You know it’s bad when they’re talking about love
Jul 29th, 2008 by Sam

OK, I loved both columns. But, it’s just a little scary when both Maureen Dowd and Ben Stein are talking about love. And both articles are on the New York Times’ top ten most emailed list.

Maureen writes about a priest’s description of An Ideal Husband, advice he gives to young women:

  • Never marry a man who has no friends. This usually means he’s incapable of the intimacy that marriage demands. (my comment – be sure to check and make sure he’s not just shy).
  • What do your friends and family think of him?
  • Does he use money responsibly? Is he stingy?
  • Steer clear of someone whose life you can run, i.e. no doormats
  • Is he overly attached to his mother?
  • Does he have a sense of humor?
  • Is he the ‘strong/silent’ type? (run away)
  • Are bad family habits? Racism, sexism, prejudice?
  • Do you share the same deepest values?
  • Does he possess the character traits that add up to being a good person? Is he wiling to forgive, praise, be courteous? or is he inclined to be a fibber, to fits of rage, to be a control freak, to be envious, to be secretive?

Then, Ben Stein:

My primary life study has been about love. Second comes economics, so here, in the form of a few rules, is a little amalgam of the two fields: the economics of love…

In general, and with rare exceptions, the returns in love situations are roughly proportional to the amount of time and devotion invested. The amount of love you get from an investment in love is correlated, if only roughly, to the amount of yourself you invest in the relationship.

If you invest caring, patience and unselfishness, you get those things back.

Are you kidding me?  Ben Stein?  He goes on:

  • With people and bonds – stick with high quality
  • Do your research
  • If you have to compete with others, even after a short while, forget the whole thing
  • Returns should equal investment
  • Love is a long-term investment – day traders will have many days of love but years of agony
  • Realistic expectations are everything
  • Stick with a winner
  • Have dogs and cats in your life

And he closes with this:

And let me close with another thought. I am far from glib about the economy. It has a lot of pitfalls facing it. As workers and investors, we know that many dangers lurk in our paths.

But so far, these things have always worked themselves out and this one will, too. In the meantime, they say that falling in love is wonderful, and that the best is falling in love with what you have.

So there you go.  The economy is so bad, that pundits and economists are writing about love.  Who said it?  Love is all you need?

I think today it would be fun to be a woman
Jun 26th, 2008 by Sam

says a 78-year old Albanian woman who made an oath of celibacy in return for the right to live and rule her family as a man.

“Back then, it was better to be a man because, before, a woman and an animal were considered the same thing,” says Keqi, who has a bellowing baritone voice, sits with her legs open wide like a man and relishes downing shots of Raki and smoking cigarettes. “Now, Albanian women have equal rights with men and are even more powerful, and I think today it would be fun to be a woman.”

She says:

“I was totally free as a man because no one knew I was a woman,” Keqi said. “I could go wherever I wanted to and no one would dare swear at me because I could beat them up. I was only with men. I don’t know how to do women’s talk. I am never scared.”

Well, I do think that it would serve women well to know how to defend ourselves. And, I’m not so sure about the ‘never scared’ part. But you know, she’s right. It is fun to be a woman. And it’s great to be alive in these times.

African is the new black
Jun 19th, 2008 by Sam

Well, it’s all over for white girls. Sigh. With Michelle Obama soon to be the next first lady, with her great looks, sense of style, and great speaking ability; white women just pale in comparison. And, here it begins… Italian Vogue’s new issue features black women in all the photos, black women’s issues in all the articles. And, damn it, they look great!

Black women can wear great, bright colors that would make me look like a clown. They can wear fabulous jewelry that looks junky on me. Have you ever been in a room full of black women dressed to the nines? It’s like comparing a nice little pastel to a Picasso.

But black women have always been gorgeous. What’s new is that black women are now trendy. Just as Ellen made being a lesbian hip and cool, Michelle Obama is making being a black woman fabulous. And, it’s great! About time, I must say – the culture hasn’t been so kind to black women over the years.

However, I must confess to a little nostalgia for the good old days when medium brown hair and pale skin weren’t so, well, blah. So, we straight, white girls will just keep plugging away.  We’ll cycle through black, latina, and asian periods of coolness; let the bi-sexual girls have their day; and just patiently wait, hoping that our day will return.

Brainy grrls have more fun!
Feb 19th, 2007 by Sam

Can it possibly be true?  Is this the era of the brainy grrl?  Even in love?

In The Romantic Life of BrainiacsBoston Globe Magazine, 2/2/2007, Stephanie Coontz reports that college graduates and high-earning women are now more likely to marry than women with less education and lower earnings.

Furthermore, and perhaps more shockingly, men’s preferences have also changed.  Many studies show that men now want a wife who is at a similar educational or occupational level.  The 2001 Journal of Marriage and Family paper found that:

“…in mate-preference surveys taken in 1985 and 1996, intelligence and education had moved up to number 5 on men’s list of desirable qualities in a mate in both surveys, ahead of good looks….And in choosing a spouse, males with a college degree rate good looks much lower in importance than do high school graduates.”

But, it even gets better.  In the past, employed wives tended to divorce at higher rates than non-employed wives.  According to Coontz, this wasn’t because of the employment itself, it was because the wives had more options to leave a bad marriage.  But, just last year, a study discovered that wives’ full-time employment is now associated withincreased marital stability.

And, now, the icing on the cake.  The sex is better too.  As you might suspect, educated couples have more variety in their sex lives, most notably participating in oral sex (turns out the more educated a women is, the more likely she is to receive (!) oral sex.  You go grrl.)  But, here is the best part:

“Educated husbands are also more likely to help with housework, which turns out to be a potent aphrodisiac.

Ladies, were truer words ever spoken?  Is there anything hotter than your darlin’ cleaning the house followed by …?  Ahem.

And the good news just keeps coming:

  • marriages where women outearn their husbands are just as stable as other marriages,
  • men view the quality of their marriage higher the more the wife works outside the home, and
  • well-educated men have increased their housework more than less-educated ones.

It’s all great news for girls who have the genes and the resources to get that education.

So, this is a timely moment to share a great new blog that I’ve encountered called Memoirs of a SkepChick: Critical Thinking for the Masses.  I met a couple of the bloggers at a Darwin Birthday event, and they are fun, happening, brainy grrls who are destined for happy, stable marriages with lots of great sex (and the clean houses that go with it!).

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