lunes, 21 de febrero de 2011

Why You're Not Married by Tracy McMillan

You want to get married. It's taken a while to admit it. Saying it out loud -- even in your mind -- feels kind of desperate, kind of unfeminist, kind of definitely not you, or at least not any you that you recognize. Because you're hardly like those girls on TLC saying yes to the dress and you would never compete for a man like those poor actress-wannabes on The Bachelor.

You've never dreamt of an aqua-blue ring box.

Then, something happened. Another birthday, maybe. A breakup. Your brother's wedding. His wife-elect asked you to be a bridesmaid, and suddenly there you were, wondering how in hell you came to be 36-years-old, walking down the aisle wearing something halfway decent from J. Crew that you could totally repurpose with a cute pair of boots and a jean jacket. You started to hate the bride -- she was so effing happy -- and for the first time ever you began to have feelings about the fact that you're not married. You never really cared that much before. But suddenly (it was so sudden) you found yourself wondering... Deep, deep breath... Why you're not married.

Well, I know why.

How? It basically comes down to this: I've been married three times. Yes, three. To a very nice MBA at 19; a very nice minister's son at 32 (and pregnant); and at 40, to a very nice liar and cheater who was just like my dad, if my dad had gone to Harvard instead of doing multiple stints in federal prison.

I was, for some reason, born knowing how to get married. Growing up in foster care is a big part of it. The need for security made me look for very specific traits in the men I dated -- traits it turns out lead to marriage a surprisingly high percentage of the time. Without really trying to, I've become a sort of jailhouse lawyer of relationships -- someone who's had to do so much work on her own case that I can now help you with yours.

But I won't lie. The problem is not men, it's you. Sure, there are lame men out there, but they're not really standing in your way. Because the fact is -- if whatever you're doing right now was going to get you married, you'd already have a ring on it. So without further ado, let's look at the top six reasons why you're not married.


1. You're a Bitch.
Here's what I mean by bitch. I mean you're angry. You probably don't think you're angry. You think you're super smart, or if you've been to a lot of therapy, that you're setting boundaries. But the truth is you're pissed. At your mom. At the military-industrial complex. At Sarah Palin. And it's scaring men off.

The deal is: most men just want to marry someone who is nice to them. I am the mother of a 13-year-old boy, which is like living with the single-cell protozoa version of a husband. Here's what my son wants out of life: macaroni and cheese, a video game, and Kim Kardashian. Have you ever seen Kim Kardashian angry? I didn't think so. You've seen Kim Kardashian smile, wiggle, and make a sex tape. Female anger terrifies men. I know it seems unfair that you have to work around a man's fear and insecurity in order to get married -- but actually, it's perfect, since working around a man's fear and insecurity is big part of what you'll be doing as a wife.

2. You're Shallow.
When it comes to choosing a husband, only one thing really, truly matters: character. So it stands to reason that a man's character should be at the top of the list of things you are looking for, right? But if you're not married, I already know it isn't. Because if you were looking for a man of character, you would have found one by now. Men of character are, by definition, willing to commit.

Instead, you are looking for someone tall. Or rich. Or someone who knows what an Eames chair is. Unfortunately, this is not the thinking of a wife. This is the thinking of a teenaged girl. And men of character do not want to marry teenaged girls. Because teenage girls are never happy. And they never feel like cooking, either.

3. You're a Slut.
Hooking up with some guy in a hot tub on a rooftop is fine for the ladies of Jersey Shore -- but they're not trying to get married. You are. Which means, unfortunately, that if you're having sex outside committed relationships, you will have to stop. Why? Because past a certain age, casual sex is like recreational heroin -- it doesn't stay recreational for long.

That's due in part to this thing called oxytocin -- a bonding hormone that is released when a woman
a) nurses her baby and b) has an orgasm --
that will totally mess up your casual-sex game. It's why you can be f**k-buddying with some dude who isn't even all that great and the next thing you know, you're totally strung out on him. And you have no idea how it happened. Oxytocin, that's how it happened. And since nature can't discriminate between marriage material and Charlie Sheen, you're going to have to start being way more selective than you are right now.

4. You're a Liar.
It usually goes something like this: you meet a guy who is cute and likes you, but he's not really available for a relationship. He has some condition that absolutely precludes his availability, like he's married, or he gets around town on a skateboard. Or maybe he just comes right out and says something cryptic and open to interpretation like, "I'm not really available for a relationship right now."

You know if you tell him the truth -- that you're ready for marriage -- he will stop calling. Usually that day. And you don't want that. So you just tell him how perfect this is because you only want to have sex for fun! You love having fun sex! And you don't want to get in a relationship at all! You swear!
About ten minutes later, the oxytocin kicks in. You start wanting more. But you don't tell him that. That's your secret -- just between you and 22,000 of your closest girlfriends. Instead, you hang around, having sex with him, waiting for him to figure out that he can't live without you. I have news: he will never "figure" this out. He already knows he can live without you just fine. And so do you. Or you wouldn't be lying to him in the first place.

5. You're Selfish.
If you're not married, chances are you think a lot about you. You think about your thighs, your outfits, your naso-labial folds. You think about your career, or if you don't have one, you think about doing yoga teacher training. Sometimes you think about how marrying a wealthy guy -- or at least a guy with a really, really good job -- would solve all your problems.

However, a good wife, even a halfway decent one, does not spend most of her day thinking about herself. She has too much s**t to do, especially after having kids. This is why you see a lot of celebrity women getting husbands after they adopt. The kids put the woman on notice: Bitch, hello! It's not all about you anymore! After a year or two of thinking about someone other than herself, suddenly, Brad Pitt or Harrison Ford comes along and decides to significantly other her. Which is also to say -- if what you really want is a baby, go get you one. Your husband will be along shortly. Motherhood has a way of weeding out the lotharios.

6. You're Not Good Enough.
Oh, I don't think that. You do. I can tell because you're not looking for a partner who is your equal. No, you want someone better than you are: better looking, better family, better job.

Here is what you need to know: You are enough right this minute. Period. Not understanding this is a major obstacle to getting married, since women who don't know their own worth make terrible wives. Why? You can fake it for a while, but ultimately you won't love your spouse any better than you love yourself. Smart men know this.

I see this at my son's artsy, progressive school. Of 183 kids, maybe six have moms who are as cute as you're trying to be. They're attractive, sure. They're just not objects. Their husbands (wisely) chose them for their character, not their cup size.

Alright, so that's the bad news. The good news is that I believe every woman who wants to can find a great partner. You're just going to need to get rid of the idea that marriage will make you happy. It won't. Once the initial high wears off, you'll just be you, except with twice as much laundry.

Because ultimately, marriage is not about getting something -- it's about giving it. Strangely, men understand this more than we do. Probably because for them marriage involves sacrificing their most treasured possession -- a free-agent penis -- and for us, it's the culmination of a princess fantasy so universal, it built Disneyland.

The bottom line is that marriage is just a long-term opportunity to practice loving someone even when they don't deserve it. Because most of the time, your messy, farting, macaroni-and-cheese eating man will notbe doing what you want him to. But as you give him love anyway -- because you have made up your mind to transform yourself into a person who is practicing being kind, deep, virtuous, truthful, giving, and most of all, accepting of your own dear self -- you will find that you will experience the very thing you wanted all along:

Tracy McMillan is a TV writer whose credits include Mad Men and The United States of Tara. Her memoir I Love You and I'm Leaving You Anyway is now available in paperback from Harper Collins/It Books. She lives in Los Angeles with her 13-year-old son. Follow her on Twitter.@whyurnotmarried

miércoles, 16 de febrero de 2011


Hace unos siglos un famoso pensador griego dijo:
'Lo único permanente es que vivimos en mundo de cambios'

¿Qué paradoja verdad? El mundo que nos ha tocado vivir es uno en que todo cambia a una velocidad que difícilmente podemos alcanzar. Las formas de comprar, producir, organizarnos para lograr el éxito, distribuir, promocionar y vender están cambiando permanentemente y cada vez a una velocidad mayor. Probablemente la respuesta principal a tanto cambio sea el impresionante avance de la tecnología, especialmente en dos actividades: la informática y las telecomunicaciones. Pero ¿cómo preparar a nuestros hijos para que puedan ser mejores ciudadanos del mundo?

A continuación les resumo un mensaje que recibí hace unas semanas de un buen amigo.

Debemos preparar a nuestros hijos para el mundo del futuro, no el mundo de nuestros padres ni el nuestro. En este mundo actual lo determinante para triunfar será el carácter, no exactamente el conocimiento, como muchos pudiéramos creer. Tener temple, salir de fracasos adecuadamente, hacer de los fracasos un desafío y no una tragedia..., eso será lo que buscarán los seleccionadores de personal

Para los trabajadores independientes será un auto requisito.

Un hijo forjará carácter si percibe claramente la autoridad de los padres . Con presencia de autoridad los niños y jóvenes a su vez actuarán con autoridad para resolver sus problemas; actuarán por determinaciones. Sin presencia de autoridad nuestros hijos serán débiles de carácter y actuarán por impulsos con los consecuentes
problemas de adaptación.

¿Exceso de autoridad? Siempre será mejor exceso que falta de autoridad. El límite de autoridad lo pone la siguiente regla: 'La autoridad no debe humillar'. Básicamente lo que es el niño o el joven hoy será el adulto del mañana. De vez en cuando hay que mirar al hijo como un adulto potencial.

¿ Queremos que nuestros hijos no sufran? Entonces hay que prepararlos para sufrir . No podemos estarle evitando todo el tiempo todo posible sufrimiento ¿si no cuándo aprenderá? Debe comprender la muerte, los problemas de la vida, los problemas en el trato de sus congéneres. No debemos resolverles todos los
problemas, hay que ayudarlos a que poco a poco los resuelvan ellos mismos. Nadie logra metas exitosas y duraderas sin un poco de sufrimiento. ¿Alguien imagina a un campeón de atletismo que no sufra para lograr sus marcas? Eso se aplica a todo tipo de campeón y a todo tipo de actividad. Siempre hay que pensar que, en parte, no queremos que ellos sufran para no sufrir nosotros, pero les hacemos un daño con miras al futuro.

Hay que enseñarles a hacer ESFUERZOS SUPLEMENTARIOS. Que sepan que siempre se puede un poquito más. Recuerda que nadie recoge su cosecha sin sembrar muchas semillas y abonar mucha tierra.

Es muy importante enseñarles a carecer , es decir a 'sentir la falta de' y arreglárselas por sí mismos. Hay chicos que no juegan su deporte si no tienen zapatillas de 'marca'. Si no aprendes a carecer no aprendes a arreglártelas. Aunque tengamos para darles el 100%, los chicos deben saber el valor de las cosas. Si no lo hacen de chicos, les será muy
difícil de adultos y allí sí que van a sufrir y nosotros también con ellos. ¿Cómo les enseñamos a carecer? ¡ Dándoles un poquito menos de lo que necesitan ! ¡No hay otra manera! Si no ¿cómo sienten la falta de? Así aprenden a apreciar lo que tienen. Aprenden a no ser ingratos. Aprenden a gozar de la vida porque muchas veces se goza en las cosas sencillas. Aprenden a no ser quejosos.

Una excelente escuela para aprender a carecer (sin morir en el intento) es la mesa del hogar, la comida. ¿Qué debemos darles de comer? ¡Lo que nosotros decidamos que es bueno para ellos! Es no sólo por su bien estomacal, sino que es una excelente forma de que aprendan a carecer, que no sean ingratos, que no sean quejosos.'Mami... no me gustan las lentejas'. Si
quieren hacerles un bien para la vida, denles las lentejas. Habrá berrinches, no se exalten (autoridad no es gritar), que no coma si no quiere, pero cuando le vuelva el hambre: ¡SORPRESA! ... ¡Las lentejas del refrigerador calentadas!

Parece increíble, pero si no hacemos este tipo de cosas no se podrá adaptar. La comida es una buena escuela del carecer, pues así no serán quisquillosos en sus relaciones sociales, en el trabajo y en el mundo real.

También hay que educarlos en el servicio. Una familia normal es un equipo de trabajo con
pocas tareas: tender la cama, limpiar los cuartos, lavar los platos, pintar la casa, etc.Hay que educarlos para que realicen labores de hogar, aunque lo hagan mal al principio . Si no hacen este tipo de servicios luego tendrán problemas. Las escuelas más importantes de liderazgo del mundo enseñan a los jóvenes a carecer, para que sepan y entiendan el mundo y lo puedan liderar.

¿ Mesadas? Que sean una cantidad fija, más bien, semanales y algo menos de lo que creen que necesitan. Así aprenden a administrar el dinero. Claro que se deben aceptar excepciones, pero conversadas serenamente.

Construyamos hijos luchadores, no debiluchos sobreprotegidos . Que se superen a sí mismos. Que tomen los problemas como desafíos para mejorar. Recuerden que nadie
alcanza altura con un solo vuelo. También hay que ilusionarlos con ideales, metas futuras, sueños para que sean buenos de corazón. Importante también es estar convencidos de que triunfador no equivale a tener 'dinero o propiedades', triunfadores son aquellos que son felices con lo que hacen, con su vida. Solamente así podrán hacer felices a otros.

Los hijos con carácter templado, conocimiento del carecer, educados en el servicio y plenos de amor e ilusiones serán hijos triunfadores.

Los padres tenemos la gran responsabilidad de criar hijos que transformen nuestro país, en uno donde reine la libertad, la abundancia, la justicia y sobre todo la felicidad.

viernes, 4 de febrero de 2011

Pan Quemado

Cuando yo era niña, a mi mamá le gustaba hacer la comida del desayuno para la cena de vez en cuando.
Recuerdo una noche en particular, cuando ella había hecho el desayuno, después de un largo y duro día en el trabajo. Esa noche hace mucho tiempo, mi mamá puso un plato de huevos, salchichas y pan muy quemado frente a mi padre. Recuerdo estar esperando ver si alguien lo notaba! Sin embargo, aunque mi padre lo notó, alcanzó un pan, sonrió a mi madre y me pregunto cómo me había ido en la escuela. No recuerdo lo que le contesté, pero si recuerdo verlo untándole mantequilla y mermelada al pan y comérselo todo. Cuando me levanté de la mesa esa noche, recuerdo haber oído a mi madre pedir disculpas a mi padre por los panes quemados. Nunca voy a olvidar lo que dijo: "Cariño, me encanta el pan quemado".
Más tarde esa noche, fui a dar el beso de las buenas noches a mi padre y le pregunté si a él le gustaba el pan quemado. Él me abrazo y dijo: "Tu mamá tuvo un día muy duro en el trabajo está muy cansada y además - un pan un poco quemado no le hace daño a nadie”
La vida está llena de cosas imperfectas y gente imperfecta. Yo no soy el mejor en casi nada, me olvido de los cumpleaños y aniversarios como todo el mundo. Pero lo que he aprendido con los años, es que aprender a aceptar los defectos de cada uno de nosotros - y decidir celebrar cada una de las diferencias de los demás - es una de las cosas más importantes para crear una relación sana y duradera... donde un pan quemado no va a romper un corazón.
Podríamos extender esto a cualquier tipo de relación. De hecho, la comprensión es la base de cualquier relación, ya sea esposo-esposa o padre-hijo o cualquier tipo de amistad! "Así que por favor me pasas un pan, y sí, el quemado está bien"
Sé más amable de lo necesario, porque toda la gente que conocemos, en este momento están librando algún tipo de batalla .