Dating becomes very different after the age of forty plus. For the majority of us, we’ve already had a marriage or two. For those who haven’t, they’ve experienced their fair share of relationships, so by now, we’ve all been seasoned, primed and unfortunately, some of us, cynical.
I was having brunch with a friend the other day and as women usually do, we started talking about relationships. Do we really talk about much else ? I think our brains are just wired that way. When you have a few minutes, the next time you’re in a public restaurant or bar, listen attentively to the conversations that men are having with men and women are having with women.
Men talk about sports, careers, finances, business. Only if he is with a really close buddy, might he divulge some of the problems he’s having with his wife or girlfriend. He tries to appear unemotional, because men do not like to share their true feelings of sentiment, affection and love towards a woman, especially with another man. I think it’s a macho thing. Too much softness could demote him on the hierarchy list, or cause him to lose his place with alpha male status.
But we women share it all. So this friend and I started talking about dating and she said she didn’t care about it right now. “Besides,” she said, “It’s so much work, “
“You mean, going through the process of meeting people?” She looked at me and shook her head, “No. It’s all that damn grooming.” I started to laugh. I knew exactly what she meant. Like when I didn’t feel like putting that extra coat of polish on my toenails. When taking a shower in winter, thinking I could wait another day to shave my legs. Knowing I had to use a pumice stone or one of those razor implements, to remove dead skin. Once done, moisturizer needs to be massaged in, because cold air sucks every last drop of fluid from your body, especially the extremities. If not for exfoliating tools, Who would need sandpaper, as a friend once said to me. But just think, You might be a contractor’s dream. What a thought.
Yes, I knew what she meant alright. I would take out the large mirror, the night before a date. Yea, the one I hate, that magnifies my face 10 times, so every flaw, wrinkle, discoloration and god knows what else is staring back at me. Who invents this shit ?
Can you believe a family member gave me one of these for the holidays as a grab gift ? A pocket sized one, no less, so I could carry it with me at all times, as if I needed an excuse to get depressed about fading looks. It was 2 sided though, so it could be used to put lipstick on, if nothing else. I dont think he liked me very much, unless he was totally clueless. I sure didn’t like him very much after that either. The magnifier can find any minor flaw, you might be able to conceal or lessen, which is crazy, because no one would ever have the ability to see any of this with the naked eye.
I apply lots of lotion to my elbows. And more lotion and cream to the rest of my body. I remember to exfoliate. With essential oils, so my skin is silky and soft to the touch.
Above all, it’s important to remember the lingerie and if you don’t have any, get your credit card out. The start-up purchases are costly. Adding to a collection, however, is not. Just remember there are no re-writes for the scene out of Brigit Jones Diaries, (see it, if you haven’t). when she wore old lady bloomers, so she wouldn’t sleep with Hugh Grant, but she did anyway, despite her short moment of embarrassment. That will teach her not to be prepared.
You start with one thing and then end up buying a few new articles of clothing, shoes, earrings, accessories, make-up. Everything is now framed, so when you leave each other, he walks away with a great visual to remember you by. I traded in my warm black woolen tights, for thinner ones with a lace pattern. In winter no less, when I’m already freezing my ass off. Literally, because the cold air is now going right up my adorable short skirt and hitting the top of my thighs with a wind chill of 20 degrees. That’s because there’s a good foot exposed between my hem-line and leather boots. Did I mention the boots were not insulated ? And that they absorbed the cold within 3 minutes of standing outside ? But even worse, I had no heavy socks covering my feet. Why ? So when he takes off my boots, he sees those pretty lace stockings, instead of the thick, wool socks that look like they belong under work boots.
A bulky sweater would never go with my outfit, so instead, I opt for the lovely, thinner, royal blue cashmere, with the beaded collar. I wear the black lace camisole under it, as an extra layer, if that would even be considered a layer. I don’t think it counts. Not when you can see right through it, it doesn’t.
“I know exactly what you mean,” I said, after running this entire reel through my head. I was exhausted thinking about it. It is a lot of work. Not that I don’t do some of it anyway. I do, just not with the same frequency. But now…I’m always perfectly groomed, smelling fresh, wearing feminine everything, even if I’m freezing, because there’s no substitute for looking good. And smelling that way too. Though too much perfume, can sometimes be heavy and linger. Then you might smell like a French whore. I wonder if American whores smell like that. I imagine they do. This is universal. I don’t know why the French were signaled out, unless they started it.
Looking good and turning him on is important. But.. there’s also something else to it. It feels good. I got back in touch with my femininity, on a grander scale. I am more in touch with my sexuality, I feel more womanly, with all the softness and sensitivity that accompanies it.
I feel desirable and sensuous and you must exude that when you’re dating, because all of a sudden, I have more men around me, than I have had in a long time. Do we give off some subliminal scent or something ? All of this has spiked feelings in me that I had buried when I was alone. And I guess that’s the difference. All this may be a little extra work, but it’s s good work, a reward in the end. For me, anyway. It’s much like not wanting to go to the gym, but after you do, you feel great and are glad you went.
My friend and I got in the car and were ready to say goodbye, “Okay, so it’s a bit more to do in your daily routine,” I said, “but if you tell me you don’t care, I won’t believe you.” There are times we all need some distance between relationships, break-ups, or personal difficulties, but in the end, we are social beings. We’re wired to mate, reproduce, be with a loving partner. Who doesn’t want to share a life with someone ? The right someone, that comes if you’re lucky and paying attention.
I think we are even wired for romance. Otherwise, why would it come so naturally to us ? Most of all, I think we are wired to love. To love and be loved. Isn’t that really the best feeling in the world ? Anyone who says differently, especially a woman, is not being honest. I don’t buy it. It’s a good mask to hide behind. Who hasn’t been hurt, rejected or disappointed ? That’s part of life. It’s easy to say you don’t care, convince yourself of scenario’s when you have nothing. And as the saying goes, “When you have nothing, you have nothing to lose.“
If someone came into their life and knocked their socks off, they’d be there in a New York second. I’m sure of it. I couldn’t imagine anyone turning their back on something that feels as good as being loved. For me, living this long and taking risks, some which have ended in great loss, has taught me it’s still worth it.
Love, on any and every level, especially romantic love, is the only true thing that makes any sense in life. If you can find it, cherish it, hold on to it, revel in it, and savor every moment of it. There’s no greater joy. Anywhere. So, that’s why I do what I do. Freeze my butt off in winter, pay closer attention to detail, preen more than usual, dress a little edgier, abuse my credit cards, because I’m hoping, in the end, it will all be worth it and I’ll find the reward, that someone who knocks me off my feet. Wait- does that now mean I have to continue to do all this for the rest of my life ?