Friday, July 31, 2009


If you would like to ask me a question, that possibly will be featured in this blog please email
I look forward to hearing from you.

What is trendier marriage or divorce?

We all know that divorce rates are high in North America. We also know that until the recent economic downturn, people had been spending more money than ever on weddings. I had always thought that weddings were clearly more trendy/in style than separation and divorce. However, the latest headlines regarding Jon and Kate have made me realize that perhaps, not only is divorce so rampant in our society it might even be the cool thing to do? Divorce seems to be represented in the media as a way to start over, live many lives in one life - so to speak, regardless of how legitimate the cause of divorce might be.

Anyways, a newly married friend asked me today how the spark of marriage can be maintained when day to day life such as bills, work stress, family issues, etc. get in the way.

Here are my ideas and none of them cost a penny or take too much time.

1. Make the first thing you say to your spouse when you wake up in the morning, see each other after work, etc...sound positive and encourage connecting to each other.
For instance, this is what not to say - "Hi Honey, how was work? (two second pause without getting an answer) ok well the garbage needs to be taken out and I need help with making dinner."
This is a better idea - "Hi Honey, how was work? what did you do today? (wait enough time for a full response). I missed you today, it is so nice to know we have time tonight to be together and am so looking forward to having dinner with you. When you finish whatever you're doing right now would you mind helping me with dinner?"
It only takes a few seconds longer to say the latter version, however if you try this a few times a day when you first see your spouse after time apart, it will definitely make a difference in terms of how upbeat your relationship feels. Taking time to focus on each other before focusing on the mundane is key.

2. Serious conversation such as current events and politics is important in any relationship, and household business also needs to be addressed in any good marriage - however - one important aspect of keeping a relationship fun is maintaining what I like to call "flirtatious banter" that probably was present in your relationship when you started dating.
A good rule to live by is at least once a day ask your spouse one of the following types of questions. You must ask the question out of the blue and ideally in a moment where you both have a second to enjoy each other and reflect. These questions are just examples so be creative and come up with different variations.

-name three things you love; name three things that excite you; name three things you always procrastinate doing, etc...

-"what if?" My husband always asks me "what if" questions that can go something like this, "what if we were stranded in a shopping mall over night, which three stores would you go to and name one thing you would take from each if everything was free. Maximum value $5,000 per item."

-If you could go back to any year of your life which one would it be?; If you could go back to any geographical place you have been which one would you go back to? If you could re-create a moment in life which moment would you re-create?

These questions help us see each other not just as financial partners, soul mates, etc...but as friends who are excited to keep getting to know each other.

3. Delegate chores and trust the other person. So much of marriage interaction involves routine and errands etc. If a couple has a schedule where responsibilities are divided, and chores do not have to continually be re-delegated or discussed, it frees up more time to pursue leisure.

4. Take a walk together every night. Get fresh air. Take a moment from the phone, tv, friends, family, washing the dishes, etc. Just go for a walk. Hold hands. Talk or don't talk. Just enjoy being with each other. If you make 15 minutes every evening to do this together not only will your health be better but you will have something special to look forward to every evening.

If you have any other suggestions, for remaining excited about any type of relationship -- let me know.

Cool best friend to girlfriend

One of my best friends called me this morning with a question:

How do I stop being the coolest best friend and become the girlfriend?

My friend, let's call her "Lea," has always gotten along with males. She is funny, insanely smart and successful - not to mention beautiful. However, rather than approaching her relationships to guys as being a flirtatious romantic game of cat and mouse - she usually ends up being the guys best friend, or the best friend of the guys girlfriend. How can Lea stop sending off friendship signals and start reverberating waves of love and lust?

1. Confidence yet humility- It all begins with how one walks into a room (or bar, or party or get the picture...)
Always walk straight and tall and have a smile on your face. If you look happy to be you other people will want to be associated with you and at least get to know you. Check the room out. Anyone you are drawn to? Make eye contact with any of those men. Have a good time. Likely one of the guys you have made eye contact with will come up to you.

2. Mystery and flirtation- There is plenty of time for a man and a woman to get to know each other deeply. Their fears, travel preferences, food allergies can come later so enjoy the fun of first meeting...stick to fun talk at the beginning and always be flirtatious. Not everything has to be given away at once. Always make eye contact, and if you really like this person block out the rest of the room. Ask questions that are unique yet not too personal. Laugh and smile and remember that this isn't someone you just want to be friends with. Don't act the way you do with your friends. Project the sexiest and most charming version of yourself. If you relax and treat it as a game of romantic and flirtatious banter it will be enjoyable, regardless of the final outcome. Questions such as: "If you could design your dream house which rooms would be in it?" are good because they illicit creative and fun answers that aren't too serious. Non fun questions might be "do you like your boss?" or "What is your favorite sports team?"

3. To not be in charge - Sometimes it is hard for women who are strong, independent and successful in every area of their life to let go and remember that sometimes it is nice to not be in charge. Remember, most women would rather a man who takes initiative and knows how to make decisions on his own than a man who needs a woman to plan everything. So, when you first meet a guy and are flirting away - let him lead. This allows you not to waste time on guys who do not really have an interest enough to pursue you. It also allows women to remove themselves from the typical roles they place at work and with friends/family and shift gears to allow for the flow of romance.

4. Don't waste your time with guys who aren't ready - Most guys know before they walk into a room what they are looking for in terms of a woman. Do they want a girlfriend but not a wife? Do they want a short encounter with someone maybe physical or otherwise, but not a relationship? Therefore, don't waste your time with someone who isn't ready for whatever it is that you are ready for. You might ask, how do I know exactly what a guy is looking for? Well, if a guy is interested in a real relationship he will be respectful and interested in flirtatious conversation when he meets you, will call you within a few days of your first meeting and promptly ask you out. Being a gentleman is important and if the date goes well and he is polished and attentive...that is a good start. But don't rush into anything, Lea and the rest of our friends may be feminists but, the age old notion is true, if a man wants you - he'll chase you. Let him do the work and only then will you know, if he is going to be just a friend...or more?

Life as a Resident's Wife

My husband is a plastic surgery resident. When I show up to social events alone (because he is inevitably usually at the hospital), the following is often the conversation I end up having over and over again with new people (NP) that I meet:

NP: Hi, so what brought you to LA?

ME: My husband is doing a residency in plastic surgery, that's why he isn't here tonight because he works all the time.

NP: Wow, plastic surgeon - Well he came to the right place...LA is the breast implant capital of the world!

ME: No, actually my husband isn't devoting 6 years of his life to do solely cosmetic surgery, he actually wants to do microsurgery and cancer reconstruction.

NP: Yeah right---

ME: I swear.

NP: You don't look like you have had plastic surgery

ME: (I wonder to myself if that is a compliment or an insult.)
I haven't, like I said my husband isn't obsessed with cosmetic surgery.

and that's usually where the conversation ends.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

What do people do exactly for 8 hours a day?

Until I start getting readers to ask questions, or I have some inspiration from a friend's situation - I will write about some interesting experiences I have had, books I have read, food I have eaten, or art I have seen, etc...

I am reading a book right now called The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss. The premise of the book is that "being rich" has more to do with flexibility of time, independence and the ability to travel and pursue personal interests beyond one's career than it has to do with money. "Being rich" to Ferris doesn't mean being a billionaire but it does mean not waiting until one is 65 to retire and only then to start living a dream life.

The point that really got me was that Ferriss questions why our society has bought into the notion of working "9-5." Who is to say that work needs 8 hours to be accomplished? How can that standard be accurate for every company? One could argue that more than 8 hours is required to be truly successful, however Ferriss argues that when inefficiencies are removed from the workplace the notion of "9-5" can be thrown out as well. What matters is the bottom line. And the bottom line to Ferriss is making money and also enjoying life.

As a woman who always thought she could have it all, a loving marriage, children, a dynamic career...I am realizing that "9-5" might not work for me in the future or me or my friends. Maybe we need to reinvent what it means to accomplish a lot in a day and do our own math.