Many of you are probably too young to remember the bestselling book, How to Make Love to a Man. When I was in high school, a friend and I pooled our money to buy a copy. My mother discovered the book tucked between my mattress and box spring and promptly tossed the book out, so I didn’t get much time to absorb the material, so to speak.
But moving on. The author, Alexandra Penney, became enormously wealthy for writing that book, which was on the New York Times bestsellers list for weeks, along with the other sex-advice books she penned through the years. She was also Self magazine’s editor-in-chief for years. Then she became a freelance artist. In her late 40s, she invested all of her retirement money — her life savings — with Bernie Madoff’s investment company. And you know what happened next.
Now Penney is blogging about what it’s like to be nearing retirement with her nest egg gone on Tina Brown’s new site, The Daily Beast. She has written three posts so far on her blog, titled The Bag Lady Papers, and I’m addicted. She’s getting flamed like crazy: people are criticizing her for worrying about the housekeeper she’ll have to let go, the white shirts she’ll have to iron herself, and the second home and (possibly) her apartment she’ll have to sell. Sure, compared to many folks, she’s lived a privileged life, and you could argue she was a fool to hand her whole nest egg to Madoff. On the other hand, she worked hard to earn this money and she acknowledges she has enjoyed the good life. Seems like she has plenty of cause for anger when her future’s been pulled out from under her.
I think she’s brave to blog about her experience, her despair, her fears. One thing I like about her blog is that she sounds like a spunky chick; I have no doubt she’ll pull through.
What do you think? Do you feel any compassion for her or think she’s an entitled whiner? Post your comments below. [db]