Tag Archives: love

Can A Book Get You A Boyfriend?

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of He’s Just Not That Into You (the book, not the movie). From the day that I snuck into an airport gift shop and guiltily cracked its binding, Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo’s no-excuses advice told me what I needed to hear, in a world where women will say anything to encourage a friend (even if it leads to total disaster).

And for those of you (gentlemen…) who are rolling your eyes right now, let me remind you that this is a book that tells millions of women to stop acting crazy and move along.  Get behind it.

my personal “aha” moment, circa January 2009

A year later, my attitude about dating is a lot more healthy than it used to be. Sure, I still keep myself available and interested, but I don’t spend days obsessing or “reading the signs” like everyone else.  I live my life, and let what happens, happen.

Still, watching that hilarious video from The Onion (He’s a shapeshifter, ladies!), I can’t help thinking that most books are not a good way to be successful in dating.  It’s not like dieting – if you follow all the “rules”, it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll lose weight get a date.

If you did, here’s what you might end up with:

Rule #1:  Not being nice doesn’t make you a bitch, it makes you a “confident” woman.   Why Men Marry Bitches by Sherry Argov

Rule #2:  Be a lady in the street and a freak in the bed.  – Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man by Steve Harvey

Rule #3:  Forget what I said about dating not being dieting – there is a program for people who are bad at it.  – Love In 90 Days by Diana Kirschner

Rule #4:  Any little thing you do could turn off a man.  The Man Plan: Drive Men Wild… Not Away by Whitney Casey

Rule #5:  It’s not you that needs help with dating, it’s the men.  A Practical Handbook For The Boyfriend by Felicity Huffman and Patricia Wolff

Rule #6:  Thou shalt fish for men in a rich pond, but not be a gold digger.  Become Your Own Matchmaker by Patti Stanger

Rule #7:  You can’t talk to a man about your problems.  – Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus by John Gray

Rule #8:  There is no Mr. Perfect.  Settle for Mr. Good Enough.  Marry Him by Lori Gottlieb

Confused?  You should be.  Now get your nose out of a self-help book, and go outside and be yourself!  

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I Like You

I like you because if I think I am going to throw up
then you are really sorry
You don’t just pretend you are busy looking at the birdies and all that
You say, maybe it was something you ate
You say, the same thing happened to me one time
And the same thing did

Growing up, the highlight of my year was the two weeks spent at Camp Calumet.  Every night, we would jump into our bunk beds, filled with the adrenaline of wide games and campfires (and hopped up on a bit too much sugar from the Snack Bar).  Our counselor would settle us down by reflecting on the day with Devotions. We’d start to slowly deflate like helium balloons, lying in the dark of our cabin, taking in the smell of pine needles and Lake Ossipee, and listening to the waves lap up against the shore.  We’d read a story or listen to a song, and all the little things about the day seemed to tie together in some larger, more wonderous sense.

Years later, as a counselor, the book I remembered most (and probably heard every year during Devotions) was I Like You, by Sandol Stoddard Warburg.  The poem, in childlike rhythm, gets to the heart of what we learned at camp.  At camp, we were able to let go and be ourselves.  Our friends saw us at our best, and we learned to love each other unconditionally.  I never felt more loved than when I was at Camp Calumet.

That’s because you really like me
You really like me, don’t you
And I really like you back
And you like me back and I like you back
And that’s the way we keep on going every day

This Valentine’s Day, I’m celebrating that unconditional, child-like, “friends-forever” love.  If you’re like me, who finds romance to be floating in some mystic, unattainable realm best left ignored, today is great for thinking about how loved we are in other ways.  That we can find love in our friends, family, God, and most importantly, in ourselves.  And that’s what I learned from I Like You – and from summer camp.

Four other perfect devotional books for kids:

1. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (Harpercollins, 1964).  Try having small children interpret this one.

2. Oh, The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss (Random House, 1990).  For the end of camp, when everyone has to take all the memories home with them.

3.  Walk On! A Guide For Babies Of All Ages by Marla Frazee (Harcourt, 2006).  I received this book for graduation, so you really can use this picture book with campers of ALL ages.

4.  Chicken Soup For The Preteen Soul (HCI, 2000).  Chicken Soups are the cop-out of all “devos” books.  There are so many to choose from, and you can open to literally any page and make it work.  On the bright side, teens are confused.  This helps.

Confessions Of A Wanna-be Foodie

I have to a confession to make.  

Despite my inedible baking disasters (ask my sorority sisters), perpetual lack of groceries/clean dishes (ask my roommate), and habit of buying all my meals at the deli (ask my bank account . . . and the guy who knows my sandwich order by memory) – I’m obsessed with the culinary world.  Maybe it has something to do with the fascination of watching an art that I can’t seem to master.  Maybe I’m just always hungry.  But it started with Top Chef . . . and now it’s taking over my book choices, too.  

imageDB.cgiYesterday, I finished my latest (free!  gotta love publishing) subway read, Food Of Love, a light and enjoyable romance by Anthony Capella.  In a predictable, but lovable, series of comedic twists, flashy waiter Tommasso seduces a beautiful American art history student, Laura, by pretending to cook the food of his quiet chef friend, Bruno.  Naturally, Bruno’s in love with Laura, Laura’s in love with Bruno’s food, and all hell breaks loose like a boiling pot of pasta.  

I couldn’t help it – just like the gotta-watch-it appeal of a Bravo TV Show, I’m completely enamored with just reading the recipes and the names of all the seductive Roman dishes – zabaione, coda alla vaccinara, abbacchio alla caccciatiore, pappardelle al sugo di lepre . . . bravo!  bravo!  

Now I’m on to a different take on food (one that’s not so likely to get one “in the mood”, per se), The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan.  I was delighted to find it sitting on my desk yesterday, as a little gift from the Penguin gods, in celebration of their 75th 74th anniversary (Happy Birthday, Penguin!).  It is said to take you back to the basics of food . . . maybe it will help me improve on my own culinary skills.