Perils of Divorced Pauline

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divorcedpauline

divorcedpauline
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World-class gnarly divorce survivor. Custody Battle blogger with a sense of humor. Mom. Wife. Cat-Lover. Visit me at www.perilsofdivorcedpauline.com or on Twitter @divorcedpauline.

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JANUARY 30, 2012 10:56AM

Turning 50 with Demi Moore, and Figuring Out What Matters

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I first "met" her when my boyfriend showed me a copy of Oui Magazine. She was a virtually unknown pin-up girl and she graced the cover, her first ever. My boyfriend had picked up the magazine because the brown-haired, olive-skinned teenager on the front reminded him of me.

Demi Moore, 1981

She reminded me of me too. This girl and I had similar coloring and bone structure. We were the same height and the same age (just two months apart, in fact). At the time--my freshman year in college--I painstakingly blew straight my naturally wavy dark hair and wore purple almost everyday. I even had a lilac cardigan, although I usually wore something underneath it.

Blonde equaled beauty back in the early 80s. It was unusual to spot a dark-haired model, so seeing "my" image gazing at me from a magazine cover was almost startling. There was something else conveyed in that shot, something I couldn't quite grasp until ten years later, after Demi Moore had morphed from a pin-up girl to perhaps the most powerful actress in Hollywood.

Stretched out on my green corduroy chaise, the first adult piece of furniture I bought for my one-bedroom apartment, I held the 1991 Vanity Fair issue in which Demi Moore posed nude and pregnant. This infamous Annie Leibovitz shot would become the template for every other look-at-me-I'm-knocked-up-but-still-so-hot celebrity pregnancy photo to follow.

Demi Moore, 1991

Lying on my chaise, I read about her upbringing: abandoned by her dad, subjected to boozy, violent arguments between her mother and stepfather. How she moved forty times while her often unemployed stepfather -- who ultimately committed suicide -- ricocheted from  job to job. At 16, Demi dropped out of high school to become a pin-up girl and, not too many years later blossomed into Hollywood's darling.

And then I identified the feeling that had emanated from that Oui cover ten years before: vulnerability. Wasn't it the real, raw, vulnerable parts of Demi that shone through her green eyes and pulled us towards her in movies like About Last Night, St. Elmo's Fire, and Ghost? And was her attraction to movies like GI Jane (about a woman who defies expectations when she becomes a Navy Seal) and Disclosure (about a female sexual predator) an attempt to conquer the vulnerability that had been dogging her since her traumatic, impoverished childhood?

Perhaps it was her sense of herself as a young survivor that led her to name her daughter -- still in utero on the Vanity Fair cover -- Scout, after the plucky 6-year-old heroine in To Kill a Mockingbird. I remember reading at some point about her attempts to better herself intellectually, via nerdy reading glasses and giving her kids bookish monikers (Rumer is named after a British novelist).

Until her recent descent into aging-in-the-public-eye hell -- shamed by a philandering, younger spouse; allegedly overdosing on substances favored by teenagers, whip-its and synthetic pot; headed for rehab -- her life was the stuff of legend. It is a testament to her strength and resolve that, given her abysmal childhood, she didn't end up plowing through a soul-crushing series of minimum-wage jobs and abusive men, losing babies to the foster care system.

How could you not feel compassion and awe for someone who rose out of such wretched ashes?

Demi's very public crash-and-burning has eclipsed a recent, similar mid-life implosion by Heather Locklear, who at 50 is just one year older than Demi. While I feel sad for Heather, I don't feel the same pathos that I feel for my girl Demi. Heather always struck me as a spoiled California blonde whose rise to Hollywood TV fame had more to do with her ambition and beach-girl looks than with thespian substance.

Although my ex-husband didn't leave me, he has certainly made it difficult for me to go on with my life. The aftermath of my divorce has been exhausting and destabilizing beyond anything I could have imagined. And while I never used drugs to buffer the pain of a mangled life narrative, I know what it's like to buckle under the deluge of crushing stress, to be unable to sleep or eat, to watch the face I imagined would be forever youthful face turn gaunt, drained of spark.

Demi Moore, 2012 

Demi and I will both turn fifty at the end of this year. Because women's currency historically has been based on their looks and their fertility, it can be quite a kick in the pants for many of us when we realize that our days of inspiring male rubber-necking have run out, Botox or not.

Last week, I sat with my pretty 20something co-worker in our boss's office. My dewy-skinned colleague confided that a male staff member had asked her out and she was struggling with how to decline his invitation politely.

I laughed with her and my boss at this cliched scenario until I felt kind of a "huh?" As in, that's-so-weird-that-he-didn't-hit-on-me! And then it full-body-slammed me, that somehow, without my realizing it, I am no longer perceived as a pursuable woman (except by my husband, thank the Lord), despite the fact that I still feel that way inside.

As world-altering as that moment was for me, Demi has it about a zillion times worse. She has spent most of her life in front of the cameras, her every public excursion, be it to Starbucks or to a red-carpet event, photographed and critiqued on the basis of her appearance. Look how skinny she is! Has she had plastic surgery? Are those veneers on her teeth?

Add on the part about her marriage to her way-younger husband ending after his public dalliances with a stream of perky groupies, the fact that her other ex-husband just had a baby with his wife who looks like Demi 15 years ago, the likelihood that her copious body-grooming and enhancing has cloaked her fear that she is not "worthy of love," and that all this has been played out in front of the masses -- well, who could blame her for cracking up?

It's just a shame that Demi can't crack up without everyone tweeting and TMZing about it. Was is really necessary for the media to release the recording of the 911 call when she overdosed? This event was devastating enough for her and her daughters -- at least one of whom was present -- without the whole world learning about its lurid details.

Of course, Demi could stand to make some different choices. Stop partying with your children, girlfriend. Find the company of a mature man who will find you lovable when you're eighty.  And as my friend Laura Silverman, blogger behind Glutton for Life, suggested on her Facebook page, "please move back to Idaho and take those daughters with you."

My best friend from college threw herself a 50th birthday bash last weekend. Not normally one to fete herself, she decided to do so this year because now that she has officially reached midlife, as she says, "I want to know that I matter."

We all want that, don't we? It's just that what matters changes over time. If, at 50, you have found meaning in your relationships, in raising children if you have them, in work and activities that you enjoy, you will probably feel that your life has been worth something. I realized, after mulling over the Demi Situation, that I have a lot of work to do on reconfiguring my psychological hard drive. In part because I assign way too much value on whether or not I can still fit in my size 4 pants, and in part because of the damage done by my horrific divorce.

For (straight) women whose self-worth is still tied up in their looks and in the amount of male attention they attract, whose currency comes mainly from externals, turning 50 can feel like death.

And it is, in a sense. It is the end of an era, yet it also marks the passage into a phase of life that is potentially richer and deeper -- as long as we stop chasing what we see in the rearview mirror.

What about you, mid-lifers? Do you find yourself wading into your past or are you content in your present?

Has what matters to you changed as you've gotten older? What matters less and what matters more? 

 

 

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I'm well past midlife and as the years pass I am more interested in goodness, brains, kindness, humor and could care less about abs and looks and such. And that attitude has served me well. I married twice after 55 (one of my husbands died). My later-in-life husbands are and were wonderful.
I was pursued more in my fifties than before. We all bloom differently. And if you look like Demi you will no doubt be beautiful at any age. A seasoned beauty is the best of all, I'd say.
I'm a couple years away from 50, but looking hard at it. And realizing I'm happier now than I ever was in my 20s and 30s when I had great skin and fewer bulges and sags. I like who I am now, and who I'm with, and the life I've made. And I'd rather have that than a great bod in a lonely apartment and dead-end, soul-sucking job.
Neilpaul, is, sadly enough, quite correct about our society.

But that doesn't mean we have to give in to drugs, pathos or worse.

Demi needs professional and competent psychiatric help right now.

The rest of us need to realize that even the most stellar of looks fade away. What's left is what matters, provided we don't let that fade away either.

A very good piece.
What ever happened to the notion of aging gracefully, full of wisdom and good humor and kindness? My heart hurts for women of a certain age who "crack up" because they can't be 19 again.
Love this essay. Living in the now is a beautiful thing. It takes work, but its a beautiful thing.
I wouldn't go back. Sure, I have regrets (everyone who's honest does) and occasionally wish I'd known then what I know now, but in my early 50s I can see that I've built the life I wanted. I have a great husband, good relationships with all my kids, close and comfortable friends, ways to make a difference in my community by doing things I actually enjoy, time to sit in the sunshine. I like myself, and that's a pretty big accomplishment.

But, I never wanted to be Demi Moore in the first place.
I am visiting my daughter at college as I'm reading this excellent piece this morning. I am struck by how beautiful all the young girls are, even the ones who aren't. Youth has its own special beauty and they all possess it. I find this decade I'm in, incredibly eye-opening and challenging. I have to give up a lot of perceptions about who I think I am, and how I still think I look.
As I walked across her campus, it occurred to me that as much as I envy the beauty of youth, I wouldn't want to go back. ~r
How timely and well-written. I love being in my late 50s (95% of the time :) I don't color my hair and am mostly comfortable in my skin and Levis. I recommend "The Beauty Myth" to help understand these things. Oh, and my Demi was Ali--MacGraw.
As one who has 'passed over', I am grateful to understand now what I never did in my 20's: looks don't define you. And, as I work on aging gracefully, the heads I manage to turn are ones I invite and that feels pretty swell!
At fifty-eight, I am sad about losing my looks but will continue to moisturize rather than go under the knife or inject poison into my face. While reading the thread I noticed Dirndl Skirt looked up to Ali MacGraw and I did, too. Interestingly, I recently learned though that Ali MacGraw is seventy-one! Another model I admired way back when was a girl named Colleen Corby. She is much older than Dirndl and me, too!
Good post. Probably time to let go of Demi as a roll model. It sounds like your real life is the better model and that you're going to be just fine navigating the 50's.
Not to sound like a groupy, but I share a birthday with Demi almost to the minute. How's that for weird. I also see, through her, where I could have taken better care of my appearance. I like younger guys. She has kids, I don't. I don't have a husband- ex or otherwise. I have considered writing to her but don't want to seem a stalker. Although, it's not my fault someone published the time of her birth.

Of course I look back, and I look forward with some trepidation because my mother recently passed from Alzheimer's and my Dad had a triple bypass when he was 56 and I have no one to help me. So time to get healthy, time to accept things and move forward.

What matters to me? Love of self and others. I took it for granted when I was young. Now I know that I shouldn't have squandered my chances and I just hope that I get another one.
Thank you for this thoughtful post. I think those who equate happiness with youth and physical appearance are likely to be disappointed and unhappy in their older years. In case of celebrities such as Demi Moore, narcissism, fed by the media, became all too consuming until reality hit, and she realized that what she thought defined her are slowly fading away. I'm sure we all experience our epiphanies, but not on a worldstage. And those who haven't flown as high don't hurt as badly when they hit the ground perhaps they've kept an idea of the distance they can afford. In any case, I'm sorry for her. ♥
Poor Demi is deep in the throes of a genuine mid-life crisis. With any luck, she will survive long enough to discover how liberating life AFTER 50 can be. Oh sure, I remember the first time I realized the men around me no longer saw me as a hottie or whatever they called it. It was jarring, to say the least. Thank God, I have other things to offer a man who has the stones to try to discover them. And, girlfriend, beauty is truly in the eyes of the beholder -- no joke.

Tomorrow I am going out on a date with a man I wouldn't have given the time of day when I was 48. For one thing, he is 20 years younger, so it took him a long time to convince me he was on the level. He is also a working man who probably has just as many financial concerns as everybody else does, including school-age children. Apparently, he sees beyond my gray hair (which he claims to admire) the melasma patches on my face and my losing battle with adipose tissue around my abdomen. In fact, he comments frequently about how beautiful he thinks I am.

True beauty, I am told, exudes from within a woman's spirit. He calls it "the way I carry myself." He means confidence, humor and scope of interests. It remains to be seen where this date goes, if anywhere, but I have to say I am convinced he is truly interested in getting to know me on my terms. Who'd a thunk it? :D

Lezlie
Demi is like Sophia Loren, she will always be beautiful in my eyes.

Karen has been going through a midlife crisis for the last few years. It's not my turn yet, but having watched it intimately, I'm not looking forward to it.
Thank you all for your comments. It's great to hear that so many soon-to-be or post-50 women are happy where they are, in many cases more so than when they were younger. And Lezlie -- your younger man sounds awesome! Hope you have a great time.
50 is not the end of the world, for men or for women. My gf is 50 and gorgeous. I'm 53 and... well.. nevermind!
Demi needs to hang with her own generation... maybe?
Excellent post, Pauline. I just turned 50 last September, was devastated for a few weeks before the actual "event," but am now embracing it as best I can. Started kung fu lessons 2 weeks ago, want to feel "sassy" again; already feel better mentally. I know what you mean about not being attractive to men other than your husband. I feel that way too.
The present, always, and all the way. And THAT is what matters, being present, responding to life as it is, with humor, real feeling, and not marching along to programs installed without my permission. I leave you with this: there is no direct translation in French for our concept of "popular." Joie de vivre. Loving life itself. Bon chance!
PS NP good luck with that, from all my male friends to you.
Ok sorry to hijack.
Fifty was tough, but for my own personal physical reasons. But the sun is coming up on a new day in my life, as a seasoned human being, I look forward to that, as I see the men in my life doing also. Becoming seasoned, more nuanced, we are going deeper into life, and for the first time in a few years, I welcome that, I appreciate that. I believe you will too.
“For (straight) women whose self-worth is still tied up in their looks
and in the amount of male attention they attract,
whose currency comes mainly
from externals,
turning 50 can feel like death.”

My magnificent sexually active /committed –to-a –relationship sisters, both suddenly, horrifyingly, in their 60’s (to me, little brother, 44)
Would scorn this, but also know it is true. They were fortunate to find, let us be silly here, soul mates…………….and it has been for both ofthem
‘ the passage into a phase of life that is potentially richer
and deeper -- as long as we stop chasing
what we see in the rearview mirror.”
What about you, mid-lifers? Do you find yourself wading into your past or are you content in your present?

I have no past I wish to own. I own only my present, in the hope it will redeem my past.


Has what matters to you changed as you've gotten older?
What matters less and what matters more?

Perfect looks on a woman almost disgust me.

A very weird thing to happen to a formerly happy hedonist…


What matters is soul.
Whatever the f. that is.
I know what you mean about stars we can relate to. I wish Demi could read this. I wonder what she'd say? I believe she'd take quite a lot of wisdom away from the experience.
Alysa: It's funny but I was actually considering tweeting the link to this to Demi. I'm not one to correspond with celebs, but it just really bothers me how unsympathetic the media and some of the public has been to her.
I was just having a conversation with a friend today about that feeling she gets with her new person, that she isn't getting with her old person. The feeling of lightness and excitement, and I said that's great, but you need to get that feeling with you in the room, too.

You know what I mean? You need to make you excited and thrilled, and so on. When your dreams become about you and not about 'having' another person to complete the 'you', it becomes a much better place. It's hard to get to that; don't get me wrong. But, it's important to do.
While you may relate to Demi Moore, I doubt if she relates to you. She has been betrayed by her husband and best friend, by trusting that his love would last. I feel certain she thought his respect and admiration for her as a human being would protect her from betrayal and public humiliation. It didn't. She took a risk that must have scared her vulnerable self and lost.

You left your husband, who behaved badly as you fell in love and remarried. Annoying, yes, but not the same situation as hers whether you or not you still wear a size four. She has no comfort in a "husband that still finds her pursuable" when realizing the younger, available women are surprise!, more attactive to the office leches than you are. She has the nonstop clips of her carefree, soon- to-be ex-husband happily bopping away at a concert in Brazil while she recovers from her broken heart, exposed and shamed by her weaknesses, stalked by paparazzi and dissected by bloggers. Who can blame her, indeed?
I threw myself my own 40th birthday party and was thinking about throwing a 60th until I realized most of my friends who came to my 40th have died or moved away. Does it bother me to grow older, not really, but ask me again if I ever start to date again and I may have a different answer.
I'll be happy when I pass the age where a mirror matters. My mother and her friends use one to make sure there's no lipstick on their teeth, and I'm still using it to make sure I'm generally "attractive." There are benefits to getting older and I'm looking forward to experiencing that one.
The big 50 was last October for me. I have never stressed about the age thing. I am blessed with good skin and have taken care of myself and still have the goal of looking good in a bikini :) The daily dip in a vat of moisturizer and squeegeed off can't hurt. I have revised my expectations of myself physically, I work marginally to stay in shaped and have managed to keep my weight pretty consistent over the decades. I did have the hard body a decade ago when I taught fitness, but today I want a softer more feminine form.

I love the freedom age provides, I care a lot less about what others think. What matters most to me is relationships, easy answer, but aging didn't bring me to that conclusion, life experiences did.

I will be an empty nester this fall, and I look forward to some new freedoms (yes honey then we can run around the house naked, yea!) More and more I just want to lose the inhibitions and just have a blast celebrating life and love to its fullest.

I pray for Demi, she has endured more than most, rich or poor.
Well, this is just excellent! I just turned 48, so I'm knocking on 50's door. I, too, really feel for Demi and wish her love and peace. Once in awhile, if the lighting is right, I might still turn a head. It's nice, but I'm aware it is waning. That's OK. Although being married to a man 7 years younger sometimes makes me feel like I must try harder than I want to look younger. I'm already planning my 50th b-day party!
I carefully negotiated my way into a place I could enjoy being 50. I was an actress for a brief time, but hated the attention, and found my passion was doing other things.

I have a wonderful new husband who finds me very attractive and we are both the same age. He's athletic and vital and I can't imagine either of us wanting the attentions of someone younger.

After my mother passed away in her late 70's my father remarried in his 80's to a widow in her 80's. Now my step-mother is one of the most beautiful women I know. She and my dad are so lively and fun.

The most important thing to remember is no matter what, you will never be younger than you are at this moment, so enjoy!
Very thoughtful, well done post. If anyone watched the 90th birthday tv tribute to Betty White, you'd have seen every generation from 20s to Betty's 90. Most of the women in the 50-70 range clearly had plastic surgery, some subtle, some grotesque. It appears Betty has not, and is certainly a role model.

The real key to looking good at any age, IMO is good health. Many Boomers, for example, still have youthful, can-do attitudes, live much "younger" lives than their parents' generation... and look it. Those with health issues, though, might as well be 80 instead of 60. It's a genetic and lifestyle crapshoot.

And... everything Lea said.
Ver insightful and friendly post. You drew me into your life!! Is the last question a dare...an open call or are we meant to answer here?? xoJ
I am 58, but I look quite a bit younger. Not too many wrinkles...
BP: It was an invitation to answer the questions, but if it inspires at Open Call, go for it!
Well said! I also threw myself a 50th party in the midst of some losses, and it was wonderful. This year, I'm thinking of throwing another, celebrating still being alive 5 years after cancer. That diagnosis, as well as aging, changes what's important.
Demi has always been my girl as well. I'm 51 and have always followed her career and life with interest. I saw a picture of her last year walking with Rumor; Demi was thinner than Rumer, her 20 something daughter,and looked as young and I thought then: you've gone the wrong way. Demi was cheated on both by Bruce Willis and Ashton, a crushing blow to your ego. When Ashtons affairs came out I told my friends: How does that make her feel? I've never been cheated on by a man and yet here she is, this successful beauty who can't get a man to stay faithful! Shame on her for partying with a daughter in the house; Demi - grow up!
I just want to be the Drunken Old Uncle at the Wedding.
I just want to be the Drunken Old Uncle at the Wedding.
Well said, Pauline! I would only add that I admire Demi for her work on trafficking in women and girls. Happy early birthday to you both!
Good point, Jennifer -- I'm sure her empathy from them comes from some pretty painful early childhood experiences...
I first ''met'' Demi when she was on General Hospital. Rooting for her to remake herself as an even more incredible Demi, possible? Loved reading your piece, thanks for writing it!
When I hit fifty I did mime show entitled "Mime in Mental Pause" and donated the proceeds. I needed to do that for the same reason as your friend needed to celebrate. But when I announced I was now officially "middle age" and my son laughed. "So just how long do you expect to live?"

I just celebrated my 60th birthday. This past decade went so quick. I feel happier and stronger in spirit. That has become my focus...though I still exercise and do yoga because I want to always be able to wipe my butt. It's not one of my more lofty goals, but I hope to achieve it.
Elegance, I applaud you!!!!!
Truthful, accurate, compassion
A clear vision of turning 50
Ur words are reassuringly comforting
You write with the attitude of respect
Eloquently spoken
For Demi and all those 50 and beyond
Thank you!!!!
I love your compassion here and how you entangle yourself with Demi M in age and other ways. R
I didn't expect to like this post because honestly, I've never been much of a Demi Moore fan (the whole "Dem-EE" thing is just one reason). And now that she's 50 and supposedly falling apart, I still can't muster a whole lot of empathy for her; I mean c'mon...she's got mega millions, still looks gorgeous, and wears about a size zero.
She may have lost Ashton, but she can — and will — find someone else (hopefully, a little older).

In spite of all that, I enjoyed the piece. And I've enjoyed the comments even more. Like a lot of women, aging has come as a major shock. Losing one's looks, becoming "invisible"...it's a lot harder than I would have ever anticipated. And while I admire and envy older women who say they just don't care about their superficial appearance and have been able to rise above all that, I have yet to be able to adopt their (mature, sensible, wise) Zen attitude.

Let's face it, the whole issue is complicated and the aging process for women (especially in our culture) can be very painful.
We shouldn't have to apologize for feeling what we're feeling.
It's refreshing to hear this subject addressed honestly. We need much more of that.
this is pretty well written & I generally have sympathy but you have a few turns of phrase that leave me a little cold. you refer to women who derive power through their appearance. well Im a real worshipper of the goddess ... however there is a saying "live by the sword, die by the sword". there are women who use their beauty in a manipulative or narcissistic way, and frankly, in my opinion, demi moore comes close to that, if not stepping over the line repeatedly. her pregnant cover was really over the top, and its a little strange that you dont recognize at all the phenomenal controversy that it caused, and in my opinion that controversy was certainly justified. there are plausible rumors that she spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on plastic surgery, or training or whatever to get ready for various film roles. now is this unusual in hollywood? no, but its an extreme. if a womans entire sense of self value is tied up in something fundamentally ephemeral, namely beauty, then she is only setting herself up for a fall. its part of growing up, growing old, growing mature, and sadly, as demi is showing lately, the # of years one has lived is not a guarantee of real [psychological] maturity. so I hope she gets better and would never wish anything bad on another soul, but it seems to me that she's just facing her own karma right now.
Hang on though... I don't think what we have here is a case of a woman descending into "aging into public eye hell" or a "mid-life implosion." This doesn't seem to have much to do with aging or losing one's looks at all. On the contrary, I actually think Demi looks better than she did in her 20's. I don't even think it has anything to do with the age difference between her and her estranged husband. How many times have we heard about Hollywood couples falling apart because someone cheated? It happens ALL the time. It doesn't matter the age of either party. This isn't about Demi "aging." This is about a hot male actor who succumed to the steady barrage of vaginas thrown his way. It's about a guy who cheated on his wife and the marriage falling apart. Nothing to do with age.
and as I was saying to my sig.other tonite: demi moore will be able to take care of more than 50% of her problems if she just sticks to a reasonable DIET! and eats even if she *isnt* hungry.... she looks *emaciated* lately.... the gossip pages have been calling her out on it for months it seems....
It's hard for me to relate to celebrities or speculate about their private lives, but I can say that I'm inspired by more women over 50, some of them well over 50, than younger women. Oprah Winfrey, Kathryn Bigelow, Kirstie Alley, Diane Sawyer, Mae Jemison, Alfre Woodard, Lisa Scottoline, immediately come to mind. As for me, I'm not wading into my past; I find myself plunging into my future for the first time in years. Decades, actually. And the water's fine!
What matters to me now is living life without worrying about having any regrets. I'm 50 and I still feel young and my attitude is cautiously optimistic that I'll feel younger when I stop listening to trashy smack talkers and this includes tabloids giving us the scoop on stars we've grown to love.

Demi deserves time off and this includes the gossip whores who've nothing better to do than criticize celebrities; I've learned it's better to stay attracted to influential people with brains who've overcome obstacles like Ms. Moore's.
OK... I'm a 45 year old guy who had a long and painful divorce a few years ago, and now I'm happily remarried. Yes, that divorce was extremely painful, as are most, only my ex-wife left me not for another man but another woman. My ex-wife was often looking at other women and asking me if I thought she was as attractive as that other woman over there, an awkwardly odd question if I've ever heard one....

When I was single and dating, I found myself in an odd situation, where women who were about my age but obsessed about looking younger were very, very irritating to be around, not attractive to me at all, after a few dates I came to the conclusion that anyone who bases her self-esteem on something as fleeting as youthful good looks is not somebody I can ever imagine spending the second half of my life with...

I came to a conclusion, possibly a horrible generalisation, but it seemed many midlife dating men are either looking for the trophy wife they never had, or a women to do the dishes and never complain....

In college, after a bit too much fooling around, I found out that how a woman looks and how she is in bed may have nothing to do with each other.... Sometimes a woman who looks 95% supermodel is obsessed with the last 5 percent... ugh!

My current wife is beyond beautiful to me, cute and charming beyond belief, but not "glamorous" in a conventional movie-star way. She's 41, and what matters to both of us is so much more tied to healthful aging rather than "beauty-preservation" aging... she's aging quite elegantly,and if she's someday got a head full of grey hair, I'd be perfectly happy, it would go well with her face and the rest of her....

She's probably not somebody who turned heads in her youth like Demi Moore, though she had her share of men after her, and she's got lifelong friends, as she's vastly more interested in other people's lives than any women I've ever dated.... and she's the most amazing in bed....

and, hell, what's sexy is a laugh, a slighly tilted eyebrow, a warm hand on my shoulder when I least expect it, all those things that aren't on the mind of a woman who's trying to look like she did 20 years ago, as if that's the only currency around....
Well said Pauline. Especially the part about our self-worth still being tied up in our looks and the amount of male attention we attract. A reality we now have to face. But if your readers are like me, I consider being divorced in mid life as a blessing. I get another chance at happiness! It was enough to make me write a book about it, and offer a free teleseminar on Valentine's Day to Celebrate "Status: party of one!" http://www.themostselfishwomaninamerica.com/valentines-day-teleseminar/. Cheers everyone!
Ms. Pauline: I'm just one man with my opinion. Recently, I lost my wife to cancer. She was 54 years old. When she was alive, I had no interest in women younger than her. They didn't have the intelligence coupled with experience that she had. She was beautiful in all ways.

Again, I have no interest in younger women. I want a woman who looks like a woman, not a girl, specifically not a botoxed, saline-enhanced woman.

Cheer up. I doubt I'm the only man who feels this way. 50 years old is nothing, unless you're 20, I suppose. Rejoice. You have experience. You know the world. It's yours to live.