Who says men only care about their own careers? There are signs that this is the dawn of the new masculinity. Some recent news about men who are chucking their own careers to support the dreams and hopes of the women they love:
1. That's amore! News flash: Garrett Waltzer (right), litigation partner at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, is bidding adieu to law. The reason, according to his departure memo (which Above the Law leaked), is that he wants to dedicate himself to his wife's career:
I have been blessed with the incredible good fortune of being married to TaQuita Thorns, a talented singer from Detroit, Michigan, who is just beginning her career in the music business. In addition to writing and recording outstanding R&B, rock, and soul songs, TaQuita is an energetic performer with a dazzling voice and stunning looks. I am very excited about TaQuita’s prospects. Going forward, I plan to be a supportive husband and do all I can to help TaQuita achieve her mission to improve the world through music and, in the process, become a force in the music industry.
To be perfectly honest, it seems to have all the signs of a classic middle-age crisis: Big Law partner in his fifties running off with a twenty-something hot number.
But there's more to this story: I chatted with Waltzer, and he told me that his withdrawal from practice was precipitated by a chronic illness: "I have nagging health issues, and I do better without stress." He added that he's had a rough few years: "I tried a lot of different cures, taken a year off in 2009, left a marriage that made me sick." He said that he met his current wife, TaQuita (left), online "after my ex-wife fell in love with her personal trainer."
As for all the commotion his departure from Skadden has generated, he told me he understands: "We are a unique couple, and we get a lot of attention. She's younger and African American. But anyone who knows me knows that I am drawn to someone with substance." At this point, he said, he's focused on his wife's music career, and that he would go wherever her career might take her. "We might relocate again. It could be Asia next."
Let me say I don't see anything wrong with Waltzer's choice. I think it's great. And from the tone of the memo, Waltzer seems like a happy man. As he points out, he's "blessed" to be married to this woman with the "dazzling voice and stunning looks." (Translation: she's not your standard-issue partner wife.) So eat your heart out, Big Law drones!
Seriously, though, I wish him well. Wouldn't you?
2. But being a stay-at-home hubby can be a serious drag. Waltzer seems to have a great gig in the works, but some men who have forfeited their careers don't seem to have much fun.
This latest report from the stay-at-home dad trenches doesn't make the arrangement seem very appealing—and definitely not sexy. The New York Times reports on some dads who have started a fatherhood magazine called Kindling Quarterly, which frankly sounds every bit as tedious as those mommy magazines. (The magazine website, as the NYT points out, says the goal is to “present a thoughtful dialogue about fatherhood that is missing from our cultural landscape.”)
But the real kicker is the description of the dads behind the publication:
Most of the fathers in Kindling Quarterly’s first issue live or have lived in Brooklyn. They grow their own food, describe cooking as “an immediately satisfying creative project,” and use the word “source” as a verb.
Oy. It's enough for me to long for the return of the caveman.
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