Those Sloppy Fiancés, Affluents’ Plans, Etc.

Can these marriages be saved? In a poll by Modern Bride, wives-to-be were asked to cite the shortcoming in their fiancé about which they “most often rant” to their friends. Atop the roster was “sloppiness around the house” (cited by 38 percent). “Irresponsible spending” (21 percent), “tendency to avoid communicating” (20 percent) and “unromantic nature” (18 percent) were closely bunched. Just 3 percent of brides said they’re most likely to rant about Mr. Sort-of-Right’s “lack of ambition.”

Maybe you should go after a shredder account. In a survey conducted for Money magazine by International Communications Research, 78 percent of adults said they’re worried that their identity might be stolen. Nor is this merely a matter of free-floating paranoia. Thirty percent said they know someone to whom this has happened, or that it has happened to themselves. When respondents were asked to identify the steps they’ve taken to ward off this unhappy fate, 80 percent cited “shredding documents that contain personal information.” This exceeds the number who refuse to give out their Social Security number (77 percent), avoid providing personal information online (69 percent), request that companies they deal with not share data with outside firms (67 percent), carry less personal data with them (59 percent) or have canceled credit cards (40 percent).

There’s no rest for the affluent, to judge by a Phoenix Marketing International poll of people who have at least $1 million in investable assets. Thirteen percent said they are likely to buy a new home within the next 24 months. Eight percent expect to buy a vacation home within that timespan. Nine percent will have a kid entering college, outnumbering the 3 percent who think it likely that a new kid will be born into the family. Ten percent expect to roll over a retirement account; 9 percent will retire. The latter can sit back and watch the 5 percent who think it’s likely they’ll start a business or professional practice within the next 24 months.

Though they’re often lumped together in consumer research, gay men and lesbian women go their separate ways when it comes to travel. A survey by Simmons examined the travel preferences of both groups. Among those who’ve traveled to a foreign country in the past three years, the women were twice as likely as the men to have visited Mexico or the Caribbean (38 percent vs. 19 percent). But the men were vastly more likely than the women to have gone to Europe during that period (35 percent vs. 9 percent). Among gays/lesbians who’ve engaged in domestic travel during the past 12 months, the women were twice as likely as the men (78 percent vs. 38 percent) to have stayed at some sort of paid accommodation; the men were somewhat more likely than the women (69 percent vs. 51 percent) to have stayed with friends or relatives. Domestic travelers of the two sexes were equally likely to have spent $1,000 or more on the average trip (22 percent each).

Is the pleasure of drinking wine too fleeting to justify spending lots of money on it? Not according to an offbeat campaign for Venge Vineyards. Each ad in the series promises “A long finish you’ll contemplate well into your next life.” One execution shows a chicken who thinks, “Pear. No, wait… pineapple.” In the ad at left, the giraffe has finally decoded a particular Venge sip: “Plum… with a hint of cherry.” Cole & Weber/Red Cell of Seattle created the series.

If kids think well of their parents, perhaps it’s because siblings make the old folks look good by comparison. In a poll of 13-year-olds conducted for Time, 53 percent of respondents said they have an “excellent” relationship with their parents. That’s almost as many as said they’re on excellent terms with their friends (61 percent). A mere 23 percent said they have an excellent relationship with their siblings. Elsewhere in the survey, just 7 percent of the 13-year-olds described their parents as “much too strict,” while 50 percent said they’re “a little too strict” and 35 percent said they’re “not too strict.” Five percent said their parents are “not strict at all.” Watch out for those kids!