Archive | January, 2012

“Financial Infidelity” Isn’t Cheating

Not long ago, The New York Times reported a list of “money disorders” linked to our economy. Overspending. Underspending (hoarding); serial borrowing (we all know what that is); financial enabling (too much money forked over to adult kids); and so forth. Stars like Wynona Judd (overspending), admitted to once buying too many cars and Harleys, but doesn’t anymore.  

But “financial infidelity” caught my eye: “Cheating on a spouse by spending and lying about it.”

Oh dear: Is that a disorder?  If I told my spouse what, say, a new ski helmet costs (which I won’t buy, but still, mine is a little shaky on my head), he’d wonder about my sanity, not to mention the new goggles required to fit over that ski helmet. I repeat: I’m not doing it, so don’t call Richard and tell him I’m cheating on him). Continue Reading →


Watch Out For Love’s Changing Landscape!

Right after the new year and just before Valentine’s Day, I always like to get the feel of what’s going on with love and marriage across the nation,  and to make a few predictions for the coming year.  Here they are: Love in 2012.

1. Everyone of all ages will be dating like mad.  An unprecedented 110-million singles in America means that they—not married people–now make up the majority of households. And they’re dating! Millions of adults of all ages—30s through 70s–are  between marriages, against marrying, or on the way to remarriages.

 2. We will become increasinglystarry-eyed about marriage, even as we become increasingly disenchanted, skittish and cynical about it. It is a psychological fact that we long for, and idealize,institutions that promise safety and security. The military. The church. Marriage. Anything that was once reliable but is now increasingly fragile, and even endangered, is a prime target for our nostalgia.  I predict that, even as we divorce more often. sooner and more bitterly, we will increasingly  long for the “good old days” when marriage lasted forever. Because it so rarely does. Continue Reading →


How Do You Categorize a Love Story?

It’s always strange when you finish a book, to see how it fits into the categories offered by publishers.  My three nonfiction books were, one by one, total misfits: Each is a serious book about women, or women and men, with the academic approval  I’d hoped for but with commercial appeal that made them popular, too. So, that’s a problem: Should they appear under the heading, “Women’s Studies”? Not really. That’s a bit more for academic books. “Commercial Nonfiction”? Better. But, as with “Self-Help,”  usually reserved for prescriptive books, not so much for thoughtful, less made-to-be-popular ones.  Nobody knew what to do; each was a Genre Problem. I don’t say this because they were so fabulous that no one could possibly fine the right category, but because they blended categories, or straddled them; they crossed genres.

Continue Reading →