Trumping news of war, health, food, pets or fashion, the most e-mailed item currently on The New York Times' site is Maureen Dowd's column from July 6 called "An Ideal Husband."
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His advice is not of the "Thou shalt..." variety, in fact spirituality is mentioned only as a cautionary tale of the heartache experienced after the failed marriage of a devout Catholic and a devout Muslim. Instead he offers tidbits that, regardless of one's take on marriage or religion, serve as good guidelines for choosing a partner. To list a few:
- avoid mother-obsessed men
- a man with close friends and family signals an openness to intimacy
- watch out for financial inequality or irresponsibility
- laugh! a sense of humor is hugely important
That NYT readers were compelled to e-mail love and marriage advice during the past three days more than any other story reminds me of the tale about survivors of harrowing experiences, like war, who–more than anything else including the trauma itself–talk about the person they were crushing on or the one who got away during these times of stress. Ah, love.