Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

(originally posted in September 2009)

Women often naively assume that the guy who sends flowers every Friday afternoon, without fail, is the stable, loyal and romantic man of her dreams. However, in my experience, I had boyfriends who would shower me with cliche romantic gestures such as my favorite white flowers - while deep inside I knew, the routine of sending flowers was an attempt by these boyfriends to over compensate for lackings in our relationship. Maybe they couldn't intellectually challenge me or the chemistry was less than ideal, but they thought flowers somehow would make it all better. 

I knew my husband was "the one" for many reasons, one of which was he has never routinely given me flowers. Sure he has surprised me with beautiful bouquets once and awhile, but he feels predictable flower giving lacks spontaneity and sincerity. That doesn't mean that he is not romantic - yet he realizes that providing me with everything I could possibly need in our relationship emotionally and physically says more than 1-800-Flowers ever could. A novel I am currently reading features a leading female character who hates yellow roses. She hates yellow roses because she knows every time she receives them from her husband, it means he has had an extra-marital affair.

I am not suggesting to accuse the man in your life of infidelities when tulips appear at your doorstep. However, I think an important lesson can be learned - Seek out a man who (metaphorically) toils, plants and fertilizes in your "relationship garden", and be suspicious of men who think that relationship voids can be filled by ordering flowers online.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

#2 of the best posts of 2009

(originally posted in November 2009)

Dear Danielle,

I am 23 years old and have never had a serious long term relationship, although I go on many dates and have dated guys for a few months at a time. What I am wondering is - what exactly is intimacy? Not physical, but more emotional/romantic intimacy. Although I have been with men I have never felt what it is like to be in an intimate relationship. I am starting to feel like I don't know what intimacy is and I definitely feel like I don't know how to find it.

"Seeking Intimacy"

Dear "Seeking Intimacy,"

Imagine being in a crowded cocktail party at a friend's home. The room is full and there is a fun buzz in the air as friends mingle and laugh. As you are discussing politics with an old high school friend you haven't seen in awhile you catch eyes with a man across the room. Your heart skips a beat. You don't speak, and don't even really smile at each other, but you feel each other's presence and continue on socializing with others at the party. Throughout the night you don't interact much with the man you caught eyes with, yet you feel so connected and one with him. This isn't a stranger, but rather the man that you came to the party with. This man is your boyfriend or possibly your husband. And although you spent the whole night doing your own thing, you couldn't have felt closer to each other...Intimacy to me is sharing a bond and feeling a sense of shared experience even in moments when each person is living their own life.
Intimacy can mean different things to different people. "Knowing it when you feel it," pretty well sums up the search for intimacy, yet, that doesn't mean you should sit back and wait for an intimate relationship to come find you. I have always known what intimacy means to me, and thankfully married a man who I know I can share such intimacy with. It takes work to maintain a constant sense of connection with someone, and small intimate acts can encourage that all around sense of closeness in a relationship.
Intimacy cannot be had with any Joe you find in a nightclub, therefore you are correct about questioning how intimacy can be found. When you meet a man that you really think you have potential with, meaning there is chemistry and mutual respect and affection - the process of intimacy cultivation can begin. I know what you're wondering, what do I mean by "intimacy cultivation"?
Intimacy cultivation refers to the process in which an individual and a couple set the foundation for an intimate relationship. Closeness between a couple must exist not just in sexual or specifically romantic situations but during normal life. Not every grocery store trip with your spouse will feel like fireworks and/or extreme intimacy, but that's just the point. Intimacy doesn't mean anything out of the ordinary. Intimate relationships are one's that uplift day to day life and find special moments during unlikely times.
So, when you begin dating a guy that you like, I suggest that you focus on truly getting to know this person. Intimacy can only occur in a deep way when a sense of familiarity exists. Listen closely to your partner and try to understand him/her on a level that the rest of the world might not. After awhile, this sense of knowing will result in private jokes or you just knowing the right thing to say at the right time to make the other person feel acknowledged.
Intimacy also is achieved by striking the right balance between private couple time and socializing with work colleagues, friends, and each other's families. It is one thing to make eyes at each other in private, but it is another thing to mediate a new relationship within the larger world. Even during "public" moments the challenge is to stay connected to each other. Whether it be by a sexy gaze, holding hands, etc. Not every couple is comfortable with the same levels of PDA. What's important is that each couple finds a way to relate regardless of the setting.
If you get to know the depths of someone and are comfortable exhibiting closeness with them in private and public then you are on your way to an intimate relationship.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

#3 of the best posts of 2009

(originally posted in October 2009)

Dear Danielle,

I am 29 years old and my parents have been divorced for 12 years. My father remarried awhile ago, but only over the last year has my mother really made an effort to meet men. Recently, she has been dating a man who is a decade younger than her. My mom works out a lot, has a great figure and dresses very young looking - so I am not surprised a younger guy would be attracted to her. But, the guy she is dating is not very intellectual. He shows her a good time, but I don't think he has what she needs for a lasting long term relationship. I want to tell her not to waste her time with him and find a man more her age who she could actually spend the rest of her life with. Should I butt in or leave her alone to figure it out?


"Daughter of a Cougar"

Dear "Daughter of a Cougar,"

As long as your mother is happy, it is not your place to "tell her not to waste her time." She might never want to re-marry, and if she does, it is her decision who or when it is with. It might make you slightly uncomfortable to see your mother dating a younger man who doesn't fit the mold of a father type figure - but get over it. This isn't about you, this is about her finding her way and reinventing her life. Let her explore. This fling with the younger guy probably wont last, as you suggest, but that doesn't mean there is anything wrong with having fun along the way. Stop worrying about her and invest in your own love life - I have a hunch you it might need some attention :-)

Monday, December 28, 2009

#4 of the best posts of 2009

(originally posted in October 2009)

Making friends as an adult is sure different then making childhood or college friends. Childhood friendships which began as circumstantial relationships, often bloom over the years into life-long friendships. For most people, adolescence and university means endless hours of partying and philosophizing with many like-minded young people.
Although childhood friendship making is laden with plenty of cliques, bossiness, peer-pressure and sometimes bullying - establishing new adult friendships can often be more complicated. As people get older, the hours of the day get filled with work responsibilities, dating and married life, household duties and childcare. Little time of often left for building new friendships, and even new friendships are often as a result of circumstantial commonalities such as kids being in the same school or meeting through a work environment.

The way I look at it, maintaining friendships as an adult is a form of an investment. If adults invest in solid close friends, then they likely will have a support system when life gets tough - or friends to enjoy the successes of life with. But considering the fact that adults today have so little time and energy to devote to friendships - how best to "invest" friendship time?

While reading the Huffington Post this week I saw an article by Therese Borchard about the book"Bounce: Living the Resilient Life," written by psychology professor Robert Wicks. This book recommends what seems like - strategic friendship making. Wicks looks at friendships in terms of calculated efforts to surround oneself with the right kind of people, rather than a result of life's chance. Rather than be-friend a neighbor because they live next door, Wicks encourages people to seek out friends with certain qualities.
Specifically, the book advocates that we invite into our circle of friends four types of people: the prophet, the cheerleader, the harasser, and the guides. The prophet is not afraid to "tell it like it is" even if it something you don't want to hear while the cheerleader offers constant encouragement. The harasser bring humor and a sense of perspective into our lives while the guide is an attentive listener and analytic soul.

Everyone's friendship needs are different. However, my advice for today is:
Invest in a handful of quality friendships. One or two can live far away...but also make sure you have a few close by. Less is definitely more when it comes to friends. Nothing wrong with being a social butterfly, but don't fly around so much that you have no true friendships to land on when you really need it.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

#5 of the best posts of 2009

(originally posted in October 2009)

Dear Danielle,

I consider myself a pretty good person. I am honest, and I try to be a giving, loyal and considerate friend. The thing is, lately I have been noticing that I feel a twinge of jealousy in me when something really great happens to a friend of mine. For instance, one of my best friends just got engaged, and another friend just got offered a lucrative job opportunity. Of course on a rational level I feel happy for them, but my gut reaction when I hear this type of news has been envy. I hate to admit it, but I also think I secretly hope that these amazing things wont happen to my friends so that I feel better about my own life. Am I a terrible person for feeling jealous of my close friends? How do I stop these negative feelings and just purely feel joy for them?

"Envy getting the better of me"

Dear "Envy getting the better of me,"

There is a reason why God commanded people to not covet. You aren't a terrible person. It is human nature to want to feel "better off" in comparison to friends/neighbors. That's why most people would choose to make $100,000 a year while everyone else they know earns "$50,000," rather than making $200,000 while everyone else makes $500,000. Affluence and success are relative terms, and you often assume that if a friend seems on the surface to be doing better than you financially, professionally or socially that it means somehow your own life is lacking. Ask yourself - why does a friend's job promotion make me feel bad about my own life? Use these feelings of envy to address areas of your life you would like to impove and then spend your energy working on those improvements, rather than thinking "the grass is always greener." You will be able to feel pure joy for your friends when you find joy and satisfaction in your own life, regardless of how you "measure up" to others.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

#6 of the best posts of 2009

(originally posted in October 2009)

Did you know that there is an online dating service to help married people find lovers for extra-marital affairs? It is called Ashley Madison and it's slogan is: "Beat bedroom is short. have an affair." I was not shocked when I heard of the popularity of this site, but I was sad. As a strong believer in the 10 commandments, I often am perplexed at how paramount social justice/moral values such as "thou shall not steal" and "thou shall not commit adultery" are so easily discarded in our society. A person need not be religious to see how avoiding envy and not murdering (along with the other laws espoused by the 10 commandments) can make our communities safer and ultimately happier. So why have we so easily given up on striving for these ideals?

Yes, the bedroom of a married couple can sometimes feel boring. But is that an excuse for adultery? And what disturbs me most is the correlation that Ashley Madison makes between the concept that "life is short" and adultery. If life is short shouldn't we live the best life we can? If life is short shouldn't we try our hardest to make our marriage the happiest and strongest it can be, rather than creating mistrust and dishonesty?

Judaism acknowledges that sex can become boring, and creates many provisions in terms of when sex is permissible with the goal of creating desire for married couples. Whether you can relate to religious law that deals with sex, or not, it raises the question:

Maybe our society is so over-sexed that we erroneously think we need multiple partners to be satisfied when really we need to encourage more "wanting" amongst spouses?
What do you think of Ashley Madison, and the prevalence of extra-marital affairs in our society...

Friday, December 25, 2009

#7 of best posts of 2009

(originally posted in September 2009)

Dear Danielle,

I've been dating a really great guy for the last 6 weeks. We enjoy each other's company, are comfortable around each other, etc. One issue that I'm having is that he has never once complimented me ... and when I ask him why, he merely says that it's not something he was raised doing and it's going to take time for him. I recognize that while it's still new, it has been 6 weeks. I even noticed one evening as we were heading out on a date that he was 'checking me out' and when I asked him what he was thinking, he said he wouldn't tell me. I compliment him and try to make him feel good; how do I get him to come out of his shell and do the same for me?

"Tell me you like me"

Dear "Tell me you like me,"

I am not concerned with his lack of compliments, as long as he is affectionate and warm with you. Unfortunately, a guy who can't compliment a girl he is dating might also be the kind of guy that cannot open up emotionally or be loving. If you have been dating for 6 weeks and he hasn't told you how he feels about you, for example, "I am so happy we met and that I am getting to know you" or, "I have been really enjoying our time together and find you funny, or interesting, (or whatever)" then it would seem as if he is a very closed person who has some issues with emotional intimacy.

Possibly he didn't get much affection or positive reinforcement when he was growing up. Have you asked him why he isn't comfortable complimenting you? If he'll talk openly about his hesitations or his upbringing, and you don't find anything else in the relationship problematic - then I would give him more of a chance to open up. Maybe he doesn't have the tools to compliment you, so offer him an idea of what you are looking for in terms of positive reinforcement. However, if he isn't even open to letting you in a bit to understand his rationale then I wouldn't waste your time trying to change this guy.

I have a friend whose dad has never said I love you to his wife (her mother). This man grew up in a communist country and was raised very closed. Despite that, he is a loyal and devoted husband. His wife could obviously overlook the fact he was not affectionate or loving. However, you seem like a woman who needs some doting - so make sure the guy you are dating can give you what you need, even if it takes some time.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

#8 of the best posts of 2009

(originally posted in August 2009)

I love the Oprah Winfrey Show and watch it daily. I am fascinated by "seeing how other people live," and her show features perspectives on diverse lifestyles.

I was watching a re-run which featured Brooke, a prostitute at the Bunny Ranch in Nevada. Brooke mentioned that she is often hired by men to pretend she is their girlfriend or wife. One un-married client pays Brooke, not for sex, but to act like his nagging wife and express jealousy and
possessiveness over him. You heard me right - there is a man out there who wishes he had a nagging wife.

I started to wonder, which of the relationship patterns that we fall into, despite complaining that we wished they would change, do we actually find pleasurable? For instance, as much as many women out there would love their husbands to take more of a leadership role in household duties, maybe they also secretly love the mothering and domestic ritual of being the woman responsible for the house?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


#9 of the best posts of 2009

(originally posted in August 2009)

Dear Danielle,

If I were to die tomorrow what would be the most important thing
I've left for my children?

Sincerely, "Dad Down Under"

Dear "Dad Down Under,"

The fact that you wrote in this question indicates that you are concerned with leaving a positive legacy for your children. The following concepts cannot be fulfilled by sitting down and having one heart to heart conversation with your child. They can only be achieved by incorporating these principles into everyday dialogue and interaction, which may be challenging for those who were not raised themselves with these values. However, it is never too late to start teaching children how to be the best human beings possible.

1. Every child should feel like the most loved and most beautiful person out there. Of course this must be met with lessons of humility. Life will provide every individual with plenty of situations that inforce concepts of humility and even ego degeneration. However, a parent uniquely can offer their child the ladder to climb upwards and view the world from a position of strength and confidance. To believe that one can "be anything" and "do anything" ensures that during adolescence and adulthood an individual does not accept abusive or even demeaning treatment. By instilling in your child the sense of not only their worth but also their potential, they will less likely find themselves in an abusive relationship or a job they are miserable in. If a child thinks they deserve the best (not in a spoiled materialistic way - but in a standard of a happy lifestyle) than they will protect themselves more likely from dangerous or harmful situations for the soul and spirit.

2. It is just as important for children to understand their role as part of a family legacy and a community/society than it is for a child's individual ego to be developed in a healthy way (as highlighted above). Children need to learn that we are individuals responsible for our own well being, as well as members of a society responsible for broader worldly or communal progress. We must teach children that it is not enough to be selfish or even view life as a day to day personal pursuit. Rather, having long term goals and thinking of the welfare of others and the world is critical in a successful life. Simply, children need to understand they are an important link in a chain of humanity and the actions they take can either further or disrupt this chain. This principle could be applied to many facets of existence:
-Ensuring religious practice/ritual is passed down to your children
-Avoiding a sense of political apathetic-ness amongst your children
-Communicating the value for passing on specific family traditions and values

3. Children need to learn from their mistakes while they are young and realize that self-improvement and emotional/spritual awareness is key in a lifelong pursuit of self improvement. Teach your children that every new day presents an opportunity to be a better person. "If you wont be better tomorrow than you are today, then what need do you have for tomorrow?" - R. Nachman of Breslov

4. We live in a consumer culture so teach your child how to acquire. The type of acquisition I am referring to relates not to material possessions but how to overall acquire the quality of life they desire. This includes, how to make loyal, emotionally intelligent and successful friends and how to find a life partner that is worthy of them and challenges/uplifts them. A child can learn how to "acquire" the right lifestyle for themselves by understanding that quality friendships and relationships are sought out, cultivated and hard work is taken to maintain them. Just because your child has been friends with the same child since pre-school doesn't mean they should learn to stay in a friendship that is possibly a bad influence, or stay with a boyfriend that doesn't show them affection. Essentially, an ideal lifestyle can be achieved if one seeks out the type of people they want to associate with and build the type of social framework and/or community that fits their values. (I will be writing a future blog just on this subject matter.)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


As the countdown begins to 2010 I will be featuring the best DEAR DANIELLE posts from 2009. Here is #10...

(originally posted in July 2009)

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.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Dear Danielle,

I have a friend who is tall, thin and pretty. However, she needs a wardrobe and hair make-over. We're very good friends but each time I've tried to suggest that she gets her hair cut by a different person (she has curly hair, which is always frizzy - I've never actually seen the real curls -- and messy) or that she buys clothing a bit more tailored (her clothes are always too big!), she doesn't really take to it. I've offered to go shopping with her and to send her to my stylist (I also have curly hair). It's not about the money for her; I think she just feels fine the way she is.
Suggestions for how I can be successful with my suggestions, without being rude or too blunt?

"You're Perfect - Now Change"

Dear "You're Perfect - Now Change,"

For her birthday, or as a holiday gift, give her a gift certificate to your salon (doesn't have to be for a huge amount of $) and suggest to her that you book your appointments at the same time. Make a fun girly day of it, by having lunch followed by shopping. Before she'll know what hit her, she'll have a new do, and a few cute new outfits that you have encouraged her to buy. Sometimes people are reluctant to change, but when they see how wonderful a change in look can be, they never look back...

Friday, December 18, 2009

A great article on marriage was published in the NYTimes this week.
As a newly married woman, I love hearing from couples who have been married for decades about their experiences and advice. David Sarasohn writes honestly about his marriage in a realistic yet uplifting way. Here are a few great quotes from the article:

"Being single is all about the future, about the person you’re going to meet at Starbucks or after answering the next scientific compatibility questionnaire. Being married, after a certain point, is about the past, about a steadily growing history of moments that provide a confidence of comfort, an asset that compounds over time."

"Being married to someone you respect for being somehow better than you keeps affection alive. That this impressive person chooses you year after year makes you more pleased with yourself, fueling the kind of mutual self-esteem that can get you through decades."

What are your thoughts after reading this?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dear Danielle,

I really like a guy and I don't know how he feels about me, so I haven't said anything. Another guy really likes me, and hasn't said anything either but it is very obvious and I can tell he thinks I feel the same way. I don't want to lead the second guy on, and I wish I could tell the guy I actually like how I feel, but I'm scared of being rejected or ruining our friendship.
I'm so confused and in the end speechless towards both of them... what should I do?


Dear "Speechless",

Arrange some one-on-one time with the guy you like. Cook him dinner or go for a long walk, or do something else that is private and could be romantic yet not over the top. Observe how he reacts, does he treat you like a friend or more like a girlfriend? I believe if a guy likes you he will go after you, so once you give him the opportunity to treat you like more than a friend, see how he deals with it. If he still doesn't make a move or express any interest in being more than just friends, I wouldn't push it with him. You want a guy who will come after you. In terms of the guy who likes you, but you don't like back, no need to mention anything to him until he directly asks you out. If/when he does, tell him that you really appreciate your friendship with him but don't see your relationship extending beyond that. If you don't make a big deal of it he wont either.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dear Danielle,

I have a thin mother, a thin father and a model-like brother, yet I have always struggled with my weight. I am not obese, but I am definitely overweight. I try to exercise a few times a week and I stay away from junk food, but I have never been good at strict diets. I just started dating a guy who likes my figure. I want to be able to just accept who I am and not try to be thin like the rest of my family - but how?

"Done with Dieting"

Dear "Done with Dieting"

As long as your doctor thinks your weight is at a healthy point, and you are exercising regularly - then you are doing a good job. Accepting who you are involves ceasing to compare yourself to others, and only comparing yourself to yourself! If from one year to the next you gain a lot of weight or start eating unhealthily then you have something to worry about, but as long as you are living true to yourself then you have every reason to be proud. Just because the rest of your family is thin doesn't mean you are doing something wrong by not being like them. Don't waste a minute of life stressing over something that likely will never change. Embrace the man who loves you for who you are and do the same for him -that's a recipe for joy.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dear Danielle,

I graduated from college last year and have been living in New York City with a room mate. We live in a one bedroom apartment and although we were pretty good friends when we moved in, we have been disagreeing a lot over our living arrangement. I am very neat and she is very messy. I am very quiet and she likes to have friends over at all hours. I am sad this has interfered with our friendship. Last night I came in the living room and saw her smoking pot even though we agreed no drugs would be in our apartment. What should I do?

"Paradise Lost"

Dear "Paradise Lost,"

I recently saw an article about two nearly 100 year old women who shared a room and one murdered the other...
I suggest that after your lease is up you find another living situation. In the meantime, draft a contract dealing with apartment rules to do with cleaning, drugs, noise etc., and ask her to sign the contract. If she refuses to sign, or signs but doesn't follow the rules - move out early. Find someone to sublet your room from you. Happiness and a comfortable living situtation are important components to well being. Don't settle for a bad situation. Good luck!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dear Danielle,

I have a friend who has been married for almost ten years (she was barely 20 when she got married). We are very close but one aspect of her life that she will not confide in me about is her marriage. She acts like it is perfect and that she is very happy, but I notice that her husband seems controlling. Although he is loving and affectionate, he insists she stays at home to raise their kids even though she really wants a career. How do I tell my very private friend that I am concerned about her marriage?

"Concerned Friend"

Dear "Concerned Friend,"

I hear you. It frustrates me more then anything when people feel the need to project perfection, when we all know that no one's life is always ideal. Wouldn't life be easier if we all gave up on trying to live a picket fence life and accepted that challenge in marriage is as inevitable as snow in Alaska? Having said that, your friend must come to you to share about her relationship, you should not pressure her. Take her out for coffee and subtly ask how married life is treating her, and maybe share something personal about your own love life to even the playing field. If she wont open up at all, remind her you are her friend and always there for her. That's the best you can do.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Dear Danielle,

I have always had a list of what I am looking for in the man I will marry. I know that no one I meet will possess every quality on my list, but I believe each person should strive for the best that life has to offer - and why should seeking a mate be any different? My friends and family often say I am too picky, but I am in my early 30's, beautiful and a successful dermatologist so I feel like I shouldn't settle. How do I convince my loved ones that my soul mate is out there and I should expect the best?

"Searching for Mr. Right"

Dear "Searching for Mr. Right,"

A wise person once told me, that amazing women who look for the 100% perfect guy always remain single - while the amazing women who are smart enough to go for the 90% perfect guy are the ones who are happily married and not dining alone on a friday night. In short, you might be awesome but you have your own faults. Scrap your list and look for someone who will be a loyal friend and lover for life, faults and all. Maybe it is easier for you to say you haven't met "the one" yet, then risk being in a real relationship, faults and all. You might be a perfectionist in the hospital, but you have to learn to be flexible and realistic when it comes to your personal life.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009



Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Hot Air

My husband and I went on a hot date last night. We went to a gas station, no joke. He had been working a really long shift (36 hours) and when he got home I mentioned that there was a light flashing on my car's dashboard. He looked up what that meant in the car manual, and apparently my tire pressure was low. As the protective husband that he is, he was concerned of my safety driving a car with low tire pressure, and we went together to the gas station to fill them up. It was a chilly night in LA and I waited in the car as he worked on my tires. As I watched him, all I could think was "this is what true love is."

Monday, December 7, 2009

What Tiger Taught Me

Tiger Woods has a young, gorgeous wife. That didn't stop him from cheating on her with 4 and likely more women. What keeps a husband faithful is not the toneness of his wife's abs or her parenting skills. Men (and women) stay faithful because the sanctity of marriage is much more important to them then pursuing any fleeting desire to experiment with another partner. Sure, Tiger has money and power and maybe thought he could cover up his affairs and get away with them without hurting Elin or his kids or the public finding out. Maybe Tiger didn't have a chance to "explore" enough before he got married and needs to fulfill his male yearning to sow his seed. These are all comments I have heard recently from friends when discussing the TW scandal. These points may be true - but the strongest factor that allowed a man with literally everything in the world going for him to risk it all was that he took his life for granted and assumed it could only get better. Even the greatest and most successful people fall, and their fall often takes place when they start to assume that their blessings are a given. The day we stop appreciating what we have and assuming it will automatically be there tomorrow, is the day we are susceptible to making dangerous choices that can screw up (no pun intended) our life.

My advice for today: All the goodness we have we must embrace and work hard for everyday. If we don't, we could lose it fast.

Friday, December 4, 2009

What is Contemporary Art all about?

"The greatest work in my mind is the Talmud, it's one argument superseding another - an ongoing, open ended dialogue that allows multiple points of view. For me that is what art is about."

-Andrew Renton (Contemporary Art Curator and Writer)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Educated Women Keep Men Alive Longer

I was very intrigued by a recent article in the UK's Sunday Times. The article entitled, "Men married to smart women live longer," discusses how, "Swedish scientists have discovered that long life and good health have nothing to do with a man’s education and everything to do with his wife’s." Re-buffing the notion that men are just as happy or happier with a dumb but gorgeous trophy wife, this study shows that smart and educated women encourage their husbands to eat healthier, exercise more and overall extend their lifetime. Stupid wives may look hot, but apparently they don't have the sense to noodge their husbands to trade in their beer and sports watching for biking and healthy picnics in the park.

The author of the article questions what is in it for a modern woman to monitor her husband's salt intake. Generations ago, women often measured their potential mate solely on the basis of how well he could take care of her financially because she would never have a means to support herself. In exchange, females would take care of the household and the health and well being of their husbands. The author feels short changed because nowadays women usually work outside the home as well as men and do not rely on their husbands for total financial support, although the women in relationships often still seem to be the ones looking out for the health and well being of the family. 

However, it seems pretty clear to me that when I choose to cook a crisp spinach salad and grilled chicken for dinner rather than fried chicken and mashed potatoes, or when I remind my husband to schedule a dentists appointment - I am not only taking care of him, but of both of us. You see, the longer he lives, the longer a life (God willing) I will have with my soul mate...Seems like a pretty good trade off to me!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Dear Danielle,
 I have been a blond my whole life. I am fed up. I feel like guys and girls treat me like a flake just because of my hair color. I am considering going dark chestnut brown and leaving my platinum days behind - but my boyfriend loves my blond hair. What should I do?

"Blonds don't have more fun"

Dear "Blonds don't have more fun,"

I say, go for it! A friend of mine just went from blond to brunette and notices a huge difference in how she is treated. If you need a change in your life, hair color is a great way to feel refreshed. My husband loves my hair color and my long hair, and would be very upset if I changed it, so I understand your boyfriend's concerns. However, this seems to be something that you are very interested in doing for your own sense of self and you have to do what is best for you. Send me a before and after picture!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

My husband and I saw the Lee Daniels film "Precious." It was raw and real but not as viscerally unbearable to watch as I thought it might be. Many important issues are addressed in the film, but what I took away from it most significantly was that when a child is not shown love, it not only affects one generation but many generations to come. Abuse is cyclical, and although the viewer is meant to believe by the end of the movie that Precious has removed herself from the cycle of abuse/abuser, it is clear from the depictions of her mother and grandmother that it is not an easy cycle to break.

I highly recommend that you go see this film!