- If you are unwilling to fail, sometimes publicly, and even catastrophically, you stand little chance of ever getting rich.
- If you care what the neighbours think, you will never get rich.
- If you cannot bear the thought of causing worry to your family, spouse or lover while you plough a lonely, dangerous road rather than taking the safe option of a regular job, you will never get rich.
- If you have artistic inclinations and fear that the search for wealth will coarsen such talents, you will never get rich. (Because your fear, in this instance, is well justified.)
- If you are not prepared to work longer hours than almost anyone you know, despite the jibes of colleagues and friends, you are unlikely to get rich.
- If you cannot convince yourself that you are “good enough” to be rich, you will never get rich.
- If you cannot treat your quest to get rich as a game, you will never be rich.
- If you cannot face up to your fear of failure, you will never be rich.
But Radar Online is not your average reader, and we weren’t about to let ourselves be fooled, gauzy photo or no gauzy photo. Operating on the assumption that chick lit is produced by some piece of automated fiction software developed under extreme security by a powerful cartel of publishers, we hired a computer hacker/comp-lit grad student and asked him to reverse-engineer the program. His preliminary findings indicate that there are five guiding principles to the genre, presented here with examples from Everyone Worth Knowing.
Here are the rules, with the example text excised:
1. Offer Two Potential Love Interests
2. Make Sure that Even Your Dog Can Spot Plot Twists Ahead of Time
3. Romanticize a Homosexual
4. Let Coincidence Reign
5: Conclude the Book Without Ambiguity
By MIMI SWARTZPublished: June 27, 2009 NYT
GROWING up in Texas, I knew a lot of girls like Farrah Fawcett, and I hated them. They had everything I didn’t: blond hair, blue eyes, the power, seemingly, to get anything and everything they wanted in my small public high school — boys, head cheerleader, the ability to decide, in a twinkling, who was cool and who wasn’t.
My mother told me not to worry — my time would come, she said — but what did she know? I was a dark, brooding teenager, and everywhere I turned there was a poster of a beaming woman with wild blond hair, her smile as wide as the Texas sky, in a low-cut scarlet bathing suit that, every man now over the age of 40 can tell you, revealed what was in 1976 the scandalous hint of a nipple.
Texas has produced a lot of beauties, but Farrah Fawcett of Corpus Christi was the one who dominated my late adolescence. Sometime after my mother tried — O.K., at my behest — to give me a Farrah feather-cut that wilted immediately in the summer heat, she came to stand for everything I wanted to escape in my home state. The oppressiveness, the conformity, the vanity, the insincerity required of Texas women — smiling when you didn’t mean it, looking happy to see someone you really weren’t happy to see, never appearing in public without your face on (hers was a brilliantly contrived natural look) — acting, in general, as if you were always giving the best party in the world. It always seemed to me to be too much work.
Of course, I had it wrong about Farrah Fawcett. For a while she did get everything she must have wanted, or that people thought she should have wanted. She was the iconic beauty of her time and her various acting comebacks — instead of a go-for-it crime fighter she became a battered woman, a Nazi hunter and Robert Duvall’s unforgiving wife in “The Apostle” — proved that she was more than that.
But by then, no one cared. I wrote a magazine profile of her in 2000, and she spent a lot of time avoiding my softball questions by locking herself for extended periods in various bathrooms: at the Beverly Hills Hotel, at her home high atop Beverly Hills, in a movie theater restroom in Century City, where we’d gone for some premiere. She was a tiny thing, fragile as a sparrow, disoriented. I rode with her to the doctor for some kind of much-needed injection, and took no pleasure in the trip.
Maybe, as some have suggested, this was all an act — being flighty Farrah Fawcett was her best role — but even if that were true, her choice of that act was instructive. It made you want to take care of her, to be careful in your approach, not to push or probe too much, because she might break.
Over time, I’ve made peace with the blond beauties of my childhood, and see that they have some essential qualities she lacked: an instinct for self-preservation, an ability to laugh through the worst of it, toughness and self-respect — these might have helped Farrah Fawcett get by after her beauty faded and the crowd moved on. But by then she was a creature of Hollywood, not Texas, and, unlike me, had left home for good.
The other morning I was frying bacon, drinking coffee and trying to scramble Madeleine’s eggs. In a single moment of craziness, the bacon turned black, which triggered the smoke alarm. The eggs began welding themselves to the pan; the garbage bag I was tying split open at the bottom, covering my slippers in three-day-old linguine and rice pudding.
As I fanned the smoke detector furiously with a towel, Madeleine rushed off the couch to see what was going on, tripped and spilled her orange juice on herself and the floor. From the corner of the kitchen, a little girl covered in juice looked up at her father and said, “We’re like clowns!”” —Simon Van Booy Raising a Princess Single-Handedly (NYT)