It was girl's night out so of course the conversation turned to men and when one of us revealed her marriage was headed to divorce court, she turned to me and asked, "What's it like starting all over again, you know, dating in your 40s?" Her pretty face puckered as if a massive fart had just drifted past her olfactory zone and she said the word "dating" with the same disgust one reserves for words like "offal" or "yeast infection." Without hesitation, I said, "Honey, I had a blast. And you will, too." So here's some tips, Sweet Pea.
1. In your 40s, you don't put up with the small shit you might have shrugged off in your 20s or 30s. That's right...you wake up on your 40th birthday and realize, Lordy, half my life is over so the next time a Jehovah's Witness knocks on my door and asks me if I have a few minutes to hear about salvation, I'm gonna say, "You know, I'd love to, but I have a porn shoot going on in the basement so I really got to scoot before, you know, the climax."
In your 40s, you don't have time "to make it work." You two either got Spark or you don't. Take The Mogul. Despite the fact the guy was a multi-millionaire, I turned tail when he kept insisting on splitting an entree EVERY SINGLE TIME we ate out. Worried about his girlish figure, I suppose, because he certainly wasn't cheap. Now, I'll share all kinds of things...toothbrush, ear plugs, sleeping bag, even the number of my colorist, but NEVER NEVER do I share my entree. Dessert, maybe. But not my t-bone steak. As they say on The Wire, "that shit ain't right." And who wants to date a guy who weighs and measures what he puts in his mouth? I want a man with an appetite. For food. For me. For every morning he wakes up. A ravenous man. Now, THAT'S sexy.
2. In your 40s, you don't have to put up with the big shit either. Same fellow, when I broke the news hemmed and hawed before boldly asking, "Okay, so you don't want to date anymore, what do you say we just have a sexual relationship?" First of all, when's the last time you heard the phrase "sexual relationship." Hmmm. Clinton comes to mind. Be a man and use something more appropriate like...oh, I don't know...hot dogs chasing donuts? Shag? Schtup? Bang? And secondly, it's your own damn fault, Buddie, that you asked such a question with the Mayor and his entourage holding court at the next table and that they guffawed when they overheard my fist-to-table pounding answer, "I WILL NOT (pound) HAVE SEXUAL RELATIONS (pound) WITH YOU (pound) NOW (pound) OR EVER (pound)." If I remember correctly, the cute waiter winked at me and brought over a free creme brulee. Which I had to eat alone.
3. Keep an open mind and don't be judgmental. You'll be asked out by all kinds of people. Dwarfs. Obsessives-Compulsives. Frapuccino addicts. The Pella window man. Your bosses' wife. The guy who works the cheese counter. Your husband's divorce attorney. Your best friend's son. Be polite in your refusals. And Thank The Lord you have such broad demographic appeal. If you were a sitcom, your market share would be through the roof and the pilot episodes would trigger a run for prime time.
4. Find a personal trainer. Or join a gym. Quick. You might feel like a cougar, but the sea is full of sharks. And they're 25. In low rise jeans. And they know how to text message. You know these women...they say things like, "Wow, you like, look so good for your age. Maybe you could, like, take my mom shopping." And start doing yoga. Flexibility. It's the ultimate compliment. In bed. And out of it.
5. Keep your girlfriends close. Think Sex and The City. You'll have some fun dates. And some real stinkers. Yet your posse will keep you honest while cheering you on, loan you their hot hot hot Charles Jourdan boots, make your cellphone ring spot on 9 p.m. when you need an escape, give you an appropriate amount of shit when you show up for brunch in the same sequins top you wore the night before, make the word "curvy" sound pretty rather than fat, grab the phone when you start to drunk dial and remind you why dating a man who thinks you made up the word "sardonic" is probably not a good idea. Plus, they'll be the first to call a guy a son-of-a-bitch when he is exactly that.
That's it for now. Stay tuned for five more.....