The Clooney Effect And Why It’s Good For Smart Chicks

George & AmalTo all my girlfriends lamenting the lack of men wanting intelligent, independent, self-reliant women, I say phooey! There are plenty of good men out there looking for good, substantive women. Don’t believe me? Just ask George Clooney.

If you didn’t notice last Sunday, George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin quietly celebrated their one-year anniversary, and I for one, couldn’t be happier – happy mostly because he married Amal in the first place.

Confirmed bachelor George had his pick of all kinds of Hollywood babes: from actresses to models, to a dancer with the stars. But Amal, the accomplished international human rights lawyer, eventually won out.

Score one for the smart chick – and score one for George too – who married someone probably smarter than him.

Call it substance over style, but Amal had a little something her competitors didn’t have: world-class brains. It doesn’t hurt that she’s also f-ing gorgeous, but clearly it was her f-ing gorgeous intelligence above all else that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. If this isn’t a thumbs-up for female brainiacs everywhere, I don’t know what is.

Thanks to George and others of his ilk who want women with some smarts, we have the Clooney Effect.

The “Clooney Effect” is a phenomenon coined by biological anthropologist Helen Fisher. In her fifth annual study on American singles for Match.com reported by The Atlantic, she surveyed 5,600 singletons across the country to see what they desired in a partner.

Her findings refute the age-old economic mating theory that men are afraid of “over-educated” women. They’re not, she concluded, and I happen to agree. Men really do want to meet/date/marry women who are smart and successful – and if they happen to be smarter than they are, so what? If they’re more successful, who cares? Substance is the new sexy.

But it gets better. According to Fisher, men aren’t just looking for their equals, but for their superiors. The vast majority – 87% – said they would date a woman who makes more money, is more intellectual, and is better educated than they are.

What the Match.com study shows us is that guys nowadays are attracted to women with lives and careers just as much, if not more than, stay-at-home wife types. There will always be domestic goddesses and homemakers and the men who love them, but the new trophy wife is someone who’s kicking ass everywhere, not just in the kitchen.

There are some people though, that think the Clooney Effect is full of shit.

In the cynical, but excellent article “Ladies, The Smarter You Are, The More Likely You Are To Be Single,” writer Lauren Martin presents a harsh counterview.

“Unfortunately, for women, intelligence many times hinders our travels and keeps us from the promise land. Because, for all you bright and educated women out there, what you feel is real…intelligent women are more likely to be single.”

Her article speaks to “the broad spectrum of woes women feel as they sit alone Friday nights with no one to discuss Nietzsche or read lines from Proust with.” Now, I don’t know too many guys who want to sit around discussing Nietzsche on a Friday night, but I get what she’s trying to say: men don’t want women with whom they can converse and who challenge them.

So what do men really want? Not smart chicks, according to this article.

What men want, Martin believes, is a woman who “isn’t ever going to let her career come before making dinner and pleasing them first.”

“Deciding what kind of woman you are is like choosing between a rock and a hard place. If you’re stupid, you’re not taken seriously, but if you’re smart, you’re taken too seriously. Women everywhere are flailing under this double-edged sword. A beautiful, attractive female isn’t desirable for her mind, and those with strong characters are seen as threatening, masculine and undesirable.”

TheWire.com financial reporter John Carney agrees in “Why Do Smart Men Date Less Intelligent Women?” that “successful men date less successful women not because they want ‘women to be dumb’ but rather because they want ‘someone who prioritizes their life in a way that’s compatible with how you prioritize yours.'”

Like I said earlier, there will always be men – especially high-powered, alpha types – who prefer to take the old-fashioned view on dating dynamics. They don’t want to be challenged, tested, or upstaged; they don’t want to have to think; they don’t want to compete. In other words, they don’t want their balls busted.

Sorry, but the last time I checked, having brains was right up there with having a nice rack. Guys dig it (just ask my husband).

Ladies, the truth is, the smarter you are, the more likely you are to make good choices, the more likely you are to have good self-worth, and you’ll set your bar higher – not just with men, but in life.

So be proud, smart chicks of the world. You’re the new trophy.

 

 

Photo credit: Eastfjord Productions / Shutterstock.com

Yoga Teachers: Be One Or Date One, It’s All The Rage

Yoga teacher w/ studentA funny thing is happening in the yoga world according to the Wall Street Journal and the Hollywood Reporter.

Not exactly your go-to fitness resources, but there they were – stories about how yoga is changing the landscape of people’s careers and social lives. It seems that yoga enthusiasts are so enthusiastic about their practice, they’re taking it to the next level:

They’re either becoming yoga instructors themselves, or they’re marrying their yoga instructors.

According to the WSJ’s “Why Everyone’s A Yoga Teacher,” the rate of new teacher training is outpacing the growth of new students. The Yoga Alliance, the nation’s largest yoga-teacher registry, reports that more than 14,700 new teachers have registered. The number of newly registered yoga teachers in the U.S. has rose an average of 18% a year from 2008 to 2014 – that’s three times as fast as the 6% growth rate for yoga participation overall.

Yoga is many things to many people: exercise, discipline, relaxation and restoration. But it’s the higher, more spiritual calling and deeper connection of yoga that people are seeking. For this reason, they’re getting their teaching credentials.

Some will teach as a second career, but most won’t even teach at all. Instead, they’ll use their teacher training purely as continuing education to further their knowledge of yoga, deepen their practice, and get closer to Nirvana by way of the proper down dog.

It seems everyone’s getting into the act. My friend David Bender, a managing director at StockCross Financial Services, still has his day job in the bond and equity markets, but teaches a few classes a week. Even my own cousin, a former high-power talent agent, is in the process of opening up his own yoga studio.

There is definitely a deepening love affair with yoga, and by all accounts, the love is deepening with its instructors too.

In the Hollywood Reporter article “Hollywood’s Moguls’ Arm Candy Du Jour: Goodbye Asians, Hello Yoga Instructors,” it appears the newest trophy girlfriend (at least for the male power elite of the entertainment industry) is no longer found at nightclubs, or on yachts, or at Hef’s pad, but rather, at a yoga studio near you.

Just look at the Crown Prince of Sweden, or actors Alec Baldwin and John C. McGinley – they all married their yoga instructors. Two of my female yoga colleagues at Equinox met and married their yoga students from class.

This has me thinking: Is it possible that had I become a yoga instructor instead of a personal trainer, I might’ve gotten married years ago? All those hours of studying exercise physiology when I should’ve been learning Sanskrit. @#*!

The truth is, guys dig chicks that are natural, spiritual, and of course, flexible as Gumby. Women dig male yoga instructors because, well, they’re all sex gods, aren’t they?

You’re hot and sweaty, assuming near pornographic poses and positions, getting touched and adjusted…the whole thing reeks of sex – or maybe it’s just the stinky yoga mats, who knows.

I’ve always told my single friends that yoga classes are a gold mine of dating potential. For the most part, yoga devotees are fit, attractive, and fairly evolved (that is, until you have to fight your way into a crowded yoga class and “evolved” goes right out the window).

This hot-for-yoga-teacher trend also makes sense to relationship experts who see a lot of traditional male/female dynamics being played out.

Alpha men hooking up with yoga teachers chimes with Eastern philosophy, offers Dr. Pat Allen, an L.A. relationship guru. “In old Chinese quantum physics, men had yang bodies: They build, they create. Women receive. Alpha men have a very tough time committing to alpha women. They’ll have an alpha mistress, but not an Alpha wife. Alpha men do better with beta women: sensitive, empathetic and kind. Who epitomizes beta better than a yoga teacher.”

That is, unless the yoga teacher is an ass-kicking, ball buster like a few I know around town. They’re hot, they’re sexy, but I’m pretty sure they’d chew you up and spit you out in the sack.

On the appeal of yoginis to Hollywood, relationship therapist Dr. Shannon Chavez notes: “In my practice, the busiest men and women are looking for deeper meaning. They’re bored in their marriages, sexually dissatisfied, seeking communication beyond the grind. People are looking for partners now that make them feel whole and less judged and insecure.”

TRANSLATION: Men want women who won’t give them shit, who won’t talk back, and who can put their legs behind their ears.

This is why I never became a yoga teacher. I can hardly touch my toes.

But according to David Bender my yoga teacher friend, dating yoga instructors isn’t the magical, transcendent experience it’s believed to be.”Yes, teachers are in touch with their spirituality, but they don’t walk on water. They’re actually more fucked-up than you think.”

Whew! Am I glad I’m a personal trainer!

Whether you’re doing yoga for the love, for the money, to answer your higher calling, or to find your next wife, you’ve got my blessings. You’re doing Buddha’s work, and for that, you deserve a great, big namaste.

 

Burping And Farting: Marriage Is A Gas!

Wedding Pic #6I’ve been married for a little over six months now, and as comfortable as I am around my husband, I still can’t bring myself to burp or fart in front of him.

I will do anything to avoid anything intestinal in his presence. This includes holding it in, sucking it up, breathing through it, and running into another room to blow it out.

Am I old-fashioned, or just too much of a lady to let it rip? Aren’t some things better kept a mystery like bodily functions? Or once you’re married, are all bets off?

Sorry, but I’m mortified at the thought of any gas passing through my cheeks – both sets. And now that I’m entering menopause, it’s getting harder to hold back. I’m gassier than ever.

Early in our courtship, Robby and I were watching “Behind The Candelabra,” and I laughed so hard at Michael Douglas impersonating Liberace that I accidentally farted. I was so embarrassed I could have died. He, on the other hand, died laughing.

My husband is a guy, and guys LOVE gas, as I’m finding out. They burp and fart with abandon, and think it’s hysterical. When Robby has something to share, he bombs away with a gust of air and a blast of laughter. Marriage be damned!

Much to my surprise, every one of my married friends has a story about their spouse’s penchant for pooting. Most go like this: “Phil is just a fart looking for a place to happen. After he cuts one, he’ll say: ‘Thank you I made it myself, aren’t you proud?”

HA HA guys are SO funny! Groan.

I try not to encourage Robby, but the truth is, flatulence IS funny and even I can’t help cracking up (besides, if I held it in, it would come out somewhere else and we can’t have that, can we?) With the right timing and tenor, belching and breaking wind can be comic gold. I personally can’t do it, but I appreciate the talent it takes to pull off. For this reason, Robby’s a comic genius.

One night we were watching TV and Robby farted without saying anything, so I called him on it.

Me:                 Did you just say something? 

Robby snickers like a mischievous 10-year-old.

Me:                 I thought so. Please use your words next time. 

Robby:            You live in Beverly Hills, don’t you speak FARTSI?

Fartsi. See what I mean? The comedy comes out everywhere in our house.

Between never cohabitating with a guy before and never having brothers, I’m relatively new to gas passing in front of the opposite sex.

And then there are those flatulating couples who’ve turned gas-passing into a competitive sport, trying to one-up each other with every expulsion. I have a girlfriend who’s so gleefully gassy, her husband proudly describes her as a Union Carbide plant. If he farts down a grocery store aisle, she lovingly calls him a “crop duster” and high-fives him for his efforts.

The question is: Do love and gas mix?

While researching the subject, I found an AskReddit message board offering the following answers:

  • “After many years together, we have seen (and smelled) each other at our worst, whether it was nursing each other through food poisoning, the flu, post-surgical recovery, or just the aftermath of a big chili dinner. The odd fart or belch has to be something spectacular to make it onto the marital radar, and then is more likely to be the source of amusement than disgust. Helps if you keep your inner 10-year-old alive.”
  • “This sort of situation is both appealing and disturbing. I want to be so comfortable with my husband SO that I can fart in front of him and he can still think I’m sexy, but I also fear that after a while, the stench I am capable of expelling from my anus would eventually kill our relationship.”
  • “I don’t get people who hold in their farts forever. I totally do for the first several months of a relationship. Then one squeaks out after tacos or whatever, and opens the door. I particularly can’t imagine voluntarily holding your farts in for YEARS of marriage. Talk about uptight.”
  • “My wife still holds it in most of the time, but sometimes she will let one out and i find it incredibly endearing when she lets me in behind the “no-fart” curtain. It’s an honor, and a privilege.”
  • “Trust me, farting in front of someone doesn’t kill the romance of a relationship, having a stick up your ass does though.”

It’s been said that love means never having to say you’re sorry. I say love means never having to say you’re sorry for having gas.

Married People: Who’s F**king?

iStock_000005058065LargeWhen I was single I used to wonder about my married friends’ sex lives. How often do they do it? Is it good? Does it stay good? Is married sex better? I always wondered, but never asked– maybe because I didn’t want to pry, or maybe because I didn’t want to know if the news was bad.

I worried. What if married sex WAS bad? What if it’s boring? What happens if it can’t be sustained, or the excitement wanes?

Is it normal for sex to change once you’re married? What IS normal anyway?

Well, it’s been a few months, and here’s what I can tell you. Even though Robby and I are newlyweds, we’re not in our 20’s and just starting out. We’re in our 50’s and our bodies are changing. For one thing, I’m entering menopause, which definitely adds a new dimension to my sex life. Don’t get me wrong, things are just as hot – it just comes in flashes these days. Read more

Vintage Bob Mackie, New Mrs. Scharf

Treva Brandon and Robby Scharf WeddingWell, I did it.

It was the world’s longest walk down the aisle. Only a few yards, but it took a lifetime to get there. It was a journey that had more twists and turns than a Hitchcock movie, more starts and stops than the Indy 500, and more bumps and bruises than a mixed martial arts match.

But on May 24th 2014, I finally got married. All said and done, I went from Miss Brandon to Mrs. Scharf in 51 years flat. Catch your breath everyone, it was record time for the late blooming bride and groom.

I didn’t do it alone. I had help, lots of help. From friends and family, to celebrity designer Bob Mackie. From head to toe, my wedding day was a team effort.

It took a village to get me married, and now I must thank the village.

Treva Brandon and Robby Scharf WeddingStarting with my stepmother, Suzanne Charney and her incredible wedding gown she gave me. It’s an original, one-of-a-kind Bob Mackie, designed for her first wedding about 35 years ago.

She was smart enough to keep it boxed up all these years, and I was lucky enough to be able to wear it. I was given something new, something borrowed, and something blue for my wedding. This dress was my something old, my something vintage, and my something precious.

Suzanne Charney is a TV and film actor and dancer, well known for her role as the lead dancer in the movie “Sweet Charity.” You can’t miss her. She’s the Bob Fosse babe with the swinging ponytail and legs for days http://youtu.be/rw_M-ai1I0k

Anyway, back in the 70s, when Bob Mackie bobmackie.com was designing all of Cher’s sexy, fabulous costumes, he took some time off to help Suzanne create the wedding dress of her dreams. They sketched and they stitched, using fabric from Paris, and hand beading courtesy of the wardrobe department at NBC.

get-attachment-3.aspxIt was the first dress I tried on after I got engaged. Aside from being slightly tight in the bust, it was perfect. I tried on 27 more dresses just to be sure, but I really didn’t have to. There’d be no other dress that even came close. So thank you, Stepmother. I hope I did it justice.

There will be more to talk about in future posts, but for now, here are some quick thanks to my wedding pit crew:

Alterations expert and tailor to the stars, Mario Gonzalas www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/moviesnow/la-et-mn-ca-tailor-to-the-stars-20140223-story.html#page=1. I will miss all the fittings and fun in your studio, but luckily, I have some pants that need hemming, so I’ll see you next week.

IMG_4523Mike Messex http://www.messexindustries.com, the genius graphic designer who brought our Save-The-Date, wedding invitation, and party favor shot glass concepts to life. He knows me, gets me, and puts up with me because I’m the bride goddamn it!!

Click on Treva & Robby Wedding Invite to see more of our collaboration.

get-attachment.aspx

 

Treva & Robby Wedding Invite

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To all our friends and classmates from Beverly Hills High School who came through in the clutch for us:

Make-up artist extraordinaire Jeanine Kabrins Canter Treva Brandon and Robby Scharf Weddingwww.facebook.com/pages/jeanineCanter-Make…/193329035942. Wow, holy shit, and thank you! You annoyed the hell out of me with all your touch-ups, but your meticulousness showed – you are truly an artist.

Photographer Alex Berliner abimages.com. Thank you for capturing every nuance and moment. From under the chuppah, to the Soul Train line dance, you were everywhere. You sneaky little bastard! I’m surprised you didn’t catch me on the toilet, which would’ve been a nice shot.

Videographer Adam Ritz antishadow.com. I’m not sure who had more fun at my wedding: you or me. I love a vendor who not only has creativity and vision, but enjoys the job too! You were awesome to work with and even more awesome to party with!

Cantor Gary Shapiro http://youtu.be/o-ZhVpbW5Uk. He’s a man of faith AND a professional stand-up comedian all at the same time. His heartfelt ceremony was touching, personal, and fall off your chair funny. If you weren’t laughing, you were crying; if you weren’t crying, you were cringing listening to his stories of me as a young virgin.

Treva Brandon and Robby Scharf WeddingAnd finally to my HUSBAND (love saying that word) Robby Scharf: for waiting 51 years for me at the end of the aisle.

I thank you and I love you. I do, I do, I do.

Welcome To Registry Hell

get-attachment.aspx

Robby and Treva enjoying a day of registry shopping.

I never thought shopping could be such torture until I got engaged. Suddenly, something I previously found fun, and maybe even therapeutic, has become pure torment. Registry shopping is like retail waterboarding – cruel and unusual.

The selection is overwhelming. There are so many choices, so many decisions, so many brands, models, gadgets, and so many different tastes and opinions, you could almost hit someone over the head with a frying pan – and Robby almost did.

Being single people for most of our lives, Robby and I aren’t exactly fluent in the language of housewares. Not that we don’t like nice kitchen stuff, it just hasn’t been a priority for either of us. I know as a single girl, I’d rather spend my money on a cute pair of Kate Spade sandals than on a set of expensive Kate Spade dishes.

So you can understand why this registering for gifts thing is a little confusing, and at times, combative – in a loving way, of course.

get-attachment-4.aspx

It’s Blender-Rama with Robby Scharf!

Welcome to “Registry Hell,” where couples go head-to-head in a battle of the blenders, a clash of the coffee makers, and a war of the wine openers. You can catch all the action not inside a boxing ring at Staples Center, or inside a mixed martial arts cage at Caesar’s Palace, but at Bloomingdale’s, the place for true hardcore fight fans.

Bloomingdale’s was our first stop on the registry hell ride, and where Robby and I nearly had a knock-down-drag-out, right in the middle of the home furnishings department. Over what you ask? A cheese board: a really fancy, very expensive, slightly ornate, heavy black granite designer cheese board with silver chalice handles and a matching cheese knife that I was convinced we HAD to have.

There was some light sparring a few minutes earlier over a hi-tech toaster oven, a multi-piece knife set, and an overly-complicated espresso machine, but nothing compared to the main event: a fight over the cheese board.

Here’s a little snippet of the heated discussion:

get-attachment-3.aspx

The cheese board in question.

Treva: Honey, look at this cheese board we should get. We definitely need this.

Robby: A cheese board for what?

Treva: For when we entertain with cheese!

Robby: We don’t need a dedicated black granite cheese board with silver chalice handles!

Treva: Yes we do!

Robby: What else can you do with it?

Treva: (Thinking…thinking…thinking)

Robby: Unless someone’s gonna cut some coke on it, which isn’t going to happen, we don’t need it.

* * * * * * * * *

I love my fiancé. He’s so practical and sensible, and yes, he’s right. We don’t need a $199 cheese board.

We didn’t get much accomplished in our first outing, but I did learn some important things about registry shopping:

• Don’t ever go on a busy Saturday at the mall.

• Don’t ever go at the end of the day, around 5pm.

• Don’t ever go when you’re hungry and cranky.

Next time, we’ll either get liquored up before we go, or we’ll go first thing in the morning when we’re both rested and fully caffeinated.

A few days later, with the help of some strong Urth Café coffee, we hit Crate And Barrel, and hit it good.

Armed with a game plan and a merchandise scanner, we zipped around the store and zapped barcodes on items we really needed: glassware, a good set of pots and pans, silverware, and a nice set of dishes. We managed to get Crate And Barrel done in one fell swoop, without any punches thrown. It was fast and furious, but without either one of us getting furious.

get-attachment-1.aspx

We survived Registry Hell!

In the end, we managed to turn Registry Hell into Registry Heaven, and now we can’t wait to go again.

Bed, Bath & Beyond, here we come!

27 Dresses And A Whole Lot Of Drapery

IMG_4068

Look Ma! I’m in a wedding dress!

Here’s what I wanted:  a wedding dress that reflected my essence, style, and personality.  I wanted something lightweight that I could move in; something elegant, but simple; something that didn’t show too much skin and was age-appropriate; something not obnoxiously priced, claustrophobically tight, or overwhelmingly poofy. And of course, something white since I’m still a virgin (cough, cough).

Read more

Diamonds And A Girl’s Best Friends

photo-9

Me and the diamond guys (no, not the Robbins Bros.)

Every girl loves diamonds, but not every girl is educated about them – like me.  Don’t ask me about about cut, clarity, color, and carats, or the difference between trillions and trapezoids, because I have absolutely no clue.  Mountings, galleries, pave, micro pave, filigree…say what?  It’s all another language I never learned, but a lot of my girlfriends seem to speak it fluently.

Read more

WTF And Other Beautiful Sentiments

retro-bubbles-collection-style-speech-acronyms-words-isolated-white-background-32636373As word spread of our engagement, I suddenly realized how many of my friends and family had given up on any chance of me ever getting married.  Their reactions ranged from shock and awe, to stunned disbelief, to much joy and elation after it all sank in.  But the prevailing emotion by far was relief.  Huge, deafening sighs of relief.

Oh, ye of little faith.  You didn’t think it was gonna happen, did you?  Yeah, well, neither did I.

Read more

Announcing An Engagement Fifty Years In The Making.

IMG_3929Finally, the words I’ve waited fifty years to say: I’M ENGAGED.  Why now you ask and not five years ago?  Ten years ago?  Twenty years ago?  Not sure, but I think it has a little something to do with the right time, the right guy, and being in the right place emotionally and personally.  Being a late bloomer had a lot to do with it, too.

Read more