I wonder if that is the correct expression. I don’t necessarily mean post-divorce because that is another story altogether. But let’s say you’re no longer hurting over your divorce and are now just dating as you were a before marriage.
Except now you wear supporting underwear, your facial cosmetics alone cost about the same as half your mortgage, you know that a three-month intimacy rule will probably ensure you never get any till you die and you have children; grown children who have opinions about your love life.
This scary list alone is likely to be enough to put off many men. But once in a blue moon, you meet that brave one who is willing to give you a chance. He’s probably divorced too or married. He’s either looking for action or a cheap affair. (Okay I won’t be cynical.) Either way; you’ll be riding that “Smug in a Relationship” 30/40-Something wave, keen to make sure there are no stuff ups.
But then you do stuff up. You’re suddenly as clueless as you were about 20 years ago only now with twice the same conviction you had then that you know what you’re doing. You flutter around lighting candles for romantic dinners and buying Victoria’s Secret underwear and trying to look sexy while you grimace your way through aphrodisiac oysters. You are fervently hoping your carefully selected outfit will lead to wanton sex while afraid a moment to get rid the girdle will not present itself.
All this is fine of course; every woman is likely to make these bumbling mistakes in an effort to please her source of sex and eventually, the man she loves. She completely forgets that when he first met her it more likely that she was coquettishly twirling an oversized snifter or laughingly blowing smoke rings at a laid back party among friends than it is that she was wearing an immaculate apron, nails perfectly done while a having prepared a 5-course dinner. You push for mini-breaks, subject him to unsolicited tie color advice and are overly keen to meet his parents, children etc, want to show him off. STOP!
The poor man, startled after a few weeks of dating, is the unwilling spectator in the unraveling of a banging-bodied (owed to girdle and the half-hearted 3-day-a-week gym visits) seductress who caught his eye a few weeks ago. He is now dating a caricature of Martha Stewart and a Karma Sutra enthusiast rolled into an ageing relationship klutz. He knows the signs, he’s seen them before, you’re getting ready to show him WHAT A WONDERFUL wife you’d be. Petrified, he bolts.
And in an age-old dance you move in a trance-like state buying chocolate, ice cream and booze while you watch Sad TV, wondering where you went wrong! Unlike your 20Something self you don’t have the illusion of a Mr Right to comfort you, after all, you’ve met him and he turned out to be Mr. I Will Make You Rue the Day You Married Me. Defeated you watch your Brazilian wax fill out, pack away the new Victoria’s Secret and mumble something about “Didn’t work out” when your teenager asks what happened to your latest grab at not dying alone.
A week later you’re dusting off your girdle and meeting your equally sad friends for another bash at the dating game, gamely vowing to “not die alone and be found three weeks later half-eaten by an Alsatian” by one of your children who have been too busy enjoying the respite from your daily 20-minute phone calls to check on you.