Author: Jo Piazza

How to Lose at Wife-Carrying, and Win at Marriage

Author and journalist Jo Piazza had no idea what to do when she got engaged. She was terrified of taking on the role of someone’s wife. To figure it out, she traveled to 20 countries on five continents for her new memoir, How to Be Married: What I Learned From Real Women on Five Continents About Surviving My First (Really Hard) Year of Marriage. Told in honest prose with astute reporting, the book is a survival guide for the first year of marriage. The following is an adapted excerpt from the book. Most dating advice given to newlyweds is horrible. Maybe not horrible, but at least not terrifically helpful. It’s like the people writing the advice wrote sitcoms in the ‘80s where the laugh track covered the sadness and every problem was fixed in 28 minutes, including commercials. There’s a lot of “don’t forget to have a date night,” and “never go to bed angry,” and “say ‘I love you’ at least once a day.” In other words, there’s a lot of bullshit. In the …

gossip tuenight gossip columnist

Why Being a Gossip Columnist is the Best and Worst Job You’ll Ever Have

The elevator was too small for the big personalities stuck inside of it. I had just left a fancy cocktail party at the home of a very famous wedding dress designer and at first I was delighted to find myself trapped in the elevator with two of my very favorite television stars. That was until they turned on me. We were stuck and tensions ran high. It was one of those small elevators, cramped as hell and someone hadn’t put on enough deodorant that morning. Looking back on this night ten years later, I tell myself they were just hungry. They probably hadn’t had bread or sugar in more than a decade. “You’re that gossip columnist,” one carped when it became clear that we would be waiting in the small space together for some time and everyone should settle in and get comfortable. [pullquote]I can tell you without a twinge of doubt, guilt or shame that most celebrities deserve the intense scrutiny that the celebrity press puts on their lives.[/pullquote] I shrugged. “It’s not really …

How Making More Than My Husband Almost Ruined Our Marriage

Growing up, my father controlled the finances in our family. And when I say he controlled the finances, I mean that he left my mother completely in the dark. Though she had a good job as a special education teacher, he had a higher-paying job as an attorney. That created a power dynamic that allowed him control over their finances until the day he died last year. It was only a few months before his death that my mother realized he had spent most of their savings, taken out a second mortgage on their house (without telling her, forging her name and spending the money without her consent) and had made no plans for her financial well-being after he was gone. She’d allowed the discrepancy in their earning power to give him control over her life, and it cost her dearly. Watching the two of them provided my first lessons in financial planning and marital survival, but not before I had the chance to make mistakes of my own. When my husband and I got …

What Makes Nuns So Happy?

Spending an inordinate amount of time with Catholic nuns makes you start to worry about your own vices. Nuns take vows of poverty, chastity and obedience to the church and to God, but beyond those, they also live relatively vice-free lives. It isn’t too often that you seen a nun puffing away on a cigarette, sitting at the slots in Atlantic City or doing the things that priests do that so often land them in headlines for the wrong reasons. All in all, Catholic nuns are a pretty chaste bunch. (Though I have known them to occasionally indulge in a glass of good red wine.) I was a different woman when I spent three years researching and writing my latest book, If Nuns Ruled the World. As a successful celebrity journalist, I’d written a critically acclaimed book about the dirty secrets of how famous people make money. (Talk about vices.) Still in my 20s, I was on the cusp of actual adulthood, but still indulging in the pleasures of youth that New York City offers: …