Editor's note: Alex Wellen's debut novel, "Lovesick," follows a young man on his quest to get married and defeat a crime ring of geriatric gangsters. Wellen is an award-winning producer for CNN. For this article, he interviewed men on how they approached marriage. Catch Alex tonight on AC360º, 10PM ET.
"Well, what do you think?" his dad asked. Brian Lohse knew exactly what his father was getting at.
His father had never pressed him about marriage before. But the question had its intended effect: a light switch flipped on.
"I'd never really thought about it. But that was the point right there when I said to myself: 'Oh my gosh, you know what, this is the girl I'm going to marry,' " Brian said. "I can't picture myself spending the rest of my life with any other person than Alana."
Brian, 34, had indeed made the psychological leap. It was time to get this party started. Six months later, he proposed. They married in June.
If you believe the conventional wisdom, Brian's story is the exception
"Real men" are perceived as committing "till death do us part" for the wrong reasons - they marry out of convenience or under duress, and they acquiesce, kicking and screaming all the way to the altar.
Tonight on 360°, Pres. Obama's African Journey. More of Anderson's exclusive interview with the president in Ghana. Plus, new details in the Michael Jackson death investigation.
Want to know what else we're covering tonight? Read EVENING BUZZ
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Tonight seven suspects ranging in age from 16 to 56 are behind bars in connection with the shooting deaths of a wealthy Florida couple known for adopting special-needs children. There will be at least one more arrest. Investigators say they're looking for another suspect.
The men are accused of killing Byrd and Melanie Billings last Thursday in what authorities call a "methodical and chilling" home invasion. The details that are emerging are stunning. The crime was caught on the family's video surveillance system. It shows that some of the masked intruders entered in the front door of the spacious home west of Pensacola, while others slipped through the back door. Police say the suspects stole a safe and other items and then killed Mr. & Mrs. Billings with nine of their adopted children in the home. No one else was hurt. The suspects were in and out of the home in less than 10 minutes.
Tonight we'll look at who the suspects are and their possible motive for the killings. We also have an up close look at the Billings. "Our Mom and Dad only had love in their lives. Since the day they met 19 years ago they knew they were soulmates," said one of their daughters. They were soulmates who adopted 13 children, several with developmental disabilities and others from abused home and drug-addicted parents.
We also have more of Anderson's exclusive interview with Pres. Obama as they tour Ghana's Cape Coast slave castle. The president talks his African heritage and faces a "lightening round" of questions from Anderson. You hear about Pres. Obama's strangest experience on his overseas trip. He also shares what it was like when the first family got to meet the Pope.
And, we have the latest on the potential custody battle over Michael Jackson's children. Will Katherine Jackson be able to broker a deal with Debbie Rowe, the biological mother of Jackson's two oldest children? And, there's word tonight that Jackson's dermatologist Dr. Arnold Klein got a visit today. We'll tell you who showed up at his door step.
Join us for these stories and more starting at 10pm ET. See you then!
Editor's Note: In the letter below, Eric George, who represents Debbie Rowe, the biological mother of Michael Jackson's two oldest children, demands that the New York Post retract its report that Rowe had agreed to take $4 million not to challenge Katherine Jackson for custody. For the latest on the fallout from Michael Jackson's death, tune in to AC360° tonight 10p ET.
Program Note: Tune in tonight for Joe Johns' report on tracing Michelle Obama's ancestral roots. Tonight on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.
Tracing a family history can often be harder than you might imagine. Genealogists spend countless hours tracking historical information and could put detectives to shame.
There are many sites and services that offer assistance in locating historical documents and family histories. Ancestry.com is a paid service that provide services such as starting a family tree, finding genealogical histories and connecting family members.
Check out more about how people are tracing their roots here. Let us know what you think! Do you think tracing genealogy is important? If so, how do you do it?
Global Ambassador, PSI
I admit I was shocked last month when I read that one in four South African men surveyed admitted to raping someone. But, of all the things I’ve learned about this issue, these five lines disturb me the most:
For what was I born? To be abused
I was born to have no future
I was born to be used as a slave
I was born to be neglected as an orphan
And those who died know I was born free.
It’s the beginning of a poem written by a girl named Tempeste. She lives in one of the poorest townships in South Africa, just outside of Cape Town. As a child, she was raped by her father – regularly, repeatedly and viciously. When she was 12, a sexually transmitted infection left her feeling feverish and ill. The teachers at her school noticed something was wrong and sent her to the hospital, where doctors discovered the infection. Then they discovered she was HIV positive.
Her father was arrested and later sent to jail. Her mother remarried a man who, thankfully, treated Tempeste more kindly. But that life was temporary. Her mother died of AIDS complications and, not long after, her stepfather died as well. Tempeste was sent to a local orphanage – one of the few good ones in the area.
No deal has been reached between Michael Jackson's mother and his ex-wife over the custody of the late singer's children, according to a lawyer in the case.
Eric George, who represents Debbie Rowe, the biological mother of Jackson's two oldest children, demanded Tuesday that the New York Post retract its report that Rowe had agreed to take $4 million not to challenge Katherine Jackson for custody.
In a letter sent Tuesday afternoon to the newspaper's editor, George said the report "can only have been concocted with reckless disregard for the truth."
Ready for today's Beat 360°? Everyday we post a picture – and you provide the caption and our staff will join in too. Tune in tonight at 10pm to see if you are our favorite! Here is the 'Beat 360°' pic:
President Barack Obama talks with Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel during a phone call in the Oval Office. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza.)
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