Judy Blume: Mating IQ

The author doesn't skim over life's complexities. Here's her take on love and life.

By Carlin Flora, published January 1, 2007 - last reviewed on June 9, 2016

Judy Blume, flirtatious and bubbly, has shepherded generations of children through their most humiliating and exhilarating moments (bully encounters, first loves) without talking down to them or skimming over life's complexities. A gifted ventriloquist for the pubertal set, Blume is the author of more than 30 books, including Summer Sisters, a novel for adults that sold more than 3 million copies.

CF: How would you rate your mating intelligence?

JB: I got lucky. George [Cooper, her husband] is the perfect mate for me. We usually eat together three times a day, and in over 27 years, I have never been bored. But we found each other after we had both been divorced.

Are you good at reading people?

I'm a great observer. But when you're involved emotionally, you choose sometimes to ignore what you know intuitively. Your emotional side is saying, "Hmm, I don't think that's true. Go ahead, go ahead."

Did you sense that you and George were so compatible when you were dating?

My son says I am the least analytical person he's ever met. We went on a blind date for dinner on Sunday night, a movie on Monday night, and on Tuesday night, we moved in together.

What movie did you see?

Apocalypse Now. I fell asleep on his shoulder!

Were you just going on attraction, then?

I knew he was an accomplished person. At the time I thought of us as very grown up. And now I think, God, we were so stupid and young. Had it not worked out, it would have been very painful. And my son was still at home—he was a teenager. It was a real risk, but you know what, I didn't think about that.

In Forever, the parents of the teenage protagonist are so ideal.

It's what I wished I could be. I wanted that for my daughter—and maybe for myself, too. When I was writing Forever, I wasn't the best parent, because I was going through my own heartbreak—the breakup of my first marriage.

Do you remember your teen years clearly?

I have a memory for all of it, not just the teen years. Part of it is identity; a sense of myself I've long had. If we all have an inner age, mine is 12.