Kathryn's Blog: Romance!

Chocolate and sex

I picked up a copy of “The Economist” in February, probably the first time ever.  And what should I see but my very own logo (a chocolate dipped strawberry) as the back drop of a fascinating graph.  Not only did I just have to post it here, so y’all could know this trivia, but also, Sweetie Pie Drew used it in his Valentine’s Day lecture to his botany class.

Valentine’s Day Food of love

Feb 14th 2008
From Economist.com

ON VALENTINE’S DAY the relationship between chocolate and sex becomes, at least for gentlemen considering the ideal gift, less a matter of theoretical musing and one of stark practicality. Will a box of chocolates do the trick? In some parts of Europe sex and chocolate go hand in hand, though a causal link is unclear. Mediterranean lovers tend to have as much sex but less chocolate—perhaps hotter weather has a bearing on both. The Japanese have precious little of either.


Find a real clown to marry on Jdate

Who says that all you meet on line is a bunch of clowns?  Here’s a real clown and his bride who met on Jdate.com and whose wedding made the 4/13 New York Times “Vows” write up.  Now the REALLY interesting part is that this is the second wedding in a month that the NYT has featured couples who met on the Net.  Both have little videos accompanying write ups on the net.  Here’s the one about Stephanie and Adam, and here’s the link to the video about Diane and Philip.  I think that both couples met on Jdate, so if you are looking for a Jewish partner, clown or no clown, Jdate seems to be hopping.

April 13, 2008
Stephanie Schwab and Adam Gertsacov

MIDGE and Madge were not invited to the wedding in Yonkers on April 5. Stephanie Schwab, the bride, claimed to be jealous of those extraordinarily petite showgirls who had traveled the globe with her betrothed.

“He coos at them, and speaks to them in very, very soft tones,” she said.

So Adam Gertsacov, 43, agreed to leave his famous fleas at home, along with his velvet top hat and red-white-and-green shoes. His clown nose was allowed only for prewedding photos, but Ms. Schwab joyfully wore one, too. They succeeded admirably in maneuvering into an ardent kiss beneath the bright red snouts.

Marrying a clown is no run-of-the-mill thing. Mr. Gertsacov is the owner of the Acme Miniature Flea Circus. His stars, Midge and Madge, each dwarfed by the period at the end of this sentence, are said to perform feats like pulling chariots or walking a high wire.

Audiences pretty much have to take Mr. Gertsacov’s word for all this. He uses a magnifying glass to provide the play-by-play, and only the props are visible. So how did Ms. Schwab, 40, a brainy vice president of Converseon, a marketing agency in Manhattan, someone who holds an M.B.A. from the University of Illinois, end up marrying a graduate of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College who sometimes performs as a giant bumblebee?

Blame the Internet. In 2004, each was prowling a dating site. Mr. Gertsacov, of Rhode Island, traveled continuously and was open to meeting somebody nice from anywhere. Ms. Schwab, of New York, emphatically did not want another long-distance relationship.

And then there were the photos Mr. Gertsacov displayed of himself. One was a graphic blowup of an eye. She wondered if the possible artiness outweighed the obvious goofiness.

She consented to a phone call, and soon they were having “these wonderful conversations late into the night.” Over coffee in New York they “instantly connected,” she said. Soon, he was in New York almost every weekend.

He handled the inevitable career questions gradually. He first said he was a performing artist; then a creator of original comic shows; and, finally, someone who presented “popular theatrical traditions.” Only when she seemed “firmly on the hook,” he said, did he disclose the flea-bitten fabric of those heralded traditions.

She liked his intelligence and creativity, and his apparent ability to profit from his passions. “He wasn’t a lawyer, he wasn’t a consultant; it was refreshing,” she said.

Vaudeville, she thought, was exactly the kind of thing her parents would get a kick out of. And at the wedding, her father, Steven Schwab of Chicago, an owner of a business there that makes baking products for children, exuded, “There will be humor in their life forever.”

Mr. Gertsacov said: “I think she may have presented herself as more bohemian than she actually is. Which is O.K. I’m bohemian enough for both of us.”

Ms. Schwab, who had two previous marriages, once used $120,000 of her own money to start a company called Erotigo, to bring pornography to hand-held computers. It was featured in BusinessWeek, but after Sept. 11 she failed to attract the investors she needed. “It was a wild ride, really fun,” she said.

Mr. Gertsacov, who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and earned a master’s in theater and communications from Rhode Island College, claims he is the most educated clown in America — “barring certain elected officials.”

They bought a house in Yonkers two and a half years ago, became active in a synagogue and began to talk around the topic of marriage. Talk became plans five months ago, when Ms. Schwab became pregnant. Mr. Gertsacov’s mother, Karel, was unconscious and near death last December when he told her that he was engaged. “Her eyes fluttered,” he said, adding that her death soon afterward contributed to him wanting a sense of familial continuity.

The magic came together at the Roosevelt Ballroom in Yonkers, a classically inspired hall visited by both Presidents Roosevelt. The wedding invitation — in orange, a color with which Mr. Gertsacov is obsessed — announced the occasion as “A colossal combination that is sure to amaze & delight for generations to come.”

The bride was radiant in a gown that had been twice altered to meet the exigencies of pregnancy. The bridegroom only once upstaged their rabbi, Jason Nevarez. Mr. Gertsacov could not help himself from doing an elaborate pantomime with his prayer shawl. Wedding rings were extracted from a Cracker Jack box.

At the reception guests shared their talents, from juggling to rope tricks to what seemed deliberately lame humor. There was a life-size dog puppet who scratched the audience’s fancy with bon mots about fleas.

Then, as a klezmer combo shifted into high, the couple glided across the shimmering dance floor. A singer crooned the lovely, inevitable lyrics of Cole Porter:

“Birds do it, bees do it,

Even educated fleas do it.

Let’s do it, let’s fall in love.”


7 Years ago today

March 31, 2001, was the day that Drew and I got married.  We met three years earlier, so our 10th anniversary of our first meeting on Match.com is coming up fast, in May.  Here’s one of my favorite pictures from our wedding:
We’ve shared so much life together in 10 years that it seems like we have known each other much longer than that, but also, the time has passed quickly. 


Strawberry Card

I get the nicest things in the mail—emails, of course, but this came in the old-fashioned post-office-box-type mail:


Now is this cool or what?  My lovely daughter (who is getting married next month) found this card and dropped it in the mail to me.  Since the motif is a chocolate dipped strawberry, my logo, I am surprised that I haven’t gotten dozens, but that may have to do with the company that makes them (Tender Thoughts Greetings—I couldn’t find a web site for them, but Tender Thoughts, if you read this, get in touch—I’d love to carry these cards here on my site!).

Even better: Here are the words inside:  “You make love yummy.  Happy Sweetest Day.” Doesn’t that sound like me?  I even have buttons with my strawberry logo and “Yummy!” below.  What could be more fitting?

Now this is the best: On the back of the card is the following:  “Celebrated on the third Saturday in October, Sweetest Day started in 1922, when a candy company employee organized a group to help deliver candy and small gifts to orphans and others whose lives needed brightening.  Today, lovers and romantics embrace the day as well, but it’s still a time to remember those who bring happiness to our lives.”

My sentiments exactly.  How come I never heard of Sweetest Day before?  A new holiday!  (Stay tuned for “St. Catherine’s Day” which is coming up fast).

Thank you to my daughter Mishelle who has certainly brought her share of sweetness to my life!


Getting Married!

I got this wonderful note in my email box the other day.  What great news, and thanks for giving me some credit, Mary Jane!

I contacted you not to long ago; and, it was right after that I meant my soon to be Husband.

You have been a great inspiration; and, I want to thank you.

I will be getting married on May 18, 2007, to a wonderful man that I knew from high school; and, our paths have crossed many, many times.
We have been together for 8 months; and, when we get married we will be just 3 days from being together for a year. Thanks again.
Sincerely, Mary Jane Zeh


From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Another Love Story…

Yes, they are twenty-somethings, and yes, they are in Scotland, but it’s another sweet story about folks finding each other on the Internet.

And tucked in the article, this interesting tidbit:

Computer-based introductions are now even replacing traditional hotspots such as parties or holidays as the best way to meet a mate, according to a new survey by financial services firm Mint.

I knew it.

And here’s another one:

Chris and Jennifer Creary met online in 2004 when they both lived in St. Petersburg, Florida.  They are now married and living in Pensacola.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


No Good Ones On Dating Sites? Think Again…

Well, it does make a difference what you think of politicians.  Rep. Steve Rothman, U. S. Congressman from New Jersey, met his now-wife Jennifer Anne Beckenstein on Jdate.com.  See their photo here. And it’s a nice story, so read it.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord

P. S.  Rothman is 53, Beckenstein 48.


We Love Love Stories October 2006!

Savannah is a romantic’s dream, by Myron Powell (52) went over the top with his Sweetheart Esther Watson (44) who he met on Match.com.  Myron was able to convince the staff at the Jepson Center for the Arts to hang a love poem with his proposal to Esther up with the other works of art.  You’ve got to read the whole story here.  She said yes.  Myron and Esther are planning to get married next spring. 

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Take Care of Your Love

I get letters from visitors to my website and readers of my enewsletter all the time.  When I think that the questions posed are of interest to more than the writer, I often alter the writer’s note to conceal identifying details, then publish the relevant content here or in my free *eMAIL to eMATE* enewsletter. (Not a subscriber? Sign up here!)

How does one keep the relationship fun, and interesting?

Now that’s a difficult question.  Here are my best thoughts:

Don’t get lazy.  Maintain a sense of responsibility to contribute to the fun and stimulation.  Think of the relationship like a baby that needs to be fed and taken care of.  What would you do to keep a baby happy and content?  I don’t mean treating your partner like a baby, but I do mean that the relationship needs constant attention.  Keep feeding it, and it will feed you back.

Best, Kathryn


Romantic Date Ideas

Here’s one creative guy: Ben Jefferies surprised his cyber love with breakfast for two at her train station in Banbury, England. On Valentine’s Day, he’d emailed Phillippa O’Donnell to go to the post where a bouquet was waiting for here.

Not only is the fella romantic, he’s got a good palate. Here’s the menu: Oysters, fruit, Champagne, coffee, and croissants. Yum. On more than one level.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


“How optimistic is that? Part 2

Just a little over a year ago, my 81 year old mother (she’s now 82) got married for the second time.  She and her new husband George (86) rented a cottage on the beach for their honeymoon, and had such a nice time that they made reservations for the following year to celebrate their first anniversary.  They just got back from honeymoon #2, again had a wonderful time, and reserved the cabin for next year!

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Nice Things Come in Envelopes

While we have learned to both love and hate email, the best way to send a love letter is the old-fashioned way, on paper, hand-written, and in an envelop. Jill Brennan, a love letter expert, got in touch with me by email (well, she wasn’t sending ME a love letter, so that was okay) and offered up the following for my readers. If you have ever been at a loss for how to put your loving thoughts and feelings on paper, Jill has her way with words:

How to Write a Love Letter in 6 Easy Steps
by Jill Brennan

You want to tell your partner how you feel about them but you end up staring at a blank screen for so long you give up. Or you try a few lines only to delete them all and start over. Again. Why is it so hard to tell the loved one in our life exactly what they mean to us? Do you struggle to find the words to properly convey how you feel? Or is it that you just can’t explain it? Don’t let words get in the way of telling your loved one how much they mean to you.

Everyone wants to be loved. When you are busy living life, there never seems time to slow down and really savour that central relationship that makes it all worthwhile. Oftentimes we think that those closest to us know exactly how we feel about them and how important they are to us. But the sad reality is that often they don’t.

So how can you write a love letter that you will feel proud to give and one that your loved one will cherish for all time? Where do you start? Follow these easy tips below and you’ll be on your way in no time.

1. First write down 5 things that you love about your partner and be as specific as possible. Rather than writing that they are kind, instead be detailed about how they are kind. Perhaps they always smile at waiters in restaurants or they are great at making people feel included, especially at parties.

2. Write down 5 things that they have done that confirms how much you love them and again, give examples. Perhaps they enveloped you in a hug last night when you were feeling frustrated about your family. Or maybe they knew how disappointed you were when you missed out on that promotion and they cooked a special meal to cheer you up.

3. Pick the best three examples from each of the above categories and weave them into your letter. You could start by saying “I love how you...” and then include the three examples from the first point. Then you could say something like “I loved the way you...” and then mention the other examples. Make semphasizemphasise how their actions made you feel, how loved you felt and how grateful you are to have them in your life.

4. It is best to write up a draft first and then go over it to see if you can improve it. Sometimes it helps to write up what you want to say, edit it until it flows well and then leave it for a day or two before going back for a final edit and polish.

5. Buy some special paper and write out your letter. Don’t worry if your handwriting isn’t perfect—it’s distinctly yours and your loved one will appreciate the time and effort you put into the letter. If you feel your writing is so bad it will be difficult to read or if your illegible handwriting is something you’ve argued about before then pay to get it hand written by a professional. At a stretch you could use a more romantic font on your computer, say Garamond in italic, but you should really only do that as a last resort. The more personal you can make your letter the more your loved one will treasure it.

6. Think about how you plan on delivering this letter to them. Will you slip it in their briefcase? Mail it? Leave it under the pillow? Do you want to be there when they open it? If you want to see their reaction, then it is best to hand it to them. You could team the letter up with a small gift like flowers or chocolate but make sure the gift doesn’t diminish the letter as you want that to be the main focus.

If a birthday or anniversary or other special occasion is involved you’ll want to include mention of that too.

If you’re still not sure you’re up to writing your own love letter, don’t worry. Jill Brennan has written a range of great easy-to-use love templates that you can use as is or incorporate into your own unique letter. To find out more visit the love letter website.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Craig and Jocelyn’s Wedding

A week ago today, we got up before dawn to go to a lovely wedding on the beach in Massachusetts. Much as we and other guests grumbled at the early hour (a 4:15am wake-up call), it was delightful to be on the beach at that hour and to watch the sun come up behind the couple said their vows. And you’ll see by the photo of Craig and Jocelyn that the light was incredible.

I was also struck by the other couples present, that both the men and the women seemed to indulge the romantic swoon of the occasion. Weddings are wonderful places to reaffirm love and commitment and the traditions of the ages, and to re-experience falling in love and courtship, even if you are an old married couple.

Craig and Jocelyn were first noticed as a couple by the rest of the family at Craig’s sister Elizabeth’s Texas wedding in January 2004. They met on one of Craig’s visits to Elizabeth, and carried on a long-distance courtship (Massachusetts to Texas) until Craig moved south this summer. Long distance relationships can work out—Drew and I live 482 miles apart when we met on Match.com in 1998. Though usually it requires someone to do the moving.

Best wishes to Jocelyn and Craig, now in Scotland for their honeymoon!

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Kiss Me (in Lisdoonvarna), I’m Irish!

If you are single and female and have always wanted to live in Ireland, you ought to consider traveling to Lisdoonvarna. Men too may want to go, but it sounds like women have the numerical advantage. Where’s that and what do you do there? Well, golly, you look for a Sweetheart!

I’ve not heard of this before, but it looks like (pardon the expression!) a match made in heaven!All during September, particularly on the weekends, the little town of Lisdoonvarna, County Clare in Ireland, celebrates and enhances matchmaking. Singles from all over Ireland and beyond gather to look for love. Last year, 40,000 people attended, and 7,000 per weekend is not unusual. For a feel of the event, check out this article.

If you’d like to check out lots and lots of mate possibilities the old fashioned way—face to face—then this festival is for you.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Mom and George Cut the Wedding Cake, Part 2

And of course, this is the traditional cake cutting ceremony. George did ask Mom when we were driving them to the church if she was going to push the cake into his face. Luckily, I have only seen the youngest folks turn what is so pretty into a hostile act. Posted by Hello


Mom and George Cutting the Cake, Part 1

We’ve not had any wedding pictures in the past few days.  How boring.  Here’s a nice picture of the cake and couple before the cake got demolished in about 5 minutes flat. Posted by Hello


Reddi Whip and Strawberries

Readers of my enewsletter *eMAIL to eMATE* know that I was pretty stepped back before Valentine’s Day. As natural as it would seem for a Romance Coach to capitalize on the holiday for lovers, I just didn’t feel like it. My readers knew that Valentine’s Day was coming, and they didn’t need me to bludgeon them with the news. So I didn’t try at all to get my media contacts stirred up to feature me in the flood of articles that came out all over the press.

However, Cori Bolger at the Clarion Ledger in Jackson, MS, did give me a call for some juicy quotes. Cori had interviewed me before, and knew that she could count on me for the article she was writing about last-minute Valentine’s Day gifts. Cori wrote a very clever article, and in the paper Monday, the article even had a picture of me. The online version left that out, but here’s the link so that you can read what she and I had to say: Click here!

I didn’t know what Cori was going to ask me, so I wasn’t really prepared, but frankly, I think I came up with some good ideas. The two best ones? On our first Valentine’s Day together, Drew gave me a framed copy of the first email I sent him, making the contact that eventually brought us together. It now hangs in our bedroom. The second idea was pure on-the-spot inspiration: Go to the grocery store and buy a box of strawberries and a can of chocolate Reddi Whip (that whipped cream that comes in an aerosol can).

Interestingly enough, I had never even had chocolate Reddi Whip. But I bought some, with the strawberries, and let me tell you, that is one hot combination! Chocolate Reddi Whip tastes like chocolate mousse. Yum, yum, yum.



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