Welcome to Episode 94 of The Daily Interaction Show. We are going where we have not gone before in this episode to explore love, loss and lunacy of us in romantic relationships. This is a conversation is with one of the best writers I’ve ever read and someone I am delighted to call my friend, Alan Stransman.
Alan Stransman is the author of two books: “Don’t Let Your Dream Business Turn Into a Nightmare: A Cautionary Tale for Would-Be Entrepreneurs” and “So, Why Have You Never Been Married?: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Lunacy”.
Alan began his professional career as a teacher of English and Film at the high school level, and then transitioned into broadcast TV production. In 1999, Alan Stransman created the television series “Spectacular Spas” and then founded one of the first day spas in the world for men, called The Men’s PowerSpa, in downtown Toronto. That entrepreneurial venture was the basis of his first book “Don’t Let Your Dream Business Turn Into a Nightmare”, which The Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario has been teaching as a case study in entrepreneurship programs.
Alan’s second book “So, Why Have You Never Been Married?” is a funny, poignant and intimate account of his lifelong pursuit of love and tenderness, and is an homage to the writers that helped shape his sensibility: D.H. Lawrence, Henry Miller, Philip Roth and William Wordsworth. Alan is also a ghost writer that helps you write your own memoirs and one day I hope to hire him to write mine!
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Questions on Memoirs and the Lunacy of Romantic Relationships with Alan Stransman
1. My first question for you is why you wrote your memoirs? I interviewed the author of Funny in Farsi, Firoozeh Dumas, and she told me that in her experience, everyone wants to write their memoirs but each of us for our own reasons. Yours?
2. One unexpected reaction I had from reading your memoirs was how much it reminded me of the way I used to handle disagreements with my ex-boyfriends or even with my husband. Full of blame, self-righteous, hurt, screaming, defensive and feeling like the worst victim in the world over STUPID STUFF. It was pure lunacy. This is hardly ever the way a man acts (in my experience). What would you say is the reason behind this crazy outrage in us women in your experience, Alan?
3. One of the most common reactions was when the women in your memoirs had some hidden expectations and the man – you in this case – had no clue about these and therefore could not fulfill them. The women would just get mad without showing much interest in SOLVING the problem. Now, you dated women from all walks of life but this seemed to be a common thread: Getting MAD. They may have shown their anger differently but they still all got mad at these secret expectations. Can you help us understand that and perhaps avoid that in our own relationships?
4. So we talked a little about lunacy. Let’s move on to love and loss. I felt sad when each of your 3 most significant relationships came to closure, each on their own bitter terms. Sad not just for your loss but also the loss of what could have been and what came so close and yet slipped away. I know I am not alone in saying that sometimes we ruin a good thing and look back with regret. How do you look back at the loss you experienced? What does it represent to you now?
5. The real gist of your book is in the epilogue and the Wallace Stevens poem, The Emperor of Ice Cream. And the fact that people do not love what is, they love what seems. “Let be be the finale of seem”, says Stevens. If we really loved each other for who we really are, how would love end? But where is that distinction? Do we make up stuff in our head and project it to the person we supposedly love?
6. Alan, in these conversations on The Daily Interaction show, I like to include my listeners and what we do is we end every conversation with an immediate action for the listener. What would you give as that action to our listeners today to help them navigate the waters of their romance more effortlessly and smoothly?
This book is not about relationship advice and yet I took away more from it more than the best books on dating and relationships because it was real, and went into gross detail about the intricacies of what makes and breaks relationships!
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