Monday, August 11, 2008

A Girl's Guide to Dating After 40...continued

6. Ignore the fashion magazines. And television. Don't let anyone tell you what's sexy. You already know, remember, you're over 40 and you've had a lot of trial and error. Remember Palazzo pants. And Disco Wrap Skirts. Tube tops. The Cowl Neck Sweater. Clogs. Nude lipstick. Argyle Tights. Not, not, not sexy. That's what you get for listening to Conde Nast. Sexy is not a look anyway; it's a feel. A taste. Leaving yoga class soaked with sweat. Sexy. Eating a crepe made by a street vendor, extra thin and oozing with Nutella. Sexy. Catching the bigger fish. Sexy. Looking at a man over the top of your school teacher glasses. Sexy. So clean your closet. Sell a few armloads to Buffalo Exchange then take the money and buy yourself a ticket on Amtrak. Traveling by train. Sexy.

7. Feed yourself. Feed yourself well. If you don't already, start cooking delicious, simple dinners. Take those faded, crinkled recipes you've been stockpiling for years and fix them. Shop the elaborate ingredients. Start local. Buy organic. Take your time. What were you saving those little scraps of paper for anyway? If you're not interested in preparing them for only one person, throw them away. Then get in the kitchen. Chop, saute, simmer, roast. Serve. Pour yourself a glass of wine and sit right down. Savor. Congratulations! You're on the most important date of your life. Then take yourself to bed and don't hesitate to find some pleasure there, too.

8. Which brings me to....if you can't make your Happy Place happy, how do you expect someone else to? Go ahead. Dive in. Check it out. Find the G. The H. The wow. Men do this all the time and it's called "nothing's on TV." Squeamish...turn out the lights, close the curtains, blindfold yourself. Can't quite get the hang of it? Talk to some experts, your lesbian friends. Who better to touch on the female anatomy. Last resort...use some Kama Sutra oil and think George Clooney. Or Willem Defoe if you like it a little painful.

9. Let your friends fix you up. Yeah, I can't believe I'm saying that either. If for no other reason, you'll find out what your pals really think of you. Don't be a snob. Step up and go on a few blind dates. They give you clarity about what you want and don't want. Plus, you get to try out some really crazy outfits and debut your "life's story" to see how it plays on Broadway. What do you need in a man: Car wash entrepreneur...No. Offers to make you "a mean bouillabaisse"...yes. Lives in his mother's basement...No. Found God...depends on which one. Wants to make a run for the Senate...don't wait for dessert. GET OUT NOW.

10. Take some risk, but always carry condoms, a charged cell phone, a credit card with a high limit, lip gloss, tea bags, protein bar. And most importantly, trust your instincts when considering risk. Your belly is always right. When the Ranger first sat down next to me at that bar and offered to "show me a lighthouse," Is that what the kids call it these days? -- I did, in fact, hesitate. Didn't want to wake up strangled on a forest road. But when he said, "if you wait patiently on the rocks, you'll see whales migrating, heading home. It's amazing. And at sunset, pelicans everywhere." And that's when I knew...this boy with the curly lashes, who's eyes widen at the mention of PELICANS...might be someone I could trust.

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