This is one in an occasional series of columns on True Facts: facts that are always true, but which only occasionally appear in this space. Women instinctively know these facts are true. Men will not remember that you told them they were true. And children will argue with you about them.
As always, I am grateful to all those who have shared these truths with me.
* A woman can fake an orgasm, but only a man can fake listening.
* An effective way to handle children who don't want to pick up after friends visit: Charge a cleaning deposit. Refundable when the family room is restored -- by the children -- to its original state. Forfeited if the family room is not.
* Willpower is defined as the ability to say no to that first potato chip. After you eat that chip, willpower is no longer a factor.
* You know it has been a troubled night of sleep when you wake to find your nightgown wrapped around you like the stripes on a barber's pole.
* Women try to change their husbands. Men don't want their wives ever to change.
* Even after the kids move out of the house, they still grocery shop at Mom's.
* You know you are a bad mother when you wash six pairs of your son's jeans but only two pairs of his undershorts.
* The best way to get your child to stop complaining about "your stupid job": Take him to Toys R Us and show him all the things a week's pay can buy.
* Kids always hate the clothes you purchase for them, but they make you miserable if you take them shopping.
* You can always count on your dad to ask you how your car is running.
* There are two kinds of kids: the ones who will tell you more than you want to know about everything, and the ones who tell you nothing.
* There is only one good thing about video games: They don't have hundreds of small pieces.
* If you tell your children how you used to make popcorn, they will not believe you.
* How friends describe a woman who is not a clever housekeeper: "If she wore mittens all day, nothing would change."
* If you buy treats for your family at the grocery store, you better eat one in the car on the way home or you won't get any.
* His priorities are never your priorities.
* As soon as you put the humidifier away, your child gets another cold.
* An NBA coach fined a player $100 for not tying his sneakers. Imagine what your life would be like if you could do that.
* When men say, "I'm sorry," they are apologizing. When women say, "I'm sorry," they are commiserating.
* You did not go to the trouble and expense of enrolling your children in after-school activities in order to hear them whine about going.
* You put the missing button in the garment's pocket so you will better remember to sew it back on, but that does not work. If you really want to remember to sew it back on, tape it to the bathroom mirror.
* If you can't find your screwdrivers and hammers, look out in the yard where your children have left them.
* You never have enough counter space in your kitchen.
* All men think they wear size 34 underwear.
* In a related matter, doctors have pinpointed the cause of a common complaint of men -- vague pains in the area of the solar plexus and frequent indigestion. Doctors call it "tight pants syndrome."
* The best thing about a portable phone is that you can take it anywhere in your home. The worst thing about a portable phone is that your kids can take it anywhere in your home, and that's why you can't find it when you need to make a call.
* A true parenting moment is when you say to your child what you would have said later after you had time to think about it.
* A supervisor at a newsprint recycling plant in Tennessee reports that his workers find an average of 15 remote controls in each ton of newspaper.
* If you get a cellular phone, your children will learn to use it like a choke chain.
* Ant farms are purchased only by grown sons who have left home because no mother has ever said yes to a request for one.
And the truest True Fact of all: Your children will leave you some day. Don't let them leave thinking they could never please their mother.