Allen, 56, a native New Yorker, is the managing editor of a business trade magazine, M&C. Allen is also the founder of Sheinmanfest, a month-long celebration of his birth, which culminates in a national costume party each year on Oct. 31.
ALLEN on ALLEN:
“Born on the Island of Coney in Brooklyn in the waning days of the Truman Administration, Allen shared a bedroom with his parents until age 8 (something that seemed perfectly natural until he mentioned it to his shrink around 1993), and then the other bedroom with his sister Betty until age 11, when he attained his own bedroom, a life-altering revelation.
Trudging through his late adolesence as a self-styled misfit genius poet, Allen found his true calling when by chance he took a job as clerk/typist with a small academic publishing company and quickly rose through the editorial ranks, going on to enjoy colorful tenures with a schizoid variety of magazines including Day Care, High Times, Woman's World and Swank; in 2010, he entered his 10th year as managing editor of Meetings & Conventions magazine.
A failed marriage and untold numbers of short, skirmish-like pair-ups marked his love life until the ripe age of 47, when he found his ideal mate online in the person of Collette, whom he married in 2005 and moved in with in 2009.”
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Collette, 55, was born in Brooklyn and raised in Minneapolis. A former high-school English teacher, she now runs her own jewelry business, Collette Marie Jewelry.
COLLETTE on MARRIAGE:
“An early childhood remembrance was watching my girlfriend's mother of six kids, ironing while watching soap operas. I was horrified at the thought of this kind of life and remember thinking it was worse than dying. As an adult, I have a different appreciation now for homemakers, but I'm still not sorry that I didn't become a housewife.
Now that we're living together, I see I never realized that being married is so intimate...you don't always get to put your best face forward. I always believed that absence makes heart grow fonder, but that doesn't apply to my life with Allen.
One thing I notice about many couples is their need to do everything together — even when one partner doesn't want to; for example, always accompanying someone to visit in-laws. People are afraid to say they want to be by themselves or go by themselves. Many spouses take this personally. We give each other a great deal of freedom and are not threatened. I don't feel need to be here when he gets home, sometimes we go our separate ways on weekends, and we let each other have our own time with our friends. (And let's face it...sometimes we don't need to subject our spouse to our friends.)
Now I'm retired from teaching high school English in Harlem and beginning to set up my own jewelry-design business, Collette Marie Jewelry. I believe that life should be broken up into different segments...we need new experiences.”