of things the freedom to chase stories no matter where they lead us, and the type of manager who tirelessly explores every option available when it comes time to renew our employee benefits so the people who labor so hard for us can get what they deserve, without driving us out of business. It was to be an ode...

Susan Lyons is 60 years old.

I think it’s time to come to terms with the fact that this is not going to be something I can control. It’s not like she hasn’t had birthdays in the past. On the contrary, she’s had lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of birthdays. If birthdays were nickels, she would have... well, 60 nickels.

I really should have thought that one through before I started typing.

Jokes aside, all of us at the Coastal Point wish Susan a very happy birthday, indeed. She is “Momma Point” to many at the office, and spends as much time talking people through their personal issues as she does on work-related concerns. We all enjoy seeing her interact with her children and grandchildren, and marvel at her abilities to work 60 hours a week, toil away at her fairy garden and spend quality time with her husband. In short, she is the definition of “Today’s Woman.”

And “Yesterday’s.” And “the Day-Before-Yesterday’s.”