Tuesday, May 23, 2006

So which one are you?

Several years ago, I learned about some foolproof quiz women of a certain age could take to evaluate their own self worth. The test consisted of one question, and the answer to that question would reveal all you needed to know about your own psyche, your self-esteem and how you ended up where you were in the world. Ready? Here’s the question: who is your favorite Beatle?

That’s right. Your selection of either John, Paul, George or Ringo would reveal more about your personality than any psychological profile you could take. Turns out the most confident women choose Paul. Women with concerns about their own looks but who have a great sense of humor choose Ringo. The most ethereal women choose George and women who regard intellect as the most important quality in themselves and others choose John.

This is nothing more than a quiz-like extension of the long-held notions of John as the smart one, George as the dreamer, Ringo as the clown and Paul as the cute one, designed to make women feel even less in control of their own destinies if you want my opinion. Despite my misgivings, I suppose it makes for interesting discussion. I'm not sure what the same quiz reveals about men who are fans of the Beatles.

But I do know of a different kind of test for men, though. Years ago I read a book that claimed that the path a man’s life follows is basically decided on the ballfield, specifically during Little League baseball. Turns out an inordinate number of CEOs and business leaders were either pitchers or first basemen as young ball players. Assuming there was any offense at all going on during a game, these two players worked most closely together as batters dribbled out hits and tried to reach first base. Backing up these two team leaders was the catcher, who at least interacted with the pitcher every time he threw the ball. Everyone else on the team was everyone else. That’s what they are as adults too, according to this book.

All of this simply begs the question: what would be the equivalent test for people aged fifteen to twenty these days? Who is your favorite Red Hot Chili Pepper? What character did you like to play in Final Fantasy XI?

Doesn't really work, does it. Or maybe I'm just too old. And indecisive. I couldn't even make a definitive Beatles choice. I'm a mix of Paul and Ringo if you want to know the truth. (Mostly Ringo with a dream of Paul in the background.)

I also think the token you choose to play Monopoly tells more about who you are then almost any other meaningless choice you can make throughout your lifetime but that'll keep for another day.

Talk soon -

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

what girl??

I know it's me but I've about had it with Marlo Thomas. I can't remember the name of her latest book - something about the right words at the right time - but it almost doesn't matter what it's titled.

May I pose a question here? What on God's green earth makes us want to turn to Marlo Thomas for the right words at the right time? Yes, I know she herself turned to others for her inspiration and help in creating this second book on the same topic, but doesn't that beg the question: couldn't any of us done the same?

I'm wondering what exactly were the rights words at the right time on that fateful occasion years ago. The time when she and her husband Phil explained to his wife that his marriage was breaking up; they were having an affair and he was planning to leave her and his family to marry Marlo. What could those right words have been?

I have not one thing against Marlo Thomas except that fact that she "writes" a book and - voila - it lands on the bestseller list. Could all of us try to be a shred more creative when we're out browsing the bookstores, buying our graduation presents? Please?

I really, really appreciate the mascara tips I picked up from Marlo in 1969 while she played Ann Marie on her TV show, That Girl. I do. But the sad fact is that I have invested more money in mascara than should be allowed by law. I blame her.

Yes, she's a humanitarian and a generous benefactress, caring for the legacy of love and compassion her famous father left behind. Great. Lovely. Isn't that quite enough, Marlo? Isn't it enough that you run foundations, probably sit on boards, and have lived a life that has never known financial pain? You have to write books now? I'm betting she didn't accept an advance for her book, or donated it.

Here's an idea. Next time, write your book and self publish it. Donate the proceeds of the sales. Have this conversation with your publisher: Tell them to split the advance they set aside for you among ten unpublished authors and make their dreams come true.

Those could be exactly the right words at the right time.

Talk soon -