Sunday, August 26, 2012

Behind the Scenes of a TV Appearance

Chad Stone on the set of "You & Me This Morning" with hosts Melissa Forman (left) and Jeanne Sparrow (right).
 It’s 6:15 a.m. in Chicago and I am getting into a cab. “I need to go to the WCIU-TV studios on North Halsted,” I tell the driver. I feel a tiny bit like Matt Lauer, heading for his job at the Today Show—except that Matt has his own private driver and he leaves even earlier in the morning. And I am Chad Stone, who is not anywhere close to Matt Lauer’s pay grade.

But hey, I’m headed to my first TV interview to talk about Confessions of a Middle-Aged Babe Magnet, and I’m excited and a little nervous.

The taxi driver drops me off in front of a nondescript office building and a producer escorts me into the studio. Holy Live TV, the hosts of “You & Me This Morning” are sitting on a couch chatting about something silly with thousands of viewers in Chicagoland sharing their every word. Melissa Forman and Jeanne Sparrow sit on the brightly lit set, pretending to be two best friends talking and hanging out over bagels and coffee.

What, exactly, is the Middle-Aged Babe Magnet doing here? I’m drinking bottled water and reviewing the notes I wrote for my interview. I need to make sure I’ll remember what I planned to say about how dating is like the Olympics and how a middle-aged guy like me became a self-proclaimed Babe Magnet.

A tiny microphone is clipped to my lapel. Then the producer takes me to the “Green Room” to go over my segment. I will be interviewed by the blonde TV host (Melissa Forman) while we sit at the “kitchen table” part of the set. Sounds great—just make sure I don’t look like a doofus, OK?

Back in the studio, the director sits me in a chair on the set and hands me a copy of my own book. During the “tease” for my upcoming segment, I sit under the hot lights and pretend to read my book while laughing and smiling like I’ve never seen the book before. It’s weird, but it’s TV—not real life.

During the commercial break I am escorted to my chair at the table. Melissa sits down, smiling, and introduces herself. The red light on the camera goes on, and Melissa introduces me by saying something like, “If you ever wondered what a babe magnet looks like, now you know.”

“No one ever mistook me for Brad Pitt,” I quip. “So if I can become a Babe Magnet, then anyone can become a Babe Magnet.” And that’s pretty much the point of the book. You can learn to be a good date. You can learn to be charming and a great conversationalist. You can learn what women want in a man (and if you’re a woman, you can learn what men want in a woman). This isn’t rocket science, folks. You just have to pay attention and be willing to learn.

Melissa the TV Host is clearly enjoying herself as she asks me about myself and how I came to write Confessions of a Middle-Aged Babe Magnet. Then we go through some of the Olympic Dating Styles that I coined to describe how some singles act like dating is a major sporting event. (See the earlier Olympics post on this blog.)

My mouth is getting drier with each passing moment. It’s hard to look relaxed and natural while trying to be charming and funny on TV. Perhaps that’s why Matt Lauer, Oprah Winfrey and the other professionals get paid so much money. Fortunately, the interview ends before I completely lose the ability to form words with my cotton mouth.

The TV cameras are off, and Melissa the TV Host is flipping through my book, laughing. “Don’t switch Babes in mid stream!” she reads. “This is hilarious!” It’s too bad she didn’t read the book before our interview. Oh well.

Then I am out on the street, left to find myself a cab back to the hotel. TV is done with me—for now.

Perhaps I should call Oprah or Ellen. What do you think?

By the way, here's the link to my TV interview: Chad Stone on WCIU-TV

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Lighter Side of Marriage

Why do single men and women spend so much of their waking thoughts, time and energy to find a special someone? I believe that humans are hard-wired to seek out romantic relationships. We crave the intimacy and the partnership, and the chance to bond, change and grow together.

Traditionally, the goal of a romantic partnership has been marriage, and for millions of singles and couples that’s still the goal. Marriage is one of society’s most respected institutions, but it also presents some of the most challenging experiences any of us will ever face. Perhaps that’s why a healthy, happy and successful marriage is celebrated by husband, wife, family and friends.

Today, more than ever, a sense of humor is an important component of a healthy and happy marriage. So I share with you these quotes about marriage (many of which apply just as well to any romantic partnership.) I hope you receive them in the spirit of joy, love, hope and laughter with which they are intended.

Before marriage, a man will lie awake all night thinking about something you said; after marriage, he'll fall asleep before you finish saying it. -- Unknown

I love being married. It's so great to find one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life. -- Rita Rudner

One advantage of marriage is that, when you fall out of love with him or he falls out of love with you, it keeps you together until you fall in again. -- Judith Viorst

For two people in a marriage to live together day after day is unquestionably the one miracle the Vatican has overlooked. -- Bill Cosby

Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards. -- Benjamin Franklin

A good marriage would be between a blind wife and a deaf husband. -- Michel de Montaigne

Why does a woman work 10 years to change a man's habits and then complain that he's not the man she married? -- Barbra Streisand

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. -- Mignon McLaughlin

There is so little difference between husbands you might as well keep the first.-- Adela Rogers St. John

No matter how happily a woman may be married, it always pleases her to discover that there is a nice man who wishes she were not.-- H. L. Mencken

My wife and I have the secret to making a marriage last. Two times a week, we go to a nice restaurant, a little wine, good food..... She goes Tuesdays, I go Fridays. -- Henny Youngman

We have the greatest pre-nuptial agreement in the world. It's called love. -- Gene Perret

This is Chad Stone, author of Confessions of a Middle-Aged Babe Magnet, signing off.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

When It’s Time to Say Goodbye

Relationships are wonderful. Right? Isn’t that why we all love to be paired up with someone special? Isn’t that why millions of us who aren’t in relationships spend billions of dollars on online dating services like and other matchmaking services? Isn’t that why we agonize about the relationships we’re in when things aren’t going well?

The short answer is “Yes.”

But unfortunately, sometimes relationships run their course. Some romantic relationships aren’t built to last. Or maybe they could have lasted, but we choose to give up on them instead.

So, when is the right time to end a relationship?

That’s what Mitchelon Humperdickfrankenfurter (not his real name) recently asked himself. He had been seeing Jennifer Lopez (the singer, but not the famous one) for nearly a year. Their lives had become comfortably enmeshed. They spent weekends together. They saw each other during the week. They had meet each others’ kids and parents. They were a couple.

In the past week, they became uncoupled. It was Mitch who decided it was time. He and Jenn had gone to Barbados together for 10 days in the tropics. But the trip was not all bliss, and it was clear to Mitch that his relationship with Jenn was stuck.

When I asked Mitch why he decided to have the dreaded “breakup talk” with Jenn, he said it was all about passion. He wasn’t feeling the heat, the passion in the relationship that he wanted. Sure, Jenn was nice, level-headed and dependable—but there weren’t any sparks in their relationship.

What Mitch also admitted was that there weren’t many sparks in the relationship even in the beginning—when you expect them the most. Mitch was hoping that the chemistry between them would erupt into flames over time, but that never happened.

When they got back from their vacation, he broke the news gently to Jenn. It turns out, she was feeling the same way. She wasn’t feeling any sparks for Mitch, either. So the good news was, the feelings (or lack thereof) were mutual. They collected their respective possessions from their respective houses, and they split as amicably as possible.

When is the right time to end a relationship? For Mitch and Jenn, it was when their hearts told them that they wanted more. They wanted more passion, and they were no longer to settle for anything less.

I wish them both nothing but the best, and I hope they both find lots of passion in their next relationships.

-- Chad Stone
----- For more thoughts on relationships and breakups, read my book, Confessions of a Middle-Aged Babe Magnet. And check out my web page at