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Spend it Like Beckham

When I learned that David Beckham was coming to Los Angeles to play soccer to the tune of $250 million, I figured we were about to witness a test-case in work-life balance gone amok. As much as I struggle with trying to keep my personal and work life in check, I was already pitying this poor sod. Beckham and his wife Posh Spice are already a kind of UK version of Tom and Katie, and now they are going to journey to the belly of the beast, confronted with all the superficial distractions and threats to work-life harmony that Los Angeles has to offer.

When I learned that David Beckham was coming to Los Angeles to play soccer to the tune of $250 million, I figured we were about to witness a test-case in work-life balance gone amok. As much as I struggle with trying to keep my personal and work life in check, I was already pitying this poor sod. Beckham and his wife Posh Spice are already a kind of UK version of Tom and Katie, and now they are going to journey to the belly of the beast, confronted with all the superficial distractions and threats to work-life harmony that Los Angeles has to offer.

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But then I got wind of this article on MSN Money called “How To Live With A High Maintenace Woman.” It was written, by the way, by Emma-Lou Montgomery, a woman. Whether that was MSN’s clever way of deflecting charges of sexism, or just a tool for guys with blogs to point out that they are supposedly not sexist is not important. What does matter here is that David Beckham has it made. His wife is his work! This woman spends $10,000 a month on cosmetics! This is to say nothing of clothing, meals, transportation, fine china to replace the plates that are hurled across the room during marital spats, and the exorbitant counseling fees that come an ever-mounting denial that you will soon be the next freak who’s bouncing up and down on Oprah’s couch. As far as work-life balance goes, this is the male fantasy mother lode. Who needs to worry about making sure you are devoting as much time to your work as you are to your wife, when your wife is full-time job?

Ms. Montgomery wraps up her article by listing five warning signs that you might be involved with a high-maintenance woman (examples: if she takes hours to get ready, if she needs one of everything in every color). I’m going to go out on a limb and say there is probably an equally exhausting version of male who could be qualified as high-maintenance, and that there must be likely warning signs for that, too (has a party to introduce his new flat-screen, spends more than his wife does on Clinique). So, readers, whatever sex you are, look for these warning signs and marry that man/woman as fast as you can. Your work-life balance problems will be solved instantly. As for the rest of your problems, well, you’re on your own.

Top Three Takeaways

  • Actually, being part of a celebrity couple is not an excuse to avoid work-life balance issues.
  • No, but it is an excuse to wait for the mothership to take you back to your home planet.
  • Sorry. Not meaning to imply that superstar couples are from another planet. They are actually from this planet. A really, really screwed-up part of this planet.

Tom Stern is the founder of Stern Executive Search and the creator of CEO Dad, the syndicated comic strip about executive dysfuntion.