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How to Marry a Man in Manhattan—My Way

A couple of months ago, an announcement appeared in the New York Times that "Cindy Ryan" (not her real name) had gotten married. There was nothing particularly interesting or unusual about it, except to people who had known Cindy and lost contact with her, like me, to whom the news was astounding. Cindy had gotten married! At forty! It was nothing short of inspirational.

You see, Cindy was one of those New York women who had been trying to get married for years. We all know them. They're the women we've been reading about for the past ten years, who are attractive (not necessarily beautiful) and seem to be able to get everything—except married. Cindy sold advertising for a car magazine. She knew stereo equipment. She was as big as a man. She shot guns and traveled (once, on her way to the airport, she had to punch out a drunk cab driver, throw him in the back seat, and drive herself to the airport). She wasn't exactly the most feminine woman, but she always had men.

But every year, she got older, and when I would run into her at an old friend's cocktail party, she'd regale me and everyone else with stories of the big one who got away. The guy with the yacht. The CEO who came to bed in mouse slippers.

And, you couldn't help it. You'd look at her and feel a mixture of admiration and revulsion. You'd walk away thinking—she'll never get married. If she does marry, it's going to have to be some boring bank manager who lives in New Jersey. And besides, she's too old.

Then you'd go home and lie in bed, and the whole thing would come back to haunt you, until you had to call up your friends and be a nasty little cat and say, "Sweetie, if I ever end up like her, be sure to shoot me, huh?"

Well, guess what. You were wrong. Cindy got married. He's not the kind of guy she ever thought she'd end up with, but she's happier than she's ever been in her life.

It is time. Time to stop complaining about no good men. Time to stop calling your machine every half hour to see if a man has called. Time to stop identifying with Martha Stewart's lousy love life even if she is on the cover of People magazine.

Yes, it is finally time to marry a man in Manhattan, and best of all, it can be done. So relax. You have plenty of time. Martha, pay attention.

When it comes to marrying a man in Manhattan, two rules apply. "You have to be sweet," said Lisa, thirty-eight, a correspondent for a network news show. But at the same time, said Britta, a photo rep, "you can't let them get away with anything."

For these women, age is an advantage. If a woman has survived single in New York until her mid-thirties, chances are she knows a thing or two about how to get what she wants. So, when one of these New York women targets a man as a potential husband, there is usually very little he can do to get away.
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