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A few weeks ago, we had some friends over we hadn#39;t seen in a while. While catching up, they asked my husband, Alejandro, how his new business was going. 几个星期前,有几个有段日子没见的朋友过来玩。在询问各自近况时,他们问我丈夫亚历杭德罗(Alejandro)新开的公司怎么样。 Alejandro shuffled and shrugged and stared at the floor. 亚历杭德罗吾吾,耸耸肩,盯着地板。 #39;Up and down, you know. Money come in, money goes out. Lots of problems,#39; he muttered. Our friends glanced at each other, avoided eye contact with us and uncomfortably changed the topic. I could tell they feared they had touched a raw nerve. 他低声嘀咕道,“生意时好时坏,你们知道的,有赚有亏,问题不少。”朋友们交换了个眼色,不敢直视我们,很别扭地转换了话题。看得出来,他们觉得自己触及到了一根敏感神经。 I spoke up. 我开口说话了。 #39;His company is going great!#39; I volunteered. #39;Way better than his projections. He#39;s doing a great job. This guy is amazing,#39; I said, pointing at my husband, who looked completely mortified and slipped away to fiddle with the music. “公司很顺利,比预期的还要好得多。他经营得非常好,真的很厉害。”我指着丈夫说,而他则看上去有些尴尬,借着去调音乐走开了。 The whole evening I wanted to have a talking-to with Alejandro, and after they left I did. 整个晚上我都想找机会跟丈夫谈谈,客人走后,我就去找他。 #39;Why won#39;t you tell our friends how your business is going? You gave them the impression it#39;s awful when it#39;s actually going really well,#39; I complained. “你为什么不把真实情况告诉他们?公司明明一切顺利,你却给他们留下相反的印象。” Turns out he was equally annoyed with the way I#39;d responded. 结果,他对我的做法一样很有意见。 #39;It sounds like you#39;re bragging. I don#39;t want to go around telling people I#39;m some kind of big shot and I#39;m making all this money,#39; he said. “你听上去像是在吹嘘,我不想到处跟人显摆,说我怎么怎么厉害,赚了多少钱。”他说道。 The topic of money is such a divisive theme in many marriages, I#39;m relieved that Alejandro and I have so much common ground. But this incident brought to my attention a little-discussed relationship wrinkle: The difference in how we talk about our financial status with the outside world. I realized that my husband and I have never come to an agreement about what we are comfortable revealing, or shielding, about our economic situation. Instead, we regularly annoy each other by following what we are sure is common sense. 在婚姻生活中,金钱是一个很容易引起家庭不和的话题。我很庆幸自己和亚历杭德罗有很多共同语言,但这件事让我关注到一个双方很少谈及但可能影响夫妻关系的问题:我们与外界谈论自己财务状况时所采取的方式不同。我意识到,我丈夫和我从来没有就这件事达成过一致意见,即到底以什么方式公布或隐藏我们的经济状况比较好。相反,我们经常用自己的方式行事,觉得理所当然,结果却惹怒了另一方。 One example of the tension arises during our annual trips to Uruguay, Alejandro#39;s home country. When we get there, I refuse to sleep on friends#39; living-room floors or in cheap hotels as Alejandro wants to do. Instead, at my insistence, we#39;ve rented large apartments or comfortable houses at the beach. With Alejandro pushing back every step of the way, we have had many arguments. His complaint: #39;People here will think we have more money than they do.#39; 比如说,每年我们回亚历杭德罗的老家乌拉圭探亲时,就会发生这样的冲突。到乌拉圭后,我不愿在朋友家的客厅打地铺,或住在亚历杭德罗订的便宜酒店里。在我的坚持下,我们要么租大一点的公寓,要么租海边的房子。亚历杭德罗每次都再三阻挠,两人在这问题上总是有很多争执。亚历杭德罗抱怨说,“这里的人会觉得我们比他们有钱。” I know tons of people who have more money than I do, and I like them anyway, I answer. It#39;s always been hard for me to understand how this could be a problem. 我回答道,我认识很多比我有钱的人,但依然跟他们做朋友。我一直很难理解,为什么这会成为一个问题。 On the flip side, I find it so frustrating when I hear Alejandro rattling off his business worries and liabilities to my dad, without sharing the upsides and triumphs. My dad, a former stockbroker, loves business and is so excited about Alejandro#39;s trucking company. He goes with him to inspect the big rigs, quizzes the drivers about their lives and tabulates gas expenses. I fantasize that Alejandro will call up his father-in-law some day and share the news about a banner month. But let#39;s be realistic: Alejandro could hardly imagine anything more embarrassing. 站到另一面来讲,我很不愿意亚历杭德罗跟我父亲念叨他生意上的一些烦心事以及要担负的责任,而从不说一些好消息和取得的成绩。我父亲以前是个股票经纪人,喜欢经商,对亚历杭德罗开的货运公司很热心,他会跟亚历杭德罗一起出去检查大货车,询问司机的生活情况,把汽油开制成表格。我很期待某天亚历杭德罗能给父亲打个电话,告诉他这个月公司的业绩很棒;但我还是现实一点吧:亚历杭德罗可能觉得没有比这种自我标榜更令人尴尬的事情了。 With the #39;how#39;s the business#39; question coming up so frequently, we decided to talk through our positions and create some ground rules. 由于“生意怎么样”这类问题越来越频繁地出现,我们俩决定好好谈一谈,确定一些基本的原则。 In Uruguay, Alejandro explained, the highest praise you can give a person is to say they #39;have a low profile.#39; Rich people, Alejandro says, are assumed to have cheated someone on the path to wealth and are often viewed with suspicion. Thus, Uruguayans will often go out of their way to assure you they are flat broke and everything is going terribly. I#39;ve often marveled at how in Uruguay, whenever someone lets slip something positive about their lives, the words #39;por suerte,#39; meaning #39;by luck,#39; immediately follow. 亚历杭德罗向我解释,在乌拉圭,对一个人的最高评价是“为人低调”。人们认为,有钱人在积累财富的过程中一定会欺骗别人,因此往往对富人报以怀疑的目光。因此,乌拉圭人经常想方设法向别人展示自己很穷,日子过得不好。我经常对乌拉圭人的一个习惯感到惊讶:无论什么时候,只要一个人谈起自己生活中比较好的一些事情,总会紧跟着一句“por suerte”,意思是“这只是走运而已”。 Things could hardly be more different in the U.S., I told Alejandro, as I defined the term #39;poor-mouthing#39; and how harshly it is looked down upon in this culture. Success is such a deeply ingrained expectation in this society that we loathe burdening our family or friends with admissions of hardship. When I indicate to family and friends that we#39;re doing well and all is calm on the financial front, I don#39;t feel I#39;m bragging but rather putting them at ease. 我对亚历杭德罗说,美国人的习惯正好相反。我解释了什么叫“哭穷”(poor-mouthing),以及美国文化如何鄙视那些哭穷的人。在美国社会,成功是根植于每个人心中的一种期待,以至于美国人不愿向家人和朋友们承认自己日子过得艰难。当我告诉亲友自己过得很好,财务方面毫无问题时,我不觉得自己在吹嘘,而是为了让他们放心。 We both conceded that talking about money is generally in bad taste and to be avoided when possible. Alejandro agreed that when discussing his company with our closest friends and family, he will be more transparent and upbeat when the news warrants it. Around Uruguayans, I#39;ve agreed to be more respectful of the #39;low profile#39; gold standard: I#39;ll stay in a cheap hotel or two in Uruguay and make sure I#39;m not painting our lives too rosy. 我们俩达成一致意见,谈论金钱通常没有什么品位,应尽量避免。亚历杭德罗同意,今后在与好友和家人谈论公司情况时,会基于事实讲得更清楚和乐观一些。我同意会更尊重乌拉圭社会“为人低调”的黄金准则,在那里住便宜一点的酒店,并确保不把我们的生活说得过于花团锦簇。 And if someone asks us how things are going overall, I#39;m going to try to be mindful to downplay a bit and Alejandro to up-play a bit. It#39;s a happy medium. Por suerte. 今后如果有人问我们过得怎么样,我会注意说得低调一点,而亚历杭德罗则要说得更正面一些。这符合快乐的中庸之道。Por suerte,这只是走运而已。 /201209/197968

Christmas Eve Service平安夜礼拜Just as I began my Christmas Eve service, the electricity in the church failed. The ushers and I found some candles and placed them around the sanctuary. Then I reentered the pulpit, shuffled my notes, and muttered, ;Now, where was I?; A tired voice called out, ;Right near the end!;就在我开始平安夜祷告时,教堂停电了。教堂里的接待人员和我找到一些蜡烛,把它们放在礼堂周围。然后我重返讲道坛,整理了一下笔记后,我说:“刚才我讲到哪儿了?”传来一阵不耐烦的声音:“马上就讲完了!”

Large handbags are a health hazard for women, experts warned.With big handbags becoming a key fashion accessory for working women, health experts are warning they can also become a key health concern.如今,大手提包已成为职业女性一个不可缺少的时尚配件,而健康专家们日前发出警告,手提包也可能会成为一个不可小视的“健康杀手”。 Bags for women have become bigger and heavier as designers combine briefcases with handbags and straps have become longer but the extra leverage has many patients complaining of neck, shoulder and back problems.随着设计师将公文包和手提包的功能不断融合,女性用的手提包变得越来越大、越来越重,包带也随之加长,而这种额外的负担则让很多女性感到脖子、肩膀和背部不适。 ;I see so many women with neck pains and headaches and what I usually do is look for their purse and pick it up,; said Jane Sadler, a family practice physician at Baylor Medical Center in Garland, Texas.德克萨斯州加兰市贝勒医疗中心的家庭医生简?萨德勒说:“很多女性都有颈椎病和头疼病,而我通常则会从她们用的手提包来找原因。” ;We take it over to the scale and weigh it and usually they#39;re anywhere from 7 to 10 pounds (3.1-4.5 kgs)...We#39;re really going to see women with more and more problems later on if we continue the big purse craze.;“我们给她们用的手提包称重后发现,这些包的重量通常在6.2斤至9斤之间。如果女性继续用这种包,问题会越来越多。” William Case, a physical therapist in Houston, Texas, said an aggravated neck or shoulder can lead to upper back problems, meaning pain may then be felt while working at a computer or playing sports.德克萨斯州休斯敦的治疗专家威廉姆?凯斯说,颈部和肩膀问题的加重会影响到上背部,也就是说,坐在电脑前工作及进行体育运动时可能会感到上背部疼痛。 He urged designers ;to place a cute, educational caution tag on all bags to inform of potential neck and shoulder dangers.;他建议设计师们“在所有的包里加上一个可爱的‘温馨提示’标签,以提示女性朋友注意颈部和肩部健康。”Above all, he recommended correct posture while carrying bulky purses, keeping the head and shoulders aligned upright. Patients should also frequently change the size and weight of purses carried.他还特别强调了拎大手提包时要挺直身体。而且,颈椎和肩部有问题的女性应该经常交替使用不同大小和不同重量的包。 ;The extra-large purses are quite phenomenal. They look beautiful when the women wear them, but I don#39;t know how aware they are of the potential problems,; Case said.凯斯说:“超大号的手提包确实很‘酷’,拎起来也很漂亮。但我不知道女性对于这种包可能带来的潜在健康问题究竟了解多少。” /201301/223249


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