Thursday, December 17, 2009

46 Year Old Shapewear Virgin tries Spanx for 1st Time



Yes, they hold it in and smooth it out, but are they comfortable? Read my review of my first pair of Spanx ever on my other blog at True/Slant.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Marriage Rx - Hotel Sex


If you've been married to your partner for 10 years or more and have children, I'm fairly certain you have two problems with your sex life: 1) no privacy and 2) no variety. Today I'm putting on my love doctor lab coat and giving you an important prescription.

Book yourself a hotel room.

First of all, you need to get away from your kids. Parents of younger children might snatch a few minutes of alone time after the kids are in bed, but it's still hard to relax. Nothing quashes desire like the pitter pat of little feet outside your locked bedroom door or a cry for a glass of water during a crucial moment of of an intimate act.

And once your kids are older, forget about it. Teenagers are like vampires; it's impossible to outlast them at night. You try to retreat to the master suite on a pretense - "Dad and I are watching the History Channel!"- but they sense what you're up to. Teens who haven't willingly uttered two words to you in days will be banging on the door with a lame question, forcing you to scramble for your panties. It's not hot.

When you finally manage to find uninterrupted time in the bedroom, let's face it - it's routine. Same bed, same view, same lighting. Remember when you were younger, all the exciting places you and your spouse did it? Beaches, golf courses, elevators? (Well, I never did it in an elevator, but I have friends.) It was fun! Sometimes I think my bedroom is the least sexy place in the entire world. It makes me sleepy.

But there is a solution, and it's only a click away. Book yourself into a hotel.

"But I can't!" I hear you protest. "It's too expensive, and who will watch my kids overnight?"

Silly. You can get a lovely hotel room for the price of a decent restaurant meal. And, duh, you aren't going to sleep there. A couple hours will do just fine.

For example, this Saturday night you can stay at the W Hotel City Center in Chicago (room pictured above) for a very reasonable $109. It's a short walk from the train station - you can be down and back (no pun intended) on the Metra and home before 11:00 p.m. Pack a duffle bag with a bottle of champagne, a hunk of cheese, strawberries, chocolate, some sexy lingerie and a tube of this stuff. I promise, it will be the best date night you've had in a while.

As my friend Ginny says, "If I were in a hotel I'd have sex every night!"


Monday, December 7, 2009

Me on Marriage

Sometimes I can't believe I've been married for 18 years - and all of them to the same guy, even.

A long-lasting marriage isn't something I grew up taking for granted. My parents divorced when I was eight and my brother was six. Other than my grandparents, there weren't any models of enduring unions in my family. My father is an only child and my mother's two sisters went through divorces too.

We lived with my mother, but my dad lived nearby and we saw him often. From my perspective, my parents got along fine. To be honest, I didn't think divorce was such a terrible thing. It - along with step-parents, step-siblings, and split holidays - was just the way it was.

Both my parents remarried and have been with their current partners for over 30 years. But when I was a kid, even when I was in college, those relationships were still pretty new. I'd seen my mom get dressed up for dinner dates and played Monopoly with my dad's pretty girlfriends, but I had no idea what an 18-year marriage looked like. Now I'm in one.

I've ended up in a surprisingly stable state and it's uncharted territory. I love my Liam, and I'm really happy we're married. But our relationship has definitely evolved over the years. We're parents now, we've settled down, we've grown up. We've got goals and plans and dreams and some of them have nothing to do with each other. We have fun, we have history, we have slumps. Is this the way things are supposed to be?

I have no friggin' clue.

That's why, among other subjects, I'll continue to explore the ups and downs of marriage and divorce here on Forty Fabulous. Whether it's someone famous like Tiger Woods or my own beloved Posse chicks, their unique stories help me understand my relationship. Whatever your marital status - happily married, divorced or somewhere in between - I hope they shed a little light on yours, too!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Oh Tiger. What makes powerful men cheat?

Looks like Tiger Woods has joined a long list of prominent, powerful men who have cheated on their beautiful and/or brilliant wives. Amid reports of an affair with at least one other woman, Tiger released a statement on his website yesterday which said:
"I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart. I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves."
Gee, Tiger, exactly what do you regret? Having a three-year affair with a Las Vegas cocktail waitress or sending her the numerous texts and voicemail messages she's using against you in the tabloids?

All these cheating men - David Letterman, Mark Sanford, Eliot Spitzer, just to name a few - express deep regret. Once they're caught.

I'm tired of hearing about actors, politicians, athletes and their sleazy affairs. But I have to wonder - what makes these famous guys do it? Because of their visibility, the stakes are especially high when their infidelities are exposed. Not only do they risk their marriages; they risk scandal, public humiliation and professional ruin.

According to Psychology Today's Love Doctor, Terri Orbuch, powerful men are likely to cheat for a number of reasons:

1. They think they're invincible.
2. They have more opportunities for temptation (through travel and accessible women.)
3. They're adrenaline junkies and like excitement and challenge.
4. They are surrounded by enabling yes men.
5. They want variety/change.

Oh, I get it. They're big, confident studs who need to express their masterful type-A selves to a wide variety of women. The very qualities that make them successful make them more likely to stray.

Supermodels beware! That famous ball player or rock star may be wealthy and hot, but he's likely to break your beautiful heart. Maybe you should consider a hard-working accountant instead.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Next Oprah

Watch this short video where I discuss my inspired idea about who should replace Oprah as America's most beloved talk show host.

Monday, November 23, 2009

I don't endorse this site for married cheaters

At a dinner party last week, I met a lawyer who told me about a dating site for married people called Ashleymadison.com. A woman had come to his office seeking to sue the founder of the site.

"He stole my idea," she claimed. "I was going to start a service for people who wanted to have affairs."

My new lawyer friend wouldn't take her case. In his legal opinion, people having affairs is an age-old pursuit that can't be copyrighted.

Noel Biderman, the founder and CEO of Ashley Madison, agrees that cheating is a fact of life and defends his site by saying it doesn't create promiscuous behavior, just helps keep it honest.

"Some people say it promotes promiscuity," he said. "But if you don't do it, you get behavior that's way more harmful to society. Infidelity has been around a lot longer than Ashley Madison."

He believes that hearing about the service in a commercial is not going to persuade anyone to have an affair. "It's a decision they've come to already. All I'm saying is, don't do it in the workplace where it could result in someone losing their job, don't go to a singles dating service and lie about your status, don't hire a prostitute. Given that affairs are going to happen no matter what, maybe we should see Ashley Madison as a safe alternative." Jan 10, 09 LA Times

The company is having a little difficulty in the marketing department. Their slogan, "Life is short, have an affair" is obviously incendiary, and their TV ads, which depict racy trysts or unbearable marriages, have been banned by many stations. Still, the website boasts 3.5 million subscribers, so there's obviously consumer demand out there.


and....


I'm not in favor of extramarital affairs of any kind, but I find this approach especially yucky. It's so premeditated. Maybe I'm naive, but I like to think that people who have affairs do so because they slip up, or they're irresistibly drawn to a specific person - not that they've rationally decided the time has come to systematically sleep around.

But what do you think? Are there some marriages that are just so awful that cheating is justified?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I love you, Donny Osmond!

On my other blog, called "North Shore & Next Door" at True/Slant, I've listed the many reasons you should adore Donny now, even if you didn't "puppy love" him back in the day. Click here to read all about it.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Ms. Matchmaker's tips on meeting your match

Jill Rudman of Highland Park (pictured) is a professional matchmaker and she's so warm and upbeat, I almost wish I needed her services. Jill helps Chicago and North Shore singles meet the guy or gal of their dreams - or she gets pretty darn close.

Of course, Jill, AKA "Ms. Matchmaker," has her own opinions about what makes a great match.

"I do not believe that opposites attract," she told me. "I think people get along best when they come from the same background, family, religion, and have the same outlook on life."

Jill also believes a match works best when the man and woman are about the same age. Hey, what about all those hot cougar relationships I keep hearing about?

Sorry ladies, but Jill says it ain't happening.

"I'm not seeing a lot of guys looking for older women out there," she said. Bunny from the Posse was right!

Once Jill has found two people she thinks will click, she has the man call the woman to invite her out. "I'm old fashioned, I believe the man should be a gentleman, ask the woman out and pay for the first date."

What happens on the date is up to the couple. But Ms. Matchmaker has some advice for women when meeting a man for the first time. Here are her guidelines for a successful first date.

1. Dress appropriately. Men like women who take care of themselves and make an effort, but they don't like sleazy. So, don't show too much skin or slather on the make-up. Guys find this intimidating. (We've heard this same thing from Warren, a couple posts back.)

2. Be positive. Talk about the good things in your life, be interested and upbeat. By no means bash your Ex or discuss personal problems. It's way too soon; you want to make a good impression.

3. Act like a lady. Don't drink too much, smoke too much or use foul language. It might be fun, but this early in the game, it's a turnoff.

4. Give the guy a chance. Jill has had clients tell her, "he was so close, but we had no spark." Sometimes it takes a couple dates for attraction to develop - if you like him as a person, stay open.

5. Finally, be kind. Even if you're 100% sure there is no future, you still want the guy to leave feeling interested in you and having had a nice time. You might bump into him again, and who knows? He might have a friend or a brother.

To learn more about Ms. Matchmaker Jill Rudman, visit her website: www.gotdates.biz.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Regina and Warren discuss the pitfalls of hooking up

This is a continuation of my series on divorce and dating. To start from the beginning, click here then page up through my blog.

Regina burst into the bar at Bluestone and within minutes she and Warren exchanged real names, chatted about financial futures and vegetarianism, and figured out they had several mutual friends. Warren had even dated a girl who looked just like Regina. I was relieved. Conversation wasn't going to be a problem for my newly introduced divorced pals.

Regina was excited because she'd made a lot of discoveries about herself that day. "I finally met my health insurance deductible," she said, "so my therapy sessions are free for the rest of year! I'm cramming them in like crazy. My therapist and I are on an archaeological dig."

Although Regina vows never (ever!) to marry again, she'd like to have a man around. But since her divorce five years ago, she hasn't figured out how to make a relationship work. As she told Warren, "I love men, I'm just not good with them. I'm in the special needs program of dating - you have a PhD." Warren laughed.

So, Regina is seeing her therapist twice a week and some things are beginning to click. Like why she dated so many inappropriate men - guys who were too young, or married, or from out of town.

"When you're unhealthy, you find people at your own unhealthy level," she said.

Warren said gently. "You deserve much better than those guys," he said.

Regina also discovered why she has problems connecting with men. Her therapist says she's too honest for her own good. Men don't understand how open she is and assume she's playing games. I have to agree that Regina is off the richter scale in terms of honesty, but that's the way she sees the world.

"Why am I stuck with this flippin' curse?" she wailed.

Warren could relate. "I'm always completely honest too," he said. "The problem is, women refuse to believe me. Or, they try to change me."

"No one can ever change anyone," snapped Regina.

Because of the work she's done on her issues, Regina is ready to let a man into her life. And recently, through Match.com, she found the perfect guy. Just like Regina, "Sam" was interested in nature and conservation. They connected on topics like Illinois birds of prey, worms, mulch - even trailer hitches. And one night, after a series of suggestive texts, they slept together.

"We had awesome sex," said Regina. "I was like a hitter in a bad slump and he broke me out of it. He made me feel like a relationship was possible again."

But the next time she contacted him to get together, he stood her up.

Did the guy think it was just a booty call? I asked Warren, who shrugged and nodded.

"I broke The Rules." Regina said sadly. "Men are the ones that are supposed to do the chasing."

What are you looking for? I asked Regina. What kind of relationship do you want?

"I just want someone to spend time with on the three nights a week I'm not with my kids so I'm not alone. Someone enjoyable, to have sex with, on my terms," she replied.

And what did Warren want?

"I want someone smart and funny who thinks the sun rises and sets in me and makes me feel that way about her too. Someone who makes me laugh, to goof around with, who reads books and newspapers and knows what's going on in the world." Warren chuckled. "I have a list."

Neither Regina or Warren seem to be asking for too much, but it's hard to find the right person. Hopefully, the woman I'll write about next time can help. She's a professional matchmaker. Check back later this week for her advice on what makes two people click and how to make a good impression on a first date.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Qualities that make a woman a '10' in Warren's book

I sat at the bar at Bluestone last week with Warren-the-man-who-loves-women, feeling a little nervous. In 30 minutes, Regina, the wild, outspoken chick from The Posse, would join us. Two of my divorced and dating subjects, who I'd been writing about since September, were about to meet in real life!

The point of getting together was a joint interview, not a fix up, but I still hoped they'd like each other. While we were waiting for Regina to arrive, I had a few more questions for Warren. Specifically, what are men looking for in women and even more key - what turns them off?

Just to remind you, in the 17 years since his divorce, Warren has dated hundreds of women. I figured a guy who has had so many relationships is an expert in the ebb and flow of attraction. As usual, Warren was happy to share his thoughts on the matter.

Here are the qualities that can turn a woman who might otherwise rate a 6 or 7 into a full-on, Bo Derek "10" for Warren.

1. In Style
Warren looked around the bar. "Some of these women dress like men," he pronounced. "They look like they ordered their outfits from L.L. Bean." Warren, a sharp dresser himself, appreciates women who make an effort to look cute while being tasteful and age-appropriate.

"I don't care how good your body is, you shouldn't have your thong hanging out. It looks ridiculous."

2. Funny Girls
"I love funny," said Warren. "You have to be smart to be funny, and smart is sexy." Warren is a funny guy, so he doubly understands the appeal. "Girls love funny too," he said, a twinkle in his eye.

3. Very Interesting
"I don't always go out with gorgeous women," said Warren, "I can get just as infatuated with an average looking girl who has something to teach me." He told me about a woman he adored who was rather plain, but knew everything about modern art.

"A woman who can show me something new - now that's hot!"

Warren insists that guys aren't looking for bimbos when it comes to relationships that last more than a few hours. Did you hear that single chicks? What men want is for you to dress classy and flaunt your gorgeous wits - not your tits.

Now what qualities turn a guy off? Warren had no trouble naming those either. He's put off by women who 1) act fake or misrepresent themselves, 2) are in constant need of reassurance and 3) want to control or change him.

I wanted to ask Warren to elaborate, but just then, Regina entered the bar - late, breathless and fabulously frazzled. Check back next time when Regina and Warren meet! Trust me, their conversation is anything but dull.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

When marriage holds you back - is it okay to move on?

I've been taking a little break from the Posse chicks and divorced dudes to sit back and reflect on the meaning of marriage.

"Aww," I can almost hear you groan. "We just want the sex! Give us more dirt!"

Calm down already, juicy stuff is on the way. In the meantime, I'd like to present one enlightened chick, Annie Burnside, and her rather radical views on marriage. Annie is an educator and a soul nurturer, and if you don't know what that is, check out her inspiring website.

When working with a client, Annie's goal is "to reconnect you more deeply to the voice of your own soul so that clarity and direction may be attained." She has worked with many divorced and separated women and doesn't see a marriage ending as a failure.

"Not everyone is necessarily meant to be with the same person for 60 years," she told me over coffee last week, looking drop-dead gorgeous and pulsating with positive energy. "Marriage is a societal institution that sometimes holds people back from making their true choices."

Living authentically is what Annie is all about, and it's what she teaches others to do by listening to their vibes and uncovering their deepest desires. Ideally, two people can continue to grow and develop in a marriage, but it may not always be possible.

"It's difficult for two people to grow at the same rate," said Annie. "Sometimes the soul growth in that particular relationship is complete."

It takes courage to recognize that a relationship has stopped working and ending a marriage can be devastatingly painful. But according to Annie, sometimes the transformation of the relationship brings on tremendous growth and opportunity.

Living according to your deep inner truths isn't selfish, she says. When you operate from your core, (instead of trying to please everyone else and feeling resentful about it) you have much more to give.

"When you come from that authentic space, what you offer others is of a much higher quality," she said.

Look, Annie isn't encouraging people to ditch their spouse; she's a happily married woman and hopes to stay that way. It's just that she is a passionate advocate of nurturing the soul - for both parties. And after many attempts to save the marriage have failed, if a person can no longer find the truth, joy, and appreciation in the relationship and needs to move on - she's okay with it.

"Living a live of quiet desperation is ultimately detrimental to all involved."

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Getting your needs met - while staying married!

I've been talking with a lot of divorced people lately for my series on Divorce and Dating. Hearing what they were missing in their marriages makes me wonder - can husbands and wives really meet each others' needs all the time? Are they even supposed to?

In this short video, I discuss this topic with Carol Moss, a licensed clinical social worker and life coach. She provides a unique approach for making sure your needs are met in your marriage.

If you want to stay happily married - watch it!


Monday, October 26, 2009

All straight guys love the Posse.

The Posse's main assets are their obvious physical charms combined with a wicked sense of humor. And if a man doesn't worship both, he's not gonna cut it.

Bunny is seeing someone regularly now, but I asked her about Ed, a guy she'd gone out with a couple years back.

"I was nuts about him," she said. "But he didn't appreciate me enough."

Oh really? I asked.

"Listen," she said leaning in close. "My current boyfriend loves my body. My ex-husband loved my body. Everyone loves my body, but Ed didn't - he's gay."

Bunny does have a fabulous body and expects it to be given it's proper due between the sheets. So, she's not going to tolerate a selfish or uninventive lover.

Unfortunately, there seem to be a lot of gay guys out there. Like the young stud who completely ignored the Posse on Vibe's dance floor, rushing past them to boogie with a striking Latin-looking woman. He was obviously gay.

"Gay and fourteen!" proclaimed Grace.

It takes a real man to handle the Posse, that's for sure. And until he comes along, Bunny, Regina and Grace are happy to dance with one another.


Next time, I'm switching gears. How to make sure YOUR needs get met!
For more on my series on Dating and Divorce, page down through my blog.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dancing with the divorcees. Oh the 'Posse'-bilities!

The Posse hit Vibe in Highland Park on Friday night and I went with them. The big draw was Famos! (right) the effervescent emcee from Bizar Entertainment. Famos! developed a big following among the single set when he used to be the regular DJ at Miramar a few years ago, back when it was considered the Studio 54 of the North Shore.

When I arrived at Vibe around 8:30 p.m., the place was just beginning to fill up. Bunny, Regina, and Grace had nabbed a comfy couch and chairs right next to the dance floor in front of one of Famos!'s huge, pounding speakers. This was obviously not going to be a night for deep conversation.

"Let's dance!" screamed Regina, and began clapping and gyrating to the music, her wild curly hair streaming.

"She's like Shakira," I said, impressed. No one heard me over the pulsating beat.

Bunny and Grace jumped up to join Regina, the three of them forming an exuberant, sensual troika on an otherwise empty dance floor. The rest of Vibe's patrons and I watched from the sidelines. If I was going to be any match these chicks' crazy-dance-partying 'tude, I needed alcohol. I gulped my chardonnay and checked out the scene.

It was still early and the pickings were slim. Definitely way more women than men, and the few unattached guys weren't attractive. Bunny spun by, pointing at a big reddish-bearded dude at the bar.

"Look at that guy!" she shouted. "He looks like Man-from-Pulp-Fiction! Man-from-Mask!" I was confused; John Travolta wasn't in Mask. Oh, I realized. She meant actor Eric Stoltz.

During a break in the action, Regina got inspired. She was going to become a professional dancer for Bizar! "You know, a middle-age dancer, to get all the old guys going at weddings and bar mitzvahs!"

Soon she had secured a Bizar t-shirt from Famos! and a pair of scissors from the bartender. In minutes, Regina created a sexy, middle-age dancing girl top, which she threw on. Prancing over to Man-Who-Looks-Like-Eric-Stolz and his friends, she beckoned them out on the floor. They just shook their heads.

"I got rejected by three ugly guys!" she squealed, not one bit put out.

The room began to fill up and, loose from my guzzled drink, I jumped up to shake it to Beyonce's All the Single Ladies.

"Hey!" I yelled in Grace's ear. "There's a really hot guy standing by the bar!"

Grace (looking kind of Flash Dance in her one-shouldered top) checked him out, nodded and shrugged. "If you think a guy is cute and he's gonna come up and talk to you, you're wrong. They never make the first move. Never."

For a minute I was really offended that the hot guy would never, ever make a move on me. Then I remembered I was married. It was getting confusing out there.

Regaining my journalistic objectivity, I realized it would take one very secure dude to approach the Posse while they were getting their dance on. The women seemed so happy, so complete, so engaged - all on their own. Only the most confident, cocky hombre would dare break into this group.

Later, I told Bunny I thought the Posse might be intimidating to guys.

"Really?" she said, surprised. "Well, we must not care that much about them then."


To read more of my series on divorce & dating, page down through my blog.
Next time: If you don't properly appreciate the Posse, you must be gay.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Warren explains the primal urges of the human male

Warren, the man who loves women, adores women of all ages but understands why men want to date the young ones. It's survival of the fittest.

"In nature, the young bull elk challenges the old bull. Young bull forces old bull out," he explained. "Older men want to feel relevant, not like the old bull. By attracting the younger animals (women), we're powerful, in charge. Younger women make their guy feel like the young bull."

And it doesn't hurt that compared to the old cows (sorry, that's the term for female elk) younger women are hotter, less bitter, and baggage-free.

Oh, come on, I said. Surely men are more evolved than that?

Warren shook his head. "We're so fragile - a guy's ego when he gets older is like a piece of glass, which is painful, because we don't want to appear weak. Men feel sad and vulnerable and neglected too, but we'll never tell you. We keep up a facade of strength."

The other thing that keeps that old bull feeling at bay is sex. No surprise, but men want lots of sex and physical contact. When Warren is with a woman, he likes to touch her shoulder, and (here it is again) grab her ass. With that contact, he's telling her "I'm admiring you, I'm glad we're in the same room together."

"Yes, I want the jungle sex, the throw down," said Warren, but he craves the intimacy too. The combination "is like food to me."

It's the age-old quandary. Men need sex to feel intimate, women need intimacy to feel like having sex. Or, as Warren quoted, "Women need a reason. Men just need a room."

Warren is so successful with women because he's very willing to put in the work. But he expects the woman to reciprocate, and tell him honestly if there is something he should or shouldn't do.

"It's unfair to expect the other person to automatically know what you're thinking. You have to tell me, be honest." This seems to be a consistent plea from men to women.

Getting back to the old bull elk theory. Now that Warren is 50, he finds younger women less worth the time investment. "I want good company," he said. "I want a woman who is cool to hang out with - funny and smart and confident. Younger women don't have the life experience. Now I think, what are we going to do after we fuck? I'm 50, I don't have time to educate you."

It's good to know we old cows have got something going for us after all.


For more on my series on divorce and dating, scroll down through my blog.

And coming up next: I went out dancing with the Posse on Friday night! Check back for the latest scoop on Bunny, Regina & Grace.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Warren, the man who loves women. Many women.

I've been talking with a lot of divorced men lately, but I can't quite think of Warren as one of them. He was married briefly in his early 30's, but he has been single for so long, he's really more of a bachelor.

Ah, a bachelor. What a devil-may-care, rogueish, sexy term. There's really no female equivalent, is there? The term "bachelorette" is only used for the TV show or the traditional pre-wedding hen party; both are precursors to the ultimate goal of marriage. No one says "she's an eligible bachelorette" or "she has a bachelorette pad." More often than not, the word used to describe a single, socially adventurous, carefree female is "slut." Still I'd take that crude word over the dried-up, old-maid legal term "spinster." But I digress.

Warren is the ultimate bachelor. He's fun, he's hip, he drives a cool car, he wears cool clothes, he has a great condo in a Gold Coast high rise. He made enough money trading when the market was good that he's pretty much retired. He just turned 50, but you'd never know it from his impish grin and full head of jet black hair.

"I don't dye my hair," was one of the first things he told me over lunch last week. The second thing he told me was that threesomes aren't all they're cracked up to be. All righty then. I could tell this was going to be interesting. But first I wanted to hear about his ex- wife.

"She was nice, but cold," Warren said."I wanted more of a physical and emotional connection, but she came from a rigid background and couldn't give me what I needed. We were emotionally incompatible."

As their relationship cooled from lukewarm to downright frosty, they mutually decided to go their separate ways. With no kids, the divorce was quick. Since their split 17 years ago, Warren has dated hundreds of women. Yup. Hundreds.

Warren isn't a rock star or a professional basketball player, so you might wonder how he gets all the chicks. Well, for starters, he's honestly interested in women - all types of women. For him, a woman is a fascinating puzzle who's worth making the effort to solve.

"I like girls, I love them," he said. "I notice things about them, pay attention, and I'm happy to do it. It's like giving a present, and it makes me feel good - putting in the time is fun, it's not work for me."

His curiosity and attention pay off, because wherever he goes - coffee shops, grocery stores, nightclubs - women respond to him. They talk to him, open up to him, and sometimes (after a shockingly short amount of time) go home with him.

"I call those encounters manslaughter," he said, laughing. "I had no intent to pick anyone up, it just happened." For Warren, the world is a friendly place.

He's an extremely confident and engaging man, but if you think he sounds like a heartless womanizer, he really isn't. Warren has had his share of hurt and disappointments too.

Sometimes a woman he'd been crazy about broke things off with him. Other times he jumped in too quickly, only to find out that the woman wasn't who he thought she was. Over time, he's learned to do due diligence, take things more slowly. Still, Warren thinks taking chances is what life's all about.

"Life's a risk," he said. "If you can't live it with bravado and zest, then what's the point?"

At the time of our lunch, Warren had been seeing a woman seriously for two months, and he doesn't cheat on his girlfriends. However, from his years on the dating scene, he's learned a lot about women, relationships, and romance. Check back next time to hear his views on a variety of intriguing subjects, including why men date younger women and the controversial male ass-grab.

(For more on my series on divorce and dating, please scroll down to my older posts!)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Buh-bye cheating husband - hello world!

Monique is a beautiful 55 year-old woman who's glad her marriage is behind her. For years, she and her high-rolling, business-traveling, dirty-cheating husband shared the same large house on the North Shore, but lived separate lives. Now the kids are in college and the divorce is final and Monique is "relieved and happy to be free."

Having learned a lot from the drawn-out experience, Monique has one piece of for women going through divorce: get a good lawyer.

"Go to the best," she said evenly, when we met over coffee last week. "People ask - why does it cost so much? Because it's worth it, that's why."

Now she has her freedom and financial security, which cuts down on the strain and stress of being divorced. She can take control of her future while keeping things civil with her ex. With the kids on their own and the money all settled, there's not a lot of contact between them anyway. The Posse chicks would be so jealous.

After many years in a failing marriage, Monique is now in a good place. She has a lovely townhome, wonderful friends, a zillion interests and close relationships with her children. But a new man her life? That's harder to come by, especially since Monique doesn't feel like wasting any more time.

She did have one serious boyfriend, but he lived on the West coast. The long distance made it intense and exciting, and like all the divorced women and men I've talked to, Monique was "out of her mind" crazy about her new guy - at first. She was ready to pack her bags and move to L.A. Then reality set in.

"I couldn't give up all the important things in my life," she said. "My friends, my family, my life is here. I need to protect myself." In the end, practicality and maturity won out. She and her former beau are still good friends.

For Monique, friendships are the relationships she nourishes and treasures these days. She's still open to finding someone special, but she's not looking for him in a bar or getting over-eager about a fix-up.

"My girlfriends will get so excited about a first date, spend hours getting ready. They want things to work out so badly. You need to give guy a chance as a person before adding romantic expectations," said Monique, who takes a different approach when going out for the first time.

"I want to go see a concert or a show, not just have dinner," she said. "Then, even if he's not for me, we've done something worthwhile. Life is too short."

Monique isn't interested in getting married again - "If I even say the word, take me to the psych ward!"- but she's interested in a committed relationship. She's looking for someone distinguished-looking, independent, brilliant, with a sense of humor. And it wouldn't hurt if he were a little bit of a bad boy too.

But the pickings are slim. Many of the men who want to date women Monique's age are older, like the guy she met through a matchmaker who turned out to be in his 70s. When she told him she wasn't interested, he said "Well, you better hurry up because you aren't going to have those good looks much longer."

Monique says her ideal man might be a fantasy, but she's keeping her standards high. "If it happens, great. If not, I'm fine."

And she really is. She likes her own company and will pop into Bluestone for dinner or go to Space to hear music by herself. She finds excitement and fulfillment through pursuing the arts, travelling, running, and staying close to her adult children.

"My time is precious and I'd rather spend time with my kids than some dopey guy. Those are the quality relationships that are a sure thing."

All in all, this is an exciting time of life for Monique. "I didn't realize how much I'd lost of myself in my marriage," she said, echoing the sentiments of many of the newly single people I interviewed. And how does she feel about her husband's long-time girlfriend?

"I want to thank her for taking him off my hands."


Coming up next time: Warren, the man who loves women!
For more on Divorce & Dating, page down through my older posts - there's a lot of juicy stuff.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Unexpected Upside of Divorce

Divorce isn't easy for either party, but it's especially painful for the spouse who's left behind. As Armando said, "It takes two to get married, but only one to get a divorce." However, as the dust of their marriages settles, both Armando and Lance have begun to feel that they've grown from the experience.

Armando feels his divorce "has been an awakening. I have a stronger sense of character since going through the crisis."

Lance agrees. "Divorce in a weird way has made me feel that I have a more valuable life perspective to share with my kids," he said. "I've been through something. If you asked me - when did you feel like you were a grown man? I'd say just this year."

Although both men opposed divorce and fought to keep their families together, they now see that they weren't getting what they needed from their marriages either.

One of Lance's oldest friends told him "You dodged a bullet. You don't want to grow old with a woman who was gonna treat you like shit and doesn't like you."

Lance feels he deserves to be treated better - to be appreciated - and in his current relationship, he is. Armando has also done a lot of thinking about what he wants from his next girlfriend.

"Relationship problems stem from yourself," he said. "You need to love yourself in a healthy way. Be connected, but not dependent. Leave some space." Armando jokes about looking for some T&A, but says the most important quality he's really seeking is trust.

"Once it's been violated, it takes work to get it back."

Since they've split from their wives, Vince, Armando and Marlon have discovered there are parts of living alone they really enjoy - especially the lack of conflict.

"I feel more peaceful, not stressed out, " said Marlon. "I enjoy my freedom and I can make decisions for myself without having to compromise all the time."

Of course, being single again brings newfound drama, and that has its upside too.

As Vince put it, "It makes you feel alive."

Coming up next: Monique - savoring life on her own.
And then: Warren, the man who loves women. Hundreds of them.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Divorced Guys want Romance Too

After talking to Vince, Armando and Marlon, three recently divorced North Shore men, I learned that men aren't just out for sex; they want romance too. Especially after going through an ego-crushing divorce. Vince is in a new relationship and it's almost too good to be true.

Vince met this wonderful woman through friends - the bar scene was not for him. When it was clear that his marriage was finished, he asked everyone he knew to set him up. The result was an introduction to 45 year-old Claudia (not her real name) and they instantly clicked.

"There was immediate physical attraction within the first 30 seconds," said Vince. "But not only was she attractive, she was easy to talk to, with no games or pretense."

Since meeting a few months ago, their relationship has blossomed. The sex has been phenomenal, but that's not what's most exciting to Vince. He's enjoying the dance, the courtship, the romantic process that gets lost when you've been married for a long time. And, as he says,

"It's fucking nice not to be treated like an old pair of socks for a change."

As we were talking at Bluestone, Vince got a text from Claudia. With a smile, he showed it to me. On the screen were the words -"I want to spend every waking moment with you."

"Wow, that's so sweet," I said, guiltily thinking of the boring, logistical texts I send my husband.

"She's awesome." said Vince. "She has really turned things around for me." He's very, very happy; his only worry is that they may have met each other too soon.

Armando and Marlon have also been dating and they both have experienced the euphoria of sex and romance with someone new.

"The first relationship after my divorce, I thought I was getting married," said Armando, who is no longer seeing that woman. "Now I'm trying to focus on friendships so I don't need to have a relationship." (Armando was definitely feeling friendship from the Posse the night he bumped into them. "Fresh Meat!" they'd squealed as they hugged and patted him.)

Marlon has been seeing his girlfriend, who is 40, for some time now. Falling in love with her helped him rediscover the compatibility, intimacy, and sense of adventure lacking in his marriage. But now practical considerations are creeping in. His girlfriend has young kids; Marlon's are older. Does he really want to get married and start all over with a new family?

"I'm happy with the relationship as it is," he said.

Ah, that's the problem with long-term relationships, I thought. How do you maintain the romance and excitement when there are carpools to drive and garbage to take out?

I took out my cell phone and texted my husband: I want to spend every waking hour with u.

A long pause, then Liam's reply: Ok, what's the joke?

Obviously, he wasn't buying it. I guess I'll have to come up with a different approach. In the meantime, check back in a day or so for more from the men!

Scroll down to read earlier posts about the divorced dudes and the women of The Posse!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Divorced men say - "Women, just tell us what you want!"

I've been having lots of cocktails with single men this week. After my raucous evening with"The Posse"- three divorced moms living on the North Shore - I interviewed three divorced dads to get their perspectives on dating and relationships.

I met Armando (remember him from Posse Part 4?) and his friend, Marlon (imagine a not-so-broody Brando), on Wednesday back at Flight. I talked to Vince, (think Richard Gere) earlier in the week at Bluestone in Evanston. My husband is being very patient.

The men are late-40ish and live on the North Shore, but they differ from the women in that they're very recently divorced and they don't have a Posse to hang with, at least not yet. The guys had a lot to say about the break-up of their marriages. Armando and Vince's wives initiated their divorces; Marlon was the one who wanted out of his.

"I've got a lot of guilt," admitted Marlon.

"You've got guilt, but I've got pain and loss," said Armando.

Vince was "surprised and heartbroken" that his wife wanted a divorce. All three men felt that no matter how hard they tried in their marriages, their wives were constantly dissatisfied.

"I had to change everything about myself to meet her needs," said Armando, "No matter what I did, it wasn't good enough. My wife expected most of her needs to be met by me. I gave up my friends, even my family for her. It was suffocating."

"I did everything,"said Vince, "but nothing was ever good enough. These women get mean and impossible to please and it's all our fault."

Marlon puts it more bluntly. "I kissed her ass," he said, even though he was genuinely perplexed about what his ex-wife wanted.

"You just don't get it." She would tell him.

"Then TELL me!" he'd say. "I can't read your mind!"

"That's sad. You should know."

I squirmed. I didn't know what the ex-wives had wanted either, but I do know we women want to be appreciated, to feel noticed and special. Maybe they weren't making their wives feel desirable, I suggested? No way, said the guys.

"I bent over backwards to let my wife know I still wanted her," said Vince. "I'd grab her ass, tell her how great she looked."

I had to laugh. "You know, not all women think having their ass grabbed is the most romantic gesture."

Vince said, "Grabbing your ass means hey, I'm noticing you, I'm hot for you. I may not be the Count of Monte Cristo, but it's what I got."

"My ex-wife is beautiful," said Armando, a bit sadly.

Marlon nodded. "She is. I'd go out with your ex."

Though they're still hurting from their divorces, Armando, Marlon and Vince have begun to see other women. Are they out looking for someone "young and stupid" as the Posse chicks accuse? As I see it, no.

They want someone attractive, of course. But beyond that, the men want a woman who is open and easy to talk to and most importantly, really, really wants to be with them. Someone who is nice, someone they don't disappoint. And that person doesn't have to be young.

"I have a lot to offer, but it takes a woman in her 40s to appreciate it," said Vince.

So, how does it feel for the guys to be dating the second time around? It feels damn good. Check back in a day or so, cos that's what I'm writing about next.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Men on Marriage - Even Einstein couldn't figure it out

In follow-up to my stories about The Posse (see below), I've been talking with divorced men to get their perspective on women, dating, and relationships. I'll start sharing their stories in a day or two, but first, take a look at what these wise men have had to say about the challenges of marriage.
"What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility" -Leo Tolstoy

"Women marry men hoping they will change. Men marry women hoping they will not. So each is inevitably disappointed." -Albert Einstein

"When two people are under the influence of the most violent, most insane, most delusive, and most transient of passions, they are required to swear that they will remain in that excited, abnormal and exhausting condition continuously until death do them part." -George Bernard Shaw

"It is easier thing to be a lover than a husband, for the same reason that it is more difficult to be witty every day than now and then." -Balzac

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Divorced and Dating - Games People Play

When the women of the Posse hit the town, it's not to find Mr. Right; it's to have a good time. These girls have no interest in matrimony. When I asked them if they wanted to get married again, they responded:

"Never, from the bottom of my heart." - Regina

"Not now." - Grace

"I'd like a partner later in life, but I've put my kids through hell once. I'm not going to do anything else to unsettle them." -Bunny

So, Bunny, Regina and Grace don't go to bars in search of happily ever after; they're looking for fun. The women are witty, bawdy and entertaining in their own right, but the game is always livelier when there are men around to spar and flirt with.

The women have been hanging out on the North Shore for a few years, so they've begun to see the same familiar faces. The Posse assigns tribal names to regulars, such as the hot guy with poor conversation skills who they named "Man Who Should Not Speak." Once a name is assigned, it sticks. Sorry, dude, you can shave your head if you want to, but you'll always be "Man Who Needs Haircut" to the Posse.

Some of the men playing the field are playing a different game - they're pretending not to be married. One night, Regina met a hunky blond guy who drove her home in his expensive sports car. She invited him in for a nightcap and one thing led to another. "He swore he wasn't married!" said Regina. "The next day my friend saw him in Kenilworth with his wife, pushing a baby stroller."

According to the Posse, we wouldn't believe how many married men are out there hitting on other women. Of this, the Posse does not approve. "They take off their rings and tell you they aren't married," said Bunny. "They lie."

There are all kinds of hazards out there when you're single the second time around - fat, sloppy guys who think they've got a chance, guys who are too needy, guys who don't call, guys who can't get it up. Why do the Posse gals even bother going out?

Because it's exciting, it's silly, and it's a blast. This trio of divorced women doesn't apologize for going to bars or meeting men or occasionally bringing one home. Yes, they're mothers and they're over 40, but they're three vibrant, gorgeous chicks who want a little company once in a while - just for fun, not forever.

Towards the end of the night at Flight, a good looking, dark haired man entered the bar. "Armando!" said Regina, "What are you doing here?"

Armando (not his real name) explained that he was recently divorced and living on his own and sometimes dropped into Flight for a drink. Armando and Regina had gone to high school together. She introduced him to the rest of us.

"You need to give him a tribal name," I said, by now getting into the Posse swing of things. Regina sized him up. Armando was not tall.

"We'll call him 'Man with Eyes at Breast Level'," she pronounced. The rest of us cracked up.

Thus ended my night out with Bunny, Regina and Grace. But the discussion about divorce and dating is just beginning. Stay tuned, because next time I'm talking to the men!

Marriage Advice from Dustin Hoffman

Writing about The Posse and divorce and dating has made me think about my marriage. In this video, Dustin Hoffman, married 28 years, gives his perspective on what it takes to make love stay. Grab your spouse and watch this one, then check back tomorrow for Part 4 of The Posse!


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Divorced & Dating - Out on the Town with The Posse

This is the 3rd part of my series about "The Posse," three divorced moms who live on the North Shore. These women share stories about dating and sex the second time around, and it's pretty racy stuff. (Click here to read part 1 and part 2.) Some of you relate to their experiences, others are appalled by them. A few of you think I'm making this up - but most of you want to hear more. While I refer to Bunny, Regina and Grace by their assumed "bar" names, they're definitely real people. Are they typical of most divorced women? Probably not. But that's what makes them so interesting.

When the Posse chicks head out for a night on the town, it's with a mixture of anticipation and skepticism. The women don't get together often - they have to work around their kids' visitation schedules and their exes aren't always reliable. So, when the stars align and the Posse is able to convene, these women are eager to catch up, cut loose and rustle up some action.

However, the women have been divorced long enough to be realistic about the suburban singles scene. Some of the guys are jerks, some of them aren't interested, and some are not who they say they are (more on that later.) But there's always the hope that the Posse will discover a good prospect. The odds of finding a man who's attractive, financially secure and unattached might be slim, but the Posse is looking hot, and hey, it's Saturday night.

The first thing the Posse considers is where to go. They want a reasonably priced place that attracts a big crowd - not too young- and lots of single men. Sports bars on game nights are good bets, like Trax in Deerfield; so are venues with live music or karaoke, such as Ravinia BBQ & Grill. Then there's well-known pick-up joints like Pete Miller's in Wheeling. "If you're single on the North Shore, at some point you're gonna end up at Pete's," says Bunny.

Once the women have ordered a drink and settled into their barstools, how do they meet men? While these chicks aren't timid, apparently there's an art to striking up a conversation with men which Grace has mastered. The night I interviewed the Posse at Flight, she agreed to demonstrate her skill.

"I'm going out for a smoke," she said apologetically, "but just watch that tall guy sitting at the bar."

I watched as Grace approached the bar and smilingly spoke to the bartender for a moment or two, then headed out the front door. I didn't see her speak to her "target" at all, but within moments, Tall Guy pushed back from the bar and joined Grace on the sidewalk where she greeted him by lighting his cigarette.

"Huh?" I said. "I don't get it - she didn't even talk to him and he followed her out there."

"She's so pretty, she doesn't have to say anything," said Bunny. "Guys love her, we don't have a chance."

I was confused. Grace is super cute, but so are Bunny and Regina. "It's not the way she looks, it's something she does," I said, watching Grace and her new friend share a laugh on the sidewalk.

"She sticks 'em like a wasp every time," grumbled Regina.

When Grace eventually returned to our table, I asked her how she'd connected with Tall Guy.

"I just asked the bartender where I could smoke," she said, "then I said loudly, okay, I guess I'll just go out front all alone and smoke all by myself. He (Tall Guy) must of heard me."

"She acts stupid and men love it!" hissed Bunny.

Grace rolled her eyes while Bunny went on.

"You've got to dumb down to get a guy - don't talk too much, don't act too smart or confident. Just listen and giggle and say 'oh my god' and flip your hair. Regina and I are too challenging, too opinionated - we scare men off.""

"Come on." I said. "Men don't really want women to act like that."

"They do." said Regina, "I've had men tell me they would never date me because I'm too intimidating."

"And besides, all the divorced men want to date 30 year-olds," said Bunny. "It would be easier for me to pick up another woman than a man my own age."

Things might have seemed a little dismal at this point if it weren't for all the interested glances being sent The Posse's way by several other men in the bar. Not to mention the free round of champagne Flight's owner delivered to our table. And the night was still young....

Next time: Games people play
Coming soon: the guys' side of things!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

After the Divorce - Rediscovering Sex

This is my second article about The Posse, a trio of hip, funny, attractive divorced moms living on the North Shore. To read my first post introducing them, click here.

Sex with their husbands had been bad for a long time, the Posse told me. It ranged from infrequent to icky. At the end, the women were merely going through the motions, not participating mentally or emotionally. They felt detached from the act, cut off from their bodies. With the divorce, all that changed.

"I was dead, dead, dead for years." said Regina. "Coming out of my marriage was like coming out of the desert." Bunny and Grace nodded and grinned in agreement. I signaled the waitress to bring us another round.

Fresh from the trauma of ending a marriage, the last thing the Posse chicks wanted was a serious relationship. They wanted to have a little fun, they wanted to feel alive again. Hell, they wanted to get laid.

And there were plenty of willing partners.

Bunny slept with her process server on the night he was supposed to deliver the final divorce papers to her husband. Grace hooked up with a hot parking valet who chauffeured her to her car at a friend's country club. Regina did the bump and grind with not one, but two 23 year-old guys (separately, not at the same time.)

These encounters made the newly single women feel reawakened, rediscovered, liberated! After years of sexual drought, this wasn't love, honey, this was therapy. The Posse women laugh when they tell these stories. They laugh at their audacious naughtiness, the unexpected thrills, and their newfound right to screw whoever they want, damn it, just to please themselves.

But the Posse isn't only out for casual sex, as refreshing as it was initially. These gals spend most of their time as hardworking single moms, not sex kittens, and they need meaningful adult relationships to sustain them. That's why Bunny, Regina and Grace all agree that the first fix-up a newly divorced woman needs is with other women in the same situation. To hang with, to laugh with, to support one another.

Next up - the suburban & single bar scene. Where to go, what to expect.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Meet 'The Posse' - a group of gorgeous, witty divorced chicks with dirt to share

Last night I laughed so hard I nearly wet my pants. I was at Flight, a surprisingly chic wine bar/bistro in Glenview, where I met three members of "The Posse," a group of 40-ish divorced women who hang out together on the North Shore.

They agreed to share some of their stories about dating the second time around on the condition that I wouldn't reveal their identities. So in this article (and articles to follow) I will refer to them by their self-chosen "bar" names. Let's meet the Posse.
Bunny - an athletic, confident blond with a body to kill for and a take-no-prisoners attitude. Her drink of choice: "Grey Goose Martini with blue cheese olives - very, very dry."

Regina - an angel-faced earthy chick with a wild mane of dark blonde curls. Drink of choice: "Something cheap and red. We divorced people are on a budget."

Grace - a chic brunette with a husky voice and a sultry smile. Her drink: "Kettle One on the rocks with splash of soda & cranberry."
These women all have kids and have been divorced for 4-5 years. And before we get into the seamy and scandalous sex stories (and trust me, they're good ones), they have one piece of advice for those of us with husbands that they want to communicate loud and clear - "STAY MARRIED!"

Bunny and Regina, who both initiated their divorces, have been surprised at how difficult divorce has been, both financially and on the kids. Even though she was "suffocating and drowning" in an unhappy marriage, Regina said she would do it differently if she could.

"I would have just stayed in the marriage and made sure my needs were met," she said. "I would have taken what I needed and not worried about him. That's what he was doing anyway."

Why? I asked her. You were clearly miserable.

"Because now I have no financial security and my kids have been raked over the coals. And he's still in my life! You think that you'll be free of your ex, but after the divorce he's stuck to you like some awful third breast - some appendage you have to carry around. The only difference is that now he isn't on my side."

Bunny agreed. "Divorce sucks," she said. "Unless you're independently wealthy or have a great job or he's beating you, I say stay married."

Grace just shrugged. Her husband had been the one to leave, so she wasn't in a position to have the same regrets.

Bunny told her, "At least your ex-husband feels responsible for you and wants to take care of you and make sure you and the kids are okay."

Grace said, "I think he still kind of likes me."

Married women, you've been officially warned. The Posse doesn't want to glamorize their situations, okay? Divorce is tough stuff that doesn't end once the papers are signed. But there is one result of ending their marriages that all three women agree was very fun - the sexual reawakening.

That's what I'll write about next time. So stay tuned....

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Aging doesn't bug Isabella Rossellini

I love what Isabella Rossellini, 57, has to say in this month's O Magazine (see below.) I'm not past the point of wanting to prove myself, but I'm beginning to see a glimmer of compete screw-it-all freedom in my future, and it looks damn good.
One of the things Rossellini does for fun is act out animal mating rituals on film. The chick is wild! For the complete "O" article, click here.
"When you're young, you need to prove to yourself that you can succeed, have a career, and be financially independent. Now I can just do what I always wanted to. What seemed frivolous, but isn't.
This is a time in my life when a lot of things have lifted. Nobody talks about that! I've had a lot of aha moments, but the big aha about growing older is the mental freedom. I'm older than my teachers. It's fantastic—I was always afraid of teachers, but now I'm not. I just like to study. I plan to get a BA and probably a master's degree.

In interviews, the first question I get in America is always: "What do you do to stay young?" I do nothing. I don't think aging is a problem. What irritates me a little is growing fatter. It irritates me that if I eat what I want to eat, it shows. Yes, my face has wrinkles. But I don't find it monstrous. I'm so surprised that the emphasis on aging here is on physical decay, when aging brings such incredible freedom. Now what I want most is laughs. I don't want to hurt anybody by laughing—there is no meanness to it. I just want to laugh." - Isabella Rossellini

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What's in for Fall - at Splurge and Steal Prices

Stylist Kate Shifrin presents the hottest trends for Fall: leather, grommets, leggings, leopard and more. Can real women wear these rock glam styles? See for yourself in this video as my friend Tricia and I model the looks of the season at both high and low price points.

Melanie Oudin inspires tennis players of all ages, shapes, & sizes

There was only one woman featured in the Chicago Tribune's Sports section yesterday, and it was tennis player Melanie Oudin, just 17. Tonight the unseeded 5'6" teen will face off against the ninth seed, Caroline Wozniacki from Denmark, in the U.S. Open quarterfinals. At 5'10, Wozniacki will be one the shorter opponents Oudin has faced in the tournament.
"Melanie Oudin isn't just the biggest thing to hit U.S. tennis since the Williams sisters began winning big a decade ago. She could be the fresh face that helps reinvigorate the sport in this country." -Tim Dahlberg, Chicago Tribune
With her positive attitude, competitive spirit and friendly demeanor, Melanie Oudin makes for a much needed role model for girls in sports. But she's an inspiration to older women too. Yesterday was the first day of the indoor season at my tennis club, the North Shore Racquet Club, and Oudin was the name on everyone's lips.

"Oudin gives me hope, because she plays like me," said Denise, an attractive, fit woman with two kids in college. "She's not very tall, she doesn't have any big weapons, but she just hangs in there and wins." My sentiments exactly, Denise (who by the way, is at least 3 inches taller than I am.)

Today, women's tennis is dominated by Russian women who are close to 6 feet tall. Oudin's opponent in the 4th round, Maria Sharapova, is 6'2" for crying out loud. I may not meet many Russian amazons in my 4.0 matches, but I certainly come across women who are stronger, faster and younger - and at 5'3", I'm usually the shortest one on the court.

What Oudin's surprising success at the US Open demonstrates is the most important trait for success is believing in yourself. And we're never too old for that.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Confessions of a Real Housewife

I hear through the grapevine that Bravo TV is looking to cast The Real Housewives of Chicago. Hey, I'm a real housewife, they should cast me! Although my life isn't quite as colorful as many of the "Housewives" - no arrests, nude photos, or implants (yet) - I've got some dirty little secrets that I'm willing to spill on camera, and here's just a sampling:

1. Even though I have a set of expensive All-Clad stainless cookware, the pan I use all the time is a cheap T-Fal non-stick frying pan.

2. I've never had a flu shot or taken my kids to get one.

3. I know my kids don't always pick up the dog's poop when they walk her, but I turn a blind eye so she gets some exercise.

4. I don't even try to balance my checkbook.

5. I want to love the ultra hip show "Mad Men," but it puts me to sleep.

6. The only food I don't eat is veal, because years ago I saw a program on how miserably the little calves are kept. I'm happy to eat any other animal, however.

7. I buy a Streetwise paper from the homeless guy every time I go to the grocery store, but I resent him for it.

8. I do a bad job on my husband's laundry on purpose so he'll keep doing it himself.

9. I have a crush on Kid Rock, even though I think he's skanky. It's my Detroit roots.

See Bravo - I am very naughty. Don't you want to put me on your show? Or are the real confessions of this real housewife too tame for TV?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Would you accept a jello shot from these women? I did and liked it.

There comes a time when you just gotta cut loose and have some uninhibited, silly fun. If you don't want to attract a lot of attention while doing it, head to a Jimmy Buffett concert, like I did last night. Buffett fans (better known as Parrotheads) know how to have a good time, and most of the fun happens in the parking lot where the tailgate partying is over the top.

Whatever naughtiness you can think up will be completely overshadowed by the crazy costumes, drinking games and limbo contests going on. It's impossible not to be part of the action because everyone is so friendly. My two new friends here, who's names I never learned but who graciously agreed to appear on my blog, offered me and my girlfriends jello shots topped with whipped cream and festooned us with mardi gras beads. Wasn't that sweet?

Much sweeter than the downstate firemen who were only letting women who did beer bongs out of a plastic pink flamingo go up on top of their fire truck. That's insulting. There sure was a good view of the parking lot from up there though.

I'm not a huge fan of Buffett's music, and I can't see myself wearing a coconut bra or a big shark fin on my head. But the laid-back, rowdy carnival atmosphere of the parking lot party was one big spiked watermelon slice of summer fun.