Entrepreneurs make book on various bad boyfriends

By Jae-Ha Kim
Chicago Sun-Times
May 8, 2002

Maria Peevey and Megan Weinerman dated them all–the “It’s Not You It’s Me Guy,” the “Couldn’t Be Nicer Guy,” the “Girl Hair Guy.”

You probably have, too, which is why the sassy entrepreneurs wrote Are You My Boyfriend? (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $14.95)–a humorous look at 19 types of men they’ve dated.

“One guy told me he wanted to write a book like this about women but that it wouldn’t be as fun ’cause there aren’t as many categories of women to chronicle,” says Peevey, 34. “The book is a tool for us to step back and look at ourselves. Dating is hard. It’s difficult to keep going out there and not taking it personally if someone doesn’t call you back.”

You may meet the authors at 12:30 p.m. today at Borders, 150 N. State (312-606-0750).

Actually, a breakup was the impetus for SimplyShe, the company Peevey and Weinerman started in 1999 after Peevey’s six-year relationship ended. Weinerman, now 33, kept her spirits up by sending weekly homemade cards.

“You don’t really see a lot of breakup cards on the market,” Weinerman says. “It was just easier for me to make them for her than to look anymore.”

Adds Peevey, “That was what got us thinking about doing our own cards. There was nothing out there that represented our voice. It was all about a kitten hanging from a tree saying, ‘Hang in there.’ That wasn’t what we wanted to say.”

What they did want to say were to-the-point statements such as, “No, I don’t have impossibly high standards. I’m just trying to find someone I actually like,” and, “So if he finally calls, should I say that I’m busy to punish him or should I go out with him since that’s what I want to do anyway?

“When Megan sent me her cards, they were an inspiration to me,” Peevey says. “I had them all over the house and it just clicked: What a great way to talk to women about these everyday experiences. We wanted to tap into this voice of the modern woman and her friends with positive, reality-based humor.”

Toni Braxton is such a fan of their line–which also includes T-shirts, kerchiefs, calendars and journals–that she personally called them to express her thanks for their products. Drew Barrymore has some of their cards scattered around her production office. And Britney Spears picked up some of their stuff as well.

And by the way, Peevey is dating again.

“I’m dating ‘Emotionally Present Artist Guy,'” she says, laughing. “He’s older and rugged, and he doesn’t make me take the bus anymore.”

The SimplyShe line is carried locally at Wicker Park’s p.45, Nordstrom, Borders, Barnes & Noble and Urban Outfitters. Or place an order at (888) SHE-4140.

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