Home of Dr. Christine B. Whelan

Everywhere you go, there I am

This weekend we went to Iowa’s farm country of Cherokee — and in an adorable book store and wine shop called The Book Vine, Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women was front and center. Fun stuff! Happy Memorial Day.


May 25, 2009 - Posted by | A Day in the Life, Marry Smart: The Intelligent Woman's Guide to True Love

1 Comment »

  1. Hi, and hope you’re enjoying Iowa City.

    I’m a 40-year-old single custodial mother with a nice cv. I took your quiz, and was stymied when I got to the “meet an artist” question. I am an artist. (“Artist” and “ambitious” are not mutually exclusive.) Would I reject the guy? Probably. Not because he makes no money, but because artists fall into a few categories:

    1. The “creative” type. This guy has a mawkish sensibility and doesn’t actually produce any art. He’ll want you to admire his puns and the equivalent of Hummel figurines because they’re part of his soul. You’ll be called upon to listen to hours’ worth of drivel on his artistic yearnings, which, at bottom, are furious demands for the validation his father never gave him; his father isn’t so much afraid that he might be a pansy as he is that he’ll never grow up and get some sense.

    2. The real deal. Potentially great company, a super conversationalist, a sharp and useful critic. Also an asshole and ruthless in pursuit of getting his work done. He’ll use you up, down, and sideways. Your own work? To the curb. Only his matters. He’ll marry you if he likes the idea, but an idea it will remain. A fancy. You’ll do the work of making the marriage go despite his affairs.

    3. The workaday success. This guy’s serious and disciplined, he has markets and markets himself well, but frankly he’s not that good. He resents any intimation that art is more valuable than craft and can be genuinely pissy on little provocation. Secretly admires 19th-c painters of the American West, like Remington, and regrets the loss of such manliness in art.

    All of them want laundry done, tend to be selfish and childish, and will have no real qualms about letting your kid fall in love with them and then leaving. Seriously, you do not want to be an artist’s “muse”. If a guy ever tells you you’re his muse, you can be sure he’s just looking to lay you. They are their own muses.

    Unless you want to support a moody art-child and raise his children, marrying an artist isn’t such a hot idea. Please don’t encourage your readers to marry and support them. On divorce they’ll find it was a horrible mistake. Why? Because a) the guy, who’s terminally underemployed, has become the primary parent and will have custody of the children; b) they’ll find themselves paying child support and — if they’ve let it go far enough — rehabilitative alimony so that a layabout artist, for crying out loud, can have responsibility for raising their children (inbetween finding women to seduce and forgetting to pay the utility bills). There are ways to marry smart, but that’s not one of them.

    Comment by amy | July 1, 2009 | Reply

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