Holden Caulfield's 3 Funniest Comments About Girls

What are your favorite Holden lines? ... Also: destination dining. And research shows that you shouldn't marry Mr. Good Enough.

Hello, lovelies. And happy Monday.


Here in the Land of Living Flirtatiously, much of last week was taken up with an ongoing discussion of that new book, Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough. Gottlieb's argument, in a nutshell, was that women are too picky and they should stop looking for Mr. Perfect while they're still young enough to attract a Mr. Good Enough--and one they do attract him, they should get hitched so they can raise babies together. My response was, more or less, that settling is a lot easier said than done.

As it turns out, another new book--Hannah Seligson's A Little Bit Married: How to Know When It's Time to Walk Down

the Aisle or Out the Door
--makes a stronge argument against settling. She points to a study done by University of Austin Texas Professor Ted Huston, who studied 168 couples in order to gain insight into what predicts a happy marriage. He found that doubts should not be brushed aside: His research revealed that women who sensed future problems while they were still courting found out after they were married that their concerns were well-founded; their marriages were fraught with troubles and unhappiness.

(Now, it could be that their doubts helped to cause the trouble--that they led to a self-fulfilling prophecy--but regardless of how it happens, the study seems to offer proof that marrying someone you don't feel sure about isn't wise.)


My weekend was kind of obliterated by the head cold (which got pretty truculent on Friday and wasn't terribly gentle with me on Saturday either). Friday night, as I lay dying on my couch, I tried desperately to read, but kept nodding off instead. Then I decided to watch the movie I had: Reservoir Dogs, Quentin Taratino's directorial debut. There is SOOO much blood and violence in it that I spent about 53% of the movie peeking at it through my fingers. But there's also a lot of sharp dialogue and interpersonal drama. The movie is a perspicacious character sketch that shows just what will happen when certain extreme personalities stay true to character in a wild situation: a diamond heist gone wrong. In the film, the thieves are given code names--like Mr. Orange, Mr. White, Mr. Pink, Mr. Blonde, etc. But by the end of the flick, I was thinking of them as: The Child-Hero, The Father, The Self-Interested "Professional," The Sadist, etc. It's not for everyone ... but I'm just about ready to watch it again. Not least because I had a huge crush on Mr. Orange by the end.


On Saturday night, hopped up on cold meds and about six cups of coffee, I managed to make it out for dinner with some friends. At 845pm, we all met up at Vinegar Hill House--an amazing little joint in the middle of nowhere: kind of in between the Brooklyn Navy Yard and the tony waterfront neighborhood of DUMBO. But it's walking distance from just about nothing and the closest subway is miles away, practically, which makes it a total New York anamoly. All the streets are cobblestoned and there are lots of cute little buildings and houses; it feels a bit like an old European fishing village. I love places like this in New York--tucked on some forgotten street, where there are no signs of life ... till you get into the joint and find it swinging.

A little too swinging, in fact: There was a 90 minute wait to get a table. And there weren't any seats at the bar either. Which is the kind of thing one expects in Manhattan; less so in Brooklyn. The fact that so many people made the trek out there on a frigid winter night? That's what I call destination dining. Unfortunately, though, I wasn't feeling healthy enough to be on my feet for 1.5 hours, waiting, so we took off and went to The Vanderbilt instead.


If you're a regular reader of this blog, I assume it's because you like what we writers would call my "voice"--the way I "sound" when you read me. Like just about every blogger in the world--and innumerable novelists--I owe an enormous debt to writer J.D. Salinger, who died last week. His most famous character, the precocious curmudgeon Holden Caulfield, talked in a slangy, modern, casual way, the way a friend would; I think most bloggers try to achieve a similar level of familiarity. Salinger's beloved novel The Catcher in the Rye is the book that made me want to become a writer; and even before that, Holden helped to shape whatever sense of morality I might have.

Morality? you might say. Yes. Holden is an inveterate liar, sure, but he's also someone with a very strong sense of personal values, and the book is largely about his struggle to figure out how to live in a world that makes it so difficult for him to hold on to the values that help make his life meaningful.

Anyway, I'm going to close today with some of Holden's most hilarious and touching insights about women. Will you please post any you especially like, any I may have forgotten?

-If a girl looks swell when she meets you, who gives a damn if she's late? Nobody(from Chapter 17)

-Sex is something I really don't understand too hot. You never know where the hell you are. I keep making up these sex rules for myself, and then I break them right away. Last year I made a rule that I was going to quit horsing around with girls that, deep down, gave me a pain in the ass. I broke it, though, the same week I made it--the same night, as a matter of fact. (from Chapter 9)

-I mean most girls are so dumb and all. After you neck them for a while, you can really 
watch them losing their brains. You take a girl when she really gets passionate, she just hasn't any brains. (from Chapter 13)