At first we thought we could answer every letter.
Then we took on an explosive issue like money. We got more letters over those two "women and money" columns than any of us sent to our families during our entire college careers.
Too many letters for a bunch of correspondence-impared journalists to answer. We were a dozen missives behind before the columns ran.
We now consider things to be hopeless. But we want those hanging out by their mailboxes to know that every letter is read, passed around among the Single-minded team (the really good ones get passed a lot further than that) and taken to heart.
Some ideas suggested by readers become columns. Others almost did.
A woman wrote in to suggest a column on, among other things, single clergy. Good idea, we thought. We set out in search of the unmarried men and women of the cloth.
You have no idea how hard they are to find and, once found, to pry an interview out of. (Not one member of the clergy returned our calls.)
A friend recently divorced from a pastor explained the scarcity of single clergy: "They almost all get married right away. It's too hard to have a single's social life under the collective eye of your own parish."
Her own own ex-husband married a woman from the church choir the same day his divorce was final from my friend. We are talking a very narrow window of opportunity here for interviewing them while they are single.
Hey, we tried.
For the several who have written to ask where they can meet singles in Salt Lake City, we are still trying. A woman in her 40s recently moved here and would like some pointers on where to meet people. A man, also in his 40s, wants us to stop spending time on fluffy topics like money (Fluffy! He should read our letters) and cut to the heart of the matter: Where do singles meet each other these days?
I gave serious thought to lining the two of them up.
As soon as we can figure ut ways to measure the success of a method, place or social function for getting people together, we'll write about it. Right now -- we're thinking.
We love the ideas and value the input. Always feel free to call and write.
Now, again and finally, to the issue of money.
We continued to receive emotional calls and letters long after the second column ran. "You'd better deal with it again," my editor said.
OK. But this time with the help ofk, if not a higher authority, at least a better-read authority.
In its September issue, Glamour magazine has a cover story called"Men, women and money; the new triangle." Judging from the article, the conflict money creates among Utah singles is part of a larger, national angst hat hasn't been eased by the women's movement, the fledgling men's movement or the dawn of a less acquisitive decade.
Money still means power in the relationship; it still smacks of conntrol andd it still evokes anger, Glamour said.
"Amen" we say. Particularly to the anger part.
"When a woman goes out with someone for their wallet rather than their attractivesness, it is normally called prostitution," a man wrote. Single-minded this week.
Several men called or wrote Single-minded to say that, like women, they too are more attracted to someone who makes a good living.
"I'm not their sugar daddy," one man wrote. Another said he was tired of dating divorced women with three and four children who were looking for a man to take care of them.
Most of the calls and letters suggest the same conclusion Glamour espoused: Men and women who can pay their won way in life are ahead in the relationship game.
A man or woman who doesn't care about maoney will probabloy forgive a partner for making a good living. But those who do care are less likely to overlook a partner's poverty.
Glamour magazine speculated that, with money such an emotionally charged issue in relationships these days, the sex therapists of the '80s will make way for the financial therapists of the '90s.
Judging from our mail, such a therapist could have a fine practice in Utah.
The Deseret News welcomes comments from readers on this topic or others pertinent to the Single-minded column. Please address letters to Single-minded, c/o Marianne Funk, Deseret News, P.O. Box 1257,, Salt Lake City, UT 84110; or contact her or the writer of the column at 237-2100.