Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Not Every Man Wants to Be Jack Nicholson

At a barbecue, the subject came up that a recently-purchased house in the neighborhood is up for sale again.

"I wonder what happened," I said.

"The guy left his wife for a 23-year-old girl," the hostess remarked.

"Are you kidding?" asked a 44-year-old fellow dipping into a bowl of Doritos. "How old is he?"

"I don't know," the hostess replied. "Forty-seven, I think."

"What an idiot!" the guy shouted. "Hey, Paul, did you hear that the guy in the white house left his wife for a 23-year-old?"

"I heard," Paul replied. "What an IDIOT!"

Later, I told Peter the story.

His reponse?

"What a moron. What's he going to talk about with a 23-year-old?"

Contrary to what the box in the living room tells us, not every guy wants to be Jack Nicholson or Michael Douglas (I still haven't figured out what Catherine Zeta Jones sees in that guy. His rump wobbled way back in Basic Instinct).


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Monday, July 30, 2007

Checking a Guy's Cell Phone For Evidence of Other Women

Peter hoped to go to Paul Newman's restaurant on Saturday night, but I figured the place would be jammed with theater-goers (the Westport Country Playhouse is located next door), so we went to our favorite Mexican haunt instead. I was happy to go someplace dark and familiar.

Instead of going to see Sicko, we ended up in Trader Joe's (we love Trader Joe's!). When we were first married, we used to go to the supermarket together, and we enjoyed being able to do it again without offspring arguing with us to buy things we don't want.

On the way home, we got caught in a flood on Route 34. Water gushed up to the doors of our car. I don't think I've ever been on the road in such conditions. Pretty scary, but we came out of it okay. A lot of other people had to pull over and fiddle around under their hoods.

During all this, Peter told me that two guys he works with are dealing with girlfriends who routinely check their cell phones for evidence of communication with other women. I have news for you; the day I feel compelled to check Peter's cell phone is the day I die. And the day I find him checking mine is the day he dies.

It's harrassment. It's surveillance. It's unattractive.

If a guy cheats (or has given a woman reason to think he has), isn't she better off discussing it and feeling him out? Sure, he might lie to her, but then he's only confirmed the fact that it's time for her to hit the highway.

As for the guys whose girlfriends are surveilling them, both asked Peter's advice.

"Are you cheating?" he asked.

"Absolutely not," came the replies.

"Do you like coming home and getting the third degree about Betty from Payroll's number being in your cell phone?"

"Not really."

"Well," Peter said. "These situations don't usually improve with time. You might want to rethink the relationship."




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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Date Night Tonight

We regained access to our money, so Peter and I will go out by ourselves for dinner tonight. Perhaps we'll see Sicko, too.

Maybe we'll call another couple to join us. Then again, maybe we won't.

I spent the morning watching the old Andrew McCarthy/Kevin Dillon movie, Heaven Help Us, which pretty much sums up my experience at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament in Bayside. Spoke to my old classmate, Karen, yesterday on the phone for almost two hours. We met in Blessed Sacrament in 3rd grade and have been friends ever since.

Must recommend Heaven Help Us to her. I imagine she'll find it cathartic.

Both Andrew McCarthy and Kevin Dillon were fabulous in that movie, by the way. McCarthy made you feel exactly what the character felt, and around Eighth Grade I knew boys just like Kevin Dillon's character. These days, Dillon blows me away as Johnny Drama on Entourage. He and Jeremy Piven's Ari Gold are my favorite characters (although I like Kevin Connolly as the show's moral compass, E,, too).

It's too bad Andrew McCarthy has fallen out of the limelight. I saw him on 20/20 a couple of years ago, where he explained that much of the widely lauded performance he gave in Pretty In Pink benefited from the pain of a wicked hangover.

I hoped to post Stephen Colbert's response to Pope Benedict's disturbing claim that only Catholics are on the path to salvation (I hang around with a lot of non-Catholics), but I cannot seem to dig it up. By the accounts I've read, Colbert is a much better Catholic than I am.

His take on Benedict's comments were priceless.


(Note: A quick Google search directed me to McCarthy's website. Apparently, he's keeping busy, which is great news as far as I'm concerned.)


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Friday, July 27, 2007

Who Wears the Pants In Your Relationship?

I loathe that expression, but I did like The Today Show's encouraging report about power in relationships this morning. Guests Helen Fisher and Ian Kerner made some brilliant points.

Click here to check it out.




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The Letter Nobody Wants to Receive

I received notice in Wednesday's mail that I am among the souls whose personal data was stolen from a company that verifies debit card purchases.

After breathing myself through a panic attack, I notified the major credit agencies (actually, I notified one, who says they'll notify the other two as a matter of course).

Went to the bank yesterday, where the lovely woman on the platform advised me to clear my checking account of all funds, less enough to cover uncleared checks. We opened a new account, but while everything is in transition, I don't have access to my money.

Which means that, instead of going out to dinner tonight as we planned, we stayed home. We could've used a credit card, but I'm just not into it.

So, I cooked.

Magically, a friend showed up with a bunch of basil from her garden, and I started putting together a sauce in my head. Then I remembered the zucchini that another neighbor gave us from her garden Sunday.

I sauteed onion and garlic, added tomatoes, and then the zucchini and basil. I set them on a low heat for hours. Because Peter cannot live without meat (the rest of us can), I slowly cooked the sweet sausage I bought at Stop and Shop on Monday to tender perfection. Then I added them to his portion of the sauce.

I served it on angel hair. With freshly grated parmagian, the dish turned out quite well. I didn't miss spending $100 on dinner out one bit.

There's something freeing about not spending money, at least temporarily.

I lucked out on a couple of counts:

-Our mortgage payment had been safely deducted from our account the day we got notice of the security breach

-Nobody took any of our money

-I had enough food in the house.

I guess I'll find out in time if some idiot took out a loan or opened a credit card account in my name. Say a prayer, will you?




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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Law of Attraction and Aging

I love the following article by Jeannette Maw about how she uses her mind to stay young. It's the very subject I addressed in a post on my last birthday. (Click here to read that one.) Yeah, I know death is inevitable, but my goal is to put it off as long as possible.

"You're not getting any younger, you know."

Ahem.

These words probably make the top ten list of "How to Spoil Sunday With Your Girlfriend."

I said to Russ, "Look, these are words you should never say to ANY woman you want to sleep with, let alone the one who doesn't believe in aging."

"You don't believe in aging?" He said it more than asked it. Like he was confirming just how crazy his girlfriend was.

"Well, I'm trying NOT to. That's my point. Hearing it from you doesn't help. I want to escape that old mentality. I want to grow younger and get healthier and better looking every day."

"'Old mentality,'" he repeats. "Honey, aging is a fact." (As if I were an eight year old that he was breaking the news to about the Tooth Fairy.) "It's what happens. You can't stop it. You can't stop time."

Well, with any hope of a friendly romantic encounter shot to smithereens, I let him have it.

"All right, let's go over this again." And I ran him through the principles of deliberate creation a-frickin-gain. We get what we think about. There are no rules out there. There are no limitations. If we can imagine it, we can have it. There isn't any reason we should be aging, other than that the whole of society has bought into it, and I'm opting out.

"You're opting out of aging," he says, not even trying to mask the laughter in his voice.

"Yeah, I am. And I guarantee I'm not doing it so I can hang out with some decrepit old guy, so I would rethink my position on this, if I were you."

I tell him I'm not the only one thinking this. That others are on board with this same idea. LOTS of others. I don't know how many, but I know I'm not alone. I've been trained by one of them. (Ron Zeller, who is a stand for ageless living. His wife, who is known as Ninja Grandma. Not to mention all the yogis who are known for good health in the upper echelons of birthdays.)

And while I'm telling him that, I'm thinking of the enormous vibrational escrow of all those people all those years who desperately wanted good health and great looks in their later years. Oh yeah, I'm tapping into THAT party!

So, Russ agrees not to argue with my beliefs, and swears I will never again hear him say, "You're not getting any younger."

As he's making breakfast (making fun of my brown $4 cage-free eggs and rice milk), I find two emails in my in-box related to law of attraction and aging. Or anti-aging, I should say. Thank you, Universe, for backing me up!

I march out of the office with news of the two articles that were waiting for me this morning. "I am not alone," I repeat to him with conviction.

"That's nice, honey." He's clearly made peace with having a crazy girlfriend.

And I'm gearing up for making peace with having a 30 year old boyfriend in my last years of life. Maybe he could have an accent, too. Olive skin. Gorgeous smile. (We'll see who has the last laugh, Mr. Smart Guy.)

Just to nail this vibration down, I'm thinking about turning 27 this year. I've turned 27 a couple of times now, and have enjoyed it every time. It's a good year. I thought about earlier twenties, but they seemed a little shallow. 30's seemed a little heavier. So I'm going with carefree, optimistic, fabulously healthy and fit, got-my-whole-life-ahead-of-me 27.

I really really like my girlfriend's girlfriend who doesn't know how old she is (really, she doesn't know! She doesn't keep track!), and my former coach who would flat out lie (and feel great about it) when someone asked her age. I'm letting go of what it "means" to age as well. It doesn't mean anything; it's not who I am; and I just get better with every day that passes.

That's what I'm manifesting with the law of attraction. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it. Because I know it's possible. And I pick it. Period.

Yes, it might feel like a stretch today, but as I spend more time with it, and more time with articles and people lined up with it, it'll become more and more mine. Watch me go!




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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Broken Hearted? Don't Give Up On Your Miracle

Viveca Stone-Berry suffered a devastating break-up at the age of 41. Her article details the steps she took to get over it, move on, and marry a man who makes her happy.



Click here to read it.


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The Confidence You Need


You show up for a date looking smashing and feeling grand. Then some creep brushes past and gives you one of those, "Who do you think you are?" looks. Or you prepare to interview for the job of your dreams and somebody mutters, "You know, you have to be really good to get a position like that."

Instead of feeling foolish, crestfallen, and ready to call it a night, take this quote from Mary and Heather of MomsTown to heart:

"We once had a very powerful and important and influential person tell us that if people asked why he was important, he'd say 'Because I said so.' At first those very impressive words impressed us. But now we realize we're only important because we say so. Same goes for you. It's not because of what someone else says or believes. It's about what you say and believe. We want you to feel and say, 'I'm important because I say so.' Enough said."

If you don't know Mary and Heather, they're entrepreneurs who help women realize their dreams and achieve prosperity. You can tune into their weekly show on Hay House Radio.


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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Age of Love and Rock of Love Continue to Scare Me

Yes, I know I watch too much TV, and I don't even watch decent TV (although, once in a while, I do get a kick out of The British House of Commons on C-SPAN).

Last night and the night before, I joined the rest of the lowest common denominator in tuning in to two pathetic programs, NBC's Age of Love, and VH1's Rock of Love. Both shows feature a parade of surgically-enhanced females who compete for the affection of a substandard male. In the case of Age of Love, it's a slutty and confused 30-year-old named Mark. Rock of Love stars Bret Michaels, the slutty and no-longer-relevant frontman of a 1980s hair band.

I'm not sure which show is more revolting. On Rock of Love Sunday night, women lined up for their turn to engage in phone sex with Bret, who'd been hooked up to a device which measured his arousal level (yes, it is what you're thinking).

Last night on Age, Mark enjoyed a little tongue action (filmed way too close for comfort; thank God I don't have HDTV) with a person named Amanda, directly after a snuggle with a person named Jayanna (I don't know what kind of a name that is).

It's downright gross watching this guy move from woman to woman like some kind of farm animal. I know it's "reality TV" and, therefore, mostly fake, but check the show recap. Plenty of viewers are buying it, not to mention the sorry stereotypes the show reinforces.


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Great Law of Attraction Resource


When I have time, I like to listen to Summer McStravick's Flowdreaming show on Hay House Radio. Just having it on in the background makes my day go better.

During the show, Summer offers a guided meditation to help you "get into the flow" to achieve whatever it is you want in life. Check the archives for the topic that interests you (money, relationships, and so on). You can listen when it's convenient.

The Hay House stable boasts several other interesting hosts, including Dr. Wayne Dyer, Caroline Myss, and Louise Hay herself (if you haven't read Louise Hay's You Can Heal Your Life, try it. I find that I take it off my shelf and reread it about once a year.)

Monday, July 23, 2007

On Meeting Men and Getting Married

At a party for my aunt's 74th birthday yesterday, I spoke to my cousin's wife, who told me that she and my cousin run a marriage preparation class for couples at their church.

She told me two interesting things:

1. That an average of three engaged couples per session met online.

2. That an average of three couples decide not to marry after taking the class.

"It's amazing how many couples meet online these days," she said. "Most of the people coming to our classes are marrying for the first time, and they're about 35 years old."

As for the couples who end up not getting married, she maintained, "That's a good thing. Better to know now than later."

My father agrees wholeheartedly. As we rolled up to the church for my wedding, he turned to me and said, "There's still time to change your mind, you know."

I didn't, and I'm glad I didn't. But I'm also glad I had a father who encouraged me to put my well-being ahead of the deposit on a reception hall.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

How Not to Let a Good Day Go Bad

Slept in this morning and woke up happy as a lark. Read a bit of Henriette Anne Klauser's Write It Down, Make It Happen, which I found while cleaning out my basement last Saturday. It's one of my favorite books on the Law of Attraction, and it was high time I read something again on the subject. I've been attracting a bit of blah lately.

I got a call this morning from a good friend, who had a small wedding ceremony in April and is now planning a reception for friends and family. She sent invitations last week for "cocktails and hors d'oeuvres" at a yacht club.

She addressed the envelopes to include children, which was fine with me. But she's already gotten one call from a woman who gave her a hard time for using the word "cocktails" on a family invitation. "Are you sure I should be bringing my kids?" she wanted to know.

And this just put me in a bad mood: Because of course the woman understood that children were welcome, and that they would probably not be forced at knifepoint to consume barrels of Harvey Wallbangers. The point of her call was to make the bride feel as though she'd done something wrong.

I loathe women like this, women who live to belittle other females and to compete with them in the pettiest contests.

From then on, the day got a bit darker, and here I am at 12:51PM trying to shake it off. And I'd better, too, because we're expected at a party this evening, and I can't show up there in my current frame of mind.

A bad mood always results in crappy circumstances.

And it's true whether you want to attract a great guy, or a job where they show you the love instead of tossing you 2% raises, or just a good time at a party.

Which means I must strap on my headphones, hit the treadmill, and shake off this ennui. Then I'll do an exercise from Henriette's book.




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Friday, July 20, 2007

Men and Women Are More Alike Than We Thought

I loved Ellen Goodman's column in today's newspaper, where she discussed the recent research that puts to rest the annoying myth that women talk too much.

I once read that women utter something like twice or three times as many words as men, but my own experience refutes that statistic. Anybody who knows me and my husband, for example, can tell you the guy easily out-talks me four words to one. (And his friends aren't much better.)

I nearly died of shock after I moved in with him and got our first phone bill; I'd shared an apartment with a female friend for two whole years, and our bill consistently came in at about half of what Peter could ring up.

So, I do object to the whole 'Men are from one Earth, and Women are from Pluto' theory. Sure, there's feminine, and there's masculine, and thank God for it. But in the end, we're all human.

Interestingly, I spoke to a woman today who has a 29-year-old son she'd like to marry off, but she says he's hit that patch in life where he's just not meeting new people. She maintains that a lot of the woman he's dated just aren't in a hurry to commit, a fact she attributes to the wider range of choices women enjoy these days.

She said she'd like her son to try the online dating route but is pretty sure he'll tell her to mind her own business. She is the second person I've met recently who's told me she has a son in his twenties who wants to get married.

So much for the stereotype that men don't want to commit.

This woman also mentioned that her 42-year-old niece met and married a guy she met online. The woman's crazy about her new husband, but unfortunately, he's an officer in the army and was sent to Iraq shortly after the wedding.

If you've done any online dating, you know that meeting and entertaining a stream of new people can get expensive. Here's a cheap date idea: Go out for ice cream and a walk. It's a relatively pressure-free way to get to know someone, and it can encourage warm and happy feelings.


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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Another 'Family Values' Politician Revealed to Be Scum

You really had to feel for Louisiana Senator David Vitter's wife, Wendy, when she stood at his side on Tuesday, announcing she had forgiven him for visiting prostitutes. I can't imagine what it must be like to wake up every morning next to this hypocritical jackass, who not only committed adultery but paid somebody to commit it with him.

What's really galls me is that Vitter billed himself a champion of family values. I really, really resent these guys and their phony passion for the hallowed American marriage, especially when we find out they've been out banging everybody they can get their hands on.

During the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal, the upstanding Senator Vitter called the former president "morally unfit to govern."

Wendy Vitter claimed that she would not forgive Bill had she been in Hillary's shoes. "I'm more like Lorena Bobbit," she was quoted as saying.

So it killed me to watch her standing there in her animal print dress, swearing that she'd forgiven the sleazebag. I don't know how she can even look at him, let alone live with him.


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Leonardo DiCaprio Is a Tall Man

Yesterday's post suggested that Leo was shorter than his ex-girlfriend, Gisele Bundchen. A sharp-eyed reader immediately wrote in to correctly me.

She's right. I'm wrong. A quick Google search revealed that Mr. DiCaprio is actually 6'1.

Please forgive the error.

I guess Leo is one of those people who doesn't "read" tall; the two women I had coffee with yesterday morning believed him to be quite tiny.

As for Colbert, I've seen him in person. HIs incredible sexiness notwithstanding, he, too, comes off as someone who could be carried around in a pocket. A Google search reveals his height to be 5 10 1/2, which I think might be a slight exaggeration.

Apparently, Stewart is 5'7.

Which means nothing as far as I'm concerned. If he were single, and I were single, I'd date him.


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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Short Men Are Sexy, Too

A few years ago, I knew a tall, dark-haired, blue-eyed woman who bore an uncanny resemblance to a young Mia Farrow. Yet she rarely had a date and was known to spend more than one New Year's Eve alone, crying herself to sleep.

She seemed like a pleasant enough person, though, and so I hoped to set her up with a well-employed, fun-oriented cousin of mine. I invited them both to a party and casually introduced them. Later, I asked her what she thought.

"I would never date that guy," she said. "He's too short."

It didn't matter that he was friendly enough, decent looking, shared her religion and her passion for sports, had a great job, and lived in a desirable neighborhood. He didn't meet her height requirement.

It didn't matter that he was my cousin, either (yeah, I took the rejection a bit personally).

So that was the first and last time I introduced her to any man anywhere. You just can't help a person like that.

Apparently, she is not alone in her disdain of shorter men. One columnist claims that most women will not date fellows they deem too short due to some holdover from evolution. As far as I'm concerned, that's a lot of crap.Women who don't date shorter men aren't biologically programmed that way; they just care too much about what other people think.

You know, my husband does happen to be taller than me, but I did date a couple of diminutive fellows before I met him. When I decided I wanted to get married, my requirements for a man were that he be:

Loving
Loyal
Reliable
Successful
Fun

I didn't really care how tall he was.

Women who avoid shorter men owe it to themselves to take another look. If short guys are really so undesirable, then somebody better tell Stephen Colbert (do a Google search; both women and men call him a sex symbol) and Jon Stewart (he once dated Tawny Kitaen, the model/Whitesnake-video-hood-ornament, before eventually marrying another attractive woman).

Dating Coach Ronnie Ann Ryan, another colleague, and I had a fine time smashing the short-guys-are-unattractive myth over coffee this morning. Skyscraper Gisele Bundchen never had a problem being seen with Leonardo DiCaprio, that's for sure.

Peter once knew two guys who didn't quite make the 5'7 mark. One of them believed in his soul that his small stature rendered him deformed and hideous, and guess what, he was right. The few women managed to attract capitalized on his insecurity and took him for cash and prizes.

The other guy, who was even shorter, wasn't nearly as intelligent as the first. He called in sick to work as often as possible and, at the age of 30, remained a major aficionado of Bugs Bunny and other prepubescent TV fare.

Yet he always had a date. Despite all evidence to the contrary, he believed he had something to offer. A lot of women picked up on it. He married a pretty blue-eyed blonde with five inches on him.

When you want to meet a decent guy, go for qualities that matter. Height doesn't.

And when you find a kind, fun, successful man who's shorter than you, keep your shoes on.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Is Pole Dancing the New Feminism?

Some weeks ago, I had something to say about media reports touting pole dancing as the key to female empowerment. Last night, Stephen Colbert took on the subject, but he did it so much better.

On August 16th, the video will expire and should disappear from this space. Enjoy it until then.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Does He Like You?

I know I keep repeating myself, but it's not your job to convince some guy that you are the woman for him. It's also not your job to analyze every syllable he utters, his every facial expression, or the deep-seated cause of his compulsive knuckle cracking.

If he says he doesn't want a relationship, take him at his word. Keep moving until a braver man appears. If he wakes up one morning and finds he didn't mean it, he'll be sure to let you know.

Trust me.


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Sunday, July 15, 2007

VH1's 'Rock of Love'

Tonight at nine o'clock will mark the premiere of VH1's new reality series, Rock of Love, starring Poison lead singer, Bret Michaels. According to the show's website:

"Since 1986 when MTV introduced the world to the blue-eyed lead singer of Poison, women around the world have worshiped Bret Michael's as a veritable Rock God. Never out of the spotlight, Bret's career is still rocking with Poison and as a successful solo artist and the women are still lining up in hopes of a lying down with the sexy star. But the demands of life-on-the-road for the ultimate rocker have taken a toll...on his love life."

I have some questions.

1) Bret's career is still rocking? Really? In which mall?

2) Where are these women who line up in "hope of a lying down with the sexy star?"

3) What kind of an expression is "a lying down with," anyway?

"Twenty lucky ladies will get their chance for an All-Access pass to Bret Michaels' heart and to share in all his superstar lifestyle. Bret will invite twenty handpicked beautiful women to move into his rock and roll palace in the Hollywood Hills and compete for his heart. They must win over his mind and his body by proving their love for Bret, their passion for rock and their potential to be the perfect 'Rock Star Girlfriend.'"

4) What the hell is an "All-Access" pass to Brett Michaels' heart?

5) How can one can compete to share a superstar lifestyle if there is no superstar in the equation? (While Brad Pitt qualifies as a superstar, the leathery lead singer of an 80s hair band does not.)

6) Who writes VH1's web copy? Better yet, who comes up with the ideas for their shows?

7) Is 'Rock Star Girlfriend' a goal I should encourage my children to shoot for?

Gee, it's already 9:10, and I could use a good laugh. I think I'll tune in.


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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Dating Advice From Dianne Brill

Peter worked today, so I decided to clean out the basement.

I'm not the type of person who would ever set out to do such a thing without prodding, so Peter gently suggested that I go through my 48 boxes of books I haven't opened since we moved here four years ago, sort them, and decide which ones to keep and which to donate to the libary. I started at 9AM, didn't take a break until 2, and there's still a boatload of stuff for me clear out down there.

During this session, I came upon two interesting items.

The first was a letter from an old friend apologizing for making out with my then-boyfriend. Now, I haven't seen this girl in years, and I actually kind of miss her. The guy (obviously) turned out to be a jerk (in numerous ways), and I don't miss him at all. Never even think of him.

Her letter said that he'd led her to believe our relationship had ended, which she soon realized was a lie. After she went home to England, I told him to get lost. He resumed pursuing me ardently (some would call it stalking), but by then I'd moved onto a marginally better guy.

The other interesting item I found in the basement?

It was Dianne Brill's how-to book, Boobs, Boys, and High Heels or How to Get Dressed In Just Under Six Hours. In case you don't know Dianne (she's on the right in the 1986 photo with Ozzy Osbourne and Janis Savitt), she became known as Queen of the Night in the 80s due to her constant presence on the NYC club scene. I liken her to a benevolent Paris Hilton without the destructive tendencies.

I hadn't thought about her for years until I happened upon her book. Then I did a search and found her website. Apparently, she's selling her own line of makeup these days.

Boobs, Boys, and High Heels sparkles with Ms. Brill's wit and wisdom. Here's one highlight:

"The bad date does not exist. Believe me, I've been on all kinds, and I've discovered that all are love experiments, learning experiences (even if what you learn is what you don't want), and good dating practice. I've survived a lot of dates a lot of you babes probably dread."

The joker who made out with my friend certainly qualifies as a learning experience. In retrospect, I'd call him less a love experiment than a science experiment. What a doofus!


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Friday, July 13, 2007

Single and Loving It!

At one point in my disastrous dating career, I made a vow to stop going out with men altogether until I met a guy worth my time. I concentrated on my friends and my career, traveled, and generally enjoyed life until my husband showed up.

And, even then, I wasn't too enthusiastic about dating him. When he asked me out for the following Saturday, I answered, "How about Wednesday?"

To this day, he teases me about that. It certainly didn't turn him off, though. If anything, it established the fact that I had a life of my own and enjoyed it (healthy men tend to be attracted to happy women with full lives).

But, hey, I figured all the guys I'd dated so far turned out to be duds (or heartbreakers), so why blow a perfectly good Saturday night with some guy I'd probably have nothing in common with? Especially when I could be out with my friends.

After all, Saturday only comes once a week.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

How to Keep a Man Faithful

A lot of women ask me how they can keep a man from cheating. They believe that some magic formula must exist, but the only formula I know of is to only ever get involved with a faithful man.

Yeah, I know you've read the crap in the media that men are "hardwired" to "spread their seed," and they can't help themselves from sleeping around, but it's garbage. Talk about lowering expectations!

Men are no more hardwired to cheat than we are. Recent data shows that women today step out on their mates much more than we used to. We work outside the home, so we have ample of opportunity for something on the side. Plenty of women go for it, but it doesn't make it right.

Some people cheat.

Some people do not.

It's that simple.

Unfortunately, often when a woman learns her partner's been slipping between the sheets with another lass, she blames herself. She thinks perhaps she's not pretty, sexy, smart, interesting, or whatever enough. She believes she's failed.

Or she blames the other woman. She reasons that a guy has a biological imperative to be unfaithful, and it's the female's fault for throwing herself at him: The girl's a slut.

(It's a terrible idea to call another woman a slut, by the way. If the guy cheated on me, I'd call him a slut.)

If a guy is unfaithful to you, please take comfort in the fact that he suffers from a major character defect: cowardice. Real men end relationships before they begin new ones. A coward will probably always be a coward. Say a prayer for the next woman he gets involved with.

When a woman cheats on a man, the guy rarely blames himself. Sure, he's hurt. He's probably closed the door and cried about it, but he usually ends the relationship and moves on.

Take B, a good male friend of mine and Peter's. After he learned his longtime girlfriend had a lengthy affair with her auto mechanic, we spent a lot of time talking him through it. The man was heartbroken. (I can't imagine what the hell she was thinking; he's funny, good looking, an excellent cook and gardener, handy around the house, a whiz at finance, and, oh yeah, faithful).

He broke off the relationship immediately. He gave himself time to mourn the loss. After a couple of months, he signed up for a cooking class and the Adirondack club, where he met new new people.

Today he's happily married to a woman who loves him. As far as we know, she resists impulses to sleep with her mechanic.

Have you ever seen the movie Father of the Bride with Elizabeth Taylor and Spencer Tracy? There's a scene where Elizabeth and her fiance have just had a fight. Spencer, who plays her father, asks if it was over another woman.

Elizabeth replies something to the effect of, "No, but I wish it was. That would be something I could sink my teeth into!"

For the life of me, I don't know what she meant. Why would anybody ever want to fight for a disloyal man's affection?

What a colossal waste of time.


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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Bald Guys Are Sexy

While watching TV last night, I was subjected to one of those ads designed to make bald guys feel like unappealing losers that no sane woman would touch.

The ad demonstrated how bald guys could achieve never-ending joy, sex, and success by submitting to a procedure that would have them sporting a scalpful of nubs like Granny's old sweater in no time.

Then I was treated to some footage of women crawling over the formerly bald losers.

I have to say, I hate ads that make people feel inadequate (although that is the function of most advertising). In case you haven't noticed, many bald men are incredibly attractive. The fact that they can even go bald is evidence of their masculinity.

Fortunately, a lot of balding guys are beginning to get this. They're forsaking the pathetic-looking (and sympathy-inducing) plugs, drugs, and transplants and just shaving off whatever's left.

I know one great-looking balding dude who, for years, painstakingly arranged the hair he had left into a horrifying comb-over. Then, one day, the light went on and the razor came out. He looks like a million dollars (maybe ten, after inflation).

Every now and then, he lets that little wreath of hair grow in a bit too long, and I remind him, "Think Ed Harris, not Ed Asner."

Check out the hilarious BaldRUs for fun facts for bald men and the women who love them, as well as the dirt on what really goes on in some of those ridiculous "hair clubs."


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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Peril of Wearing Too Much Perfume

Stayed up last night to watch Craig Ferguson, who, like Colbert and Stewart, interviews people who write books instead of, say, people like Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan who just get their pictures taken a lot.

Last night, Craig talked to an Irish guy named Ken Bruen, the author of Priest, the latest in a series about an alcoholic ex-cop from Galway. I will probably give it a whirl once I get through the stack of books on my coffee table.

Yesterday at the library I added Donald Spoto's Joan, the biography of Joan of Arc, to the stack. It will be chock full o' laughs, I'm sure. Nothing like a true story about burning a 19-year-old girl at the stake to put a smile on your face.

Good thing I'm also reading Nick Hornby's Housekeeping Vs. The Dirt to fend off utter despair (Hornby, the author of the book that became the Hugh Grant movie, About a Boy, is hilarious and gives me reason to live).

Now for my dating-- or human relations--tip of the day: The temperature here in New England hovered around 93 yesterday with the humidity coming in at about 900%.

And then, in the faintly air conditioned library where I dampened Joan's pages, a lung leadening odor wafted into my sphere, which I came to recognize as women's perfume.

Despite the implications of the seductive gatefold ads in The New York Times Magazine, bathing oneself in a powdery flowery fragrance is unattractive at any time of the year. In the choking heat of summer, it's downright repellent.

Less is more! And even less is even better!

If you must wear perfume during the summer and want to attract men and the goodwill of the general population, resist! Until sundown, anyway.

Which brings me to the subject of fragrance for men. Perhaps you've seen the ads, which promise that women will be compelled to spray themselves with whipped cream upon catching a whiff of a fellow wearing Tag Body Spray.

Even though I don't know any women who've ever succumbed to the mysterious powers of Tag, the advertising clearly works in getting guys to buy the stuff.

Every single man I know has a couple of cans in his bathroom.

Oh!

Monday, July 09, 2007

The Naked Truth About Strip Clubs

The New York Daily News ran an expose on strip clubs yesterday. I have to say it was a bit of an eye-opener, especially this quote from the Erik Langan, the CEO of Rick's Cabaret in Manhattan:

"For guys, it's male bonding, or an escape from reality," Langan said. "You want to believe this 19-year-old girl really loves you, is listening to you and maybe in another time, she could be your girlfriend. So you can spend $3,000 here and say 'Hey, I had a good time.'"

I don't know about you, but my feelings would really be hurt if my husband were out spending three grand to pretend a teenager was in love with him.

But then the sting would wear off, and I'd lose respect for him. It would be hard to press from my mind the image of him moaning about his horrible life to a stranger who couldn't care less about the poor bastard.

Here's what Raquel, a young woman who dances to finance her Mercedes, her property on Long Island, and to pay off her student loans, says about the fellows she entertains:


"Most of the time is spent listening to them talk. They talk about their marriages, they talk about work, their kids, their problems. I mean, I feel like a psychotherapist. A lot of them seem very lonely, it's pretty sad sometimes."

Pretty sad, indeed.

What about you? Do you think it's okay for attached guys to hang out with strippers?

A lot of wives and girlfriends are fine with it (or to pretend to be), but, for me, it doesn't quite mesh with "treat others as you would have them treat you" rule of happy relationships.

For some reason, I don't think my husband would appreciate me going off on a business trip, getting drunk, and jamming dollar bills into some strange man's underwear. So I when I used to go away on business, I didn't do it.

I expect no less from him.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

A Masochist In Love No More

Today's New York Times Style section ran this fabulous and instructive piece by a former doormat in love. This woman dated (and put up with) the creepiest men, until she flouted the advice given to her by her father and the authors of the dating manual, The Rules.

I never read The Rules, but I did catch the pair who wrote in on Oprah a few years back. I objected to a lot of their advice, particularly that a woman should never call a man back. It's one thing to remain a bit elusive; it's another to be downright rude.

I do think (although the author of the Times piece will disagree with me) that it's better to let a guy phone first: He will usually ask for your number and say, "I'll call you." Or he'll drop you off after a first date and say, "I'll call you."

In which case, I think it's wise to see if he lives up to his word. Unfortunately, too many women choose not to take the wait-and-see approach and call, text, and email the guy to death.

And that amounts to relationship suicide.


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Friday, July 06, 2007

Will an Office Romance Jeopardize Your Career?

Interesting piece with Today's Meredith Viera and Lissa Coffey.


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Lessons From a Master Flirt

My friend is an amazing flirt.

Here's what she's not: Trashy, vulgar, in-your-face, or desperate. Here's what she is: Attractive, kind, and confident. She has an open and pleasant face, but after two children, she doesn't possess a figure like any of the women on NBC's fright fest, The Age of Love. She looks like a woman, not a girl.

A couple of weeks ago, she and I and a bunch of other female friends headed to a tapas bars for, well, tapas. Oh, and mojitos.

The host came over to seat us, but he refused to make eye contact. So Master Flirt made a joke (nine times out of ten, she gets people to loosen up this way), but he was resolute. He wasn't going to look at us.

At that point, I admit, I'd have given up. Hey, she tried. But the girl did not give up. Instead, in an act of sheer genius, she sidled up to the guy. She was careful not to invade his space frontally, but moved over to his side gently in a way that conveyed, "Hey, Buddy."

And guess what? He smiled at her. He smiled at her all the way over to the table.

Then the waiter came over. He, too, refused to make eye contact. So she made a comment about the weather (I'm an idiot at small talk; while I'm trying to come up with something clever to say, she blurts out something benign, and it usually works. But this guy, like the last one, was a tough customer). When that didn't achieve the desired result, she brought up the subject of the bandage on his arm.

"Hey, what happened?" she asked.

The waiter involuntarily arched his back, surprised that she even noticed. "Eh, I just scratched it pruning a tree," he said. And then he smiled. And he smiled at her for the rest of the evening.

At the school where she works, she's known as the "hot teacher," even though she doesn't own a provocative article of clothing. She's also over 40.

The woman knows how to draw people in and make them feel important.

At her house for lunch one day, I spied How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie in her bookcase. While I've read that book, she absolutely lives it. Winning friends and influencing people is not about manipulation; it's about making people feel good about you and, more important, themselves.

And that's what a master flirt does. Everybody just loves her for it.




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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Wedding Season Is Dating Season

Weddings can be great places to meet guys. When my sister attended the nuptials of her college friend's brother, she ended up meeting, falling in love with, and marrying the bride's brother. They celebrated their seventh wedding anniversary a couple of months ago.

My friend's husband's sister was seated next to the future COO of a major Wall Street firm at the "loser" table at a wedding. These "losers" have been married 23 years, have three children, reside in well-to-do Greenwich, Connecticut, and hire a helicopter on summer weekends to fly them out to their other home in Amagansett, Long Island.

On Tuesday evening, Peter and I attended a lovely party given by some neighbors. Over drinks, I asked them where they met. The answer?

At a wedding.

The wife (let's call her Carol) attended with a date; the husband (we'll call him Roger) went by himself. At the party after the reception, everybody except Carol and Roger went to the parking lot to schmooze and smoke cigars.

Carol and Roger got to talking. Turns out he was the cousin of the bride, Carol's friend from childhood. She knew much of Roger's family, and so they had plenty to talk about. His family assured her he was a great guy.

They said goodnight around 4:30AM. Roger lived in a faraway state, so Carol offhandedly offered to make him breakfast at her apartment. Since she knew his family so well, she felt safe enough to invite him over before he had to hit the highway.

He showed up at her door four hours later. She made omelets. Sparks flew, but so did the time. He had to get home for work the next day.

He left. He liked her. She liked him. He wanted to see her again, but she had a trip to Cancun coming up. A reunion would have to wait.

Which gave him plenty of time to think about her, how much he liked her, and how different she was from other women he'd met so far. He couldn't wait to see her again.

When she got back from Cancun, he made it a point to call her. They got together once. Twice. Again and again. And now they've been married 12 years.

I wonder if things would have worked out differently if they had cell phones (not everybody had a cell phone back then), and they called each other incessantly. I wonder if too much contact too soon would have prevented their feelings from percolating.

Cell phones (and email and texting) are great in emergencies, but my guess is that they've killed many a romance due to overaccessibility.

What I love about Carol and Roger's story is this: She showed interest in him, and then she went away. While it's important to be available, it's even more important not to be too available.

Everyone--both men and women--wants to think they're getting a prize.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Age of Love

Ronnie Ann Ryan, the author of Manifesting Mr. Right, alerted me to The Age of Love, a truly scary new reality (uh, yeah, right)program on NBC, in which 20-something women compete with 40-somethings for the affection of some 30-year-old man.

I checked it out on Monday evening. Two days later, I still cannot quite articulate how much I despise it. Even my 11-year-old hated it.

"Why are all those women fighting over one dumb guy?" she wanted to know.

"Why do they all have, like, the same bodies?"

"Why are they all wearing bikinis?"

"This show is really stupid."

Yes, it certainly is.

Apparently, she and I are in the minority when it comes to disliking The Age of Love. Elle magazine called it, "this summer's guiltiest pleasure" (now I remember why I don't read Elle magazine).

Judging by the comments on the show's message board, it's poised to be a massive hit.

Note to "hunky host" Mark Consuelos: Call me crazy, but The Age of Love is a lousy career move.


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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Keys to a Happy Marriage

I completely agree with this report from The Today Show (it's worth watching if you can put up with the 30-second commercial before it starts).

Nothing kills romance faster than a partner who doesn't keep up with his or her share of the housework.

A woman I know and love recently married a man who's lived on his own for many years. She moved into his house, but she's taken on all the household chores: the cooking, the cleaning, the laundry, everything.

I can't imagine why. You figure the guy cleaned the toilet once or twice since he moved out of Mommy and Daddy's house.

I'm not necessarily blaming him, either. Why did my friend assume the housework? Did he ask her to? Or she she take it upon herself.

They've only been married two months, and she already resents it. Resentment is a passion-killer.


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Monday, July 02, 2007

Playing 'Hard to Get' the Right Way

Hi, Terry-

We talk about how to get a good man, make him pursue you, cherish you like a treasure all the time, but do you think we women need to get over our pride? If it hurts pretending that we don't care about that man, shouldn't we show we sincerely care about him?

I went out twice with a certain man from work and had a physical relationship. I liked him a lot, but in order to pretend to be cool, I agreed with him that we are just "physical." I didn't want him to think that I want a serious relationship so fast.

I know he liked me, too, but after that he doesn't answer my calls anymore. He still helps me at work and is friendly, but our intimacy seems gone. I don't know if he is not really interested in me or if my cool attitude stops him.

He is leaving the country soon (which I knew from the beginning), and I don't know if he is coming back. I am very depressed that I might lose him, especially when I know another girl has decided to follow him (yes, he is very popular. Most women like him).

Now he is not answering my calls or text messages. Should I get over my pride and visit him in the other country? Or should I tell him in person I want to be with him?

-Confused


While there's no way in hell I'd travel to another country to see the guy, you have absolutely nothing to lose by telling him you loved getting to know him, and that you'll miss him.

I would tell him in person. I would look him in the eye. I would leave no room for doubt that you care for him a great deal. Then let him leave the country. Let him roll things around in his mind for a while. See if anything comes of it.

In the meantime, I would cease calling, texting, or emailing him immediately. Once you've told him how you feel, the ball is in his court. It is up to him to contact you. If you try to contact him, you'll push him in the wrong direction.

So say your bit and walk away.

I want to clarify something: Being proud and being cold are two different things. Being proud means you expect to be treated well. Being cold just makes people think you're not that crazy about them.

Think of it this way. If you dated a guy, and he told you he just wanted to be "physical," wouldn't you be confused if he called you and texted you afterwards?

Next time, try doing the opposite. Let a guy know you're interested in him by looking him in the eye and truly listening to him. Laugh at his jokes, if they're funny. Let him know you had a great time at the end of the night.

Most of the time, a guy will say, "I'll call you."

Which means he has taken it upon himself to initiate further contact. Take him at his word. Let him live up to it.

Let him call you.

Keep busy in the meantime. This is no time to camp out next to the phone. If he calls, go out with him. If he doesn't, move on. If he doesn't call until three weeks later, I wouldn't leap to go out with him again. If I really liked him, I might fit him in after a week or so.

As for this guy who's on his way out of the country, there's nothing you can do to make him return your affection. You just have to let him go. Whether he comes back and sees you for the great person you are is entirely up to him.

It's not easy, but it is freeing in a way, isn't it?

Terry




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Sunday, July 01, 2007

Thank God for Blind Dates


Footloose and offspring free today, Peter dug a trench in the yard while I watched the Concert for Diana. Today, July 1st, would have been Princess Diana's 46th birthday. It also would have been my parents' 46th wedding anniversary.

My parents met on a blind date on June 13, 1959 (that's Mom, Dad, and one of my children in 2001 in the photo). My mother's college friend had a date with a young lawyer, who asked if she could bring someone along for his friend, the man who later became my father. Interestingly, my in-laws got married on June 13, 1959.

Back to Diana: My mother and I got up early on July 29, 1981 to watch her wedding to Prince Charles. Then, in 2005, we watched Charles' wedding to Camilla. At that point, my mother was bedridden with brain cancer. She died a few months later.

As much as my mother admired Diana, the other royals irked her. Fergie of "My Humps" fame, who performed at today's concert, feels quite differently. She gushed to an interviewer, "We're American. We're very inspired by royalty," or something equally bizarre.

I've been to England five times, and it's one of my favorite places in the world, but I thought the whole point of being American was to reject royalty, not to be inspired by it.


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