Saturday, August 30, 2008

Top Five Ways That "Sex and the City" Got Being Single All Wrong

I have spent the last few weeks painting the exterior of my house, shampooing carpets and mowing my grass which is strategically laced with lots of poison ivy just waiting to attack hyper-allergic me.

Today I collapsed on the couch after hauling a carpet cleaning machine up and down the stairs - not to mention back and forth and back and forth on the various carpets. I turned on the TV and came upon an episode of "Sex and the City." It was one of the ones when Carrie was dating Aleksandr Petrovsky, (none of those were amongst my favorites) and it got me thinking about how led astray we single women can be by this quartet of women. I've always been a big fan, but as I sat there, exhausted from cleaning, my legs still stinging from the scratches I got when I had to wade through rambling roses to paint my porch, I thought this is so not the experience of any single women I know. The single women I know are pretty happy, but many struggle financially, most have children, and the only designer clothes they purchase are found in the racks at TJMaxx and Marshalls. So I thought about it and came up with my all time top-five ways that "Sex and the City" is wrong.

1. I have wooden floors and no man (like Carrie's boyfriend, Aidan) has ever offered to come over and refinish them. Aidan was an incredible guy who didn't just buy Carrie's apartment, he bought the one next door as well to create a lovely home for them. And she cheated on him. If any handsome, talented, successful, smart man wanted to re-do my floors, I would promise fidelity. Forever.
2. Like Carrie Bradshaw I am a columnist and I do not own one pair of Manolo Blahniks. Newspapers do not, in general pay writers well. Like choosing to be a teacher because you love children and want to help educate the next generation, you choose to be a writer because you can't not write. If I was smart I would have chosen many other possible careers that would enable me to work one job, not several. There are days that even taxidermy seems like a better alternative to this. Then I get excited about something and I just have to write.
3. Where are all these guys these women go out with? Where I live I'm lucky if I meet a couple of guys a year worth even having a cup of coffee with. Most of the time being alone in the glow of my computer monitor with a hot cup of tea is a more satisfying option.
4. Chances are, if I ever went to a baseball game I would not end up with a date with a baseball player - unlike Carrie who caught a fly-ball and ended up with the "New Yankee." With my luck the ball would have hit me in the head and the only person I would have met would be the medic icing down the melon-sized lump on my head.
5. Men like Big don't come to France and rescue you from your failed romance with a Russian artist. Not that I know anyone who's had a relationship with a Russian artist - failed or otherwise. It was a great fantasy that Big would show up, take Carrie in his arms and tell her, "You're the one, Carrie," but I don't think a commitment-phobe like Big would ever truly do that.

Of course there were many things they did get right:

Beware of "frenemies" - those people who you think are on your side but would just as soon stab you in the back as look at you.

That said, I know from SATC that there is nothing like your girlfriends in good times and bad.

Beware of guys like Jack Berger - quick, funny, make you feel amazing and smart. The ones who seem too good to be true often are.

And, as Carrie learned when she slept with a guy she met at her therapist's office, watch out for the same kind of guy you always go for who always breaks your heart. He might be wearing a different pair of pants than the guy before him, but believe me, you'll be amazed that he always seems to show up just when you thought you've finally smartened up.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

WTF? Who The Hell Wants To Go To A "Safari Chic" Party?

I came across an article in the Wall Street Journal today about the ridiculous dress codes people are expecting for their parties.

There were terms like "wild chic," "beach formal," "resort dressy," "international," "festive," and one of my favorites, "creative black tie." What does this mean???

I have to admit that I don't get invited to very many events where an actual paper invitation is sent. Mostly it's phone calls, in person or an e-mail. I know, this says an awful lot about the quality of my social life, doesn't it?

Where I live on the Cape it is a veritable potpourri of fashion dos and don'ts, leaning heavily on the don'ts.

Depending on where on the Cape you are - the more tony Osterville, Centerville area, or the more bohemian lower Cape, it will dictate what's acceptable.

And if you hang near Chatham expect to see lots of madras, pink (on the guys) and embroidered pants. You know, embroidered with whales, fish skeletons, things like that. Yeah, I don't get it either.

Since most the events I get invited to are not formal I don't see a lot of Safari anything, never mind "chic." Having not been to any kind of resort in many years I am not even sure what resort wear would be - a sarong? I'm probably so wrong. Sorry, I had to go there.

I go back and forth about the casualness of where I live. I sometimes wish it was a little more fashion forward, but on the other hand there's something wonderful about being around people for whom labels are the last thing on their minds.

I find working as a writer from home that it's awfully easy to get lazy and not bother to dress nicely and my daughter is the first to tell me when I'm slipping into Cape Cod Lack Of Chic.

There are limits to what I will and will not wear. Here is my own personal dos and don'ts for dressing on Cape Cod (what others do is their business and I'm not judging anyone else's choices, some people look really good in sweat pants, Birkenstocks and socks!)
1. No Uggs when it's not winter
2. I will never buy Birkenstocks
3.Flannel is for lumberjacks, not women who want to look sexy
4. Crocs will NEVER be on my feet. Not now, not ever.
5. Hippie clothes - I'm not a hippie anymore. No tie-dye, no full length skirts (unless it's a ball gown) no wooden clogs and no mom jeans, pegged jeans or acid washed jeans.

You can live here and have style. You just can't expect anyone else to want to wear what you do. So if you have a party, you'd best just be open to what shows up. I haven't seen a lot of pith helmets and only a couple of tuxes in my time here.

The good news is if you're into fashion you'll always be the best dressed person around, and if you're not that's just fine too. No one will judge you, they probably won't even notice.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Is John Mayer An Attention Slut? Quite Possibly!

I know Jennifer Aniston certainly doesn't need my sympathy. She's beautiful, successful and wealthier than I can ever imagine being. But somehow I do keep ending up on Team Aniston because I often feel she gets a raw deal. Perez Hilton is mean to her (why? I can not for the life of figure out how Angelina Jolie is saint-like to him but Jen is tormented all the time on his blog) and magazines scream from their covers all the time how "desperate" she is for a baby, a marriage, hearth and home - or all of the above. Really? Hmmm, she looks pretty happy to me!

Her latest relationship and breakup involving John Mayer has once again proven that the world seems to be laying in wait for Jen to appear heartbroken or desperate. I just never thought a guy she was dating, especially another celebrity would kind of sell her out.

It was while I was out walking this morning that it occurred to me: John Mayer is really kind of a douche. There. I said it. It's not a word I particularly like, but for some folks, it just fits. The fact that he stopped and spoke to the paparazzi and gave them this spiel about the bust-up makes me sick. Any man who does that is a sleazeball. Did you see Clooney stopping to talk to the paps about his breakup? I don't think so. Because Clooney has class, something Mayer clearly doesn't.

While he made it sound that it was him he ended the relationship, Jen's people said she came to the realization that it seemed he was tipping off the paparazzi as to where they'd be. The very private Aniston was not happy.

I understand that Mayer is a young music star and part of that gig is apparently to date a lot of stars and wannabe stars. But there is something about him that just smacks of egotism and smugness that make me want to smack him. I have the same feeling about Zack Braff, who,I contend, were he not a TV star, would be spending most Saturday nights either alone or with his parents. He's not that cute, sorry gals. Hey, I loved "Garden State," but he was mean to Mandy Moore and I like her, and not just for this.

I am just waiting for something to happen to humble Mayer just a little bit. He's not quite the savior of his generation he seems to portend to be and I would love to see him, just once, put in his place.

My advice to John Mayer (not that he asked for it) would be to grow up a little bit, stop taking yourself so damn seriously, develop some class and find some humility. You might have to dig pretty deep, but I bet you might find it in there somewhere.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Does The Fact That I Like To Bake Cupcakes Make Me Less Ambitious?

I have two very different personas. No, my nickname is not Sybil, I am quite normal actually. Well, mostly normal. All right, sort of normal.

Since I became a writer and have been appearing a few times week in print and on the Web, there is my writer persona who is the sometimes snarky, often ditzy pop culture fan who dishes about Madonna, Angelina and talks about the music you must hear. Then there is another side. The super-responsible mother of three who yes, bakes cupcakes (cookies too!) and, OMG! even knits.

There was a piece in the UK paper, The Guardian today about just this thing: "Do Feminists Make Cupcakes?" that got me thinking about this whole topic once again. Does being domestic make you less formidable professionally?

I feel like Carrie Bradshaw when I pose the question:Can you be super-successful AND be a girly girl who likes to bake, knit and take care of the people you love?

Certainly Martha Stewart has made millions bridging that gap between commerce and cake baking, but since she's making money making those cakes so I'm not sure that counts.

I am talking about those of us who are ambitious, hard-working and driven, but also have this kind of June Cleaver side and like doing things that might make us look like throwbacks to a different era.

The benefits of the feminist movement are vast and I'm very grateful for them. I love the fact that I can do and be anything I want to be. And I love that my daughter has even more doors open to her than I ever did.

But, all that said. I like having some of those doors held open for me, heavy things lifted and the ugly bugs removed -they don't have to be killed - just put elsewhere. I like knitting scarves (my knitting expertise is limited but sincere) and I make a pretty decent creme brulee. I often wonder how to meld these two diametrically opposed parts into one person who can do it all. I think it's possible, it's just going to take some juggling.

I have a fantasy (not THAT kind) about someday opening up a really cool cupcake shop. Maybe with my daughter. We'd make all sorts of delicious and pretty cupcakes and make people happy with our little pieces of sugary goodness.

Of course I still want to be a best-selling author.

I'm thinking maybe the best thing the feminist movement gave us is to be able to live in a time where I can have my writing career and bake my cupcakes too.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

George Clooney Is Unavailable - In More Ways Than One

So everyone in the world knows that I've got a bit of a thing for George Clooney. Me and about 10 million other women.

I've long referred to him as my make-believe boyfriend, because in lots of ways, make believe boyfriends are far easier than real ones. And let's face it, the odds of him becoming my real one are slim to none. We don't exactly run in the same circles.

But then I had what I thought was inspired idea, a way I might actually get to have a conversation with Clooney - and I wouldn't have to dress up as a hotel maid or risk getting arrested to do it.

It suddenly occurred to me - hey, I'm a journalist! Stars give interviews to promote their movies, music and TV shows, why not track down the right people and try to get a phone interview with the him?! He has a new movie coming out on September 12, "Burn After Reading," of course he wants to get press for it. I know, he'll do "Letterman," "The Daily Show" and all the rest, but hey, I was offering the Cape Cod Times! How could he turn THAT down?

I bolstered myself up before I made some calls. I told myself, "You're no dilettante! You've interviewed Carly Simon, Ray Romano, Jack Klugman, Kathy Griffin and lots of other famous people! You can do this!"

This was good. This was working. I knew this was it.I was psyched. I was "Rocky" before the big fight. One of the ones he actually won. I planned what I'd ask him, how clever and witty I'd be. I decided he'd think I was so funny he'd want to see what else I'd written, and he'd think that a movie should be made from my book and he'd be the one to bring it to the big screen.

All right, so I got a little ahead of myself.

So I made my calls and got far enough that I was asked to e-mail someone named "Justin" a press request. My e-mail was wonderful. It was witty and smart, how could they possibly turn down this writer from a legitimate albeit small newspaper?

Days went by and I heard nothing. I checked my e-mail hoping to see Justin in my inbox (do not take anything dirty from that). So I sent a very light and fun follow-up. I even mentioned the very real possibility that Martha's Vineyard summer resident, Walter Cronkite would see this story and want to see Clooney's new movie. I was on fire.

And then it came.

I was denied.

One short e-mail brought things to an abrupt end: "Thanks so much for your interest, but George isn't available. Good luck to you though :)"

All those dreams. All those plans. And it all comes to an end at the hands of a guy named Justin; a guy who uses emodicans in business e-mails.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I Think Christie Brinkley May Be A Stepford Ex-Wife Time Four

I came across this New York magazine article written by Amy Larocca today and found it a little puzzling.

Somehow, I'm not sure why, I thought Brinkley had some real depth and intelligence. I admit I often make the mistake of thinking having the ability to make vast sums of money must mean you've got something going on in your head. But you know, maybe not so much.

In this piece, Larocca says that Brinkley almost never stops smiling and describes her, almost like a ventriloquist, able to talk and still smile. I think there's something a little creepy about that.

Certainly she's a beautiful woman, and at 54, incredible. But, I have to admit that anyone who's been married and divorced four times, well, you gotta kind of wonder.

The article describes Brinkley smiling enthusiastically about a guy rowing by her waterfront home, and she just sounded a little creepy as she waxed on - smiling of course - about how wonderful America is and how beautiful every single thing seems to be. Well it probably is when you're a multi-millionaire who owns 10 homes in the freaking Hamptons. Sorry, a tiny bit of envy just popped up. She's worked hard for what she has, I know, but why can't she be a little more real?

One of the first tenents you learn about writing in the first person is to be self-deprecating. I have no problem showing my flaws to my readers. - the problem is in choosing which one to show It just bothers me that someone like Brinkley, who just went through a very ugly and very public divorce can't divulge that hey, even when you're blond and have a megawatt smile life can be hard. Maybe it just makes the rest of us feel better about our own sorry lots to know that everyone has struggles, even supermodels.

Bottom line, I do have a certain admiration for Christie Brinkley. She's not afraid to fight for what she wants or believes in, has accomplished a great deal in her life, and she's done it all with a smile on her face. Albeit a big, toothy, kind of scary one.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Another Brush With Fame - My Chat With Marc Cohn

Yesterday morning I had the opportunity to interview Grammy winning singer/songwriter, Marc Cohn and it was wonderful.

I never know what to expect when I put a call into a celebrity. Most of the time I am very relieved that who ever is on the other end of the phone is just lovely to me. This is part of their job, and they know I am just doing mine. They are also very used to how to do this, they give me what I need for quotes, and if I'm lucky we hit it off and can joke around - Cohn was one such person.

There have only been a couple of times in the four years I've been interviewing celebrities where I was unhappy at the end of the call. And I will never tell who they were!

Yesterday's call, on the other hand, was one of the best.

Marc was funny, smart, humble and very in touch with what's important in life. Not surprising since he survived being shot in the head three years ago.

Cohn was on tour, playing in Denver on that fateful night. He and his band were headed back to their van after their show when a would-be car jacker shot Cohn in the left temple. Miraculously, he was released the next day and has no lasting physical effects.

He is married to ABC news anchor, Elizabeth Vargas, so as charming and delightful as I found him, damn it, he's taken! But, it's a little easier to swallow knowing that he's married to someone as wonderful as Vargas. In my research I read that the pair were introduced in 1999 at the U.S. Open by Andre Agassi. Reading this made me realize just how shallow my dating pool is - the way to meet a guy like Cohn is to be in a position yourself to be at an event with the likes of Andre Agassi. Somehow guys like Cohn don't show up in the regular haunts, like the town landfill and supermarket.

Cohn and Vargas have two young sons, 2 and 5-years old, and Cohn has a 13-year-old daughter and 17-year-old son from his first marriage. He talked a lot about how much he loves being a dad, and is never away from home for more than two weeks in a row.

So really, what I discovered talking to him is yeah, he's pretty much a perfect guy: He writes music, is an involved dad, is handsome, smart and funny. All in all, not a bad way to spend 45 minutes on a Thursday morning. Sometimes I just have to love my job.

I leave you with one of my favorite Marc Cohn songs.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I was Never A "Manic Pixie Dream Girl" And I Think It's Too Late To Change

I was reading one of my favorite blogs the other day, Jezebel, and came across this post about "Manic Pixie Dream Girls," and then read the blog post at The Petite Sophisticate about Amazing Girls that had inspired the rant.

The topic wasn't something I'd ever thought about too much, though clearly these young women had. But when I read these posts I realized I'd known MPDGs too. I think we all do or did. I think it's something that's a little harder to pull off after 35 or so.

MPDG's are sometimes waif-like, but always AMAZING. They are every guy's dream - they are sweet, non-judgemental, often artistic giving the promise of possible sexual abandon, a little flighty, and as the Jezebel post states: they are portrayed in film in particular, (in scripts mostly penned by men) as "docile."

Reading this post explained so much to me about why my high school experience was so different from the girls I knew who had guys dropping at their feet. I had a total light bulb moment! It wasn't about breast size, well, it probably was somewhat, but I was up against MPDGs - I didn't have a chance!

I went to three different high schools. No, I didn't get kicked out or anything, though it was probably entirely possible given my strong opinions about fairness and injustice and how students were treated. I was far from docile. At every school I now see there was a MPDG just waiting to taunt me with her over-sized sweaters and smile.

The first MPDG I knew was Eva. She ended up with Joe, the guy I wanted more than anything in the world. I truly always thought it was her enormous breasts that got his attention but I now realize she was an amazing girl. She was sweet, easy-going and while not classically pretty, carried herself with an air of grace I just didn't posses at 14. She was 15 I think, a much older girl.

At my next school it was Nanny. She totally looked the part of the MPDG:long blond ringlets. petite and delicate, almost ethereal. And she was smart and well-spoken. The daughter of a famous author, I envied her quirky family and the way she could layer sweaters, cargo pants and a scarf and look perfect.

At my final high school, there was Wendy. She came in our senior year and turned every guy's head. She was fresh-faced and sweet, quiet yet made the guys laugh. She got one of the few guys in my class who was smart and a little quirky - just the kind of guy I liked. Oh my, it seems my type hasn't changed much.

I haven't run into any of these women since high school or college. After reading that post and thinking about all the MPDGs I've seen in movies, it seems what they have going for them, and perhaps is the reason so many guys go gaga over them is they are completely non-threatening. Now I don't mean to be threatening, but I think in some ways maybe I am. I can't keep my mouth shut when something important bugs me, I have strong opinions about a lot of things, and at almost 5'10," I think I'm a little too tall to be a pixie.

When I was younger I would have given anything to be one of those MPDGs, and maybe even in my early days post-divorce. But there's something about raising kids, forging a career and having to fend for yourself in the world that makes that kind of impossible. I've been to the circus and seen the puppet strings - I know too much to be a MPDG.

Now that I know what it was that I was up against all those years ago I feel a little relieved. I know that I was never built to be a MPDG. And now that I'm well past MPDG age I can finally appreciate that fact. It's just too bad it took me so long to get it.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Why Can't Powerful Men Use Their Super Powers To Keep Their Pants On?

I was working this afternoon. All right, if I'm going to be completely honest I was e-mailing and trying to figure out what the heck to get my daughter for her birthday next week. I'm completely stymied.

Anyway... I had CNN on in the background and all of a sudden I start hearing all this chatter about John Edwards coming forward and admitting that he had an affair with a filmmaker who worked on his campaign.

You would think after living through the Monica/Gennifer/Paula Years I would be shock proof, but no, I am naive and keep coming back for one more kick to the head.

During the early stages of the primaries I liked John Edwards and his family values very much. I thought he was one of the good guys. Maybe it was the Southern accent, his boyish good looks or his lovely and smart wife, Elizabeth.

I hate that I keep getting sucked in to believing these guys are decent and who they appear to be. I'm kind of a take people at face value kind of gal. In some ways that tendency has served me well, and in others - like believing that New Coke would taste better than old Coke? Not so much.

My heart truly goes out to Elizabeth Edwards. Not only has she been dealing with the biggest betrayal a spouse can endure, she doesn't even get to do it in private.

Life isn't fair, we all know that. But this woman has lost a son, overcome cancer only to have it recur and now this. That seems beyond unfair. Yes, she may have material wealth, but whether you are wealthy or poor, you feel pain.

I truly do not understand why people cheat on their spouses, part of that naive thing perhaps. If you're unhappy, leave, but show your partner the respect they deserve by keeping everything above board and between the two of you.

I hate the fact that this will now cease to become what it really is - a hurtful event in a private relationship. Pundits will analyze and pontificate about the impact on Edward's career, the Democratic convention and the possible effect on the national election.

What will only be mentioned here and there is the pain of four innocent people who did nothing wrong other than trusting the man who was supposed to put all of them first and love them more than himself.

Maybe that's what this is all about. Power makes you think you're so special that you are above the rest of us. That you can get away with things we mere mortals can't. The thing is, those super powers have their limits and come with great responsibility.

I think maybe John Edwards just got that memo, who would have thought it would be delivered by the National Enquirer?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

What Happened To Madonna's Face? I Don't Think I want a "New New Face"

I forget sometimes that not everyone's life is as celebrity-centric as mine. It's a sad reality that I know way too much about what famous people are doing and wearing. And in the case of Madonna, when they've completely altered their faces.

Always the mistress of reinvention, this recent change has taken things to a whole new level for the superstar. We're not talking switching hair color or trading rubber bracelets for gold, no we're talking plastic surgery.

Madonna is about to turn 50, and she works in a youth-driven industry, so it's not surprising she would go under the knife. It was just a little shocking however to see just how much she changed her look.

In an in-depth piece in New York Magazine, author Jonathan Van Meter explores the new techniques being used by plastic surgeons to create what is been dubbed, the "New New Face."
Essentially they are talking about "re-stuffing" your aging face to bring back the fullness of youth. When you look at Madonna's new new face you can see a fullness in the cheeks that wasn't there a few months ago. In general, you can't be as thin as she is and still have fullness in your face. The piece sites one of my all-time favorite quotes, from actress Catherine Deneuve. "At a certain age, a woman has to choose between her ass and her face."

In our size-zero-obsessed world we can see the direction many women, especially celebrities have gone in, but now apparently thanks to modern science, they don't have to choose between their bottom and their face. Instead of having a healthy, rounded face (and body) you can now be grossly underweight and still have the face of a 12-year-old. Woo hoo!

Last week a photo of Madonna hit the Internet and it was frightening. It made me wonder, what ever happened to aging gracefully?

I wrote a piece for the Cape Cod Times last winter about sexism in the reporting of celebrities, and one Boston based reporter told me that in an interview, Susan Sarandon told her that one of the reasons she chose to live in New York was because she felt less pressure to be perfect.

I think of actresses like Katharine Hepburn and how beautiful she still was as she aged. There is I think, a certain dignity to aging gracefully and being proud of the life you've led. My son Ben, who bless his heart is only 24, and still has a very lovely face, makes a valid point about baby boomers and their relentless pursuit of youth. He doesn't have much good to say about the lot of us hoping to not get too wrinkled and wan. But, I see his point, how far is too far?

Does someone like Madonna have much of a choice? She's about to embark on yet another world tour and let's be honest, selling tickets isn't about who you are as a person as much as it's about how you look and what kind of show you can put on. As the line goes from "Jerry Maguire," "It's not show friends, it's show business," and she's in the business of making lots of money based largely on what she looks like.

Hopefully Madonna's face will settle in, and she'll look more normal soon. Though that's what I thought about Meg Ryan after she altered her gorgeous face. She's never looked the same.

I'm relieved that I get to sit in front of a computer and no one will really care when things start to shift a little bit. Well, that's not true, I'll care. I just hope I have the courage to resist doing anything other than maybe some really good facials and having a good attitude.

I think I'll keep my old face, it's served me pretty well, and I'd rather stick with the familiar than risk a new new face that just makes me look just a little bit desperate and mishapen. And besides, keeping my face looking youthful means I shouldn't always pass up the chance to eat ice cream, I'll pick my face over my ass any day. Even if it does mean I won't look like Madonna, I'd really rather be me. A few wrinkles and all.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

On Marriage, Mores and Music

At my writing group the other night we got talking about marriage, specifically about whether or not things were better, simpler back in the 1950s and 60s. This was by the way, somewhat on topic dealing with one members work in progress, but we are certainly not above digressing. I offered that if my whole life was solely about doing the laundry and making sure dinner was on the table at 6 I would go insane. As domestic as I can be, (I hate to clean but love decorating and cooking) I have to feel fulfilled creatively to be happy.

Yesterday while on my daily walk I got thinking about marriage, based on the discussion the night before. Not a small topic to ponder. Being divorced, people often ask me if I would ever get married again. My answer varies depending on how I'm feeling that day. Some days I am imbued the idea of loving someone so much that I would promise to be there for them for the rest of my life. On other days I think it is incredibly naive to think you can know today how you will feel about someone one year from now, ten years from now, heck, even the next day.

There is something incredibly... I don't know, optimistic I guess about choosing to get married. I'm not so sure I'm as optimistic about love anymore. Divorce can do that to you. You have to have faith that this person, this ONE person is the person you will always and forever love. No matter what. Of course there will be good days and bad, but you are willing to take that leap and promise "till death do you part." That's a great thought when you're in your 20s, and I believed that when I made that promise at the insanely young age of 20. But, things happen. People fall out of love, crises pull you apart and you change. What you wanted and needed at 20 isn't the same over 40. It seems the rare couple who can pull off growing together and allowing their partner to be who they need to be, even if it's a bit different than the person they married.

At this stage in my life I'm not so sure I see a reason to be married, but there is the spiritual part of me that thinks there's something very special about committing yourself to someone before those you love. But, there's another part of me, some might think an immoral part, who thinks choosing every day that this is in fact where you want to be because you choose to be, not because you have to be is appealing as well.

While on my walk this morning, as always I popped on my iPod and began selecting songs, still thinking about relationships and where I stand. While I hopped from song to song, I kept thinking about love and marriage. I started off with the Oscar winning song from the movie, "Once," "Falling Slowly." Then I admit, I clicked on the Britney's "Gimme More," hey, it's got a good beat for walking. As hiked on, listening to OMDs "If You Leave," I got thinking about how attached we get when we fall in love and then all bets are off. I readily admit that until I fall in love I am very good at being detached and rational. Once my feelings kick into high gear, well then all bets are off. I don't think that's a good thing, and it's a good reason to look before I leap.

The last song I listened to was Common's, "I Want You."

As I listened and walked to the sensual beat, and pictured the very handsome and sexy Common, I thought, who are you kidding thinking you have any control over any of this? I am the person for whom the term, "Fool for love" was coined.

I'm just not sure I'm foolish enough to take those vows one more time. I truly don't know if I could do it. A part of me really understands George Clooney's stance on saying he will never marry again. If it hasn't worked, why do it again?

I really don't know how I feel. Or would feel if it ever comes down to that. Ultimately I guess it will depend on who's doing the asking.