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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Just a few days from our first broadcast now and I'm particularly flattered that Channel 21 in New York thought Life (Part2) was so strong that it scheduled us on Wednesdays at 11:30 against Conan, Letterman and Charlie Rose. Watch for a run on DVR's. (Or watch the show here.)

While marriage is the roundtable discussion on the first show, it was the one-on-one chat with Cathie Black that kept me up nights. Cathie is the president of Hearst Magazines, which includes Cosmopolitan, Esquire, and  O, The Oprah Magazine, and a steely  charmer. We talked about the increasing Boomer issue of having to take orders from a younger boss. Deal with it, ordered Cathie; learn the language of the boss' generation, dress cooler, listen to current music and, most important, stay up with technology. And whatever you do, she warned, don't tell the boss how we did it in the old days. It was tough, smart advice, even if hard to swallow. I know it's hard enough to treat your grown up kids like grown-ups, but your baby boss? On the other hand, since Boomers love to think they are forever young, maybe it's not so hard to assimilate.

After that, marriage sounded easy (unless you married someone of your young boss's generation.)

In the last blog, we alluded to the notion that boomer marriages, based on the divorce rate, were less stable that those of their parents' generation (the Greatest or Gratingest, depending on your sentimentality). Ma and Pa stuck it out even if it meant barely communicating for years on end. I think much of that had to do with women having limited status or prospects outside marriage in those days. Where was she going to go, what was she going to do? Nowadays, so many boomer women have professions and careers, they don't necessarily need a man to support or define them. And then there's that Boomer optimism - you don't have to make do with your mistake because there's surely someone better out there.

Our panel gets to that and much more. Terry Real talks about the new rules of marriage and Suzanne Braun Levine confides that the first 37 years were the hardest. Most surprising for me was Dr. Janet Taylor on how conflict can often lead to a healthier relationship than compromise.

I particularly enjoyed this panel, although when you've got such smart and entertaining guests, the host never gets a chance to drop in his own bad jokes. I'd heard this one at the Friars Club in New York when one of those ancient comics tottered out on stage (average age at the Friars is deceased) and began to rant, "Same- sex marriage, same-sex marriage, that's all I hear about these days. What about a some-sex marriage?"

We'll get to that later in the season.



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