July 7, 2014

Coming of age in Paris

The existing literature treats the 40s as transitional. Victor Hugo supposedly called 40 "the old age of youth." In Paris, it's when waiters start calling you "Madame" without an ironic wink. The conventional wisdom is that you're still reasonably young, but that everything is declining: health, fertility, the certainty that you will one day read "Hamlet" and know how to cook leeks. Among my peers there's a now-or-never mood: We still have time for a second act, but we'd better get moving on it.

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May 13, 2012

Service economy

Workers who once built houses, offices or big-box retail complexes are now venturing into the absurd. Ken, who declined to give his last name because he said he was embarrassed by his situation, said he had been paid $250 to clean out a Palm Beach apartment where a tenant had committed suicide.

But he has rebuffed other responses to his ads, variations on "RENT A HUSBAND ! ! ! HANDYMAN SERVICES - 25% OFF." Last month, he said, "I had a guy call me 10 o'clock at night and ask me if I had a vise. And I said yeah, and he said 'Can you meet me somewhere and I want to put my hand in the vise and you crush it ?' " Ken said he demurred.

Then there was the woman from Fort Lauderdale who called wanting to hire him to rig up a sex swing while her husband was away. "She wanted me to come hang it in her 'room of doom,' " he said. "She offered me a lot of money, but I said 'No, no it just doesn't seem like something I want to get involved in.' "

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November 19, 2011

Modern love

Lorenzo Martone, public relations executive and ex-boyfriend of Marc Jacobs: "I remember kissing some random people that I don't know who they are. That was memorable because it was so much fun. But not memorable enough to remember who it was with."

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November 6, 2011

Modern Love

"I have seen women in great positions of authority who make assumptions that the women who work for them are their friends," she said. "They share intimate information with them -- their marital relations, their sex lives, whether they think the delivery guy is hot. They go shopping with them, they go into the dressing room with them. These women, in their mind, are exempted because they consider it a friendship. But it is bad boundaries."

Fran A. Sepler, president of Sepler & Associates, a Minneapolis firm that investigates harassment claims on behalf of employers, says she has examined about a dozen cases in recent years involving women harassing women. Often the situations are not explicitly sexual, she said.

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