Sunday, November 30, 2008

Divorcee Wisdom:Recession Fashion Tips

Those of us who have been divorced learned to deal with losing half of our income and our savings well before the current economic squeeze. Here are a half dozen time-honored money saving tips from divorcees which will come in handy for all women in these recessionary times.

1.Do your own fingers and toes. A bottle of Chanel nail polish is a splurge at $19 but look at what you are saving by skipping the nail salon.

2.Maybelline Great Lash is the #1 best selling mascara and retails for about $4.25.

3.Rather than heading for the salon every time you see your roots growing in, pick up a box of Clairol Nice ‘N Easy Root Touch Up for about $6.29 and stretch out the time between professional coloring sessions.

4.Shop regularly at Zara, H&M and Target for inexpensive pieces to keep your wardrobe looking new. There are plenty of age-appropriate selections available. Just avoid the mini- skirts and the baby doll tops.

5.Get over the label snobbery with your jeans. Don’t spend a fortune on denim. Old Navy has every style at $34.50.

6.Host a clothing swap. Invite four friends to each bring a friend or two. A total of a dozen women of varying sizes is ideal. Everyone should come with 3-4 pieces of clothing she doesn’t want any more, plus accessories. Have a full length mirror handy and ask everyone to be honest with each other. I picked up one of my favorite pieces, an Armani blouse, at a swap last year.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Divorce, dating, and women of all ages

Following a feature on the world's largest pinata, we had a chance to talk about Still Hot, our humor book about divorce and dating, on The 10 Show in Philadelphia. Most of the people who worked at the station were quite young, so we were struck by their interest in our topic. During our make-up session before the interview, the make-up artist -- a beautiful woman in her late thirties -- discussed her own divorce five years ago and the engagement she had just ended in the nick of time. She explained that after her divorce, she had leaped into a love affair on the rebound. Though the invitations for her second wedding were already in the mail, she was relieved that she had at least avoided a second divorce. Then the pretty 22-year-old assistant who escorted us to the studio complained about the difficulty and confusion of dating for young singles like herself, no less for middle-aged divorcees who are brand-new to "the game." Divorce and dating are difficult trials for all women -- and for men as well.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Still Hot on TV in Philadelphia

Dear Still Hot blog fans,
If you live in the Philadelphia area, tune in to WCAU-NBC Channel 4 on Monday morning November 24th. Still Hot will be featured on The 10 Show with Bill Henley and Lori Wilson.
See you there!
Linda and Sue

Guest Bloggers Invited

If you have a relationship story you'd like to share, e-mail it to us at: We'll review it and post it. Please note that all guest blogs are subject to editing.
We look forward to posting your stories!
Linda and Sue

Friday, November 21, 2008

Internet Dating: A Scary Story

We've joked about how online dating introduces you to the world of geeks, neurotics, and big fat liars, and occasionally it can even lead to Mr. Right. But a piece in today's New York Times reminded me of the dark side of internet dating, and it doesn't hurt to remind others.

A soldier who was stationed in Colorado met a woman online and, for their first date, took her to the mountains overlooking Colorado Springs. There, he blindfolded and raped her, and then slit her throat. I hate to spread the bad news, but please, anybody who reads this blog: when you meet a guy through the internet, make sure that your first few dates are in a public place. That doesn't mean a picnic in the park or a ride on his boat; it means a restaurant or a Starbucks or a walk on city streets where there are lots of other people around. Drive to the meeting place yourself -- don't get in his car. Don't invite him back to your home. And don't give him your last name, home phone number, or address. Do this until you feel certain that he is normal and trustworthy. If he's a good guy, he won't mind. And no exceptions, no matter how charming he seems. Ninety-nine percent of the men you'll meet through internet dating are harmless, but you can't tell who might be that in that scary one percent.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Vicarious Internet Dating

Internet dating has even struck a chord with happily married Jewish mothers!

My friend Joy has been married to Lou for nearly forty years and she adores him. She wants nothing less than the same sort of relationship that she and Lou share for their children. When their son Jesse turned 35 and remained a single ski bum living in Aspen, making a living as a ski instructor and taking photo portraits of vacationers at the mountain top, Joy decided she had to do something to get him matched up, and fast.

Jesse, a good looking athletic guy, dated frequently, mostly bunny-slopers who were gone and never heard from again after their week’s vacation. Of course, he was perfectly happy with these no-strings-attached so-called relationships. Taking what she saw as desperate matters into her own hands, and assuming her son’s identity, Joy registered on JDate and filled out a questionnaire. She received a few eligible matches, each living within a few hours of Aspen. By emailing back and forth with these young women, writing what she thought Jesse would, or sometimes SHOULD,say, she weeded out the rest, and felt satisfied that one young woman, Jodi, was just perfect for Jesse. So she asked for Jodi’s phone number, gathered up her courage and approached her son.

Jesse was furious at first--as in “Just how intrusive can you get, Mom”? But then, she showed him Jodi’s photo and the email exchanges. He was intrigued, and with a little coaxing agreed to make the call.

Long story short, two years later Jodi and Jesse got married. They moved back East to live near Joy and Lou who reluctantly but loyally babysit for the kids' Rotweiller puppy while keeping their fingers crossed for human grandchildren soon, as the young and happy couple returns to Aspen for a winter ski vacation each year.

Hmmm… looks like there’s something to be said here for nosy moms and arranged marriages…

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rebound madness

Here's another tale of rebound lunacy. My friend Lynn, freshly separated after a long marriage, dived right into online dating and emerged with a successful psychiatrist. Steve lived in a beautiful home with a pool overlooking the beach. The chemistry was flirtatious and romantic right off the bat -- just what Lynn needed to feel sexy and back in the game -- and things quickly turned serious. Steve was a fantastic lover, and Lynn was smitten. But there were a few troubling signs. The first time she visited his house, she discovered a complete woman's wardrobe that filled one side of the master-bedroom closet. He explained that the dresses, pumps, sneakers and slacks belonged to a former girlfriend who never bothered to retrieve them. Another time, while skinny-dipping in his pool, she spotted a bikini top lying across a chaise lounge. Steve offhandedly explained that it belonged to his neighbor, who liked to use his pool. Lynn accepted that explanation, not questioning how the neighbor managed to walk home topless.

Another time a woman answered the phone when she called his house. Steve said it was his cleaning woman -- though Lynn distinctly felt that the voice didn't belong to a housekeeper. Then she found a hamper by his bedroom door, full of his freshly laundered, neatly folded clothing. And right on top, several pairs of women's panties. Again the cleaning woman! He explained that she sometimes mixed her laundry in with his.

Finally, when they were lying in his bed one night, she found a lavender thong between the sheets. He explained that the darned cleaning woman must have gotten her underwear caught in his sheets in the dryer and unwittingly made the bed with it stuck inside. Lynn was getting mighty suspicious. (It only took her eight months longer than it would the average idiot!) Still, she chose to believe him when he left town for a week to visit his sick sister, calling Lynn daily from "the hospital" to report on his sister's dire condition.

She later learned that his sister was quite healthy, and that he was actually on vacation with another woman in South Beach. And that the wardrobe in his closet, the bikini top, the panties, the lavender thong, and the voice that answered his phone all belonged to that steady girlfriend of four years. Lynn managed to contact her and compare notes: Sure enough, whenever Lynn visited Steve on weekends, he instructed her to arrive on Friday evening and leave promptly at 11 a.m. Saturday morning. And he told his girlfriend to arrive at exactly noon every Saturday. Steve had been screwing them back-to-back every weekend for the past year. To top it off, he had planned a two-week vacation for himself, inviting Lynn to join him for the first week and his girlfriend for the second. When Lynn asked him what he would do by himself for the second week, he said, "Oh, I'll read some magazines." But the girlfriends foiled his fantasy retreat by simultaneously dumping him. Apparently he really did read those magazines.

Sadly, a year later Lynn learned that the girlfriend had gone back to him. Moral of the story: (1) there's always a woman out there who's more desperate than you are, and (2)shrinks are fine for therapy, but avoid dating them.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dating Hideous Men

How many of us have dated hideous men while on the rebound? And I don’t mean physically ugly guys who could be sweet. I mean hideous men with hearts of coal.

Recently Sally’s true love built her a new desk which led to cleaning out her files and reviewing every piece of paper she had hoarded for the past 20 years. She came across a journal entry from back when, around the time of her divorce, she had dated a horrible man who she found “interesting” because he collected art and because people were in awe of his spending power and invited him to all sorts of cool places.
One night, after downing a couple of dirty martinis, he decided to share his life philosophy with her. She was so appalled that she went home and entered his monologue in her journal and here it was ten years later:

“I know I’m a brilliant art collector. You know how I know? Because people hate me, and I love that. I know what I like and I know what moves me. I know everything there is to know about color and shape and emotion and I told this artist his work was just not doing it for me and he said ‘You know you really are a dick-head like they say.’
I knew then that my status as a collector was complete and that I was enough of a bastard to be a dealer because nothing could give me greater pleasure than ripping off some stupid artist who can paint but knows nothing about money.”

About a week after that journal entry, Sally went on a ski trip to Utah with this charming fellow. She still found him interesting, though years later she can’t really remember why.
Somehow in the airport bustle, he managed to lose his plane ticket and started to panic. Sally asked him gently, ”Where do you remember having it last?”
He went ballistic and started screaming “Shut up. Shut up! You are not my mother!" And he jumped up and down like a troll, with a crowd beginning to gather to see if they could help. Undeterred and unembarrassed, he stomped and tantrummed, and as the fervor of his fit increased, everything fell out of his pockets including his ticket. Sally picked it up and handed it to him and he never said a word about the incident again. And yes, she continued to date him for another two months!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

On the rebound: deaf, DUMB, and blind

That reminds me of my idiotic rebound relationship, which I lurched into about five minutes after my husband moved out. How many signs can a person ignore? I dated the divorced father of my son's best friend. My son warned me: "He's not a good guy, Mom." I didn't raise an eyebrow. On my first date with the guy, he informed me that he had cheated on his wife and that he was a narcissist. I thought, how touchingly honest and penitent. On our second date, he rattled off the names of all his ex-girlfriends -- approximately ten since his divorce -- and there was something wrong with each and every one. I congratulated myself on not being flawed like them. He remarked that he was seeing another woman and would have to break up with her so he and I could move forward. Fine with me! On our third date, he told me about how an ex-gf had stalked him and pulled a gun on him. I was horrified and declared her a psycho. When we started dating regularly, he told me he could see me on Friday or Saturday evenings, but not both, because his 17-year-old son liked to hang with Dad on weekend nights. Now, I knew his son, and he was a hip kid with lots of friends, but still I bought this line. I hung in there, desperately in love, until he finally dumped me. Even then, it took a few weeks for me to figure out that he had never broken up with his previous girlfriend, so he was seeing us simultaneously -- me on Friday night and her on Saturday -- while his teenage son was out with his pals.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Rebound Relationships: Listen to the Warnings

While Sally was in the process of divorcing, several months after she realized her husband had moved on with his life and was never coming back, she began dating and felt lucky to finally meet an interesting, funny man who knew more than she did about her main interest, art. The relationship was a great diversion from the drawn out divorce process and from facing the fact that her husband preferred his twenty something year old teaching assistant to her.
Being on the rebound wasn’t so bad, she thought. After a month of dating this interesting fellow, Sally introduced him to her lifelong friend who was in town visiting from Atlanta.
The next day her friend left Sally a terse, two-word voicemail: “Ladies man.” Sally shrugged this off. She was too taken with this fellow who routinely kissed her passionately in the middle of the sidewalk.
A few months later, they booked a trip together to a beautiful Caribbean island where his good friends spend their winters. As Sally waded in the warm turquoise water with this couple, his best friends for a decade, as he went off snorkeling, they said, “You seem like such a nice girl. Just watch out.”
She asked what they meant and they both said “Just be careful. Don’t get hurt.” She told them she didn’t know him well enough to get hurt. But one month later, when he ditched her at a party so he could sleep with the hostess, an artist attired only in elbow length evening gloves, whose artwork involved pinning living butterflies to her canvases, Sally sobbed for weeks on end.