Thursday, July 30, 2009

things you can't feel sad while doing . . .

  • skipping

  • whistling (especially 'dixie')

  • reading wodehouse

  • buying manolos FROM SEX AND THE CITY THE MOVIE that carrie wore on her real wedding day to wear to my wedding (and not even knowing they were the ones until later)

  • having good taste.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


i am what you might call a 'spender.' part of me hates to say this, because it fits into that gender-stereotypical role of woman-as-shopper and i don't like fitting into gender-stereotyped roles. that's part of why i drink whiskey, and have my coffee black, and am such an avid sports fan. (HA!)

but in this case, you can stereotype me, label me, pigeonhole me. i spend money quickly and loosely. not just on cute clothes and big purses, either, but on eating meals out and buying a round of drinks for all my friends when we're together. i don't hold money tightly. and that can be a good thing that results in generosity; but it can also result in the kind of bank account statements that make me cringe, and a short-sighted view of money in my life.

so, naturally, i decided to marry this guy who is frugal franny. naturally, at least, according to this article that franny sent me earlier today about how 'big spenders (that's me) tend to marry big savers (that's zack).' aside from the fact that they cite a paper called "Fatal (Fiscal) Attraction," it is a serious article backed by serious research that indicates how people may want to soften their own financial habits by marrying someone whose habits are different from their own.

it makes me wonder. is this usually the case? can two people with very different views of money consistently meet each other in the middle, or is one always left feeling unheard? and what are practical ways to honor the role of finances in marriage or dating or friendships when two people disagree about how it should be handled?

i will think this over with a glass of johnny walker and mourn brett favre's decision to 'remain retired.' (sports and whiskey!)

Monday, July 27, 2009

reminder of the day


to myself

never worry alone.

credit: dad.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

why do people get married?

because my friend emily recommended it, i recently bought a really comprehensive anxiety workbook.  it is full of chapters on things like self-talk, breathing exercises, and has lots of text boxes with questionnaires.  one of the chapters walks through the Holmes and Rahe stress scale, which lists 43 different life events in descending order of difficulty.  

the number one most stressful life event is the death of a spouse.  it's an event that merits a '100' rating on the scale.  the next-highest event, divorce, is a 73 -- followed by marital separation, coming in at a 65.  

marriage is a 50. trouble with in-laws, shared finances, children, and a spouse's work all follow down the line.  

i just re-read the wikipedia article.  if you're a 'non-adult,' getting married rates 101 on the scale.  which seems like cheating.  but, more importantly, when does a non-adult become an adult?

why, again, do people get married?

Monday, July 20, 2009

book review day

i am committed to writing more on this little blog, and one thing that i know will light the proverbial fire is to talk about books that i am reading, have read, or would like to read. perhaps if i get really bored i will talk about books that i never, under any circumstances, want to read. for now, though, i will open with the book i am three pages from finishing: the elegance of the hedgehog, by muriel barbery.

hedgehog has won a great deal of critical acclaim, which often makes me skeptical about a book's accessibility. add that to the fact that it is a french novel by a philosophy professor with a shining-like cover illustration, and i will tell you that i was not chomping at the bit to read it. i love a good novel as much as anyone, and would never turn down a trip to france or a crepe. but the esoteric, materialistic, despairing ways of french philosophers and novelists don't normally make for good summer reading, and what else is july for if not plum sykes et al?
fortunately, i got stuck with hedgehog at fallen leaf lake, when my enormous volume on the mitford sisters proved entirely too heavy to hold up to the sun down on the dock, and too willing to transfer its dark cover images to my white, sunscreen-covered thighs. reaching for the only other book that i brought, i read and read and read until i found myself deeply interested in this book, which feels like a lot of essays and a story all at once, and its characters, who are by turns endearing, snobbish, surprising, funny, wickedly intelligent, and insightful.
one of the reviews on the back of the book says that this book is a great deal more than the sum of its parts, and i think that is the most apt praise i have heard. hedgehog is the story of two women - a girl and a woman, really - living in the same apartment building on one of the ritziest streets in Paris; an apartment building with eight units which, until halfway through the book, have never transfered ownership but merely been passed on from family to child for generations.
paloma josse is twelve years old, and has just the kind of wealthy, eccentric parents and cloyingly banal older sister that you would imagine come with an apartment like that and a girl who announces early on her intention to commit suicide on june 16th because life is meaningless and full of the "vacuousness of bourgeois existence." she keeps journals, which we read in bold typeface, of her deep thoughts and the various movements of the world around her.
renee michel is the fifty-four year-old concierge at number 7, rue de grenelle. she has a deep appreciation for russian literature (see: cat named leo), philosophy (although not phenomenology), white tea, and japanese films. she is completely resigned to her station as a concierge, meaning that she should not be interested in these things and she hides behind a feigned commitment to all things pedestrian. with time, friends of hers (including, later on, paloma) crack through her veneer and give her the gift of herself, a gift that the reader senses she has never really held onto.
renee and paloma are totally different and completely similar, and you sense the tragedy it is that they only become friends in the final chapters of the book. renee teaches paloma that not all adults are the same, and paloma draws renee from her sitting chair into the world of people. it is a lovely friendship, and a lovely book. it is charming and tragic, and is lofty without turning you away. it assumes nothing about the reader, and that is refreshing.