What does a divorced girl need besides a good attorney, a loyal girlfriend and gainful employment? A good laugh.
“Still Hot: The Uncensored Guide to Divorce, Dating, Sex, Spite, and Happily Ever After” by Sue Mittenthal and Linda Reing delivers.
It’s a bubbling summer cobbler about the trials and tribulations of women whose middle-aged husbands leave them for the office cupcakes, dishy Russian bimbos, or hot Tarot card readers.
Sue Mittenthal and Linda Reing met when their children were toddlers and reconnected when their husbands toddled off. Only after they had moved on from their divorces could they look back and see the unexpected comedy in the drama; they decided to share it in this book, along with observations of divorced friends they met along the way.
Here are some observations:
Tell-Tale Signs He’s Leaving
• You see him gazing into the rearview mirrors while pulling up the skin around his eyes.
• Lately he volunteers to stir-fry tofu and bok choy.
• You find men’s moisturizer in the medicine cabinet, next to his Crest whitening strips and his Just For Men hair dye kit.
• He starts futzing with his comb-over and you catch him clicking on classmates.com.
Just Because He Wants a “Do-Over” It’s Not Your Fault
“That’s revisionism. You are no more responsible for his wretched state that you are for his receding hairline. His about-face is a direct result of his fear of death and decrepitude.”
Girlfriends and “Frenemies”
A girlfriend hears about your divorce and “whisks you off to Linens ’n’ Things” for fresh bedding or shepherds you to Victoria’s Secret”; she also doesn’t laugh while you “try on the rhinestone-studded g-string.”
A frenemie is a married pal who runs into your ex at the gym and reports that “he’s gotten really buff.”
Or someone who reports that she bumped into your ex and his new squeeze at a Jimmy Buffet concert in matching parrot hats and coconut bras, and you ask, “Is she thinner than me? Is she older than my kids? How does she look in a grass skirt?” and she says, “Oh. Please. Grow. Up.”
Distribution of Assets
If you find that your husband, like their pal Diane’s ex, “lavished $100,000 from joint savings on goodies for Amber, a topless dancer, including a chinchilla-trimmed satin robe, laser hair-removal treatments, bubbly champagne baths, and an amethyst bellybutton ring (she’s an Aquarius),” then you are entitled to have half that $100K back. (Diane passed on the used Moet & Chandon).
What You’re Not Missing
“Your ex’s flotsam, funk and evaporated sweat.”
And while decontaminating the house, you can finally get rid of the “bedspread his Aunt Selma created in Beginner Crochet at the condo rec. center.”
Mittenthal and Reing point out that dating in midlife is nothing like when you were in your 20s. The first time around, you were “frolicked in an infinity pool full of cute young guys,” and they had hair. Now the guys are “weary, leery, war-torn and resemble the Pillsbury Doughboy.”
They explain that these are often the “pizza-faced rejects — with the acne that’s both red and white” — who couldn’t get to first base in high school; now they’re the middle-aged make-out kings.
They also give warning signs for the “polygamists” who’ve tied and untied the knot so many times they “could win a Boy Scout medal,” or the bald guy who for some reason has a hairdryer and conditioner in his bathroom.
If someone says “My hobbies are skydiving, bungee jumping and alligator wrestling,” that’s code for “erectile dysfunction.”
Anyone who asks “can you be intimate and passionate for hours and hours” is really saying, “Can you handle a one night stand? Do you mind if it lasts 10 minutes?”
Reality check: “Subtract three inches from his height, double his weight, halve his income and add a decade to his age.”
Obviously Mittenthal and Reing know how to poke fun at themselves and their predicaments. Other chapters include advice on lawyers, dating as a mom, dealing with the new girlfriend, etc.
Each chapter ends with a round-up of do’s and don’ts for those on the divorce journey. Some of their suggestions are extreme – burning up wedding pictures, stalking the new girlfriend – there was one suggestion I can’t resist sharing.
On page 66, they recommend renting “The First Wives Club” movie and roaring with laughter.
This firstwivesworld family returns the compliment. We roared with laughter all through this book.