Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Dating with Kids: 12 Tips for Single Moms

Dating with kids can be challenging – whether you’re recently divorced or you’ve endured two years’ worth of Starbucks dates -- and whether your kids are two or twenty-two. But your children can be helpful as well, especially if you recognize their wisdom. Here are a dozen tips on how they can help or hinder your social life.

1) First things first. After 20 years of puttering around the house in your ex-husband’s tattered Sigma Epsilon sweatshirts, size XXXL, you’ll need to spruce up your wardrobe. Here’s where your teenage daughter can be an invaluable asset. Set her loose in your closet, armed with an industrial-size trash bag. Close your eyes and trust her as she dumps your frump-wear: baggy sweats, grubby T’s, maxi skirts, clodhopper shoes. In short, anything that makes you look like Granny from “The Beverly Hillbillies.”

2) However, this doesn’t give you license to start dressing like the Olsen twins and cause your children endless embarrassment. Stay out of the teen department, and avoid those eensy-weensy mini-skirts, baby-doll tops, and low-rise jeans that display your new red thong. Let your children play the hosts on your personal version of “What Not to Wear.” You’ll know you’ve gone way too far if your daughter says you look like a “skank,” and your son asks if you’re decked out for a dance at the middle school.

3) Now that you’ve made the leap from soccer-mom stodgy to single-mom sexy, you’re ready to meet some guys. Again, here’s an area where it can actually help to have children. Keep your eyes open for attractive single dads when you pick up your kids from track meets, driver’s ed, SAT prep, CCD class, or Bar Mitzvahs. But whatever you do, NEVER date the father of your child’s friend. Believe us: this will make the kids gag.

4) You spent your adult life living side by side with your ex-husband, 24/7. The upshot? You know nothing about men. At this point, your children’s creep radar is a thousand times keener than your own. So if you show a guy’s internet dating profile to your teenage daughter for pre-approval, and she points out that he’s a dead-ringer for the Unabomber, listen to her.

5) When was the last time you went out on a date anyway? It was a different century! It’s as if you were cryogenically frozen 20 years ago and just thawed out. You’ll find yourself grilling your teenagers about when to return a guy’s call, how to open a text message, what to write on your internet profile. With great condescension, they’ll deliver a painfully elementary lecture on the how-to’s of handling men. Take notes.

6) Eventually you’ll catch up and hone your own instincts about whom to date. And sometimes, you can use your kids as a barometer. For instance, if a guy invites you to a pricey, five-star dinner at Auberge d’Argent, and you’d rather stay home and watch “South Park” with them, trust that impulse.

7) Of course, your kids will only be helpful up to a point. The same 15-year-old who proofread your internet dating profile might feel possessive once you’re actually dating. She may need reassurance that she’s still the most important person in your life -- especially if she suddenly demands your help with algebra on Saturday nights.

8) Your teenagers may also feel protective when you start dating. Just as you need to know when they’ll be home, remember to show them the same courtesy. Otherwise, don’t be surprised if they call your cell at 1:30 a.m. while you’re out on a date, and offer, “If you’ve been drinking, we’ll pick you up wherever you are – no questions asked.”

9) Keep in mind that your children still picture you sitting home every night, just waiting for the chance to roast a chicken for them. So be prepared for your college freshman to pop home unexpectedly, laundry bags and roommates in tow. Don’t get caught making out with your new boyfriend in front of the kitchen window.

10) No matter how mature your daughter is, do not update her on your decision to sleep with the guy you’re seeing. Or for that matter, tell her anything about your sex life. Remember, she’s your child, not your friend. In her words: “Like, too much information. Gross.”

11) Dating with really young kids poses a special challenge. Babysitters are a budget-breaker, and besides, you might feel guilty going out on Saturday night rather than staying home and playing Candy Land. But if you’re organized and highly energetic, you can have it all. Just feed them, bathe them, read The Cat in the Hat, and tuck them in. Then bring out the candles and wine, and whip up a 30-minute meal for two at 8:30. It’s a lot of work, but a welcome break from those 5:30 dinners of Scooby-Doo mac ‘n’ cheese with dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets. Yum.

12) The advantage of dating with little kids is that they’ll welcome your new boyfriend so long as he gives them a high-five and a bag of pretzels. Not so when they’re older and wiser. Don’t expect them to like any guy you date within the first year of your divorce, even if he offers them World Series tickets and a keg of beer. But by now your radar is working and you know the ropes, so if you think he’s worth it, hang in there. Your kids will come around. Maybe.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Great Stocking Stuffer Gift for Single Women

So sorry to shamelessly promote ourselves, but we can't think of a small gift that could possibly bring more smiles to a single friend's holiday than our book Still Hot. You can still still get it shipped from Amazon in time for Christmas!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Mistresses of Tiger Woods March on Washington

FROM The Borowitz Report

December 7, 2009
Mistresses of Tiger Woods March on Washington
Crowd Estimated at Over One Million

WASHINGTON - In one of the largest mass demonstrations in recent history, over one million women claiming to have had sexual liaisons with Tiger Woods marched on Washington today.
Determined to show that they are a political force to be reckoned with, the coalition of nightclub hostesses, cocktail waitresses and lingerie models stopped traffic for hours as they marched to the Capitol.
Shandy Shanoyne, a 22-year-old thong publicist who had an on-again, off-again relationship with Mr. Woods, said that she organized the march to demand benefits, such as health care and workmen's compensation, for the golfer's many girlfriends.
"We are sick and tired of being told to take our names off our voicemail greetings," she said. "We have demands and they must be met. Quickly. Huge."
According to Ms. Shanoyne, the million or so mistresses of Mr. Woods who showed up at the march are just the tip of the iceberg: "A new girlfriend of Tiger's holds a press conference every eleven seconds."
In related stories, David Letterman, Bill Clinton, Jesse Jackson, and Governor Mark Sanford today cleared all the golf clubs out of their homes.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Post Divorce: He’s At It Again

Three and a half months since the divorce was final, Mitchell, that never-ending source of wacked out behavior, decided to file yet another complaint against April, his ex.

This makes 5 complaints he has filed in the 97 days since their marriage was officially over. Which, if you know Mitchell, really isn’t a lot considering that during the 20 year marriage he began each day by complaining that April bought the wrong soap for the shower, or that the coffee was regular when she should know that he really wanted hazelnut. Or that April had parked in the side of the garage he preferred. He ended each day complaining that the sheets didn’t smell the same as his mother’s fabric softener, that he resented April for “forcing” him to go to Parents Night at the high school, or that she knew he wanted steak for dinner every night so why did she insist on cooking fish and chicken just because his doctor said he was at risk for a heart attack?

The most recent complaint? Foosball. He wanted his Foosball game back. Well, yes, they bought it for their daughter, and no, it was never technically his, but now he wants it. And, yes, he agrees it was not on the comprehensive list of 437 items he wanted--and took--from the house already--including but not limited to the computer his daughter had been using to do her homework, and all of the lawn furniture, despite the fact that he had moved into a fourteenth floor condo.

April was taken aback that Mitchell wanted to waste yet another day with a court mediator and a judge over Foosball of all things. She would have gladly given it to him except that their daughter made her promise not to give away one more item from their now almost-bare house.

After four hours in a court mediation room, April asked Mitchell “How do you have time for this? Don’t you have a full time job?”

“This is my full time job,” he shot back.

Enraged that April was not found in contempt of court over the Foosball game, Mitchell shouted his mantra: “ There is no justice!” and stormed out of the courthouse. He then screeched off in the brand new Lexus LX10 his girlfriend bought him for his 50th birthday. She'll learn.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Divorce Cakes

Awesome divorce cakes are definitely the way to commemorate this mixed blessing occasion. Here are some of the best we've seen. Cut thin slices to maintain that divorce diet svelte body!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Keeping the Marriage Going: A Model Husband

I just got off the phone with Alan, a photographer colleague whose twelfth wedding anniversary is today.
He was so excited to report on the wonderful anniversary dinner date that he and Lori shared at their favorite restaurant, the Grocery, in Brooklyn on Saturday evening.
He dreamily described the perfect slightly breezy, warm, bug-free air they enjoyed while dining al fresco in the garden. He easily remembered that she ordered lamb (medium rare) and that he had the sea bass. And that he snuck off to tell the hostess that it was an anniversary so that Lori would be surprised when dessert arrived at the table.
Later at home, he gave her a digital photo frame filled with their wedding photos, shots of all their former anniversaries, and quite a few adorable images of their Schnoodle puppy whom he referred to as “our son”. Absolutely thrilled with his thoughtfulness, she cried, and then he cried because she cried.

I congratulated Alan on making it to a dozen years and he replied that it isn’t always so easy, and that you really have to work at a relationship. He said that, like anything precious and valuable, you need to continue to work hard to make it succeed. If it doesn’t entail a lot of work, it’s probably not worth having, was his conclusion.

Alan should be the poster boy for all husbands, don’t you think?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Evil Ex? Cast A Spell on Him.

When all else has failed and you have to deal with an evil EX like Mitchell lurking around and being a nasty SOB, you may have to resort to amateur witchcraft to improve his behavior, or at least get some satisfaction.


This spell will inflict serious pain and sores on your obnoxious
ex for a period of 3 days, after which the spell is lifted, and he will be well again. And maybe a humbled, nicer guy. Well,hey,it's worth a shot....

Take a lit black candle, place a full body photo of him in front of you, and tilt the candle so the wax drips on several critical places on his picture. Visualize the wax burning sores into his body. While doing so, recite the following incantation 3 times...

As I do this candle spell
Bring mine enemy 3 nights of hell
Candle black, black as night
Bring him pains of flesh tonight!

Lesions on his skin will grow
Afflict him with a painful blow
Sores and pain afflict him now
For 3 nights he'll wonder how

Dukes of darkness, toll your bell
Smite mine enemy, bring him hell
When 3 nights of pain have passed
Make him well, and nicer at last.

After sitting and thinking about the sores and the pain he will suffer, extinguish the candle. Pour yourself a glass of Chardonnay.

When 3 nights have passed,
tear up the photo and say the following...

When 3 nights of pain endured
I lift this curse, rest assured
Darkness leave him, go away;
The curse is lifted now, today!"

Repeat as needed.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Email the Ex

I would add to those excellent tips: Stick with email and avoid talking to your ex. Communicating with him via email offers several advantages:

Instead of firing off an angry verbal retort, you can get your thoughts down in an email and vent as much as you want without further angering and alienating him.

Then reread and rewrite the note so you sound cool, calm, and mature.

Let it sit, re-read it again from his point of view. Look for signs of anger, provocation or edge. Rewrite it and eliminate those. Pissing him off won't get you what you want -- which is his cooperation.

Once you send it, you have a written record of your communications, and you never know when you might need that.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mother’s Day: What to Do When Your Ex is a Total Jerk

When your ex is a complete and total jerk and does everything he possibly can think of to ruin your Mother’s Day celebration with the kids, what can you do about it?

Mitchell, the monster ex from Mass., who was recently divorced from Joy, pulled a doozy this past Mother’s Day. He gifted their only child, Melissa, with two tickets to a Mother’s Day performance by her favorite comedian and even offered to loan her his car, with only one caveat. Melissa could take whoever she wanted to the performance as her guest so long as it wasn’t her mom.

Poor Melissa was beside herself with indecision: favorite performer/Mom; Mom/favorite performer. Though livid at Mitch, Joy helped her daughter out by suggesting that they have an early brunch together and then Melissa could go on to the performance with a friend. What Joy really wanted to say isn’t printable. Even on the internet.

Joy has had more practice than most of us dealing with a total jerk of an ex.
Here are her rules:

• While you can’t possibly control your ex, you can control yourself.
• Limit contact with the ex to the barest minimum.
• Change the way you interact. Throw him a curve ball--Don’t react the way he expects you to.
• Think of your relationship with your ex--and yes for better, or worse, usually worse, it is a relationship--as a business one, not a personal one
• Choose your battles -- only bother to fight those that truly matter
• Always script yourself before you talk to your ex--and stick to the script
• Always give yourself an out such as “It isn’t legal for me to talk now, I’m driving…”
• Never let your children hear you argue

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Real Reason French Women Aren’t Fat

Last summer I spent a week on vacation with extended family which included a seventy year old French woman with a sylph-like figure. Back then on this very blog site I chronicled what I observed about her eating habits in order to learn and share her secret. I obsessively noted what foods she ate, when she ate, portion size, wine consumption, carb counts.
But now a French friend has shared with me her take on the real reason French women of all ages are slim. It’s underwear. French women adore sexy, expensive underwear, and once you wear the silky luxurious stuff, you simply don’t want blobs of lard seeping out around the edges. So I guess the lesson is-- go out and buy yourself some fabulous lingerie and you’ll automatically lose a few pounds and feel gorgeous. Tant mieux!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Recession-era hair coloring tips

Like many women, I've been stretching the weeks between visits to my colorist. When money was flush, I showed up every four weeks, nipping those gray roots in the bud. After the market collapsed, I extended the wait to six weeks, but couldn't stand the little salt-and-pepper yarmulke that sprouted on my head. Now I'm going every five weeks, but even by then, my roots look nasty. And it doesn't help that I'm only 5'4", which allows most people to look down at the top of my head!

Drug store products don't usually cover those color-resistant gray strands, and of course, there's always the risk of my ending up looking like Lucille Ball. Now there are root touch-up products that are applied like wax crayons, lipsticks, mascaras and combs and range from $5 to $25.

But hair pros have other remedies that are cheap, temporary, and well-worth trying. They include touching up with the right shade of regular eye mascara, especially for auburn or dark hair. For brunettes and redheads, stylists suggest foundation in a color for dark skin -- just dab it onto your finger and blend it into the gray. Or buy cream eye shadow in a neutral color and brush or smudge it over the grays for blondes or brunettes. All of those sound relatively foolproof. The worst that can happen is that they don't work or they look weird, in which case you simply wash them out. I'll definitely give them a try during week # 5.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Lessons From A Recessionista Biatch

You know, you can learn something about creative investment strategies from almost anyone these days. Take Susan for instance, that mean-spirited, but money-savvy Massachusetts midget. We personally know two women whose husbands she has stolen, and we have heard of three more marriages she has decimated. She has always been very open minded, disregarding age, belly size, ear hair, and flatulence--she’ll turn a blind eye to any male flaw, so long as there’s plenty of money to compensate.
That said, and all scorn aside, Susan like a lot of women about to break off her marriage with a wealthy man, decided to squirrel away a stash of cash before she made her next move. Decked out in her platform mega-heel mesh boots, and inappropriately young mini skirt and leggings, and newly-platinum blonde to boot, she got herself a secret commission-only job as a personal shopper at Neiman Marcus in the nearby mall. When she wasn’t busy picking out the latest Miu Miu handbags for her customers, she shopped till she dropped with her husband’s credit card using her 35% off employee discount. Once the trunk of her Mercedes SUV was full of merchandise, off she’d schlep to the resale shop. As soon as her stuff was sold and she got her rebate, she started a rainy day savings account, FDIC insured. Designer clothes add up fast! After six months she had $250 K put away, which gave her the confidence to trade in the fat old fart-factory for a younger guy she’d been shacking up in motels with for the past year--who just by the way was going tooth and nail after his wife’s inheritance and stood to make a pretty penny without ever putting in a day’s work.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Men have biological clocks too

A host of new studies are showing that just as women's eggs age, giving rise to fertility problems and birth defects, so does men's sperm. The children of older fathers scored lower on tests of intelligence, concentration, memory, and reading skills, and had lower IQs, than those of younger fathers. They also had a higher incidence of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and autism. The author of one of the studies concluded: "It turns out that the optimal age for being a mother is the same as the optimal age for being a father."

That evens the playing field a bit. It never seemed quite fair that our biological clocks stop ticking by age 40, while geezers like Tony Randall get to play stud. In the last few years we've seen a growing number of "start-over dads," that is, older men who divorce their wives and start a second family with a new, young wife. Now that this information has emerged, 30-something women may think twice about marrying and having babies with 50-something men.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dating: Reciprocating on the Cheap

Dating can get expensive. Whether your arrangement is that your guy pays and every now and then it’s your turn to treat, or whether you split each and every bill, it can all add up.
Here are some ideas for when it’s your turn to pay from our cost-conscious girlfriends out there in the dating world:

• Find out when there is a free wine tasting event at your local wine shop
• Invite him over for a Netflix movie and popcorn
• Ask him to dress up for an elegant dinner at your home (see our $10 ideas) and then go downtown to walk off dinner. Stroll into an ultra fancy restaurant for drinks and split a dessert.
• Check out the free concerts at the local music college
• Ride to the beach and go on a seashell hunt (okay, so we have some hokey friends…)
• Buy a selection of toppings and invite him over to make a pizza together. Follow that up by starting a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle.
• Go apple picking and later bake a pie together. Ditto for berries or peaches.
• Schedule a Saturday afternoon of art gallery hopping followed by lattés
• Check the public lecture series at any local colleges
• Volunteer at a soup kitchen together
• Get tickets to a local high school basketball or hockey game
• Go to a driving range and hit a bucket of golf balls
• If you both own bikes, go cycling, and take it leisurely—respect each other’s endurance levels.
• Go for a hike on a nature trail. You bring the sandwiches.

Save these last three for when you’ve been dating him a good long time:

• Sign up for salsa lessons for two
• Buy a selection of scented massage oils and invite him over to choose his favorite
• Give him a manicure , or a shave

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Many divorce lawyers are taking a beating during the recession. Not only are couples postponing divorce until their home values and stock-portfolios recover, but many who have filed for divorce and reached settlements are refusing to pay their legal bills, according to a friend who is a divorce attorney. But there are still a few couples whose matrimonial matters are recession proof.

A 36-year-old countess is demanding that her husband double her divorce settlement to $100 million as she hasn’t enough to cover weekly expenses of more than $53,000. Marie Douglas-David wants to tear up a postnuptial agreement with George David -– a former corporate bigwig who is 30 years her senior and worth an estimated $329 million. Under the agreement, which she claims he coerced her to sign, she would receive a mere $43 million. They were married for six years and had no children together. (George had previously divorced his wife, with whom he had three children.)

The Swedish countess, previously an investment banker, says she has no income and has listed her weekly expenses in a court document. These include $4,500 for clothes, $1,000 for hair and skin treatments, $1,500 for restaurants and entertainment, $8,000 for travel, $700 for limousine services, $2,209 for an assistant, $1,570 for horse care and $600 for flowers.

She is asking for nearly $100 million in cash and shares, plus about $130,000 a month in alimony payments. Her expenses include maintaining a Park Avenue apartment and three homes in Sweden.

In response, her husband lists weekly expenses totally $200,000.

Mr David’s lawyer, Anne Dranginis, accused Ms Douglas-David of nagging and hounding her husband with “extensive, long diatribes” over little things “like how he held his fork or how he drafted invitations”. She accused him of having an affair with a younger woman.

They shouldn't get divorced. They deserve each other.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Recession Dates: Inexpensive But Not Cheap

After you’ve been dating for a while, even if your new beau has been picking up the bill for all the early dates, at some point good manners will dictate that you need to reciprocate.

Once you know you really like and trust him, invite him to dinner. You can make each of the following main courses for under $10. Add a simple salad, pick up a bottle of your local wine store’s bargain vintage of the week,and some berries for dessert, and wow him for under $25. Plus you’ll save more money--bring the leftovers to work with you for lunch.

Super Easy Meat Loaf for When You’re in a Time Pinch
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour, 20 mins.
1 can condensed tomato soup- low sodium
1 ½ lb. ground beef
1 packet dry onion soup mix
1/c cup dry bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
¼ cup water

Mix half the can of tomato soup with the beef and the onion soup mix. Add bread crumbs and egg. Place mixture in 8"x4”loaf baking pan. Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 20 mins. or until done.
Remove drippings from pan. Mix with the remaining tomato soup and ¼ cup water. Heat and serve with meat loaf.

(This one takes a while to prep but it is both healthy and impressive)
Low Fat, Low Sodium Baked Stuffed Cabbage
1/2 cup brown rice
1 cup water
1 large savoy cabbage
1 tbsp canoloa oil
1 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic chopped
4 tbsps. fresh squeezed lemon juice (plus a dash extra)
1 pound lean ground turkey
3 tbsps. chopped dill
1 ½ cups low sodium tomato sauce
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 tbsp honey
Cook rice per package directions until water is absorbed- approximately 30 minutes.
While rice is cooking bring a Dutch oven full of water to boil. Take the 12 largest outer cabbage leaves,rinse them and and place them in the boiling water for 6 minutes. Drain and rinse with cool water.
Chop some of the remaining (uncooked) cabbage to make 2 cups. Set aside.
Heat oil in large saucepan. Add onion and chopped cabbage. Cook, stirring for 3 minutes until soft. Add garlic and cook ½ minute. Add 4 tbsps.lemon juice and cook until liquid has almost evaporated. Cool.
Mix turkey, dill, salt, pepper, and cooled onion-cabbage mixture and cooled rice in large bowl. Coat 9 x 13” baking dish with cooking spray. Lay one cabbage leaf on cutting board. Cut out thick stem. Place 1/4 to 1/3 cup turkey mixture in the center of the leaf. Fold the sides in, then roll closed. Place seam-side down in baking dish. Repeat until all 12 cabbage leaves are filled and rolled.
Whisk tomato sauce, broth, honey, and the leftover dash of lemon juice in a bowl. Pour over cabbage rolls. Cover pan with foil. Preheat oven to 375. Bake for one hour. Uncover and bake additional 20 minutes.

Be prepared to be asked on another date immediately!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cheap dates

Apparently the recession has been good for dating, and in particular, internet dating. Single people are motivated these days to find a partner with whom to share the misery, and online dating is cheaper than bar-hopping and ordering drinks. It costs about $35 to join for a month, while Jdate and eharmony are even pricier. But free dating sites have proliferated, including,,, and Beware of sites that claim to be free and allow you to browse, but demand membership fees the minute you want to email someone. The best bet is to sign on with a site that doesn't ask for your credit card information.

If you meet someone online and decide to go out, stick with coffee or a drink for the first date. It's cheaper and it spares you from spending a protracted evening with a miserable date. At our recent reading, one woman commented that she always winds up going dutch on dates, particularly because she always asks the guy if he'd like her to pay! But the other women who attended -- ranging in age from 26 to 60 -- unanimously agreed that they expect the guy to pay for the first few dates and that he does. We agree, recession or not!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Meetup-- Meet people who share your interests

We had a great time at our reading and discussion at the JCC on the Upper West Side in Manhattan last week. Billed as a 39+ workshop, we ended up as a group of women ranging in age from twenty something to septuagenarian, each with her unique view of dating.

The topics ranged from who should pay on a first date, a third date or whenever, to how to avoid the pitfalls of internet dating. One new thing we learned is that there are websites out there which help you find groups of people in your local area with similar interests. One of the participants in our workshop shared her experience that is great way to meet people in general and prospective dates in particular.
We had never heard of meetup, but we have since learned that you can have an interest, say practicing your conversational French, and there are meetup groups in several geographical areas devoted to spending a couple of hours a week in French conversation.

We all know that the best way to meet someone special is when you are busy getting on with your life, pursuing your own interests rather than combing through piles of internet dating profiles always looking for a better prospect. So check out meetup and let us know what you think!

Monday, March 2, 2009

REVENGE: Spite after Divorce

We all know that living well and getting on with your own life is the best revenge, but sometimes even after the divorce decree is in hand, you can’t help feeling like a nice dose of spite would be oh so comforting. And there is no reason to feel alone or ashamed--clearly everybody feels the same way. Revenge businesses are all over the internet on sites like,,,and
the, to list just a few.
These sites offer a range of suitable “gifts” to send that cheap, sleazy ex-husband who raked you over the coals in divorce court. Or,maybe you'd like to gift his nasty shyster lawyer, or his girlfriend who slept with him in your bed while he was still married to you and you were out shlepping his mother to her podiatrist appointment. Or, there is always a chance that you may want to send the gift that says “This is what I really think of you” to your ex-best friend who has dumped you, and now hangs out with your ex’s new girlfriend, her new bff.
So what are the choices? We have narrowed them down to the two best categories- dead flowers and dead animalia. We say, “Say it with roses.” One dozen dead wilted roses can be sent either anonymously or with a nice little note for $24.99. Shipping is free. If the jerk is not worth the flowers, there is a stems-and-thorns-only option for less.
Our hands down fave, though, is the dead smelly fish, shipped in a sealed package and giftwrapped for $19.99. Free shipping. Maggots are another option, as is a bag of dog poo. For real!

Above and beyond these revenge giftings, you can go onto and shop their voodoo boutique for the ultimate revenge kit--a curse of your choosing. Have fun and don’t forget to write in and let us know how it goes.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Still Hot in New York City March 12th

The Still Hot Ladies will be in New York City for a fun-filled women only evening. Please Join Us!
Thursday, March 12, 2009
7:00 PM
at the JCC in Manhattan
334 Amsterdam Avenue at 76th Stret
New York City

to register, call 646-505-5708 and ask for program #JFOHOT00W9, or register online at

Still Hot: The Uncensored Guide to Divorce, Dating, Sex, Spite, and Happily Ever After

When was the last time you laughed so hard your sides hurt? Join Sue Mittenthal and Linda Reing, authors of Still Hot: The Uncensored Guide to Divorce, Dating, Sex, Spite, and Happily Ever After, for a women's-only evening of wine and cheese and dating tips. The authors will read from their book, take questions, and explore the lighter side of life after divorce. Still Hot is a hilarious, tongue-in-cheek romp through the journey women take while processing divorce. Bring your questions, share your stories and hear priceless tips on how to meet new men: "Get a job in a urologist' s office!"Learn first-date don't's: "Never call your divorce lawyer from the dinner table." Then spend an uproarious evening marveling at how far you've come. For women only.

Thu, Mar 12
7 pm

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Single Mom's Savings Tips

I just got back from having coffee with my newly divorced friend Bettina. She is totally excited about sharing her latest moneysaving tips for single moms.

She wanted me to remind our readers that you may be single again for now, but you’re not dead to the adult world--you are a grown up human being who needs to be in adult company at least sometimes. If you want to maintain your sanity and continue to enjoy your children, you’ll need to get out of the house on occasional evenings. Instead of letting prohibitive babysitting costs ($15 or more per hour!) turn you into a stay-at-home hermit, Bettina advises starting a babysitting co-op. She started her own by organizing the families in her building to take turns sitting for each other’s kids entirely free of charge. The couples and single moms in her building and in buildings close by are enjoying their evenings out,feeling safe and secure. Each new co-op member family is informally interviewed by current members be sure that everyone is generally philosophically on the same page. And,the best part is that not only are your kids with neighbors you trust, but when you’re out to dinner,you're not obsessively checking your watch imagining that babysitting meter ticking off the accumulating dollars.
Bettina, a paralegal in a high-pressure law firm, is very organized so she finds it easy to track her co-op's babysitting requests, assignments and hours banked on a spreadsheet. If you need a sitter on Saturday night from 7 to 11 pm, you e-mail Bettina who then sends your request around to the co-op members. Once a member signs up to watch your kids, you work out the details with that member who then earns four hours of babysitting time.
Last week Bettina racked up major hours. Her sons are 7 and 9 and are friends with the son of a co-op member who lives down the block. Bettina hosted a sleepover for her two kids and the other little boy from 5 pm on a Friday until Saturday at 2 pm. She’s now got 21 hours of babysitting credit to use at her convenience.

Her second savings tip was one we hear over and over again--the clothing exchange. Women all over town are hosting clothing swaps. Bettina's babysitting co-op members have two kinds of swaps going. In addition to"shopping" at occasional mom's clothing swap evenings, they also swap out gently used baby and kid equipment such as high chairs or tricycles, as well as clothing, snow suits, boots, skates and sporting gear.

Bettina estimates that she’ll save over $4,000 this year in babysitting exchange and swapped items.Time to start your own co-op!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Upshot of Valentine's Day Singles Party

Here are the results of the Feb 14th party, in which my son's friend Amanda attempted to play Cupid by inviting all of her single girlfriends plus a bunch of single male friends, including my son and his pals. (See previous post, Feb 13th.)

I called my son the following day, thrilled that he had gone to the party and excited to hear how it went. He offhandedly remarked that he and his pals decided not to go at the last minute because the party was "too far away" -- i.e. in a different borough. Is that not like men, or what? These guys are 22 years old, but apparently they're all the same. I hope that the girls had more fun without them!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine's Day: A fun opportunity for singles

Here's another great idea for the unattached on Valentine's Day. My 22-year-old son, as well as many of his male pals, don't have girlfriends at the moment. Their friend Jon has a girlfriend named Amanda, who has a number of single female friends. So Amanda is throwing a party on Saturday night, February 14th, which she has dubbed "Single Ladies Night." She invited all of her single girlfriends, and Jon invited my son and all of his single guy friends. The odds are good that a few guests will actually hit it off, and no matter what, it promises to be a fun Saturday night and a swell way for singles to spend Valentine's Day.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Best Valentine’s Day Gift Girlfriend to Girlfriend

The best Valentine’s Day girlfriend to girlfriend gift we know of is a copy of Still Hot: the Uncensored Guide to Divorce, Dating, Sex, Spite, and Happily Ever After. First order a copy of Still Hot on Amazon. Then, sit down at your kitchen table with your favorite kindergartener, some scissors and art supplies and make your best friend an old fashioned home made valentine complete with glitter and glue and the works. Just ask the kindergartener- nothing is too over the top on a valentine. Include an IOU for the book. She’s your best friend and she already loves you, but this kind of thoughtfulness will reaffirm what makes your friendship so special.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Valentine's Day: How not to break your budget

Valentine's Day gives many of us a welcome excuse to do a little stimulus spending, but it can also be a ripoff. In researching restaurants for a dinner that evening, I noticed that in my vicinity most are replacing their regular menu with a special Valentine's Day prix fixe dinner. The typical cost per person: $70. But further investigation revealed that the more ethnic restaurants -- for instance, Greek or Asian -- don't pull that little scam. So go Greek for Valentine's Day!

Another recession-proof tip: Instead of buying an expensive Valentine's gift, give your partner a small bottle of scented massage oil and deliver it with a full-body massage. It's less fattening than chocolates, lasts longer than flowers, and is cheaper and sexier than both!

Valentine's Day: How Not to Wreck Your Diet Just Because You're Lucky Enough to Have a Date

For those of us who are lucky enough to have a dinner date with someone we love, or even like, for Valentine's Day- here are 6 easy Weight Watcher's tips on how not to wreak havoc with your diet plan:

1. Relax
Don't approach the dinner with trepidation. Watching your food intake does not mean denying yourself anything-- you're just making choices about your life. And the really wonderful part is you're sharing a meal with those you love, whether it's your honey, or a group of girlfriends.

2. Don't be afraid to ask for what you want
Scan the menu to create your own dinner. If you want the fish, but don't want the cream sauce, ask for it to be served with the salsa that comes with the chicken. The same goes for the sides: that shrimp dish you want might come with potato gratin, but the roast chicken comes with grilled asparagus. Just ask for the shrimp with asparagus.

3. Order simpler food prepared light
In terms of calories, grilled is better than fried; baked is better than braised.

5. Cut things out during the meal
• Forgo the cocktail, which can be loaded with sugar, and have a glass of red wine instead.
• Ask for lemon juice or vinegar on the salad.
• Ask for cocktail sauce or chutney on your baked potato, rather than butter and sour cream.

6. Share
You can split an appetizer or a dessert, or both. It's very romantic to share a dish with someone you love-- and in these recessionary times, it's likely he will appeciate the savings when the bill arrives!

Single on Valentine's Day

Men and women who have experienced being single on Valentine's Day know that it can be even harder than being dateless on New Year's Eve. Let's start the dialog with 7 Valentine's Day Tips from Dr. Laura S. Brown, professor of psychology at Argosy University/Seattle:

1. Do not define yourself by your relationship status. Your relationship status is not your identity.
2. If you are single because of a recent loss, allow this to be a day of grieving. Do not pretend that it’s not a hard day. Get support and sympathy.
3. Realize that Valentine’s Day is a commercial holiday. It is not about love and relationships; it is about selling flowers, candy, and diamond jewelry. Think of all the money you are saving.
4. Plan well in advance to do something that will not place you in the path of billing and cooing couples. Even if you usually like dining out alone, do something else on Valentine’s Day.
5. Get together with people who do love you -- friends, family members, the people who already have relationships with you.
6. If you are single and you don’t want to be, start now to think about what is in the way of you creating the relationship you want. Find ways to work on becoming the person your dream partner would fall in love with. Start therapy. Take up yoga. Begin to volunteer. Create art. Make meaning. Act to change the world. It is into the fullest lives that love is most likely to fall.
7. If you are single and you like it, now is the time to affirm your choice. People who never marry or partner have close, loving, emotionally intimate relationships and lives worth living. Do not let a couple-driven culture define your choice as something wrong.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Divorce deal affected by Madoff scandal

Here's a new twist on Madoff's $50 billion Ponzi fraud. Not only has he wiped out the retirement dreams of many married couples, but he has wreaked havoc with the settlement agreement of at least one divorced couple.

In 2006 Steven and Laura were in the process of divorcing and agreed to evenly split the $5.4 million they shared in an account with Madoff securities. Steven held onto the $5.4 million account and gave Laura $2.7 million in cash to compensate her for her half.

Fast-forward two years later: Steven discovers that the account isn't worth the paper it's printed on, plus he's out the $2.7 million he paid to Laura. He is now suing her for its return; his ex has no comment. If he loses, she may turn out to be the only Madoff investor who realized a hefty profit.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Choosing a Divorce Attorney: Take a Close Look At Her Office

Ah, the clarity of hindsight. Lucy wishes she had been more on target in predicting her divorce lawyer’s winning potential by observing the attorney’s office décor. In fact,the attorney had no office. She worked out of the dining nook in a high rise apartment she shared with her two adolescent daughters, and a snarling little dog. Clouds of cat hair coated every surface and a rather odiferous litter box made its presence known in the "office rest room." But come to think of it, actually it wasn’t so much her office or lack thereof that was the major problem. After a preliminary four-way meeting between the divorcing parties--Lucy and her then-husband, plus the lawyers for both parties, her attorney followed Lucy into the courthouse Ladies’ Room where she burst into tears in memory of the angst of her own divorce several years before. Lucy ended up comforting her attorney and handing her tissues. None of this was subtracted from her bill. In the divorce settlement, despite poor representation, Lucy miraculously ended up with only a mildly bad deal.

A decade later, Lucy’s sister, Joy, went through her own divorce and obviously had learned nothing from Lucy’s prior experience. Joy signed on with an attorney whom she chose for the lame reason that the office assistant kindly offered her a choice of herbal tea or fresh brewed coffee and that the coffee was served with real milk, not Cremora. Never mind that the attorney’s office was strewn with stacks of files and loose papers stamped CONFIDENTIAL,and that a couple of unmatched high heels were kicked into various corners. Once, the attorney gave Joy a ride home from a negotiation meeting and the car was so cluttered with old diet coke cans, sweaty gym clothes and piles of coffee-stained paperwork, that Joy couldn’t even squeeze her size 4 self into the passenger seat. Needless to say the attorney was no more organized in planning Joy’s case than she was in they way she kept her office and car. Joy was lucky she walked away with the shirt on her back(barely).

Monday, February 2, 2009

Judging divorce lawyers by their office decor

Before I settled on an attorney to handle my divorce, I visited three prominent matrimonial lawyers in New York city and took note of their similar, professionally decorated offices: sleek black leather sofas, steely gray carpets, contemporary, posh, and spare, with a current Architectural Digest in the reception area so you can ogle the gorgeous homes of happy couples as you contemplate the imminent loss of your own. The offices were designed to convey the attorneys' success rather than put anxious clients at ease.

But this past weekend I saw the opposite: the Bethesda, Maryland office of a family-law attorney who handles high-profile Washington DC divorces as well as less celebrated custody cases and property and custodial agreements for "divorcing" gay couples. As clients enter the cozy reception area, they are immediately greeted by Daisy, a happy, friendly mutt who belongs to one of the partners. If a little pet therapy doesn't cheer you up, you turn your sights to the bright, playful Mexican folk art that festoons the office: whimsical, hand-painted animal sculptures, bold-colored throw rugs, and in the conference room -- where opposing sides hash out settlement agreements -- the walls are decorated with colorful metal and beaded fish. Best of all, in the reception area the attorneys display a stack of our book, Still Hot -- a freebie for any client who needs a good laugh!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Divorce Settlement Chutzpah

How’s this for chutzpah?

Our friend and her ex just signed a divorce settlement in court. In an agonizing decision to be first and foremost a good mom, our friend signed in order not to prolong the divorce and subject her children to further acrimony.
She felt the settlement was kind of unfair--no alimony for her although she makes under $30,000 per year and her ex used to make $200,000 in the years before he quit working so he would show no income during the divorce proceedings. (See our book chapter on RAIDS). And, she really regretted being forced to sell the family home and split the proceeds 50/50 since she had used a gift from her parents to make the full down payment.
But, by far the most bitter pill for our friend to swallow was agreeing to give her ex half of the sale proceeds from the apartment she had solely owned outright since way before she had even met him. His lawyer doggedly insisted that the ex had put sweat equity into the apartment(he once replaced the float ball in a toilet)and that there would be no settlement whatsoever unless the ex got his "fair share" of said apartment.

Our friend gritted her teeth, reminded herself that getting the divorce over with was best for the kids,and signed. The ex and his attorney immediately approached her and said she could buy the ex’s apartment share back from him for $150,000.
She recently had an appraisal done on the apartment--it was worth a total of $250,000 before the market crashed, and here was her ex trying to get her to buy her own property back from him at an inflated price. Heck of a guy! His new girlfriend is soooooooo lucky to have latched onto such a winner! Hope she gets him to sign a pre-nup!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Can you keep your inheritance when you get divorced?

In the eyes of the law, there are two kinds of marital property: community property and separate property.

Community property is marital assets that were obtained during the marriage by either partner. All community property is divided equitably in a divorce. Separate property is individual property that you obtained before the marriage, and usually remains yours after a divorce.

In most states, an inheritance, even if you receive it during marriage, falls under the separate property clause. As long as the inheritance has not been commingled with joint marital assets during the marriage, it should remain in your own after a divorce.

However, a few states (known as community property states) consider an inheritance to be part of marital assets if it was received during the marriage. An inheritance ruling is difficult to dispute if you live in a community property state. The following states fall into this category:
* Arizona
* California
* Idaho
* Louisiana
* Nevada
* New Mexico
* Texas
* Washington
* Wisconsin

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Public Frenemy Number One: Cindy G. of Weston, MA.

We are outing Cindy G. of Weston, Massachusetts as a frenemy of the worst kind. Watch your back if you come across this turncoat traitor! We wish we could disclose her full name, but if you meet up with her hopefully you'll know what she's all about, full name or no.

Despite her Frida Kahlo unibrow, since she took off 30 pounds or so, Cindy is quite attractive and dangerously sweet on the surface. Plus she’s a good cook in that old fashioned red sauce baked ziti kind of way. She has two lovely daughters and a long, stable marriage with her 450 pound beached whale of a husband, Big Ric.

All the above constitutes her upside. Here's the underbelly: Cindy was until recently the longtime bff of a friend of ours. Then our friend’s husband began having an affair with a neighbor which led to the end of that marriage (and the neighbor’s). At first, Cindy was super sympathetic with her bff over the affair and the end of the marriage. When Cindy and Big Ric went out to dinner with the bff’s husband and his new girlfriend the blonde neighbor, Cindy reported that the blonde was unattractive with a bad nose job and has killer crow's feet. The bff was quietly very hurt that Cindy even agreed to double date with the new couple, but she enjoyed the gossip when Cindy reported back to her on the multiple interesting secrets the blonde neighbor divulged under the influence of alcohol—she’s been divorced three times; she gets sloppy after just one glass of wine; she's not really blonde; she always has sex on the first date; she used to weigh 185; her father is a twice convicted felon; she spends $5,000 every week on clothes; she’s 4’8" and wears custom made lifts in her shoes; she’s had three botched nose jobs and a boob job, and so on.

But then, Cindy, in a sudden treacherous shift, became bff’s with the blonde neighbor. Just like that, she decided to switch teams. Cindy and the blonde now shop together. They double date every Saturday night. They take vacations as couples together, although they have to travel separately since Cindy’s husband Big Ric is too fat to fly coach. And in the ultimate act of traitorship, yesterday Cindy showed up at divorce court in support of her former bff's ex.

That’s right, Cindy ditched her best friend of 20 years after the bff’s husband left her, and then Cindy became best friends with the husband and the new girlfriend. Hopefully what goes around comes around and Cindy will get her just desserts, though it is highly unlikely that Cindy’s 450 pound monster of a hubby will attract the eye of any woman still breathing.

Note: We have our own internal dispute as to whether the correct spelling is frenemy or frienemy, but either way, we all need to steer clear of girlfriends like Cindy--Amen!

Obama's sex appeal

I agree with some of those viewpoints, but not all.

Obama is ...

1. Cute? Check.
2. Devoted to wife and kids? Check.
3. Empathetic mediator? Check.

And I would add the following assets:

4. Megawatt smile
5. Amazing intellect
6. Great sense of humor

But I dispute that:

"He's like a woman." I think part of his appeal, subconscious perhaps for women, is that underneath that charm and grace is the ultimate alpha male. Let's not forget that with no family connections and at an extraordinarily young age, Obama KICKED ASS, running a juggernaut campaign, trouncing the competition with his unflappable, steely resolve, and making history by becoming the first back president. That takes enormous will and ambition. Obama is undaunted, a truly tough dude.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Crush on the President: Barack My World

Why are we women so taken with the 44th president? Not that we haven’t fallen head over heels before – we loved Bill Clinton even to the point of desperately, illogically trying to divert the blame for his wayward behavior. Our mothers’ generation was crazy for John Kennedy. My grandmother voted for Kennedy simply because he was handsome and a Democrat, no other credential necessary.
In 2009, women of all ages love Obama.
One of our friends says we love him because he’s so like a woman. He has incorporated the best of female characteristics. He’s slim, good looking, has long elegant hands, he’s well-dressed and well-groomed, he’s fit, he’s sensitive and empathic. He minimizes conflict, and looks for common ground. And he doesn’t take power for granted.
Another friend says women love the president because of his solid marriage, the way he looks at his wife and daughters with complete devotion, admiration and love. And then, back to my Grandma’s reasoning, there’s the fact that he’s just plain cute.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

How to wind up with a good man and avoid the players

A new study shows that refusing to sleep with a partner on the first date could be one of the keys to making a successful match.

Researchers used a mathematical model to show that more reliable men were willing to wait longer before having sex for the first time. By contrast, less suitable men were not as likely to continue dating.

Professor Robert Seymour, from University College London, who created the model, said: "Longer courtship is a way for the female to acquire information about the male. "By delaying mating, the female is able to reduce the chance that she will mate with a bad male.

"A male's willingness to court for a long time is a signal that he is likely to be a good male.

"Long courtship is a price paid for increasing the chance that mating, if it occurs, will be a harmonious match which benefits both sexes. This may help to explain the commonly held belief that a woman is best advised not to sleep with a man on a first date."

Friday, January 16, 2009

Dating Opportunities Abound: Inaugural Festivities

Ladies- Yes, you can meet a good man on January 20, 2009! Check out the inauguration festivities in your area. Tons of events from dance parties to brunches are in the works and it’s a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and meet some new people at the same time.
Here’s a smattering of the kinds of activities being planned around the country. Google your town for your own local inaugural activities.

California: West Marin County 7:15 am - Sunrise Swim - Chicken Ranch Beach, Inverness. 8:00 am - Live Inauguration Screening and Breakfast, Toby's Feed Barn, Point Reyes Station. Pledge YOUR first 100 days of action on the Ball O' Hope 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm - Inaugural Ball, Soup & Bread Line, Music & Dancing - BYOBB (bring your own beverages and bowl) $10 - No one will be turned away. Dress: West Marin Formal. Hosted by: Point Reyes Books, Mainstreet Moms, Toby's Feed Barn, The Dance Palace, Point Reyes Nation.

Florida: Altamonte Springs (1/20/09) Presidential Inauguration Brunch at Hughey's American Grill, 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Brunch ($18.95/person) includes includes $10 admittance to the evening party celebration event (10:00 p.m. till 2:00 a.m.) with live entertainment.

Idaho: Moscow (1/20/09) Marimba music and food beginning at 6 p.m., rebroadcast of President Obama's inaugural speech at 7 p.m., and dancing until 10 p.m. Cost is $5 per person. Money raised will go to the Sesitshaya Marimba band scholarship, Sojourner's Alliance shelter and food banks in Latah County. Hosted by the Latah County Democrats.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

How to avoid a second divorce

S. and her widower boyfriend fell in love and planned their retirement together two weeks after they started dating; in less than a year, he cruelly dumped her. The only consolation for the heartbroken S is that she discovered who he really was before tying the knot for the second time. Hers is a cautionary tale that explains why the divorce rate for second marriages is so high. Here are the stats:

* Divorce rate in America after first marriage is from 41% to 50%.
* US divorce rate after second marriage is from 60% to 67%
* After 3 marriages the US divorce rate is from 73% to 74%

Why do subsequent marriages fail? Research shows that the second marriage divorce rate greatly increases if you’ve been in a relationship with a person for less than a year.

It has also been proven that both men and women want to be married and connected regardless of the misery they suffered in their last marriage. Loneliness can drive anyone to seek relief in their second marriage and few people are thinking straight when they remarry too quickly.

The burning desire to “not be lonely” creates such a hunger that people fall in love with the idea of being in love, rather than with their partner as he or she really is. They are "blinded by love."

And romance is a powerful drug. It can keep you in a trance right up until the moment you say "I do" for the second time.

But once you’re married, that romance gradually gets replaced with the predictability of married life, and either the problems you thought you left behind by getting your first divorce, or the previously unseen flaws and shortcomings of your new spouse, eventually undermine the second marriage.

The central message of our book is that divorced women must take the time to rebuild their lives and get comfortable with themselves before they can have a successful new relationship. Two more caveats: don't rush into any relationship, and resist the temptation to fantasize about the future with your new love. It's easy for partners to feel warm and lovey-dovey for awhile, but after about a year, they reveal whether they or not they REALLY want to be in a relationship.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dating the Widower: Too Much Too Soon

What happens when a widower suddenly starts his life over with an all-consuming new relationship?
Back in September, we heard from a guest blogger-- our friend S. from Colorado who was known to us prior to that moment as the most cynical, jaded, anti-man woman we knew. She had been burned out by a long marriage to a bipolar chiropractor and subsequently had a long-term relationship with a compulsive womanizer. When she broke that dead-end situation off, she landed up with a seemingly sweet, if boring, man, who at the last moment, after they had decided to move to another state and had signed a lease together, broke out in a rabid case of commitment phobia and took off.
Half a dozen dateless years later, here she was on our blog gushing about the wonderful widower she met on E-Harmony. After just two weeks of dating, these two soulmates were already making retirement plans together.
The relationship blossomed and grew throughout the autumn, but as the holidays approached he became nervous anticipating his 23-year-old daughter’s reaction to finding out that he was now dating. Although an adult, the daughter is an only child whose mother had died less than a year before after a long battle with cancer. S. felt sympathetic toward the young woman, so she advised her boyfriend to wait to discuss their relationship until the daughter came home for Christmas so he could talk to her in person.
From the moment the daughter arrived home, S. never heard from the guy. He instructed her not to call him, not even on his cell, and not to email him. He didn’t want his daughter to pick up any clues before he was ready to tell her. S. felt as if she was conducting some sort of clandestine affair with a married man.
Finally, in a desperate, forbidden action, she called his cell. He told her that he hadn’t been able to discuss his dating with his daughter yet, but there was something else he needed to tell S.
Weeks before, he had confided that due to some complicated story regarding botched surgery, he was unable to have sex without using Viagra. S. had told him that she loved him and this was fine with her.
Over the phone, he told her his doctor now said that taking Viagra could be life threatening to him, and that he should never ever have sex or even get aroused again. S. was in love and reassured him they would find a solution. But he insisted that he wanted her to move on and have a normal life without him. She became hysterical crying and all he could say was, “I thought you never cried. I didn’t know you were so emotional.”
With that, he disappeared. Never called or emailed, never said goodbye.
I have no idea what all of this was about except I can’t help thinking he scared himself off by moving ahead so fast with a relationship so soon after his wife’s death.
On the other hand, my Aunt Millie has been with her boyfriend Sumner for over a decade. When they began seeing each other, she was already a widow for fourteen years and was clearly finally ready to date, but Sumner's wife had died only three months before. His kids were furious, but in the end it all worked out and they are still together and very happy.

I guess some guys are built to be part of a couple and others are scared to death of intimacy.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

More necessary luxuries

I would add to that list of small indulgences that we can't live without:

A tiny tube of wrinkle-erasing under-eye cream that costs $27. Well, it's cheaper than plastic surgery!

High-end shampoo and conditioner. I am working towards generic versions, which are probably just as good, but am not there yet.

L'Occitane hand cream.

Chanel lipstick.

Going to the dermatologist for zits.

*** On the other hand, I took my kids out to dinner at a diner last night, and the bill for the three of us came to $46.40 including tax, tip, and a side of fries.

Necessary Luxuries Even in a Recession

Necessary luxuries is NOT an oxymoron. Getting back on this topic from our blog entry last week, no self-respecting woman can afford to go around looking like her hair was cut with with a weed whacker or her color was done by a bathroom hair wizard on crack.
And there are at least a half dozen other less obvious luxuries we can’t bear to give up, nor should we.
Here’s some input on what our girlfriends refuse to go without, job or no job:

Lip gloss, mascara and concealer for three. What would we do without them? We’d have to walk around feeling bad about our raccoon circles, dry wrinkled lips and puny lashes.

Then there are the books,magazine subscriptions,movies,text messaging,and high speed internet connection that keep us in contact with the world.

I for one have cost cut like crazy. No more taxis, and hardly any dinners out. But something came over me and I absolutely had to buy a $75 dollar jar of Jeunesse du Cou last week to keep my neck eternally young. Actually it’s much too late for that, which is exactly what made the impulse purchase so urgent!

Are organ donations and breast implants marital assets?

Divorcing spouses haggle about all kinds of assets, from pension plans to art collections to family heirlooms. Some couples have jewelry and antiques appraised so their value can be split. Battles wage over the Jaguar, the baby grand piano, and the wedding silver.

But here's one for the record books. A Long Island surgeon, embroiled in divorce negotiations for the past four years, wants his estranged wife to return the kidney he donated to her. Alternatively, she can fork over $1.5 million in compensation.

Dr. Richard Batista donated the kidney to his wife in 2001. He claims she began an extramarital affair 18 months later, and within three years of the transplant she filed for divorce. He also says that during the litigation, he has been prevented from seeing their three children.

If his allegations are true, I can't blame him for feeling bitter about being dumped and left with one kidney. But divorce experts say the kidney is not a marital asset that you can put a price tag on, and there's no chance he will succeed. According to Manhattan attorney Susan Moss: "The good doctor is out of luck and out a kidney. This is similar to cases where a husband wants to be repaid for the cost of breast implants and the such. Our judges are not willing to value such assets, so to speak."

Monday, January 5, 2009

Divorce: Sometimes Grandparents Are Far from Grand

During the holiday season, we have fond memories of our grandparents buying us that special doll or train set we wanted more than anything, baking spicy aromatic gingerbread men or frying the crispiest latkes. Long after our Nana or Pops is gone to the hereafter, we pull out the photo albums and get misty eyed as we remember their unconditional love.
We almost never think of our grandparents as coming from the Dark Side. But,poor Alix and Mikey. Their grandfather is Darth Vader reincarnated.
Their mom, Allison, and their dad, Damon, have been embroiled in a three- year- long divorce case which barely pales before the War of the Roses. Damon is in love with a wealthy three-time divorcee ten years older than him who likes to vaction in her condo at a nudist resort in Land O Lakes Florida.
Allison, for reasons only known to her, would like to stay married to creepy Damon, but he is enraptured by the nudist and her bank accounts which remain rock solid even in these financially shaky times.
Damon’s parents never liked Allison’s outspoken nature or her bi-racial background. They are thrilled with the older (100% WASP) wealthy divorcee and her bank accounts, though they are unaware of her nudist proclivities. They have hired their best friend, a pit bull attorney, to represent Damon, and Damon's dad has told his daughter in law more than once that he hopes to see her homeless and begging on the street one day so he can spit on her as he walks by her. A lovely thing to say to the mother of your grandchildren whose only crime is that she married into a disgusting, greedy, racist, spiteful family.
This Christmas, Damon, despite his children’s desire to stay at home with their mom, insisted that Alix and Mikey spend the holiday with him, the divorcee, and his family. Allison convinced the kids it wouldn’t be so bad. After all their aunt, uncle and cousin Maxie would be sleeping over at the grandparents’ too.
On Christmas morning, Alix, Mikey and Cousin Maxie woke up early and found envelopes from their grandparents. Alix and Mikey opened their envelopes and each found $25. Maxie opened his envelope and there was a check for $500. The grandfather said, “Max, show them the check. See Alix and Mike, Max has $500 and you only get $25.Why? Because you listen to your mother, and as long as you listen to her, you’ll get next to nothing from me”.
True story. Pinky Swear. What a loving family interaction on Christmas morning! Damon watched as the whole scene unrolled between his father and his children and then he presented his “finacee” with a huge emerald ring of his mother's--she never wanted Allison to have it. He then gave each of his kids a McDonald’s gift certificate.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Luxuries We Can't Live Without

Looking in the mirror the other day, I noticed a nasty case of dark roots with hideous gray wire poking through. I immediately made an appointment with Hubert, my colorist. In the past I have experimented with drug-store rinses, but they weren't strong enough to coat the coarse gray strands. And before I discovered Hubert, I tried a succession of less-expensive colorists whose efforts to camouflage the gray turned my hair either too dark or too red. Fortunately, Hubert the genius got it just right, and I've been going to him religiously for years. The problem is, Hubert works in a fancy French salon, a single process costs $180, those damn roots sprout like clockwork, and we're in a killer recession.

I asked Hubert if the economic downturn has affected business at the fancy French salon. He confided that many customers have lost their jobs and several lost their life savings to Bernard Madoff, the Ponzi scheme swindler. "I guess they can't come to the salon anymore, right?" I asked. "Oh, they still come," he said philosophically. "You can sell your home and downsize, but you HAVE to get your roots done."

This sounded ludicrous at first, but then I thought about my own cost-cutting campaign. Because of the financial crisis, I've lost significant income as a freelance writer, and I panicked as my stock market investments hemorrhaged. So I slashed my budget severely -- eliminating travel, avoiding restaurants, eschewing taxis, and resisting the urge to buy clothes, shoes, earrings, picture frames -- in short, any non-essential. I even keep the thermostat in my home at a bracing 64 degrees. Yet today I gratefully plunked down $180 for that root touch-up, and while I was at it I threw in another $50 to have my unkempt brows shaped by the Eyebrow Lady, another genius at the salon. With tax and tips, I spent nearly $300. But I looked and felt great. There are some luxuries a girl can't do without, even in a recession.