Friday, August 31, 2007

One Man's Perspective On Married Women Who Keep Their Names

My father is visiting me for Labor Day weekend. Last night he informed me that he plans to "die broke," as recommended by Stephen Pollan. Then we got to talking about women who don't take their husbands' last names.

"If I were to get married again," he said. "I wouldn't encourage anyone to take my name. What would she want to do that for? She's had one name for 70 years, and she's going to have to fill out all those forms? It just doesn't make sense."

Nice thinking, Dad (but are you trying to tell me something?).

Of course, some women want to fill out all those forms, and that's cool, too.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Are Men Attracted to Women With Gray Hair?

If you were to ask me, I'd say no. But Peter says yes.

In 2002, he and I went to New Orleans (without kiddies) and took a walking tour of the Garden District. Among our group was what I thought was an older woman with striking silver hair and beautiful skin.

"That's what I want to look like when I get old," I told Peter.

"Old? She's not old," he said. "Look at her. She's not even 50."

I sneaked a longer look. No, she probably wasn't even 50, but, boy, she was striking.

Peter's always telling me I should stop coloring my (heh heh) prematurely graying hair. "Be proud," he says.

"I am proud," I tell him. "I just don't want to be invisible"

Interestingly enough, the current issue of More magazine features an article by a woman who performed an experiment to see if men are indeed attracted to women with gray hair.

The author, Anne Kreamer, said she came across a survey that reported, "An overwhelming 86 percent of women and 91 percent of men said they would not date someone with gray hair, preferring instead someone who looks younger."

Kreamer set out to find the truth by posting two photos on Match at separate intervals, first as a brunette, and then with gray hair. Surprisingly, the gray-haired photo pulled considerably more looks and "winks" (a Match term meaning that a looker wants to exchange emails). She retried the experiment several times, targeting different geographic areas, but her findings remained consistent.

Enboldened, she and a friend went out to Pete's Tavern near Gramercy Park in New York (nice place, by the way). She sat down next to an attractive man, sensed interest on his part, and started flirting (turns out he was a 39-year-old electronics specialist with the Merchant Marines).

Eventually, she told him the truth about her experiment and asked his opinion of her gray hair.

"Men just don't care about that," he told her.

As for the rest of this particular issue of More, I liked it. A financial planner at my entrepreneurial group brought a back-issue to our meeting yesterday and recommended we check it out. I'm glad I did. I subscribe to more magazines than I can shake a stick at, but I just may make room for one more.

Strangely enough, I just check the More website, which includes an article about how to color hair. According to the accompanying blurb:

"Blond, brunet, or gray, the perfect shade can trim years off your look. Use these expert tips to find your best color."

Are you confused yet? I am.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Spying On a Guy

A while ago, I addressed the subject of women who routinely check men's cell phones to see if they're talking to other females.

Although a couple of women responded to say they'd done it because their guys had lied to them at some point, I still maintain that it's a bad (and unattractive) idea. Once you catch a person in a lie, you have a pretty good idea who he is, anyway. Surveillance isn't necessary.

Manifesting Mr. Right author Ronnie Ann Ryan has an opinion on this subject (and just about everything else). Read it here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Envisioning Your Happily Ever After

If you want a happy relationship, it helps to have good role models. But let's face it, in this age of the dueling Lohans (not to mention the 50% divorce rate), they can be hard to come by.

Today's Dear Abby featured letters from two men who've been happily married for many years. Look for the signatures, "Tutu
Kane" and "Gina's Man in Virginia."

Very inspiring.

And at Manslations today, Jeff Mac answers a reader who wants to know what the heck a guy means when he says he's "anti-marriage."

Monday, August 27, 2007

Show Me Your Hits

Of course I tuned in to Rock of Love last night. I'm a fool for the show, if not for its star, Poison lead singer Bret Michaels, who has offered himself as God's gift to a gaggle of women with low self-esteem (henceforth to be known as the LSEs).

Last night's episode had the LSEs separating into teams to come up with the cover art for Bret's forthcoming solo album.

The first team made the mistake of putting forth a photo featuring an LSE dressed up as a dirty old man, which deeply troubled Bret's henchman. "Are you saying Bret's old?" he demanded.

The second team offered a highly original Angel/Devil theme with a brunette LSE clad in a red teddy straddling a blonde in a white teddy. Of course, those clever foxes won the challenge.

"Like the girl-on-girl action," Bret remarked.

You gotta love this dude. He's a real visionary.

The winning team's creative director, a pink-haired LSE with beautiful features, won the top prize: alone time with Bret, whose leathery face is doomed to reincarnate into a Harley Wallet.

"Wear something warm and sexy," Bret advised the poor sucker.

According to VH1, next week "The Girls Take It Off." As if they haven't been taking it off already.

Do You Hate Your Job?

If you do, you're not alone.

Fortunately, Michelle Goodman has written a fun-to-read and highly informative guidebook to help you escape the "corporate hamster wheel."

I found Michelle's book, The Anti 9-to-5 Guide: Practical Career Advice for Women Who Think Outside the Cube, at the library last month while I waited for my younger daughter to be sprung from her writer's workshop.

Here's the funny thing:

The woman in the author photo looked a lot like the Michelle Goodman I worked with at the job I mentioned (and hated) in the previous post, but it had been 15 years since I'd seen her. I went home, read the book, and liked it enough to call Dorothy, the owner of the new independent bookstore in my neighborhood, to order a copy for me.

It's a great book. But what, you may ask, does it have to do with dating?

Well, it's my philosophy that happy people attract good circumstances, friends, jobs, and lovers. Unhappy people attract more unhappiness. When you're so stressed your skin hurts, it shows. If you're overworked, underpaid, and bitter about it, believe me, people sense it. It's not a turn-on.

So, whether you're showing up at work with your hair wet because you can't get up in time for your 9-to-5 routine, or if you just want to flee Corporate America to explore your real passion, you might want to check out Michelle's book.

Take a look at her website while you're at it, too.

By the way, I emailed Michelle. She is indeed the Michelle Goodman I worked with.

Friday, August 24, 2007

An Anniversary of Sorts

Eighteen years ago today, I flew to San Francisco to be by myself. I had to get out of New York.

I was stuck working a rotten job I hated that hated me back. My roommate (and best friend since grammar school) and I had a major falling out that caused me to move out of the apartment we'd shared for two years. (Although I've never experienced a divorce, the loss of this friend sure felt like one; fortunately, we reconciled after the birth of my first daughter.)

Oh, and I was still hung up on a man who hadn't the capacity or the intention of ever loving me back.

I had been making a point to get out and meet new people, but the guys I met didn't do it for me. For the most part, they were decent looking, had good jobs, but they lacked something. To be perfectly honest, I lacked something, too. They were better off without me.

The most recent of these guys worked as a producer at a major network. He did some of the right things: Called when he said he would, showed up when he said he would, and made polite conversation with my parents, whom I'd moved back in with. But the guy drove like a maniac. He also squealed like a psychotic chimp when he lost his car in a parking lot.

I ended the relationship on a Saturday, went back to my cube on Monday, and wanted to kill myself Monday night. At this point, I made a vow: Don't date until you meet someone worthy of dating. Make yourself worthy of someone worthy of dating.

I had started working in earnest with the Law of Attraction about a month before, hanging out in my little brother's room (covered with a mix of posters that included Anthrax, Van Halen, and exercise guru Kathy Smith in a bathing suit) after dinner and writing affirmations while listening to Kate Bush, Tears For Fears, and Simple Minds.

I decided I needed a change of scenery (living in my parents' house facilitated this revelation). Travel had always cleared my head, and I needed clarity. So, one desperate evening after another soul-massacring day in the cube, I stopped at a bookstore and found a travel book on San Francisco. I liked San Francisco. I wanted to go.

But my best friend and I were no longer friends (she and I had been travel companions, having gone to England, Ireland, and Scotland together the year before, and the year before that). I had no boyfriend, and I really didn't feel like advertising for a new companion among neighboring cube dwellers.

I decided to go by myself. The travel book listed a Bed & Breakfast called The Red Victorian Inn on Haight Street, where I could get a room for $75.00 a night (about all I could afford). I called and was booked into the Inn's 'Sunshine Room.' I booked a cheap flight on a crappy airline, which ran out of pillows and lost my luggage on the return flight but managed not to crash.

Staying in a B&B afforded social opportunities I wouldn't have found in a hotel. Because guests ate breakfast together in a common room, I became acquainted with a beautiful South African dancewear designer who worked for Mikhail Baryshnikov. She and I went out to see Baghdad Cafe, an obscure film starring The Shield's CCH Pounder. I had lunch with another woman, who'd recently sold her business in London to travel around the world.

I spent a day by myself, checking out a record store on Haight Street. I went to the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park. I walked to Union Square, Japantown, and Chinatown. I got lost in the maze that is the Presidio, until I gave into common sense and got a pair of bicyclists to show me the way out.

I didn't meet any fantastic men, but when I came back, I felt different. I had experiences that took the edge off the broken friendship, the romance that would never be, and the tortuous days in the cube.

Travel, for me, is about possibility: I see new things outside me. I see new things inside me. Therefore, I am different.

It sounds corny, but when I came back to New York after four short days, things changed for me. I kept the rotten job, but it got easier, and they offered me more money. Eventually, they kicked me upstairs to a better job which allowed me to travel.

I kept my promise not to date. I wrote my affirmations every single night. In October, I started a dating a guy who's sister promised he'd treat me "like gold," which was strangely appealing. He did treat me like gold, but by Martin Luther King Day, the relationship started to feel like a dress rehearsal for something better. I ended it.

In February, Peter asked me out. We went to Fishtales, a seafood restaurant in Manhasset, on a Wednesday for our first date. We ended up staying out until 3AM, and we've been together ever since. Eleven months after my solo trip to San Francisco, we drove up to Cape Breton Island, off Nova Scotia, where he introduced me to his grandparents.

My life had completely changed.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Dating and Commitment From a Man's Perspective

Why do some guys freak out whenever the word 'marriage' comes up? Check out this smart and funny post on Men, Marriage, Commitment, and Terror from Manslator Jeff Mac.

For my perspective on why some women freak out when they hear the word 'marriage,' click here.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Cruise Alone or With a Friend

Virginia's a cruise planner I met in June 2006 through my networking group for entrepreneurial women. She's booked vacations for several of us, and everybody raves about her.

In July, she took the pastor and 50 parishioners from St. Lawrence Roman Catholic Church on a 3-week cruise to Italy and the Greek Islands. A goodly number of them have already booked another trip with her for next year.

She just emailed to advise me of a 4-night cruise on Royal Carribean's Navigator of the Seas to the Western Carribean. The ship will leave Fort Lauderdale on November 29th (the Thursday after Thanksgiving, which might be a good time to get away before Christmas drama ensues).

The timing and pricing may make it ideal for a quick getaway alone, with a couple of friends, or with a special friend. Interior Staterooms start at USD $304.00. Oceanview Staterooms start at USD $509.00.

Space is limited. Book with Virginia before August 30th, and you'll get a $25.00 on-board credit. She's personable and easy to talk to. Give her a call at 1-800-794-0741, and tell her Terry sent you.

On Being the CEO of Your Dating Life

This morning on Today, ad exec Donny Deutsch offered dating advice to a single mother. The 38-year-old never-married woman, who has a job she "loves" and a 4-year-old she "adores," is reluctant to throw her life out of balance by getting involved with a man. She says she has supportive friends and family. She seemed pretty content to me.

I'm sure Donny meant well. He suggested that this woman "test market" dating, so that "five years out," when her daughter may be tired of hanging out with her, she'll have "options." (Gotta love the corporate-speak.) Ann Curry chimed in, telling her, "People may say you're not taking care of your emotional needs" by not having a man on the scene.

If only it were that simple!

While I've never met the woman subjected to Donny's theories on dating, I do have ideas of my own on why she's hesitant to hook up with--or even meet--a man at this point in her life.

For instance:

Once she starts dating, the possibility exists that she'll fall in love. Once she falls in love, the possibility exists that she'll either move in with the guy or marry him. Once that happens, the possibility exists that she'll be stuck with a another job: Taking Care of Him (which could include doing his laundry, cooking for him, picking up his dry cleaning, shopping for his mother's birthday presents, and so on).

And if she marries him, she'll also have to face the question of changing her name. She may not want to change it, but his parents and much of society may smirk if she doesn't (yeah, she can keep her name professionally, but it's not the same).

The guy might not be satisfied being stepfather to her child, either. He could insist on having children of his own, and she may feel obligated to get pregnant. And then make arrangements for childcare. The decisions and sacrifices might never end.

So much for her emotional needs.

Today this woman is captain of her own ship. Letting a man climb aboard it could destroy her autonomy (just ask a successful woman who married and suddenly found herself signing her name beneath her husband's on a tax return).

And then again, it is entirely possible this woman could exempt herself from this nonsense. She could meet and fall in love with a man who does his own freaking laundry, who isn't threatened if she keeps her name, who is proud of her accomplishments at work and at home, and will be happy to be father of a child who didn't emerge from his gene pool.

She could, absolutely.

But when you look around and see all the women who still check their identities at church doors, it's easy to see why she spends Saturday nights watching 48 Hours.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Bret Michaels Continues to Terrify Me

Peter busted me watching Rock of Love again the other night. "Isn't this kind of against everything you stand for?" he wanted to know.

"Leave me alone," I said. "It's research."

The latest episode featured women racing each other into porta-potties to be the first to change into hooker gear. By now you should know that Bret Michael's girl "always has to look hot" in a hurry.

The prize?

Alone time with the hair band frontman himself (whether he actually has hair is debatable; some of the traffic I get to this blog is from people who've keyed "bret michaels bald" into search engines).

Bret doesn't seem to be worth the effort. He's self-involved as hell, and for a 4-needle-a-day diabetic, he sure does drink a lot.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Kid's Getting Married!

Busy weekend:

The offspring returned from two weeks at camp on Saturday. Yesterday, we attended a party to celebrate the recent marriage of a good friend at the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club. I had a great time, especially since my father and all the siblings attended.

Out on the deck overlooking the water, my brother whispered to me that he'd gone to Tiffany's to buy an engagement ring for the woman he's dated for the past year (we really like her). He said he didn't know how or when he'd propose.

After Peter and I and the girls arrived home in Connecticut, the phone rang. It was my brother calling to say that he'd indeed sealed the deal. He and his fiancee will marry in December '08.

In case you're wondering, he met her through an online dating service. Like most people who've tried online dating, he waded through his fair share of duds, for sure.

But this girl's a winner.

Ready to try online dating? Click the black box on the right.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Turn On Your Love Light at the Blood Drive

I rarely find myself without something to do, but today I had time to kill and remembered a blood drive going on in town. Ordinarily, I would have talked myself out of donating, as I've done since the last time I gave blood, oh, six years ago. But I decided to go for it.

Lying there waiting for the blood-taking-person to insert the needle into my flesh (yes, I am a giant baby, and I am always careful to alert any and all blood-takers to treat me gently, lest I collapse into convulsive wails and humiliate myself beyond redemption), it occurred to me that my old friend, G, and her boyfriend, A, started giving blood together early in their relationship.

At the time, I admired their altruism, but I had no intention of joining it. I did notice that their devotion to each other grew after the first donation, and they made appointments to keep going back. They were the first couple among the group I hung out with to marry. Many years later, they remain together happily.

I suppose they still give blood, although I can't swear to it. Over the past few years, they've taken up participating in Run/Walk events to benefit sufferers of Cystic Fibrosis.

My parents used to give blood together, too, and they remained happily married for 44 years, until my mother died two years ago this August 20th.

Giving blood with a date may seem like an odd alternative to getting tickets to Daddy Day Camp, but it's an adventure. It's a scary thing for a lot of people. It requires sacrifice, which is kind of attractive. It requires vulnerability, which is definitely attractive.

And when it's over, donors feel a sense of achievement , which can facilitate closeness. It also brings on an uncontrollable urge to celebrate.

Just be sure to make an appointment before you go, or you could be stuck sitting around for hours.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

What Kind of Man Are You Dating?

Natalie Morales and her guests Kate White and Dale Atkins help you figure it out in a silly but mildly entertaining Today Show segment.

I doubt Today will ever run a story helping fellows decipher women. The burden of reading minds seems to fall exclusively on females in this society.

Personally, I've opted out. I don't read minds.

Here's my credo when it comes to relationships: If you like me, show it. If you have something to say, say it. Treat me as you would have me treat you, lest I get fed up and hit the highway.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Meet Lots of 'Maybes'

This morning's Today Show ran an excellent, if unfortunately titled, segment on how to meet someone special. Check out the video here.

I love the tip about getting a $25 webcam to screen online 'duds.' It surely beats learning a guy's not what he claimed after jockeying across town to meet him.

I could do without the segment's title, though, which is "Desperate to Date!" Yikes. Most single people aren't desperate; they're just too smart to settle.

Men and Love

I found this fascinating quote from a man who wrote the Modern Love essay in yesterday's New York Times:

"...especially as a guy in a good, solid marriage, I have no reason to lie: Once you sleep with someone, it's hard to ever get together with them again, no matter how much later, without thinking of the physical closeness that was, or wasn't quite, or might have been."

Read the entire essay here.

Another article in yesterday's paper addresses the myth that men sleep around more than women.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

VH1's The Pickup Artist

So, far VH1's The Pickup Artist isn't as scary as I thought it would be.

The show features a bunch of decent but rejection-shy (and awkward) guys who need direction in attracting women. Their mentor is a man who goes by the silly-ish name of Mystery and claims to draw women like mice to cheddar. The second episode airs tomorrow at 9PM.

NBC's frightening Age of Love died its miserable death last Monday. Mark, the hapless Prince Charming charged with choosing his princess from among a group of 20- and 40-something women, anointed a 25-year-old with giant teeth.

VH1's Rock of Love, starring What's-With-the-Do-Rag Brett Michaels, continues to boggle the mind. I'd like an account of the show's budget for spray tan, for one thing. Everybody, including Brett, is orange.

And Brett is getting paranoid. He's convinced some of the women on the show aren't into him; they're just into the star trip. One woman in particular, a restaurant worker named Erin, is really getting under his skin. She mentioned that Justin Timberlake would soon appear in her place of employment.

Update: Brett just sent Erin back home to Chicago.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Love Is In the Air

I'm republishing my response to a reader comment on a previous post, "The Love of Her Future Life" here.

The reader's comment reads in part:

"Great blog. However, I still, more than one year after reading your book, am having trouble visualizing my man in as fine detail as you and your friend were able to do. How does one do that without "seeing" someone you may have known, thought was great, but is married or otherwise unavailable?"

Here's my response:

Before I started visualizing, I was flat-out crazy about an unavailable guy whose unavailability didn't stop him from stringing me along. Let me tell you, my attraction to him was all-consuming and relentless.

I took myself to one side: You're attracted to him, but he will not make you happy. Even if you did end up with him, you'd be looking over your shoulder for the rest of your life.

I set out to use visualization to attract a new relationship. I knew how great the uavailable guy made me feel (when we were together, that is). The trick was to re-create that feeling with another, yet unseen, man.

I did not necessarily know what I'd be attracted to (as long as it stopped being the other guy). I knew what qualities I wanted and needed in a long-term partner, though. I wrote them down (writing is more effective than thinking; you're making it concrete).

As you know, Margaret, I wanted someone who was: loyal, loving, reliable, successful, and fun. So, I wrote the following affirmation every single day while listening to Kate Bush's The Sensual World:

"I am happily married to a loyal, loving, reliable, successful, fun man."

Now there are many men who possess those particular qualities; however, some of them are already married, or they're Mama's Boys, or they like to pick their noses at stop lights.

I didn't want to be attracted to them.

So what I did, when writing my affirmation, was to conjure the sense of excitement I got with the old guy with the new, unseen, one.

Now this can get tricky. At first you have very few details to go with. The guy in your imagination is like ether. You can't see him, feel him, and so on.

So, it's here, during your visualization (keep a pen in your hand if it helps you focus) that you start filling in the smell of his shirt, the warmth of his hand, and so on.

All the while you're bringing up that feeling you got when you were with Mr. Unavailable.

As for my friend, she's just coming out of the most awful marriage, so she's very clear about what she DOES NOT want. It's easy for her to tell you what she DOES WANT.

Now, she's listed the occupation of her future fellow, but you don't have to be that specific (I wasn't). It's the feeling she gets (let me emphasize that, the feeling) when she brings this guy to life in her imagination that will him into her life.

She's conditioning her subconscious to believe that she's capable of being in a relationship with someone who treats her well.

She's also conditioning herself to BE ATTRACTED TO someone who treats her well.

Let's face it: Some of us are walking around forever attracting and being attracted to men who do not treat us well, hence the girls-who-love-bad-boys syndrome. Or the girls-who-only-love-boys-they-cannot-have syndrome.

You don't have to predict what you'll be attracted to. You know what you're attracted to. So, if you're attracted to a married guy, what attracts you to him?

If it's that he's married, that's a problem. A lot of women are attracted to unavailable guys for their own reasons, usually because they'll never have to wake up to him for the rest of their lives. (If this sounds like you, determine what puts you off about marriage and create a marriage in your imagination that defies it. For example, I didn't like the idea of being stuck with all the housework, among other things.)

But if it's his sense of humor, the way he handles a car, the way he looks in a white button-down shirt, the sureness of his hands, you can re-create that in your new unseen man. You can certainly re-create the feeling you get.

Easy does it, Margaret. You know how you feel when you're with a guy you're attracted to.

Write down the qualities you want in your new guy, gel 'em with the feeling you got with the old guy. Write an affirmation in the present tense about your great new relationship.

Every day write a scene about you and the new guy: "Today my husband and I (feel it as you write it) went to IKEA to buy a new couch to put in front of the fireplace. When we got home, we ate onion bagels while we put the couch together. It came together in no time, so he lit a fire. We stood in front of the fireplace holding each other for a while, and then he poured some wine. We turned off the phone and slumped on our soft new couch together, his arm around me, my head on his shoulder, taking in the smell of burning wood. He kissed me..."

When you write your scene, engage all your senses. Be in it.

Do this every single day. Do it tomorrow: "Today my husband and I went to the park..." Keep bringing the relationship to life in your imagination.

It really doesn't help to do it once in a while. Get thee to Staples and buy a cheap spiral notebook and write a short scene every single day.

I hope this clarifies things.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Love of Her Future Life

A lovely woman I know has made a decision to leave her marriage after many years of anguish (I'll protect her substandard husband by not going into details).

The other day she informed me there's a new man in her life. She hasn't met him and doesn't hope to meet him for some time; she's looking forward to being single. But she already knows what she'll want in a man when she's ready for a new relationship.

She has a general idea of what he'll look like and what he'll do for a living. She knows what they'll have in common: He'll like books and art. He'll enjoy traveling with her. She has an idea of the sound of his voice, the warmth of his hand, and how she'll feel when he says her name.

He will love her. She won't know this by ostentatious gestures, but by the way he looks at her over the dinner table. She is a brave and passionate cook who lives to prepare meals for the people she loves. He will be grateful for every plate she sets before him.

I have no doubt that one day this man will enter her life and make her happy. She knows what she wants, and she's bringing it to life in her imagination.

This is how love happened for me. When she's ready, it's going to happen for her, too.


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

How to Bounce Back From a Break-Up

If you've been with me for a while, you know I'm a proponent of EFT (or Emotional Freedom Technique). It got me through a wicked case of insomnia and panic attacks, for instance, during my mother's illness and after her death.

Holistic Health Counselor Alison Held recommends EFT for healing a broken heart. If you're like me, I didn't bounce back from failed relationships well (tended to pack on the pounds and wallow in misery) and held myself back from finding happiness with a more suitable guy.

The cool thing about EFT is it's free to use on your own, or if you prefer, you can hire a practitioner like Alison to take you through it. It's been endorsed by Joseph Mercola MD, Cheryl Richardson, Deepak Chopra, Jack Canfield, and others.

Check out EFT founder Gary Craig's website for a free manual.

On Monday, Alison phoned to say that a company named Try It Productions was calling around to her and other EFT practitioners, looking to talk to clients who could provide testimonials about EFT's effectiveness. Alison recommended me.

An interviewer and cameraman arrived at my house yesterday, so I may end up in the movie (if I don't end up on the cutting room floor). It was great fun telling my story. After the duo packed up and left, I checked out the trailer for the movie, which debuted on Try It On Everything yesterday.

I was delighted to find out that if I do make the final cut, I'll be in good company. Jack Canfield, Joe Vitale, Cheryl Richardson, and Norm Shealy, M.D. are featured in the film.

The trailer is short, informative, and fun to watch. Check it out here.


Monday, August 06, 2007

Why Eat Healthfully When You Can Get Liposuction Instead?

In a segment entitled, "Drama Over the Posh Spice" diet, The Today Show eviscerated the authors of Skinny Bitch (prefacing the attack by warning parents to lower their TVs to avoid scaring children with the word "Bitch," which Today altered to read "B*tch," lest anybody's eyes fall out).

Today noted that sales for Skinny Bitch, a book that promotes eschewing meat and dairy, took off after Victoria (Posh Spice) Beckham had been photographed holding the book. Beckham's publicity machine later denied their client follows "fad diets" and instead eats a diet high in fruit, vegetables, and fish. Which is pretty much what the Skinny Bitch authors promote, less the fish.

If you're willing to sit through a commercial, you can check out the report here.

For further commentary by the show's horrified producer, click here. In questioning the authors' right to write a book about healthy eating, he writes, "..last I checked, being around skinny people hardly makes one an authority on how they got that way."


Here's the ironic thing about the Today segment: They preceded it with an "expose" disputing diet and exercise as a means of spot fat reduction. Their source? A plastic surgeon. That's right. The lone, single, solitary source Janice Lieberman used in her segment dismissing the effectiveness of diet and exercise was--ta da!-- a plastic surgeon. Watch her report here.

What, pray tell, does the surgeon recommend for spot reduction?

You guessed it, Baby: Liposuction.

The Today Show is officially headed off the rails. (And please do not insult me, Matt and Meredith, by implying that you're offended by the word "bitch," or that you've never used it.)

Let's face it: The vegan diet Skinny Bitch promotes may not be for everybody. I've tried to give up cheese more times than I can count, and it just ain't happening. And, although I gave up meat for Lent and haven't turned back, my family likes it and continues to eat it.

That said, since I've given up meat, my LDL and triglyceride levels returned to normal. Would lipo have yielded such healthful results?

I don't think so.


Sunday, August 05, 2007

Love, Loss, and Marriage

After putting the girls on the camp bus to New Hampshire this morning (I still have a small pain in my stomach), Peter and I made a quick stop for coffee and the newspaper at a gas station in Hicksville, Long Island. We hit the highway by 7:30 and managed to get home to Connecticut before the coffee got cold.

The New York Times ran two worthwhile stories in its Style section today.

The first is by a woman who lost her best friend after falling for a man she met in Prague. The other details the wedding of a once-reluctant bride and co-author of the book, The Bridal Wave: A Survival Guide to the Everyone-I-Know-Is-Getting-Married Years.


Saturday, August 04, 2007

Alone At Last

If you're here for dating advice, this particular post won't interest you. Scroll onward, Pilgrim.

The offspring are heading to camp for two weeks in New Hampshire tomorrow, so I've spent the past couple of days ironing labels onto bedsheets and bathing suits. Had to run out for necessities like bug repellant and sunscreen. Ended up spending a boatload of money.

My father came up from New York Thursday and stayed until this morning. He left before I got up, probably around 6. It can be pretty noisy around here. I hope he had a good time.

We're off to Long Island today for a block party. The girls will catch the bus to camp at 6:30 AM tomorrow morning.

Peter and I don't have any earth-shaking plans for the next two weeks, but we're looking forward to it. I'm sure we'll find a way to fill the time.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Who Should Pay On the First Date?

If you're a woman, Dating Coach Ronnie Ann Ryan says it shouldn't be you. Click here for her free report and find out why.

A reader has taken me to task for suggesting that checking a guy's cell phone for evidence he's been talking to other women is unattractive. She made some excellent points that I'm thinking over seriously.

While the women I'd referred to routinely surveilled innocent boyfriends, this reader had serious grounds to believe her fellow was cheating. She checked his cell phone and found that he had indeed text messaged another woman about "getting together."

She followed her instincts, and that's a good thing. She did what she had to do.

But I think we can fairly set her apart from women (and men) who suffer from the kind of insecurity that compels them--without sufficient cause-- to check up on good, devoted, true loves and ultimately drive them away.


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Law of Attraction Nets Me a Falafel

The Amazing V. and I set out for a neighboring town to India Raj for lunch. (All morning, I got a warm, happy feeling in my stomach whenever I remembered I'd soon be filling with vegetable vindaloo.)

We arrived at India Raj at 3:07, only to learn that they'd closed at 3 and wouldn't reopen until dinner. Dejected, we headed back for her minivan and stuffed the children back in. The warm feeling in my stomach was replaced with a cold loneliness.

"We could try that other Indian place in Newtown," V. suggested.

"Yeah, let's do that," I said, even though the food didn't taste as good as India Raj's. It also cost more.

"Let's go for pizza," shouted a little voice from the back.

But I wasn't in the mood for pizza, not Connecticut pizza, anyway.

Valerie drove on, and as we passed the beautiful old stone houses and lattice-balconied stores and the mossy ponds with the tree branches coming straight up out of them, I kept thinking, "Wow. I am just so lucky to live here. It is the most beautiful place on earth."

I said to the Amazing V., "You know, I really could go for falafel. I haven't had a falafel since I moved here four-and-a-half years ago."

"Yeah," she said. "But you can't get falafel in Connecticut, unless you count that dried-out thing we had in downtown Shelton."

She hung a left into the parking lot of the Newtown Indian place. The sign on the door revealed that it, like the other, was closed and would not reopen until dinner.

"What's with these people?" she asked.

And then we saw it: Across the street stood a little hole-in-the-wall Greek market.

"Check it out," I said. "Greek food! Do you think they have falafel?"

(Although the state of Connecticut is home to many Greek diners, I have yet to find one that serves falafel. But I was feeling lucky.)

"Let's try it," said V.

We popped out of the van and into the store. A strapping Greek man came toward us.

"Do you have falafel?" I asked him.

"Yes, I have falafel. How many you want?"

At this point, we rounded up the children and seated them at tables in the back.

"I have a funny story to tell you," I told the owner, as he brought out our orders. Then I told him of my desperation for a decent falafel since I moved here.

"Where are you from?" he asked.

"New York."

"I used to live in New York when I came to this country. Where did you live?"



"Near Northern Boulevard."


"172nd Street."

"I know it. I used to work at the Saravan Diner."

"Get out! It's impossible to get falafel in Connecticut, you know."

"Yeah," he said. "Everyone here wants hamburger, cheeseburger, fish fry."

Before I left, I ordered a gyro to go for Peter. When he and I were dating, we used to eat them at a Greek place in Flushing near his apartment.

Some people will insist that my falafel acquisition moments after uttering the words, "I could really go for falafel," is coincidence.

But the Amazing V. and I do not think so.