Single and fabulous? Well then this is the column for you!
Ever wish you had your own personal Carrie Bradshaw to answer your questions — not just about what to do if your boyfriend dumps you via text message — but serious issues that confront us?
This special edition of “Lis on Law” will address topics that single women are faced with and that everybody wonders about — but no one has time to figure out.
Is it true that the rich are more likely to be in unhappy marriages than the poor and middle-class? There was an article about it a few weeks ago. Do you know what I’m talking about?
— Sally, Detroit, Michigan
Remember when your mom said that you should marry for love and not money? Was I the only one who got that advice? It turns out that mom was right.
Fancy cars, palatial homes and exotic vacations are always a great plus, but even these perks don’t guarantee marital bliss. According to a new study conducted by a Connecticut firm that covers the behavior of the super rich, about half of wealthy folk in America claim to be trapped in unhappy marriages — and even more admit to being unfaithful within the past three years. Of those confessing to infidelity more women than men (61 percent vs. 43 percent) admitted to straying from their sweethearts. The reason: good ol’ fashion variety.
This left me searching for answers as to what is causing all this? Is too much money not a good thing? Or, is it perhaps the fear of losing that much money in a divorce?
According to the Prince and Associates survey, 30 percent were considering divorce but many hesitated for various reasons. For the men, cost was the main obstacle to splitsville and over 60 percent said it was bad for business. Get this — just 7.7 percent of the guys said the reason for forestalling the divorce was because of their kids. But it’s not just the men with pragmatic answers.
The biggest obstacle mentioned for financially independent women was interference with business dealings (51 percent), followed closely by cost (42.8 percent). Only 14 percent of us ladies said they feared divorce because it would hurt the kids.
“Divorce itself is a businessman’s biggest deal,” celebrity divorce attorney Raoul Felder told Forbes. “He’s going to lose half he has.” In spite of prenuptial agreements, the couple could have gained most of their wealth during the marriage, which will lead to an equitable division of the assets. In other words, the husband and bride will need to draw a line in the sand and fairly divide the kingdom in half.
Of course these facts are disturbing. But are they surprising? Probably not. Most of us like the finer things in life, or at least aspire for them--but is it really worth enduring a loveless, unfaithful marriage to save your pennies? Or millions, if that’s the case?
How much would you be willing to pay for a good date? Insulted by the question? Would you pay $100 bucks? $1,000 bucks? $1,500?
Well, $1,500 dollars seems to be the magic number. Several Manhattan women own up to handing over these big bucks to “It’s Just Lunch,” a national dating franchise that sets up lunchtime first dates. The problem, as we understand, was that the guys they were supposedly going to meet turned out to be completely different. Instead of an art dealer, one woman got a lawnmower. Instead of a sober guy, another woman got an alcoholic. The list goes on. But these women aren’t taking this laying down.
The ladies who filed court papers earlier this month, accuse the company of lying to clients in its attempt to make as much profit as possible.
“They lie every step of the way,” plaintiff lawyer John Balestriere told ABC News. “They lie to sign up the client. They lie in the initial interview and they lie about the prospective dates.” What exactly did they lie about? Try “marital status, employment status, criminal background, age, health status, physical appearance, religious convictions, politicians and recreational interests.”
Marcia Horowitz, spokesperson for “It’s Just Lunch,” defended the dating service. “We have been in business for 16 years and in that time we have arranged millions of meetings that resulted in thousands of marriages,” Horowitz said. “Our success is based largely on word of mouth and we wouldn’t be successful without having a vocal majority of satisfied members. The allegations in the lawsuit are completely without merit and we will defend vigorously against them.”
We found numerous complaints about the company that begged to differ.
• “They promised me the moon and the dates were terrible to say the least,” said Robert of Elk Grove, California.
• “I have been duped as well, with their advertising stating the professional people that they have as clients. Very few of my matches were professional!” said Daryl of Germantown, Wisconsin.
• “I believe I foolishly wasted $1500 on a service that was a scam from the beginning. The money is not that big of a deal, but the disappointment and self doubt created by the situation has been hurtful,” Said Philip of Little Elm, Texas.
Dating is a jungle ... so, if you pay these big bucks to navigate that jungle you should at least get some things straight ... like the guy isn't married ... not an alcoholic ... and has a job! Why else go to these services? Might as well just hang at the bars. So go for it ladies … don’t let the company get away with a “free lunch!”
Lis, my entire life, I’ve been verbally harassed, whether at work or socially, for being blonde. My co-workers and boss never take my suggestions or work seriously. What can I do about this? — Sonya (Philadelphia, PA)
Speaking as a fellow blonde, I understand where you’re coming from. What blonde gal hasn’t been the butt of ol’ fashioned blonde jokes? What do blondes do when they wake up? (They go home.) What do blondes do at a traffic light? (You get the idea.) No offense guys, but they’re so not funny. Frankly, they’re lame.
But can blondes press charges under federal employment discrimination law? No more or less than a redhead or brunette.
There was actually a case about this a few years ago, Shramban v. Aetna Inc., where a blonde brought a Title VII suit claiming harassment against her boss due to being blonde, Jewish, Russian and anything else under the sun she could complain about at the time.
"While [the boss’s] various alleged comments and questions may be viewed as offensive, disparaging, unprofessional and in poor taste, we conclude that they are insufficient to prove that the harassment of plaintiff was motivated by gender, race, religion or national origin," the judge wrote at the time. "We also note that being blonde is not a protected group under Title VII.”
In other words, being teased about being blonde — or anything else along those lines — may be immature and annoying, but it does not legally rise to a level of harassment; in particular, that of a hostile work environment.
To establish a solid claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, one must show evidence of “intentional discrimination” that is “pervasive and regular.” The knock-knock blonde joke doesn’t make the cut. So while being a blonde comes with its drawbacks, don’t we still have more fun?
Maybe I don’t get out enough, but I had never heard of “lube wrestling” ‘til a friend passed me an article on the subject yesterday.
Lube wrestling is exactly what the title implies. Men and/or women wrestling on a mat or pool overflowing with lubricant. As I recently learned, it’s a trendy fraternity sport and possibly spreading to a bar near you.
At a bar in Boulder, a young woman under the age of 21 contacted the police after taking part in a lube wrestling match after succumbing to “peer pressure.” Apparently, the video of the match is on YouTube. I couldn’t find it, but there were plenty more lube wrestling clips to choose from. I kid you not; I saw grown adults in tight, teeny outfits, slipping and sliding in oily liquid.
But my favorite clip had to be the “Astrolube Wrestling Kit Mix Instructions.” I can mix my own stuff and build my very own lube-wrestling rink at home! I felt encouraged enough to check out a Web site. How kind of them to define Astrolube: “A special type of cellulose carbohydrate with a very large molecular size.” What does that mean? Apparently, it isn’t sticky, but extremely slippery when dissolved in water.
As it turns out, the Colorado cops couldn’t shut the activity down. Why? Well, what’s illegal about it? They may be punishing the limits of human decency, but it falls short of any civil of criminal law I know of. As of late, peer pressure is not illegal and it’s likely in the end she still consented. Apparently several additional matches had taken place that night and other contestants claimed that they participated out of their own free will.
What could complicate the facts is that she’s not 21 and claims that the bars served her alcohol. Not only is that a total no-no, but that could lead to some incapacity issues in terms of intoxication.
Frankly, this woman was an idiot to do this and probably a sore loser. (Do we know who won the match?) But that doesn’t hide the fact that the bar should not be sponsoring underage drinking in any way, shape or form. If it turns out that they did serve her alcohol, not only is that a total legal no-no, it could lead to some legal issues if the girl argues that she was mentally incapacitated due to the alcohol and that led her to start her lube wrestling career. I’ll see you on the mat!
Lis, I am considering getting a tattoo removed, but am concerned about the safety involved in these procedures. I’ve heard from friends that many if not most of the technicians doing these procedures are not real doctors. –— Flora, Westchester
Just who exactly is performing your laser surgery, operating that laser pen to remove the "I Heart Ted" tattoo on your lower back? Is it possible that the guy (or gal) is not even a doctor? It's possible, and I say that with the most terrified look on my face.
Get this: laser procedures can be performed by individuals with very limited training. In fact, Kentucky is the only state which requires a doctor to be around during the surgery.
When receiving laser surgery, you probably want a board certified dermatologist doing the work. These procedures have been growing by leaps and bounds in recent years. They are offered not only at doctors' offices and clinics, but even beauty spas and small salons. So can you imagine what could happen if you go under the laser with an under-qualified person in control? Disaster!
According to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, botched surgery incidents have gone up nearly fifty percent from 2005 to 2006.
"We see a definite increase in the number of people being damaged by untrained individuals using these lasers and we think that this is just going to be more of a problem," Alastair Carruthers, president of ASDS, told CNN. "Sadly, there are many people who are laser techs who have done very little, maybe a weekend course, maybe some other training. We believe that you require more information than that."
It turns out that the medical regulatory boards are pretty unclear about what constitutes proper supervision. In some states, merely having a doctor available by cell phone for emergencies is fine enough.
So what can you do? Get the facts! Is an actual "doctor" doing the surgery? Where did he get his training? And be street smart: are the circumstances sketchy? Did the doctor make a point of asking about your medical history? After all, if going to go in for surgery, you better be absolutely that the person with a knife is not going to tear up your skin. It can happen!
The information contained in this Web site feature entitled “LIS ON LAW,” is provided as a service to visitors of foxnews.com, and does not constitute legal advice or establish an attorney client relationship. FOX NEWS NETWORK, LLC makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this web site feature and its associated sites. Nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of your own counsel.
Lis Wiehl joined FOX News Channel as a legal analyst in October 2001. To read the rest of Lis's bio, click here.