How I Met Claudia

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I was on one of my first dates after I had separated from my wife and the girl asked straight out what my net worth was within five minutes of sitting down. I had met the girl in an elevator the night before. I was walking into a building to visit another woman. I noticed this girl and I prayed to God that she would enter the elevator with me. She did. She hit floor #9. I hit floor #10.  God is good.

Somewhere around the fourth floor she turned to me and said, “please tell me 2009 is going to be better than 2008”. She was about five feet tall and had thick blonde hair, light blue eyes. I told her it definitely was. 2008 was bad for everyone in every way. It couldn’t get worse. It was horrible for me, I said. I had gotten separated. A month earlier I had been on the floor in a fetal position and then put ads on Craigslist pretending to be a psychic. In my “psychic” capacity I told the future to about 20 different people. And probably tried to hit on ten of them.

I got off the elevator on her floor instead of the tenth floor.  We talked for ten minutes. My phone kept ringing. My friend on the tenth floor (a woman) wanted to know where I was since the doorman had announced my presence about fifteen minutes earlier. Somewhere Between the first and tenth floor I got lost in a maze it would take me two months to exit.

My new friend’s father had died during the year. And her husband, twenty years older, had cheated on her and divorced her that year. She was crying. She asked where I lived. I said, “The Chelsea Hotel”. She said, “I’ve never had sex in the Chelsea Hotel”.

My phone kept ringing while we were talking. “Who is that?” she said. And I said it was a girl who lived on the tenth floor. So I had to go.

The next day I sent her flowers and a teddy bear. I called her and we agreed to go to dinner.

Right away she asked me my net worth, what the specific details of my divorce were going to be, why wasn’t I working, what were my plans for the future, what political party I was a member of,  everything. I told her what I had going on. She was skeptical. She said, “those sorts of things never work out.” She asked me a million questions. I was honest about everything.  She said, “I didn’t think you were a good looking guy last night.” Welcome to New York dating post-marriage.

Her conclusion: “you’re completely insane. I can’t go out with you.” We went out for two months but she broke up with me at least once a week. It was really painful. I didn’t have enough self-confidence to stay broken up. She’d break up with me in the morning and then call me later and say, “lets go out for a drink” and I would drop all other plans to go out with her again. I was drinking non-stop.

During this time, thestreet.com wanted to “rework” my contract, which resulted in me getting fired two years after I sold Stockpickr to them. The Financial Times lost their advertiser for the page I was writing on so they effectively fired me. CNBC no longer needed a bullish guy when the stock market was going down every day so they stopped using me. I let one business fail and started another business that was doomed to fail. I invested in a few other businesses but I had no idea then what would happen to those.

And still I kept getting broken up with at least once a week if not more.

My kids would come over every other weekend but since this girl would break up with me every Friday I had no idea what she was doing on a Saturday night and I’d get anxious about it. I’d arrange for my kids to get their nails done or something and I’d try calling this girl but no pickup.

I stopped returning calls from co-investors and my business partner, Dan, had to explain I was sick or busy, or dealing with divorce, or whatever he did to explain to people. None of my friends wanted to meet this new girl because they were all 100% sure that it would not work out.

I started meeting other girls via dating services to fill in the gaps when the first girl would break up with me. One girl was the host of her own TV show on ABC. Her dog shit on my rug. She wanted me to only wear suits. She wanted my teeth whitened. She wanted my hair cropped close to head (ugh!) “I’ve written a book on dating,” she said, “so you have to have a certain look or else I can’t be seen with you.” “You need to be groomed,” she said. It didn’t work out. Anyone who looks at me can see I can’t be groomed even if I wanted to. And being groomed like a dog is hard work!

Another girl asked me, “how do you deal with all the girls who want you for your millions?” And I was like, “i’m not sure where you’re getting your information from but it’s not what you think.” That didn’t work out. She wrote me a letter at the end (two weeks later), “you have mental problems and should see someone about that.” She was a pyschiatrist so she was an expert. She had said to me a week earlier, “If you use Ikea to buy furniture for your new apartment I’m going to have to break up with you.” She had to break up with me.

Another girl I introduced to some of my friends. People I had been friends with for about ten years. During the evening she got so drunk her breasts kept falling out of her dress and she wouldn’t notice at all. She would keep talking with her breasts fully out of her dress and people at all the other tables looking at us. So I walked her home. On the way back to her place she kept laughing and saying, “your friends really hate you. They only like you because they don’t know who you really are.” I got her into her apartment, dropped her on her bed, and then left and I still think about what she said and wonder if she was right.

I moved into a two bedroom apartment so my kids could visit me. The last time they had visited me in the Chelsea Hotel I saw a used condom on the staircase of the hotel. Not a good environment for kids. The new apartment, right on Wall Street, had a bed for me, two beds for the kids, a couch in the living room, a table but no chairs and no other furniture. The kids and I would keep our clothes on the floor. We’d eat on the floor. We played Monopoly all day long on the floor. By the time they left each weekend the floor was covered with food, games, books, videos, whatever. And a housecleaner would come on Monday and clean up.

Then I’d see my friend again on Mondays and she’d break up with me on Tuesday.

I was exhausted of being broken up with. I was broken.  It was like I had returned from outerspace after a 12 year visit around the planet Mars. But the planet had undergone a nuclear war and everyone was radioactive so I couldn’t touch them. “Isn’t there anyone out there who isn’t radioactive?” I would ask out loud but I had nobody to talk to. My apartment was empty. My day was empty. I’d walk around doing nothing.

I finally decided to take it seriously. No more second dates if  I knew there was no serious relationship. No more drinking. Back to the Daily Practice for the first time in three  years. I defined for myself very clearly what I wanted. I liked being married. I wanted to meet someone I would marry. I’m an ugly guy and had no prospects in life at that moment so not the easiest thing.

It was a fulltime job for me. I spent three or four hours a day writing girls on various dating services. I wanted to meet someone. Finally there was a girl who had an interesting picture who said she was from Buenos Aires. This was on J-Date, a dating site for Jewish people. She was clearly not Jewish. I wrote to her and said she seemed really different. Maybe we could meet for dinner?

She said, “no dinner. Just tea.” I wanted to push for dinner. Maybe something could happen.

“No. Tea!”

She was from Buenos Aires. I wrote and said, “Oh, I’ve always wanted to go to Brazil.”

She wrote back and said, “That’s nice that you want to go to Brazil but Buenos Aires is in Argentina. They speak Portuguese in Brazil.”

We met for tea early in the afternoon one day. She told me she was into yoga and that’s what she mostly thought about. She told me all the benefits she felt yoga had. How it was a spiritual discipline as well a physical one. She told me she would take me to yoga and I laughed and said, “maybe next lifetime“. I told her how when I was a kid I was obsessed with trying to have psychic powers to see naked girls. I told her I had two kids. I told her how depressed I had been in my worst moments years earlier. She told me her stories. We talked for a long time and it was nice.

We took a walk and sat down on a park bench in Tompkins Square Park. We didn’t say anything to each other. We had already run out of topics to talk about. There was nothing but silence until she had to go. But I felt calm. It had been a very long time since I had felt calm. We must have sat like that in silence for about fifteen minutes. It’s hard to sit in silence with someone but it wasn’t hard this time.

Eventually she got up to go. She had to catch a train. While she was walking to the train she told me she was selling her house. I asked her where she was going to move. She said, “maybe the East Village”.

No you aren’t, I thought to myself. You’re going to move to the corner of Wall Street and Broad. Where I live.

In a month from today we’ll have our first year wedding anniversary.

 

(Claudia has an excellent blog at ClaudiaYoga.com. We are starting work on my next book together. It will be a jointly written book).

 

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  • C. Martin

    I thought it was hilarious how people thought you were crazy, I think that’s better than being boring though huh? Any quick advice for those of us in the dating world who are seeking our own “Claudia”? I’ve just been having a bit of trouble finding dates heh.

    Anyways, great to hear all is well with your marriage! Best of luck to you guys!

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Yes, its like Wayne Gretzky says “go where the puck is going”: if you’re a guy, go to tango class, yoga class, painting classes, learn to knit. If you’re a girl. go to a chess club. Go in situations where the odds are hugely in your favor. 

      Also, 3 hrs a day on dating services. And making sure you’re emotionally healthy enough to handle an emotionally healthy relationship.

      • http://www.brookefarmer.com Brooke Farmer

        What if your thirteen year old son consistently beats you at chess? That makes a chess club sound humiliating. (Poker games were great for me for a long time, but my current job situation does not allow me to put money at risk like that.)

      • Kevin M

        Gretzky also said “100% of the shots you don’t take, don’t go in”. So take a few shots.

      • Kevin M

        Gretzky also said “100% of the shots you don’t take, don’t go in”. So take a few shots.

  • http://twitter.com/OgFOMK Alexander B. Nuttall

    Jim, You make me want to smile.

  • Anonymous

    “I’ve never had sex in the Chelsea Hotel” – One day I’m writing a screenplay and that line is going to be in there, swear to God.

    Alright James, my one life experience that even remotely approaches one of yours: I once knew a prostitute on a personal level (I was NOT a client or dating her). She told me about her customers, mostly professional men. In her opinion the weirdest, most obnoxious, least balanced clients she had — mental health professionals.  She said that as a group they were so creepy she’d avoid anybody she knew in the field. So I wouldn’t worry about the psychiatrist advising treatment. She probably needs it herself.

    • http://www.brookefarmer.com Brooke Farmer

      The statistics on this are huge actually. A great number of people go into this field because of their personal experiences with it. Some psychiatrist or psychologist “saved” them and now they want to do the same for others. 

      This is why I refuse to go into therapy. Long walks and lots of writing is far more effective and feels safer to me. 

      • DMan

        True, Brooke.

        But there are even more people who haven’t even had the guts to go and be ‘saved’, and just want to focus on other people’s problems instead of dealing with their own.

        There are psychiatrists, psychologists, and psychotherapists – the last one is the one people least go to, and the one they probably should.

    • Jharris

      Leonard Cohen used a very similar line in one of his songs. He had sex with Janice Joplin in the Chelsea Hotel. You Tube the song it is pretty good.

  • ‘vivian andrade

    Wise Women!  =)

  • ‘Vivian andrade

    Agreed! Love is Grand!…..Simply beautiful! 

  • http://twitter.com/ticketcake Ticket Cake

    If someone may end up being linked with you financially and YOU AREN’T WORKING, you might owe them that information about how much you have in the bank.  If you have a normal job just saying what you do is basically the equivalent.

    • John H

      except that on a first date, you are not even remotely close to being linked financially. The one good thing about the question being asked on the first date is that now you dont have to worry about having a second date. 

      • http://www.736hundred.tumblr.com 736hundred

        At least the woman asked what she wanted to know and remember some people are more than happy to boast about their wealth

        Just think if she asked that question to wealthy man who acknowledges the fact that many woman are only interested in him because he is wealthy? 

        We all know it happens – marrying/dating for money isn’t a new
        concept.

    • http://www.brookefarmer.com Brooke Farmer

      I think the question was completely lacking in any class. It’s clear from the timing and her later statements that his net worth was a more important factor to her than whether or not they were compatible. She wasn’t owed anything. 

  • http://www.736hundred.tumblr.com 736hundred

    Like Claudia, I am the second wife to a man who had/has two children and an ex-wife. (it’s not always easy)  I will say, one of the bitter sweet benefits is that the man knows what he lost the first time around and he never wants that to happen again.  On the downside the vasectomy reversal was hell – so I am told.

    Here’s wishing all of you a fantastic future – it looks very bright.

  • Caromusa

    Wow the calmness… I felt the same when I met my husband, after years of unhealthy relationships, and that’s how I knew he was the one. It’s been 12 happy years since then.
    I think on another post you told that on one of your first dates, she found one of your books on a store, with the words “I love you” written on the first page… is that true? quite a sign LOL 

  • Tzipporah

    Awww, congratulations! Or is it bad luck to say that before the actual anniversary? Anyway, she seems like someone (sane) who actually likes you. Good job.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/derekdodds Derek Dodds

    Amor se encuentra en el silencio amigo.

  • Anonymous

    Happy 11th month anniversary!

    The nice thing about good ladies is that you get bonus points for being handsome inside. Claudia obviously is a good lady. I hope that your life together is long, loving, and full of wonder.

  • Anonymous

    I am happy for you both James & Claudia. Congrats on your anniversary.
    I am glad you kept trying and finally found Claudia.
    Also keep writing and posting so many interesting & inspiring articles.

  • http://twitter.com/kamalravikant Kamal Ravikant

    I was waiting for the part where you picked up your book for her (second date, I think?) at a train station, and inside, you’d signed in the bookstore a while back, “I love you.”  That is still one of my all-time favorites.

    • http://twitter.com/kamalravikant Kamal Ravikant

      Heartbreaking, beautiful, uplifting and affirming post, James.  

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Yeah, I should put a link to that post in there. 

  • http://twitter.com/Shootables Shootables

     Being a good writer requires you to stand naked before your audience. Bravo. At least put on some skivies.

  • C Pennybrown

    From the looks of it you really lucked out with Claudia.  Way to go!

    How about  doing a joint book in a few years on how you kept  a great relationship going? I think people are hungry for that kind of information.  With your honesty and humor it would be a best seller, I’m sure.

  • Dave O

    Reading your blog has become part of my Daily Practise. By the end I felt like I was sitting on the park bench with you. Thanks.

  • Tim Hofmann

    I hope this one works out for you James. 

  • Tim Hofmann

    I hope this one works out for you James. 

  • razorsedge

    i like it!

  • Anonymous

    She was right about your hair though :)

  • Anonymous

    She was right about your hair though :)

  • Anonymous

    Huge congrats.

    I also love how you down-play the turnaround.
    “I finally decided to take it seriously. No more second dates if  I knew
    there was no serious relationship. No more drinking. Back to the Daily Practice for the first time in three  years.”
    As if that was all it took; a decision. After three years.
    The fact you took that decision may be the most important point in your life and you write as if it was like turning left rather than right… brilliant.

  • earl

    In high school a friend of mine was from Argentina, and his sister and her friends would come and visit from Argentina every summer to Ohio.  We had never really seen women until these girls got to town; jaws dropped open, muttering words, etc.  Congrats!

    Six months into my own divorce and I am not really interested in dating.  Match seems like a big waste of time, 3 hrs/day seems like a insane amount of time just to get a date.  I would rather meet women on the street, or by chance, then an arranged online thing.

  • jonesy

    I have to say, as a Midwesterner, the girls in the first part of this story sound like they’re from another planet, or maybe not even human. Not to be a Maoist, but I think most of them need to do a year working on a farm just to remember what being a person is about.

  • Anonymous

    I love to read your posts about your wife and your children. You are excellent at writing about despair, and very good at writing about motivation. I don’t think you have even begun to tap your potential in writing about love and light. I mean this in the best way possible.
    Thank you for sharing this story.

  • Anonymous

    I love to read your posts about your wife and your children. You are excellent at writing about despair, and very good at writing about motivation. I don’t think you have even begun to tap your potential in writing about love and light. I mean this in the best way possible.
    Thank you for sharing this story.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IHWCJIMARF4OOW6PQZQS3RFOOA JillK

    Happy Almost Anniversary, James & Claudia!

  • Scott Thomas

    Great stuff. Pure honesty is so rare.

    Do you mind if I ask, how much were you drinking? And how did you quit?

    Thanks.

  • DMan

    A general rule of thumb is:  people attract people just like themselves.  

    Chelsea Hotel lady was fucked up, just like you were.  Your Psychiatrist lady was fucked up, just like you were (but she was in more denial about it).  The ABC TV lady… people who are on TV to be rich and famous like she was are clearly fucked up, just like you were.But Claudia and you at separate points in your lives had been fucked up and had problems, decided enough is enough, started to sort yourselves out (and be less fucked up), and through both being alike and focussed on changing your lives for the better, hooked up.She has her daily ritual and you have yours.  That’s what brought you together, and that’s what I try to do every day since I found your blog.  Good things happen for a reason, and you’re both more than good for each other :-)

  • http://www.zacharyburt.com/ Zachary Burt

    great great great
    i was thinking about you while making breakfast, hope that’s ok
    I wonder about the connection between you as a writer and Claudia as a yogi; Claudia as a writer and you as a yogi. Does writing a narrative inch you toward detachment from them? Or do they become further embedded?

  • Petre

    It‘s beautiful story…

  • Daleela

    beautiful story…will you tell the rest in your next book? :) hope so

  • Anonymous

    Man.  Congrats on the end part.  The first part…you know that she was a gold digger right?  Asking your net worth, making sure you spend all your money on only the “proper” stuff, breaking up with you so you can chase her,  questioning your sanity so that you will be forced to see her as the sane choice…pretty textbook stuff.

  • Kate Walker

    What about the banker who was willing to write any check to settle your divorce ? (I read something like that in your another post)
    (btw you are not ugly , well,  “hair” may be a little when unkempt)

  • Kevin M

    Non-awkward silence is a good sign, in my opinion. I was in a pretty crazy relationship with my -ex, but after divorcing I knew I wanted to be married (I wanted kids and didn’t have any yet). The “calm” my wife brought was definitely a welcome change.

  • http://twitter.com/Meredithbead Meredith Laskow

    As kids, our idea of psychic ability is often the showy stuff we see on TV — bending spoons, picking cards, etc..  Mental circus acts that will one-up the jock kids who dream about being comic book super heroes.  They could stop the speeding train with their super-human muscles; we would stop it with the mere flick of our psychic genius minds.  We would save the world wih our other-wordly brain waves — if only someone would like us.

    Flash forward, many years and some wisdom later.  Psychic phenomena is energy.  We are energy, clothed in corporeal form.  Everything around us is energy.  The happiness and knowledge we need is inside us, if only we can let that energy flow.  Pardon the heavy-handed metaphor — but you couldn’t see past the road blocks so you set off dynamite.  A lifetime of investing in, and deploying, dynamite.

    When you met Claudia, the calmness of her energy flowed past your road blocks.  In that fifteen minutes of sitting in silence,  your energy finally connected with someone else and saw the path you needed to take.

    Beautiful post.  Congrats on your upcoming wedding anniversary.

  • http://twitter.com/Meredithbead Meredith Laskow

    As kids, our idea of psychic ability is often the showy stuff we see on TV — bending spoons, picking cards, etc..  Mental circus acts that will one-up the jock kids who dream about being comic book super heroes.  They could stop the speeding train with their super-human muscles; we would stop it with the mere flick of our psychic genius minds.  We would save the world wih our other-wordly brain waves — if only someone would like us.

    Flash forward, many years and some wisdom later.  Psychic phenomena is energy.  We are energy, clothed in corporeal form.  Everything around us is energy.  The happiness and knowledge we need is inside us, if only we can let that energy flow.  Pardon the heavy-handed metaphor — but you couldn’t see past the road blocks so you set off dynamite.  A lifetime of investing in, and deploying, dynamite.

    When you met Claudia, the calmness of her energy flowed past your road blocks.  In that fifteen minutes of sitting in silence,  your energy finally connected with someone else and saw the path you needed to take.

    Beautiful post.  Congrats on your upcoming wedding anniversary.

  • nysepete

    Excellent post.  Not only Bullish – but optimistic.  2008 sent a lot of us tumbling.  It’s funny – even with your millions, you could still be in such bad shape.  It really speaks to what’s important in life… HOWEVER, I still want the millions.  It does make some things easier.

    Did she ever tell you what WAS she doing on J-date? 

    • Jquick99

      I lived in NYC for a year.  I tried match and some vegan/enviro dating site.  A gfriend told me about J Date.  She said that you don’t have to be jewish to go on it…that the men are mostly jewish, but the woman mostly aren’t [unsure how true this is].  I went on it, and have to say that it definately had a much “higher quality” of men on it. 

      • nysepete

        I hear ya.  I used the site myself.  However – while I admit that many Jewish guys are thrilled to meet a beautiful and smart Latin American woman who is interested in them – it kinda defeats the point of joining the website to some extent.  But it ain’t illegal – and it obviously gets positive results!  

        For the record – I don’t remember seeing any non-Jewish girls on it – but that was 5 years ago or more.

  • nysepete

    Excellent post.  Not only Bullish – but optimistic.  2008 sent a lot of us tumbling.  It’s funny – even with your millions, you could still be in such bad shape.  It really speaks to what’s important in life… HOWEVER, I still want the millions.  It does make some things easier.

    Did she ever tell you what WAS she doing on J-date? 

  • http://twitter.com/packerfan48051 Ken

    James:  I laughed until my gut hurt, who CARES where you buy your furniture!! People are so shallow!…..”She had said to me a week earlier, “If you use Ikea to buy furniture for your new apartment I’m going to have to break up with you.” She had to break up with me.” 

  • http://twitter.com/packerfan48051 Ken

    James:  I laughed until my gut hurt, who CARES where you buy your furniture!! People are so shallow!…..”She had said to me a week earlier, “If you use Ikea to buy furniture for your new apartment I’m going to have to break up with you.” She had to break up with me.” 

  • CMS

    here in Vegas the girls don’t care what your net worth is, as long as you’re able to pay for their services. 

    But come to think of it, a women I dated from NYC ended up being an escort. So I guess it’s not just Vegas girls. I really did believe she was a Broadway actress, for a while. Or really wanted to believe… At least she didn’t send an invoice.

  • CMS

    here in Vegas the girls don’t care what your net worth is, as long as you’re able to pay for their services. 

    But come to think of it, a women I dated from NYC ended up being an escort. So I guess it’s not just Vegas girls. I really did believe she was a Broadway actress, for a while. Or really wanted to believe… At least she didn’t send an invoice.

  • Anonymous

    My wife is from Zanzibar.  On our 2nd date I brought an atlas and said:  “OK, show me where it is.”

    On Sunday we’re off to Ecuador until August.  Buenos Aries is high on our list but it is winter there now….

  • http://jlcollinsnh.wordpress.com Jlcollinsnh

    My wife is from Zanzibar.  On our 2nd date I brought an atlas and said:  “OK, show me where it is.”On Sunday we’re off to Ecuador until August.  Buenos Aries is high on our list but it is winter there now….

  • ZenPen

    “Hell has three gates: lust, anger, and greed.”                                  – Bhagavad Gita

    “Hell is other people.”                                  – Jean-Paul Sartre

  • Alvaro

    Very nice story James, I really enjoy reading your blog.
    Alvaro

  • http://Stockerblog.com Stockerblog.com

    Congrats!

  • Aleksey

    I found your blog not so long ago and i feel that found something like a treasury.I’ve alredy promoting it to my friend in Russia. Greeting from Russia James!

  • Aleksey

    Oh, about your history, in my opinion, those challenges, which you’ve faced with before you met Claudia (i mean unsuccessful dates) – was a God’s test for you and how i see you’ve passed it excellent! I think a true happiness could happen only after big challenges!

  • http://www.736hundred.tumblr.com 736hundred

    If you missed it, here’s the video of James on CNBC today:

    http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=2036159787

    • http://jlcollinsnh.wordpress.com Jlcollinsnh

      thanks 736….

      ….is there a place to see the full hour?

      James,

      I don’t think that little redhead likes you.  but then she seems not to understand negative vs positive numbers.  LOL.

  • Jones7898796

    hi james. i love your blog and the style of writing. i love reading your articles and i think you are much brighter than i’ll ever be – you got my deep respect for that.

    BUT: … :)
    did you notice that the girls tested you all the time? even the sex comment in the elevator – it’s just to check for your reaction. when you answered all the girl’s questions, you sat down like in an interview and and felt a need to respond like you had something to prove. you looked needy. she pulled you into her frame and you didn’t built up your own. that does not build lasting attraction. in contrary, what you described as “feeling calm” as i read it, was feeling real, deep rapport with someone. you wished for that rapport and luckily you found it in another person. congrats!…but for everyone else still in the described “dating hell” … please be aware that you guys have to build attraction before you can get the rapport. it saves you a lot of pain – makes life more fun. and that’s what it should be about.

    rock on.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Jones, thanks for the comments about the blog and the comments about this topic. You’re totally right. I was always reactive. When i finally went proactive and decided what I WANTED then things went better. Even though I was always being honest with the others, I wasn’t being honest with myself. Only when that happened was I able to find what I wanted. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/marissacampise Marissa Campise

    yes! we shared a housekeeper at this time. go Leo!

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Leo was the real deal. She built all my furniture. 

      • ClaudiaYoga

        Yes Leo was amazing, another huge force of nature!

  • Dspidero

    I found your blog a few weeks ago.  It was a repeat, or a reprint, somewhere other than here.  The one about the irrationality of college debt.  Yes, we all like to read opinions we share, don’t we?  I like to read about money.  Anyway one thing led to another and now I’ve read quite a few of your blogs.  I’ve never read  blogs before and I don’t know how to subscribe to it or anything but I keep finding it and reading it and as with most of your readers I spend time thinking afterwards.

    Time I don’t think I am entitled to spend thinking about you by the way.  And which I ordinarily would quip in my head that you don’t deserve me spending on you either, but the post the other day about being happy for successful people helped to shut down that nasty thought. 

    So, appropos of not much in today’s post, I offer you a prompt (I was thinking about it in the shower which is not erotic; it’s just the only place I can think manically.)  I would write about it myself, or even talk about it, but you have better insight and writing talent than I do.  This is it:  Even after a miserable divorce which made you sick, from a person you realize you could not stand if it weren’t for that early hormonal attraction (occasional intellectual poison), a person you could actually hate if you indulged yourself in that emotion, you can overcome all that and love the fact of that person, and the person him/herself, when there is a child you love.  Like you I have two daughters. One is as much like me as a tulip is like the tulip whose bulb it sprouted from.  The other one is not. The other one is like her father in the same way.  She looks like, and has every characteristic which I did not like in her father, yet I adore her.  I admire her.  I learn from her.  What that did is make me not dislike her father.  In fact now I kind of like him (although not that way hahaha!)  How liberating!!!!!

    I thought of this of course because of the photo of the girls outside the Chelsea Hotel and the thought of the apartment after the weekends and all that.  I got to that after thinking that it was simply weird that I clicked on some article about money to read and forward to my daughters, and now I stand in the shower thinking about a cute jewish boy, a perfect stranger, who is graced with intellect, talent, insight, nice parents (I think), but at the expense of consistent sanity.  I decided you are clearly manic depressive (sorry) and are in the course of a particularly good manic stage.  I felt guilty wondering if you would be less insightful or capable when the next depression comes.  That got me to thinking about your obligations which got me to your girls which got me to your ex which got me to thinking how interesting it is that we can love love love things about our child that we simply cannot stand in our ex. 

    Then, Mr. Altucher, it occurred to me that this was the train of thought of a woman (I am a woman).  Your train of thought is so very clearly and dominantly male.  The wonder of it is that your male thoughts and insights, when layered with my own understanding of the world as a woman, fit.  They make no sense to me without me adding the layer.  I make this point only to nudge you to consider it despite it being from a perspective you may not see.

    Claudia is lovely.  Perhaps I will go read about yoga and relax my brain a little.  Congratulations on your happiness, and try to like your ex.  
     

  • Mariano

    Que grande! Todo un galán! Claudia is your wife, I`m your number 1 fan from Argentina!

    • Caromusa

      No sé flaco, me parece que somos dos! jaj

    • eric

      podemos ser 3 ?  jajaja

      • ClaudiaYoga

        :-)

    • Genji

      Tres ahora. Although I live In Argentina, but am not from here…

  • Jewzsolemymoney

    ha ha How was copper wire invented? Two jews fighting over a pennyHow many Jews can you fit in a Volkswagen Bug? I dunno, but you can fit a dozen in the ashtray

    • bv

      The point of your racist hate being…?

  • Interestingmodernagegentleman

    James, I just recently discovered your blog and have been reading it more than 7 times a day…Basically every free time I have I am on your blog.I do have some concerns..On a previous topic (Has to do with being successful), you talk about folks should learn to surrender to a higher power..Just a few points that seem to loom in my mind;

    i) What if this higher power really doesnt give a rats a$% about what we do down here and all this talk of god and prayers is just feel-good stuff…
    ii) What if some races are infact destined to suffer til extinction if not be rendered less advanced and/or smart (Im African btw)
    iii) What if I will never make the million dollars that I have obssesed about & work so hard (failing 8+ times) while others succeed…
    iv) What if by being born an african I was destined to die poor and less intelligent & its just by sheer luck I made it to the US (in removal proceedings/deportation coz I missed a semester after the market crashed..)
    v) What if I should just listen to the voice inside my head thats always encouraging mi to pull the plugg(lost an uncle last year to that)
    vi) What if I was born in the USA….could I be the one writing the blog & giving the advice!

    my conclusion….

    …Life as a poor african aint easy anywhere (even in America..I luv US more than God!). When I am re-incarnated, I want to be born anything else but african(moreso black!)

    Best Regards,

    interestingmodernagegentleman@gmail:disqus .com

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Maybe there is no higher power. I don’t know whether or not I believe in one. But I believe in the concept of surrender. That I can’t control everything around me and sometimes if I just give in to a higher purpose, or a super-conscious or subsconscious I’m not aware of inside myself, that the best results manifest. 

    • Fubar

      If you believe in evolution, all human beings are African.

      I know that some Africans do not like that idea, since they do not want to be associated with all of humanity. lol.

      (The good news is…, and the bad news is…)

      Africa is less “developed” historically because the climate is too harsh for the social and economic conditions to develop that are required for complex societies (“civilization”).

      Muslims considered the most prized slaves to be Ethiopians, not whites. Ethiopians were bought for their intelligence as child slaves by wealthy Muslim families, then trained in the running of muslim family businesses.

      Historically, european colonization did great damage to Africa, and globalism is doing more damage.

      African slaves built a lot of the foundation of american capitalism. Many innovations were african, but whites got credit for the many accomplishments of african slaves because the whites were in power.

      Surveys of human DNA indicate that north/central Africans have the greatest mix. African had sent out waves of human migrations for at least 100,000 (?) years, and many have come back and mixed after 1,000s of years developing other “racial” characteristics. There is a small tribe of black jews in southern africa.

      It is about “culture” not “race”. All “races” have the same percent of good people, smart people, etc., it just manifests differently depending on circumstances.

      To internalize colonialist racism is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

      Spirituality was wired into human consciousness by evolution long before there was any concept of “god”. When at the beginning of the development of the first languages, human beings could imagine a “word” for their own future deaths, they had super anxiety. The brain evolved to produce feelings of bliss and well being in an afterlife (these feeling were later called “god”) to compensate for the anxiety and to aid in functioning/survival in a nasty universe. Compassion and altruism are intrinsic to human social life and bonding (and thus survival).

      You should not believe in a god that does not exist for you.

      Instead, consider finding a god you do believe in.

      There are three faces of god/spirit, they appear variously in different cultures:

      “I-We-It”

      http://www.kenwilber.com/blog/show/462
       
      Summary: Just as human beings intrinsically possess 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-person perspectives of the world, so do we possess those same perspectives in our experience of spirituality.  And while these dimensions of the divine can be found in just about any spiritual lineage—Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, Hindu, Islam, etc.—many of these traditions only explicitly emphasize one or two of these perspectives, resulting in one or more important aspects of spirituality often being left out of their conceptions of God.
       

      http://integrallife.com/node/418

      …religious traditions implicitly tend to favor one perspective over the others. Some emphasize a mystical realization of Spirit within oneself as the Supreme Identity (1st-person); some cultivate a devotion to Spirit as a Great Other, a being with Whom we can enter into communion (2nd-person); others point out the Web of Life or the Great Perfection of this moment (3rd-person). 
      Thus, the 3 Faces of Spirit can also be used as a sort of inventory, to bring awareness to one’s spiritual practice and to make explicit what was implicit for centuries, or even millennia. From an integral altitude, we can begin to appreciate how steeped and embedded we are within our traditions, and can develop an objective view of what had been subject in our experience. Perhaps we, too, favor one perspective over the others; perhaps we could benefit from approaching Spirit in its other aspects. Though the religious traditions tend to emphasize one perspective over the others, most contain examples of practices in all three perspectives. For example, in Buddhism, one might practice: 
      Shikantaza (a 1st-person practice by which one remains aware of all phenomena that arise in the present moment, realizing that they are not that)Tonglen (a 2nd-person practice by which one breathes in the suffering of the world, and breathes out compassion upon the world)Meditate on the Great Perfection (a 3rd-person practice which helps one to realize the absolute perfection of this moment, exactly as it is)
       
      In Christianity, one might:
      Pray a Psalm that describes Nature as a reflection of God (3rd-person)Experience one’s soul as Beloved of God, through writings such as the Song of Songs, or St. John of the Cross’s Dark Night of the Soul (2nd-person)Pray about what it means to be the “Temple of the Holy Spirit,” or to “put on the Mind of Christ,” realizing with Saint Paul that it is no longer I who act, but Christ in me (1st-person).
      So, take up the ancient injunction to seek the Face of God, but indeed, seek Spirit in each of its three Faces, for a fuller understanding and realization of Spirit itself.

      http://www.des.ucdavis.edu/faculty/Richerson/evolutioninstitutions.pdf

      http://www.bhavanasociety.org//main/quotes_full_page/
      “There is, monks, an unborn, unbecome, unmade, unconditioned. If, monks, there were no unborn… no escape would be discerned from what is born, become, made, conditioned. But because there is an unborn…, therefore an escape is discerned from what is born, become, made, conditioned.” ~ The Buddha Ud 8:3 Translator: Bhikkhu Bodhi Udana 8:3 —

  • Jeff

    James I have recently started reading your articles and they truly keep me interested. This is the first time I am commenting because I would like to congratulate you on your anniversary. I love what you write and I bounce back and forth between posts. I haven’t read them all but I have read some more than once (10 reasons to quit…). I especially like what you have to say about exercising the mind through writing ideas. Feels like I should ask you questions but I’m just too caught up in my own mind.

  • Jeff

    James I have recently started reading your articles and they truly keep me interested. This is the first time I am commenting because I would like to congratulate you on your anniversary. I love what you write and I bounce back and forth between posts. I haven’t read them all but I have read some more than once (10 reasons to quit…). I especially like what you have to say about exercising the mind through writing ideas. Feels like I should ask you questions but I’m just too caught up in my own mind.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Well, always feel free to ask. If you don’t want to ask in the questions, use the comments page and I always try to answer (although I’m slow). 

    • Cheated on

      Wow, didn’t realize you were cheating a year ago. Boy am I stupid Jeff!

  • metropool

    In this day and age of fraud, scammers and selfish bastards screwing us all, truth has become a commodity.  Your writing is TRUTH, your own but far reaching… a truth that we all desire for ourselves.  That is why this blog is so addicitve.  You’re onto something.  Keep at it.

  • Aploop

    Usually, non-jewish women who sign up for jdate do so because they are looking for a man with a good income due to the putative notion that Jewish men are educated and rich; they are like East and South Asian immigrants only whitish in appearance (not all)……just sayin’…..

  • Philsax

    Claudia is onto something. As a 1/2 secularly Jewish dude myself, I really do think being culturally Jewish is more attractive and dynamic if it’s coming from the male partner in a relationship.

    At least I know my Jewish mom and my upper midwest white folks dad have never had that dynamism in their marriage. In my mom and dad’s relationship, they just belittled and dominated one
    another. They only got back together on something bigger than
    themselves. Say raising me, or doing community activism.

    I think it really has to come from a Jewish male, preferably one with some experience in a Jewish place like New York or Israel, which allows him to feel good about his nature. (I believe Jewishness is a nature – psycho-cultural – way before it’s ethnic or religious.) He provides a kind of tense balance, a positive friction between himself and a woman.

  • Johnsmith

    Why was she on J-Date if she wasn’t Jewish?

  • http://spiritnewsdaily.com/ Donovan Moore

    James, you crack me up bro.  You’re the best.

  • Thomas G

    All this I felt like I was reading The Crack Up by Fitzgerald. Except here it ends well. And you make us laugh. Strange..

  • H

    James, you are not ugly. Stop saying you’re ugly. Get a new mirror.