My friends know I have a bit of an obsessive/addictive personality.  If I’m into something, I’m realllllly into it.   This applies to many areas of my life.  Sometimes good things.  Sometimes bad.  Like, if I find a food I like I’ve been known to have it every day for months on end.  A couple of years ago I had tuna on pita with Miracle Whip and  iceberg lettuce every day for almost a year.  I was buying Starkist by the case at Costco.  Then I realized I was probably going to die of mercury poisoning or my children would be born with gills, so I stopped.  After that I was into peanut butter and bananas for breakfast for almost six months.  My recent food obsession is Indian, so I’ve been putting curry in just about everything I eat.  Not sure how much longer that will last.  Enzo has already lost an eyebrow.

I’ve always enjoyed working out, so many of my obsessions have been with different forms of fitness.  When I first got into biking I bought three bikes in one year – mountain, hybrid and cruising – so I’d have a bike to suit whatever terrain or type of biking I wanted to do on any given day.  I’d get on one of my bikes as soon as I got home from work and ride til it got dark. Then I started thinking – did I really need a car?  Could I ride my bike to work and then home again?  That would be a good way to clock an extra 12 miles a day!  Brilliant.  But no.   On weekends I’d try to get everywhere by bike.  Oh, I need milk – let me just hop on my bike and go get some.   I want to visit my parents – I could be there in 5 minutes by bike.  Have to go to the post office – bike.  Going to the gym?  Bike.  I’d even ride my bike to get a mani/pedi which was ridiculous AND a waste of money because I never made it home without totally messing both up.  Then I started making up destinations just to have somewhere to ride to.  Really it was silly.  Why couldn’t I just ride my bike sometimes and have fun?

Oh and who could forget when I was all about kick boxing?  I took classes 5 nights a week and I’d practice my moves all the time.  It didn’t matter where I was.  I’d even do jump kicks in the hallways at work.  Sure, I had a casual work environment, but I don’t know why I thought that was acceptable.  I also became obsessed with my kick boxing instructor.  I wanted my body to look like hers.  I wanted to be able to kick as high as she could, punch as hard as she could.  I even went out and bought the same sneakers and workout gear she had.  OK?  I talked about her to my friends – as if they gave a shit what her arms were like or how many tricep push ups she could squeeze out!!  I’d talk to her before class and after class and wanted to know how long she had been practicing, where she trained, how she got started.  Then I think she started to get a little freaked out by my interest.  I guess I can see why now.

That brings me to my most recent obsession.  Yoga.  A little more than a month ago, my friend Michelle dragged me to my first HOT power yoga class.   I was one of those people who always thought yoga was just stretching and chanting.  I was wrong.  You don’t think yoga is a workout?  Try it.  Anyway, a week later after my body healed,  I did another one with her and then I was hooked. That’s it.  Now I’m a yogi.  I’m practicing about 5 days a week and have researched every yoga studio within a 10 mile radius of me.  I know which offer the best discounts, the best schedules, which have the best instructors and the most normal clientele.   Normal clientele is an important factor as I’ve learned some studios attract a more earthy crunchy crowd than I’m comfortable with.  The workout I got at the first studio I went to was killer but the people there were a little too into the spiritual side of yoga.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m a peace-loving person.  I love the Earth.  I like sprouts.  I want to have a balanced mind and body.  But I guess I’m more into the physical part of it.  This place opened the class with three oms and closed the class with three oms which is not bad.  But some people would spontaneously om during the class or turn their breaths into oms and I just didn’t like that.

I am still very much a beginner but I am determined to become a master and fast.  I see some people in classes who’ve obviously been practicing for years.  I mean, they’re balancing upside down on nothing but their index finger and that gets my competitive juices flowing.  One of “my” instructors told me it took her a year til her heels touched the floor in downward dog.  No way.  I have to be able to do it.  I have to do it now.   So, if I have a free minute, I’m in my dog stretttttttttttching closer, closer, closer to the floor. I do it in front of a mirror so I can see how close I’m getting.  I even set up my camera to take a picture of me while doing it.  I watch yoga videos on YouTube and even discovered Comcast has a yoga channel On Demand.

I make Enzo watch me get into different and new poses that I learn.  Wanna see what I learned today?  This is eagle.  This is crow.  This is really hard.  Try it.  Try it. God bless him.  He sits there on the sofa and watches and I always get a “that’s awesome, Mon.”    At Sunday dinner I overheard him prompting my sister-in-law to ask me about “my” yoga.  I love him.  She asked.  Here’s what resulted.

You  really don’t need much to do yoga.  But part of my obsession includes having to get the “best” whatever it is I do need.  So I spent about 4 hours researching yoga mats online one night and ordered what I think is the top of the line ultra thick, sticky, eco-friendly mat out there.  When it came in the mail I thought to myself, with this mat I can do yoga anywhere. Really?  Other than a yoga studio, where am I really going to do yoga?  It’s November.  It’s Boston.   It’s not like I’m going to be doing it along the banks of the Charles or in Walden woods.  I also got a Yogitoes skidless to go with my mat and I’m putting a plug in for it because I think it’s an absolute must for keeping a good grip during hot yoga.  Sure, you could use a regular towel but a skidless is soooo much better.  It’s not a towel, it’s not a mat.  In their words it “prevents slipping on your yoga mat, stabilizes your practice and puts a hygienic layer between you and the mat.”   Sure.  I’ll buy that.

Guess what’s on my Christmas list this year.  You got it.  Yoga.  Friends, fam – wanna get me something I’ll love?  Get me a few classes at Yoga Power, my favorite studio so far.  Sure, the jury is still out on how long my fixation with yoga will last.  But if I know myself, this should take me well into the spring.  I’m going to shoot for keeping it up at least until I have Madonna arms.   We’ll see.


Things I don’t miss about my job

As you know from my earlier posts, I’m no longer working in PR.  And since I’m a ‘labeler’ I’ve decided to call this period in my life a sabbatical.  By definition, a sabbatical (from Greek sabbatikos, from Hebrew shabbat, i.e., Sabbath, literally a “ceasing”) is a rest from work, or a hiatus that lasts from two months to a year.  Now if you ask me, those Greeks and Hebrews sure know how to live.

I went into my sabbatical with some trepidation.  How would I adjust to life without the job I’d had since even before I graduated college?  How would I fill my days?  My thoughts?  I worried there’d be so much I’d miss about my old life.  But I gotta tell ya, since then, I realized there’s much more I don’t miss.

There’s the obvious stuff I don’t miss about my job like the eye bulging stress and the complete and total infringement on my life. : )  But there’s also a bunch of little things that you realize are really annoying once they’re gone.

Take the bullshit, made-up vocabulary of the corporate world.  Corporate America has a vocabulary all its own that includes lots of ridiculous phrases contrived to make regular ol’ things sound important.  Like touch base as in “I’ll touch base with you on that later this week.”  Um, how about just “I’ll talk to you about that…?”  There’s also circle back.   That’s basically the same thing as touch base as far as I remember.  But I mean, what are we show horses?  Circle back.  Tssst.  Here’s one that cracks me up – action items.  You can call them action items if it helps you cope, but the reality is they’re just the shit you have to do.  Synonymous with action items are deliverables.  But still – just the shit you have to do.  Oh wait.  Let’s not forget about low hanging fruit.  Maybe my mind is in the gutter, but every time I heard that one I couldn’t help but think of something perverse.  Let’s just say I’m not interested in your low hanging fruit, buddy.  I could go on and on, but I’ll throw in just a couple more particularly egregious terms.  Value add.  “Susy Snowflake, what’s your value add?”  Translation:  “Say something smart that justifies your being here.”  Out-of-the-box.  “We need some out-of-the-box ideas.”  Translation:  “We have to think of something we haven’t tried and failed at already.”  I haven’t used any of these phrases in almost six weeks and I’m pretty sure I’m still communicating and people understand me.

Another thing I don’t miss is email.  Obviously I still use it in my personal life, but in my work life, email was the primary method of communication.  I think that was partly because you always need to have a paper trail to back you up in case something went awry.  But for Christ’s sake we’d email people who were sitting not more than 20 feet from us.  To add insult to injury there was also IM.  You used that if the person you just emailed (who sits 10 paces from you) doesn’t respond within 3 minutes.  And, even if you had a real, live conversation with someone, it was always followed up shortly afterward by an email, just to put the exact same things you talked about in writing.  Imagine if you did that in real life?  I know, next time Enzo and I have an argument, I’ll send him an email recapping what I think my most salient points were.

I also don’t miss business travel.  In my real life I love to travel.  I love everything about it from planning the trip, picking hotels, researching excursions, etc.  But business travel is different.  Through my job I had occasion to travel to some of the most beautiful parts of the country but rarely spent enough time in any of those places to really enjoy them.  In the business world, any destination you can get to in 4 hours or less is a day trip.  And sometimes even a trip to the west coast didn’t constitute an overnight unless you count the 30 winks you get on the red eye.  I once flew 6 hours to sit in a 90 minute meeting and went straight back to the airport to fly 6 hours home.  That was nice.  Nope, I don’t miss that.

So despite my initial concern, I’m enjoying this sabbatical very much.  Today’s agenda included waking up at 6:00, making my husband’s lunch, having coffee and a walk with Sonny, having lunch with my mom and dad, a trip to Russo’s where I leisurely selected the best of their eggplant, squash, russets and cubanile peppers, a stop at the local nursery to pick up mums and pumpkins to decorate our front porch, an afternoon of work in the garden and sitting down for dinner (3 courses that I made) with Enzo at 6:00.  Now that’s my idea of value add.

If I had to do it all again…

Last weekend I went to my niece Amanda’s wedding.  It was beautiful.  Simply beautiful.  I loved everything about it.  From the elegant room at The Stony Hill Inn where she had her ceremony and reception and the fun vows she and Carmen exchanged, to the dress she wore and the decorations my sister Tina made.  Everything about it screamed Amanda and Carmen. 

There were no uncomfortable formalities.  No awkward bridal party moments.  (Well except for the part where Laura butted in on the cake cutting.)   And there was more delicious food than the 75 of us could have ever eaten.  Carmen’s dad sang the song for their first dance and later in the day, my dad got up and sang an old Neapolitan classic. 

At one point there was a slide show with tons of pictures of Amanda, Carmen, their friends, dogs and families.  We all watched and laughed and awwwwed at the photos they chose to highlight their lives up to this point.  The couple spent time with the guests – all of us.  And not in a “hiya thanks for coming outta my way so I can get on to the next table” way.   We really celebrated.  Together. 

My sister made a box that held a bottle of 2006 wine (the year they met) along with letters from both their parents and letters from the couple to eachother that they’ll open in ten years so they can remember just how they were feeling on that day.  Even thinking about it now I get teary-eyed.

OK now cut to my wedding.  About 300 people packed into a room at the Andover Country Club where they were served their choice of Chicken Oscar or a raw slab of beef.  Raw.  My brother, my niece and nephews, Enzo’s best man and his sisters all got up to say a few words of tribute to us.  But because the room was so huge and crowded, I didn’t really get to hear what they said until a few weeks ago when we got the video back.  We couldn’t find my mother when it was time to introduce the bridal party.  We couldn’t find Enzo when it was time to cut the cake.  And several people couldn’t find their meals when they came back from filling up at the bar.  We spent most of the night going from table to table to thank people for coming.  But by 11:00 we still hadn’t gotten to everyone and we decided instead to just enjoy the phenomenal band (Freestyle) we’d payed oh so much money to have there.  When I sat down to write thank you cards I found there were some people I didn’t even catch a glimpse of who had clearly been there (as evidenced by their big fat bustas – gotta love Italian families for that!).  Some people were down right pissed.  We had some older relatives who really went out of their way to be there who we didn’t get to spend even 30 seconds with.  It seemed more like a football banquet than a celebration of our marriage.  Oh, and our wedding cost about 5 times as much as Amanda and Carmen’s.  Ain’t that a kick in the pants.

So if I had to do it all again I’d take it down a few hundred notches.  I’d keep it to just our closest family and friends.  I’d make it more about me and Enzo and less about reciprocating invites and not offending people.  I’d make sure it was a celebration WITH our guests and not us on parade while a crowd of hundreds watches. 

Amanda and Carmen, I’m so happy I was there to celebrate your wedding day.  Thank you for making it a day I’ll remember all my life. 

Big changes

The last week has been full of big changes in my life.  The biggest one is that I left SHIFT – the public relations agency where I worked the majority of my adult life.   I’m taking this time now to think about what I really want to do — REALLY want to do.  I’m excited about all the possibilities and grateful to be able to take some time for no one other than me.  (Thank you, Enzo.)

As I’m going through this exercise, it’s got me thinking about how I define myself.  You see, for the last gazillion years, “I’m a VP at SHIFT,” has been among the first things I’d say when meeting new people.  (just read my “About this Blog.”)  It’s also how people would introduce me.  “This is my sister.  She’s a VP in PR.”  “This is my friend.  She works in PR.”  I went to school for PR and spent the last 18 years working my way up the ranks and I was/am proud of everything I accomplished.  I loved my company and the people I worked with and for.  Don’t get me wrong.  There were days when it seemed nothing would come together.  “Snake bitten” is what my boss would say.  Days when the stresses of the job made it hard to put on a smile.  But then there were times, lots of ’em, when we were on fire!  Winning business, adding people – the rush was incredible.  I pushed my way through challenges and ruts, was constantly learning and kept moving forward.  But now that I’m not there anymore, what’s my intro? 

I’m not sure if I’ll be a VP at another agency, go in-house, walk dogs or plant flowers.  All of those options seem pretty good.  But does one “sound” better than the others?  If I choose to drop out of the corporate world and do something entirely different, does that mean I have less to boast about?  You hear stories all the time about people who leave Corporate America to pursue their passion and in the end find themselves to be better, more fulfilled people.  Will that be me? 

At this point I’m still up in the air.  I plan to spend a bit more time (on the beach in Nantucket, at the park with my dog, tending to my garden) thinking about it.  But I know that there’s lots I’m passionate about.  Maybe somewhere in there, among all the things that really get my heart pumping will be that kernel of something that makes me a better, more fulfilled person.

Songs they shouldn’t play on the radio anymore

Guess what song I heard on my way into work yesterday.  Madonna.  Holiday. That song was originally released in 1983, 27 years ago.  It sucked backed then and it sucks now.  It’s so old Madonna has actually had time since then to pick up a British accent.  So why is it still on the radio and on a tier one station no less??  Hearing it got me thinking about all the other shitty songs that have worn out their welcome on the airwaves.  Here’s my partial list.

Oh What a Night – Late December back in 63, what a very special time for me, cuz I remember what a night.  Not only is this awful song still on the radio, it’s played at almost every wedding or event where there’s a band or DJ.  I hate this song so much I put it on my wedding band’s PLAY THIS SONG AND I WILL NOT PAY YOU list.  (Others on the list were We are Family, Celebrate and Livin on a Prayer.)

Don’t Stop Believing – I remember changing the station when this song would come on and I was in the 2nd grade.  When I got to high school and they were STILL playing it at school dances, I was pissed.  For a long time I thought we were done with it until someone decided to work it into the last scene of The Sopranos. So now it’s back and everywhere.  I almost lost my shit when I was at the Farmer’s Market/The Grove in LA recently and they actually had a fountain blasting water everywhere with this song in the background.

Summertime – DJ Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince – Every year it’s the same thing.  It’s the week leading up to Memorial Day weekend and DJs decide to play a little something to get people in the mood for Summer.  I understand the motivation but why is it always this lame song from 1991??!!  Then it doesn’t stop til September.  I bet even Will Smith cringes at this one.  I guess on the bright side we only have to deal with this one seasonally.  In a sense it’s kind of like Christmas music.

Bust a Move, Young MC – Here’s one that I loved when it first came out.  Why?  Because I was 16 and I was gay.  It comes on now and I still remember every word but I WILL NOT let myself sing along.  Please stop playing this.

Baby I Love Your Way – Do you know who sings this?  Do you think it’s Bob Marley?  Here’s a tip.  Not all reggae music is Bob Marley.  It’s like saying all Asians look the same.  It’s actually a Marley wanna be band called Big Mountain doing a cover of Peter Frampton’s song from 1975.  If they were still playing his version, this song wouldn’t be on my list.  If Bob Marley did a cover, it probably wouldn’t be on my list either.

In the Air Tonight – Every time I hear this, it brings me right back out on water in my cigarette boat with Crockett and Tubbs.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – I think this video was one of the first I ever saw on V66 – which was a local music video station that pre-dated MTV.  OK?

Now don’t get me wrong.  Not all oldies are awful.  There are actually a bunch I don’t mind hearing.  Take Disco Inferno for one.  That comes on and I instantly turn it up as loud as I can.  In my head I have an afro and I’m dancing in a gold lame dress.  Sweet Child O’ Mine is another one.  Although the scene from Step Brothers kind of ruined it for me.  Where the Streets Have No Name – The first few seconds of this song literally make my heart race.  How brilliant was it that U2 filmed the video for this live on a rooftop in LAJuicy – Maybe I was a little pre-menstrual but I cried during the scene in the movie Notorious when BIG laid this track down.  I miss you Biggie Smalls.

OK, so help me out.  What’s on your DO NOT PLAY list?

Once you’re married it’s all down hill

They say everything changes after you’re married.  And while I don’t often agree with what “They” say, I have to admit – when They’re right, They’re right.  I was thinking the other night about things that had changed since Enzo and I got married and I came to the conclusion there are lots.  Let me give you some examples:

Going out – When Enzo and I were dating we went out almost every night.  If he asked me to go out for drinks on a random Tuesday, I got in the shower, put my eyes on and went.  We’d be out til the wee hours talking and drinking and making out in public.  I’d pay for it the next day, but that next night when he asked again I was right there.  It’s different now.  In fact tonight (a Thursday) he asked if I wanted to go out and grab a drink.  Without even thinking I answered, “Are you on crack???”

Shaving – During our courtship you could not have found a stray hair on my body with a magnifying glass.  I shaved in the morning, I shaved at night.  My legs, my pits, and pretty much any area below my head was smooth as glass.  Now, not so much.  We were sitting at a red light the other day when I looked down and realized I had my brother’s feet.  I had patches of hair on each toe and a big tuft right up the middle.  I can’t even talk about my legs.

This is a good one – Farting – Friends, family, you know I’ve always been gassy.  I blame it on gastrointestinal issues but whatever the reason I’ve always been rather noisy.  But when Enzo and I were dating I would never dream of passing gas in his presence.  I always excused myself or waited (sometimes painfully) til he walked away.  My friends have all heard the stories of near slip ups and narrow escapes and tactics I used to stifle the sound or mask the odor.  Looking back he must have been wondering why I spent so much time in the bathroom.  Today I fart so much I don’t even realize I’m doing it.  I’ll never forget the first time I did in front of him.  He applauded.  I never held back again after that.

Underwear – In the short time Enzo and I were dating, I acquired dozens of matching bras and underwear.  I had them in every color and different sets for every type of outfit.  I had sexy for when I was dressed up.  I had casual sexy (Victorias Secret Pink) for jeans and t-shirts.  I had dainty sexy for sundresses and sleepy sexy for bedtime.  Fast forward to now.  I wear what’s comfortable.  Sometimes that means cotton and no underwire and they don’t ever match.  Most of the time I wear his boxers and my crazy cat lady t-shirt to bed.  He doesn’t seem to mind.

Nails, Makeup – In the months we were dating I’m pretty sure I singlehandedly kept Lexington Nails in business.  I was there twice a week for manis and pedis.  My nails never had a chip.  My feet never had callouses.  And every time I saw Enzo I always had mascara and lipstick on – even those times when I “unexpectedly” saw him after being at the gym or riding my bike.  I remember reading somewhere that a true lady never lets her man see her doing what it takes to look beautiful.  I took that to heart and wouldn’t even reapply lipstick in front of him.  Miraculously my lips were always the perfect shade of Bobbi Brown Italian Rose.  I was wacked.  As I’m typing I’m trying to stop my thumb from bleeding in the area that I’ve been picking, picking, picking.  My pinky toenail is so long it’s curling under.  And it’s been so long since I wore mascara that my tube of the good stuff actually dried up.  Oh and the lipstick – now it’s Tropical Satin Chap Stick.

I’m thinking now that it couldn’t hurt to go back to some of my pre-wedding ways.  I’ve committed to shaving a few times a week at least for the summer.  I bought new masara.  I’m going back to regular manis and pedis.  I’m trying to be more open to going out and socializing during the week because I think that’s good for us.  Now the farting – uh uh.  That’ll never change.

Readers – what has changed in your relationships after marriage?

Two big differences

My husband and I have a lot in common.  We both share the same family values.  We’re both first generation Italian.  We’re both ambitious and driven.  And we both think I’m smart and funny.  But there are two areas where we couldn’t be more different.  Food and sleep.  I need lots of both.  He doesn’t need either.

Every day in our house starts the same way.  Enzo’s alarm goes off for a split second and he’s up and out of bed.  Fresh as a daisy!  It doesn’t matter if he went to bed at 9:00 or if he barely closed his eyes after a late night out.  He’s up.  He’s awake.  And he’s chatty.  He talks to the dog.  He talks to the cat.  He even talks to himself in the mirror.   I don’t mind that.  But the trouble is he also talks to me.  At 5:30 I’m in no mood.  Nonetheless, he makes a few comments, asks a few questions, I don’t answer and he’s out the door.  All by 5:45.  A long while later my alarm goes off.  I hit snooze.  It goes off again.  I hit snooze.  It goes off again.  I hit snooze.  Now multiply that by 4.  See the contrast?  And that’s not just on work days.  The same goes for Sundays.  He’s up.  I’m in a coma. 

Some nights before we go to sleep we play this game.  I’ll say, “I’m getting up with you tomorrow morning.”  He’ll say, “I’ll make sure you do.”  Then the morning comes and he remembers what he promised the night before.  “Mon, let’s go.  Come on.  Get up.  You said you were gonna.  Come on.  Let’s have coffee.  Sonny is up too.  Mon.  Mon.  Mon.”  I remain limp and lifeless and eventually he gives up. 

Enzo works hard and I mean really hard.  We’re talking digging holes, planting things, building things, tearing things down.  But there are some days when he’ll come home from work and his lunch is still untouched.  I’ll start to make dinner and he’ll announce, “I’m not eating.”  What???  After a day like his I’d be ready to eat my own arm.  Not him.  He eats to live – and sometimes not even.  I live to eat.  I wake up really looking forward to what I’m going to have for breakfast.  That first spoonful of yogurt and berries.  The first bite of protein bar.  Yum.  I’ll be just barely done with that before I’m wondering what’s good in the caf at work that day.  And all the while in the back of my mind I’m thinking about what I can eat for dinner. 

I love eating out and if we have reservations someplace I’ll check out the menu online days in advance to start weighing my options.  On a Saturday night give me the choice of a bar, hip club, lounge, concert, ball game, meeting the Pope or dinner and I’ll take dinner any time.  On the flip side I can ask Enzo what he wants to eat or where he wants to eat and the answer is always the same.  “I don’t care.”  And he really doesn’t.  Not at all. 

The big thing that pisses me off is Enzo’s ability to control his weight.  After the holidays he got it in his head that he needed to lose a few pounds.  He decided he wasn’t eating.  And he didn’t.  Two days later he was down 10 pounds.  I didn’t even think that was possible.   

Sometimes I wish I weren’t so food and sleep obsessed.  I think about how much more productive I’d be if I were an early riser.  With a couple of extra hours in the morning the house would be immaculate, the dog would be walked, the cats would be fed.  I think about how much fitter I’d be if I saw food for what it is – just fuel.  Imagine if no food would entice me to go over the edge?  I’m hoping the longer we’re married a little of Enzo will rub off on me.  Stay tuned to hear about my progress.

The rules of engagement

At a recent “girls night” some friends and I were talking about relationships (surprise, surprise).  Over the course of the conversation we talked about marriage then we got to talking about divorce and someone brought up the topic of prenuptual agreements.  And that’s when the conversation got interesting. 

My friends are a pretty diverse group.  Some are married, some are divorced, some of their parents are divorced while others have been together for close to 50 years.  I have a few friends who you could say play very traditional roles in their families.  They’re the primary caretakers of their children, they do the cooking, the cleaning while their husbands handle more of the financials.  I have a few others whose roles are a bit more contemporary.  They work, their husbands work and they split responsibility for everything else.  You’d think based on this that you could make some assumptions on their stances on prenups.  Not so.

At one point someone asked me how I’d have felt about signing a prenup.  Well, first of all, my husband and I did have a prenuptual agreement.  He said the only way out of the marriage was in a pine box, and I agreed.  I’m sure he was kidding.  But my point is, we agreed to go into the marriage with nothing but positivity about where our lives were heading.  To me, having a prenup is pretty much planning for the demise of the relationship.  If you’ve read The Secret or The Power of Positive Thinking you know that a prenup would basically be saying to the Universe, “I’m betting this marriage doesn’t last.”  And that’s step one down a bad path.  But that’s just me.

I definitely understand the reasons why people have prenups.  With such high divorce rates and lots at stake financially I can see why some would want assurances of where they’d stand should the relationship deteriorate.  One friend brought up an example of a man whose ex-wife is now the proud owner of half of his business post-divorce.  The reason they got divorced is the wife had at least two illicit relationships during their marriage.  But because MA is a no-fault state, the reasons why you get divorced or whose fault it is have no bearing on the distribution of assets.   To me, that doesn’t seem fair.  Maybe a prenup would have helped in that case.  The kind I have would definitely.

In my humble opinion, if a marriage ends, you should leave with whatever you had going into it.  Now I know things get complicated when you start to look at things you acquired together or when you try to assess if one person would have been able to be as successful at building a business, for example, were it not for the support of the other person.  They get even more complicated when you look at the sometimes ugly reasons why people split up.  You could say I’m naive, but I think people know what they really deserve when their marriages fall apart.  A woman who cheats probably knows in her heart she doesn’t deserve half of her husband’s assets and vice versa. 

My advice for what it’s worth – if you think you need a prenup, don’t get married. 

What do you think?

Summer brings out the worst …

When you work in an office, dressing for Summer can be a challenge.  At least for some.  Or should I say for a lot of the people who work in my office building.  I read that more than 1/3 of employers reported having to send people home for inappropriate work attire in the summer months.

I get that because we live in Massachusetts, dressing for warm weather doesn’t come naturally.  We’re used to winter when dressing is easy.  Throw on some wool and you’re set.  But that doesn’t justify some of the get ups I’ve seen this year.  It’s as if summer time rolls around and everyone around here goes bananas.  They start pulling shit out of their closets from 10 summers ago on the Cape.  Or the year before they had the baby.  Or their clubbing phase.  And they’re wearing it to work.  Here are just a few examples of recent offenders:

  • Today I saw a woman wearing bright pink denim cut offs.  They were very short.  To compensate for that she had black stirrup nylons on.  That’s right.  Black stirrup nylons. Under pink denim hot pants.
  • A few days ago I saw a heavy-set woman wearing a black rayon dress with postcards from the islands printed all over it.  I’m pretty sure it was a house coat (my mother used to wear these) and not a wear-in-the-outside-world-dress.
  • I know shirt dresses are in.  But not long ago I saw a girl wearing a shirt as a dress.  Literally.  A white button up – maybe her boyfriend’s – cinched at the waist – with a big elastic belt.  Very high platform sandals.  Maybe that’s appropriate for your Maxim magazine photo shoot, but not for Brighton Landing.
  • Oh, and how about camisole tops?  Ever notice how most stores pair them with a sweater?  That’s because it’s NOT OK to wear them alone.  Especially not in a professional environment.  Come on, this is work.  I don’t want to see your chicken mcnuggets.  I don’t want to see your back fat.  And let me tell you, even if you’re in great shape, still not OK.  It’s embarrassing to see that much of a coworker’s upper body.  
  • It’s well after Memorial Day at this point.  So, go ahead, wear white.  But keep a few things in mind:  1. white can make you look fat  2. some white fabrics are see-through.  A woman I saw in our cafeteria didn’t take those things into consideration when she pulled white jeans that showed every crevice on her butt and thighs on, over nothing.  No underwear.  Thanks.  I just threw up in my mouth. 
  •  I love open toed shoes.  I wear them almost every day in the summer.  But you know what I also do a lot in the summer?  I get pedicures.  Yup.  If you’re going to wear open toes, you should too.  Sometimes I’m flabbergasted by the feet I see walking around my building.  Sometimes the ugliest feet belong to some pretty good looking people.  And you know what that tells me?  That they’re taking stuff for granted.  Just because you’re attractive from the ankles up doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay attention to your hooves.  You do. 

Those are just a few of the atrocities I’ve seen.  Anything to add?

Pregnant at 70??!!??

Last night was another night of riveting television.  My friends know I can’t get enough of the weird and wonderful shows on Discovery Health, National Geographic and TLC.  I could watch hours upon hours of shows about the morbidly obese, the morbidly addicted, little people, big people and people who can’t throw anything away.  I love that shit.   

Last night’s show, Pregnant at 70, profiled several women:  a Brit who had a child at 56, an American who had a child at 58 followed by twins at 60 and an Indian who birthed a child at 70, among others.  I found the show both reassuring and troubling at the same time. 

As a 37-year old newlywed, I’d be lying if I said I never worried about whether I’ll be able to have children or wasn’t very aware of my ticking biological clock.   You can’t hide from the stats that say a woman’s fertility drops substantially after 30.  And, quotes like this can scare the bejeezers out of you, “Fertility after 30 keeps being a matter of time and women should be realistic while understanding their priorities. If they want to have a baby they must not wait until they cross into the 30s otherwise they must try to maintain a healthy lifestyle toward the time in which they want to conceive.”  

Must not wait until they cross into their 30s.  Jeez, now you tell me?  I would have married my Prince Charming and gotten busy years ago. 

Part of me was glad to hear these women’s stories of successfuly conceiving in their golden years.  I mean, if a 70-year old who barters livestock for for food, bathes in a river and lives in a shed can get pregnant, I shouldn’t despair, right?  (Did I mention she’s also breast feeding?)  But at the same time, part of me couldn’t help but think these women selfish.  It’s no secret, none of them conceived naturally.  All got pregnant with the help of fertility treatments.  Their reasons varied.  For the Indian woman who tried to conceive for more than 50 years, not having a child made her the object of ridicule and scorn in her village.  The Brit wanted to give her much younger husband a chance to be a father.  One of the others already had 9 other children and was blind when she decided to go for another.  I didn’t catch what her motivation was. 

Now, I’m not discounting their reasons, but really, wasn’t trying to get pregnant well after the half century mark asking a bit much of the gods?  Testimonials from their family, older children, friends and other villagers showed I wasn’t the only one who thought that.

All the women talked about the advantages of being an older mom and I can certainly relate to those.  I know if I’m blessed enough to become a mom, I’ll do a much better job now than I would have in my 20s and even my early 30s when my priorities were much different.  I get that older women are often more established and many are better able to provide a secure financial future for their children.  I see how raising a child with the benefit of aged wisdom can be great.  But even with all the advantages, you have to acknowledge some of the disadvantages.  If these much older moms don’t age well health-wise, for example, is it fair to switch up the caretaker roles when their child is just a teen?  If you have a child in your late 50s, chances are you’re denying your children’s children of having grandparents.  Is that fair?  How about the kids whose friends will assume their parents are their grandparents?  How about those who’ll be mortified when their mom shows up at a soccer game in a house coat while their friends’ moms are in Juicy suits?  OK, I’m not really that concerned about that.

What do you think?  Is it OK for women to take advantage of the advances in fertility treatments to have children in their 50s, 60s and even their 70s?  Just because it’s possible, should you do it?