April 30, 2006

Here's how it began...

I’m a fifty-something, more than once married and divorced, mother and grandmother. I’ve taken good care of myself (the family was nuts but the genetics were good) so I look fortyish and have the energy and vigor of the thirtyish. Still have much of my looks and most of my memory. Smart, funny, etc. And single. Again.

This is how Wonderful Online Women (the group – WOW) started. OK, so I’m in what I think is going to be my last relationship and the guy is all those wonderful, fairytale things we dreamed of as a child reading my-prince-will-come stories. You know - kind, generous, sexy, smart, funny. And he adores me, I’m the woman of his dreams, of course, and he’s just soooo lucky he found me (he says over and over) that he can’t believe his good fortune. I’ve got a ring and we’re looking at houses and planning trips to fabulous places and I’m thanking every God I can name that I won’t ever have to be “out there" again and he turns into Godzilla. OK, let’s not be hasty, I tell myself, since we are great when things are good, so we do some work and he realizes that he has this internal script that says something like people-who-love-me-hurt-me and clearly he hasn’t grown past it because he starts finding reasons to believe I’m doing just that. Like I turn over in my sleep and he gets up and spends the rest of the night, oh maybe five or six hours, pouting on the couch, obsessing about how-could-she-do-that-to-me and now this unconscious (hey, I was sleeping!) act turns into she’s-supposed-to-love-me-but-isn’t-she- awful and after a dozen more episodes of this (OK, I have a hard time letting go) I finally can’t take it anymore and it’s over. Very over.

What happens next? I’m pissed. At me. At him. At me. At love. Ah, sh... I have to be Out There again?!? So I join Jdate and Match.com, just to reassure myself that there really could be some great single guys my age Out There. Don’t want a new guy yet, not at all ready to date, just need some proof that not all the Princes aren't dead or turned into someone awful. So my daughter, the really wise thirty-something curly-haired chronically sleep-deprived new mommy of twins, says to just spend time with your girlfriends, and I realize that I only have a few married girlfriends and that all of my single girlfriends have moved far away from LA to quieter, less crazy places, so what am I to do?!?

So, I go to Match and JDate and do a search for women my age in or near my city and I invite thirty-five women who I don’t know (and who must think it’s weird or worse to get email from a woman on a dating site!) to meet for dinner at a local restaurant and, to my surprise, 15 show up! They’ve barely met each other and start talking about who they’ve met online and we’ve all met some of the same guys and have the same impression of them and we're just laughing out loud at how there are others in the same boat and How Great Is That to meet other fabulous women with the same struggles!?! I remember sitting around the table, listening and watching as these beautiful fifty-something single women talked and shared with each other and I was amazed at the energy and excitement that was created. And that's how Wow was born.