A Word To The Wives

Here is some friendly advice that I like to call a word to the wives, specifically those of you who enjoy blogging. A blog is a wonderful tool that you can use to build relationships with others, express your thoughts and learn about yourself. When you are upset it is useful to use your blog as a place to vent and certainly if you have friends in the blogosphere it is a good place to find support.

However, I recommend that you not use it as a place to write stories about how your husband pisses you off. You may think that it is funny to paint him as a buffoon or moron. You may find that it feels good to have a good laugh at his expense. You may find that sharing your stories is cathartic and that you resent him less for whatever it is that he is doing to irritate you.

If you choose to do this you should bear in mind that it might not serve you as well as you would like. He might find your stories to be less than cute. He might decide that it makes him angry for you to share these stories and as a result your venting creates a brand new issue to deal with. It is the sort of trouble that you can easily avoid.

We’re not perfect. Men find all sorts of way to create problems and issues for ourselves. I know this because I happen to be an expert at wreaking havoc. Still, we try to teach our children not to get involved in this kind of nonsense and that is what it is…nonsense.

It is your relationship so do what you want, but don’t be surprised if he surprises you with more behavior that you don’t like or his own set of posts documenting all of the stupid crap that you do. It may seem like we are oblivious to a lot of things but our silence isn’t always indicative of lack of awareness. Like you we sometimes hold back because we don’t want to fight. Like you we sometimes choose to be quiet because we don’t think that the outcome is worth it.

But don’t think that we don’t notice or that we don’t sometimes talk to the fellows about what happens. I have been part of conversations where the guys share stories or ask questions. There is a reason why some topics never appear on this blog. It is not because I am so smart- but I just don’t need the additional chaos in my life.

So the next time you share a story about how incapable your husband is remember he might be telling his pal stories that would piss you off too. That old phrase, “If Mama Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy” goes both directions.

Let’s Marry For Money

Ahh young Jessica Wakeman, you are entitled to your opinion even if it is childish, garbled and moronic. I can’t decide if I am bored enough to have all of the fun that I could have with this…Let’s play for a moment or two.

(The Frisky) — There’s a new book out called “Smart Girls Marry Money: How Women Have Been Duped Into the Romantic Dream — And How They Are Paying For It,” by Elizabeth Ford and Daniela Drake.

Forget for a moment that they annoyingly refer to grown women as “girls” in their title and check out their thesis: because, for a variety of reasons, men earn more money than women, it’s a wise move to marry someone who can provide for you and your family.

I find it funny that someone who thinks that it is annoying to call grown women girls can turn around and say that she wants to marry for money.

I haven’t read the book, so I have no idea if it is filled with sexist swill or not. But just reading Newsweek’s article about the book, it sounds like pretty sensible advice to me.

Before you get upset, I will acknowledge a bunch of things that I know to be true: yes, women earn less than men for a lot of sexist reasons and that discrimination must stop. Yes, mothers get “mommy-tracked” and their careers are stalled. And of course there are all kinds of misfires to the “marry rich” idea, such as the rich guy who is an a-hole. But that doesn’t change the fact that marrying a man with money can be a better idea than marrying someone who is broke.

A bad match is a bad match regardless of finances. It might sound like it is easier to marry someone who has money, but if you don’t click the cash won’t matter, unless you really are shallow.

Take me, for instance. I’m afraid I’m going to get tarred and feathered as a “bad feminist” for admitting this, but yeah, I do want to marry someone who can financially support both me and our kids.

I get the feeling that you don’t know what side you want to take here.

I’m not ashamed to “marry for money,” if that’s what would you can even call it, because I don’t fundamentally believe it is the “man’s role” to provide for women.

So does that mean that you intend to earn enough to support the family. Would you support a husband who wanted to stay home and raise the kids.

My actual motivations, as I see them, are pure enough. I know of great guys out there — journalists, teachers, non-profit dudes — who will probably make great dads. But I personally wouldn’t pair up with them because, realistically, our two salaries together just wouldn’t be enough to cut it for what I want out of life. But, but, but, “Bank accounts shouldn’t matter at all!” And while I agree with that in theory, sorry, a man who can provide for me and our children is just much more attractive to me.

Why not just have the intellectual honesty to do away with the fake apology. You have expensive taste and you don’t want to have to give it up.

Bank accounts — and debts — do matter. And acknowledging that doesn’t make me a gold digger akin to Anna Nicole Smith — it makes me smart.

Nah it just proves that you are young and inexperienced. There is so much more to a relationship than a bank account.

Right now, I rent an apartment in New York City (not cheap) and pay all my own bills myself. But I’m living at the edge of my own means as it is. I don’t make a lot of money as a journalist, I owe lots of money to student loans and unless my future husband or I had a great job prospect someplace else, I don’t want to live outside New York City, or very far from NYC, because that’s where the media capital of the world is right now.

It seems a bit hypocritical this position of yours. You can barely survive on your own. You hope to maintain residence in one of the most expensive cities in the US while simultaneously maintaining lifestyle that you can’t currently afford on your own. You’re fooling yourself.

Maybe this isn’t “feminist,” but logically, I need to marry a guy who makes more money than I do — preferably a lot more money than I do — for us to be able to afford what I want and I hope he will want, too. An apartment big enough for kids, prenatal care, doctors appointments, birthday presents, vacations, summer camp, college, their own car, all that stuff.

You don’t have a clue how much all that costs and how quickly a decent salary will disappear. But if you have any sense you’ll adjust your expectations like most mature adults.

I know parents can raise children well on much less. But personally, that’s not the lifestyle I grew up with. I want to be able to give my children everything I had — maybe a little less, maybe a little more — because I think my parents did a great job.

Stop apologizing. Own this or give it up. You grew up with money and can’t imagine what life would be like without it. Well, the beauty of life is that it has a way of providing its own education.

We all had hopes and dreams that we had to adjust to the reality of the day. So many things can happen that are beyond your control. One catastrophic accident can send your world spinning.

But let’s ignore that and get back to the real point here. The worst advice anyone can give another is to marry for money. Money doesn’t buy happiness or love and without those two items marriage is a waste of time.

Friends and Relationships

“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.”
Macbeth, Act V, scene v

Have you ever noticed that bad news has a habit of arriving at inconvenient moments. Not that there is a good time for it to come, but certainly the dead of night or those moments before dawn are particularly bad.

One of these days someone is going to preface the bad news by handing me a cup of coffee and an iPod with Yo Yo Ma playing. At least one can hope for these things.

Part of the joy of growing older are the many life experiences you get to be a part of them. Some of them are truly amazing, like the birth of a child and some of them are harder, such as the deaths of loved ones. And in between these are the tears that are shed over the ending of relationships.

And so I find myself on this Cinco de Mayo thinking about some of the recent conversations in which dear friends have discussed what it means to say goodbye to their marriages. I am not a therapist. I don’t dispense professional advice.

I listen and if you ask I’ll offer my opinion. That is a bit different from my youth. In these situations I am quite reticent to share my real thoughts because the situations are so explosive. I don’t want to place myself between the hammer and the anvil, it is a losing hand.

That is not to say that I won’t tell you what I think, but I am careful. If the relationship ends or continues I don’t want them to blame me one day for their having made a bad decision.

Most people know that I am a creature of the night, albeit without fangs. If you need me you can ring the BlackBerry and I’ll be there. And so it was that I received the calls that told me that a few more marriages had run their course.

Later on we’d meet for coffee and I’d sit and listen to their stories. I suppose that it is not surprising that there were similarities in their stories. At some point in time they stopped talking. They didn’t share their thoughts with their spouses. As the distance grew the wives stopped sleeping with them and the husbands grumbled about it.

They wanted to use sex to try and restore the intimacy and the wives were irritated that they would be so insensitive. In turn the boys grew upset and the resentment on both sides built and then one day they realized that the flames had been extinguished. And just like that they transitioned into roommates who shared the mission of raising the children.

As I listened to them speak the traffic on the boulevard kept on coming. No matter what is going on in our personal lives life never stops. Or maybe it was proof that a sunny day in LA meant that Ventura Boulevard was going to be filled with convertibles.

Who knows, I am no philosopher. Think that I’ll end this post here.

Do Men Have Feelings

Age is a funny thing. Until recently most of my experience with it had been waiting to get older. There were a million things that I wanted to do, but I wasn’t old enough. Slowly but surely I hit those marks and gained the ability to do whatever it was that I wanted to at that point in time.

But until recently I never really felt old or felt the pressure that age can bring with it. Maybe it is all in my head, but with the end of my thirties rapidly approaching I no longer feel like I have eternity to fall back upon. Now I feel the weight of time and it makes me wonder.

You can blame some of this upon certain life experiences. Almost all of my friends are married, most for quite some time. Virtually all of us have children. And now we have reached that time when a number of the marriages are ending. As these relationships end or evolve I have noticed that some conversations that I had thought had been left in the past have resurfaced.

Four years I wrote a short post called Do Men Have Emotions? It wasn’t anything special, but it is one that comes up in keyword searches on a regular basis. It is suddenly relevant to me again because lately the discussions about whether men have feelings have become more prevalent, and not just among the women, but the men.

I suppose that you can attribute the increased discussion to age and maturity. The boys don’t really have that need to be tough, at least not among each other. Now there is far more support for sharing our tales with each other. It is far easier to talk about the girl that broke your heart in the past or the present as the case may be.

The other thing that I have found to be sort of funny is that I have heard a number of women complain about this show of emotion from the men. The cynic in me would accuse them of double standards. You want men to talk about their feelings, but when they do you complain that they are less manly. It is a catch-22 that not even Major Major could get out of.

I am not a social worker. I am not a therapist or some sort of shrink whose job it is to make sense of all this. That is not what I do. Men are men, women are women and we can only do what we can to try and figure it all out.

But I can guarantee that there will be a few women who end up on this post and ask for answers. All I can tell you is that we do have feelings. We fall in love and our happy. Relationships end and our hearts break. We are happy, we are sad and everything in between. We’re humans just like you.

The biggest difference is that we’re logical and you aren’t. 😉 And now if you’ll excuse me I am going to employ the duck and cover technique while I sneak out of here.

The Science Behind Beer Goggling

Time Magazine has an interesting story called Does Beer (Goggling) Affect Whom We Find Attractive?

The new study, set to be published in June in the 100th issue of the British Journal of Psychology, examined how alcohol plays into all these murky attractions to youth. The vast majority of men don’t act on their potentially inappropriate, or criminal, impulses, but can those who do blame the booze?

The study’s authors, Egan and Cordan, asked their 120 drinking and 120 sober participants to rate the attractiveness of 15-year-old girls versus 19-year-old girls shown in photographs. The study participants were evenly divided between men and women. For ethical and legal reasons, the photos were actually altered images of 17-year-old students from McMaster University in Ontario; they had given permission for their likenesses to be used. Researchers digitally manipulated the pictures to make the students’ craniofacial features look like those of typical 15-year-olds or those of 19-year-olds. The doctored pictures were then shown in random order to participants recruited in bars, airport lounges, cafes and other natural settings.

On average, the participants found the “15-year-olds” slightly more attractive than the “19-year-olds,” which reconfirms our inclination toward neoteny. Both men and women found the more youthful images of girls to be a bit more attractive than the older ones.

Surprisingly, drinking had little impact on the results.