Saturday, 9 July 2016

Post Divorce First Date Dilemmas - Clothing

So here we go .... arriving sometimes a little unexpectedly at this place where no longer does the ending of that relationship or divorce feel like the big shadow on your life and you think you can take that scary step out into the long forgotten world of dating... 

A kindly friend has set me up on a date, eeeek in itself.... asking my daughter to babysit comes with the inevitable curiosity of "where are you going tonight", "who are you meeting Mum?" and you find yourself telling that first little white lie... hmmm "just a friend" and for the record I really hate lying especially to my children.... They then ask whether they know this friend? Sensory overload of the uncomfortable mother comes back with "erm a friend of a friend"... "who?"  The questions come thick and fast, whoooah.... I wasn't prepared for this, how can each one of us, so individual and so different in this world know how to be with what is before them except how they are feeling in the present moment?

Understand that the questions quick fired by those whose sole purpose in this situation is to monitor the emotional radar in my already jumpy tummy and this makes me feel wobblier.   I am now asked ...."Mum so what are going to wear?"  Yes, good question.... its been some time since the dating 'wow' favourites existed my wardrobe and I doubt whether any of them still do, fit or really look like 80s throwback party pieces... I mindlessly open the wardrobe, my brain full of uncomfortable whooshes already with possible judgementals beating their drums at a lively tapas bar.... I feel the contractions of fear literally rolling up their sleeves at the wardrobe dysfunction to follow... my mind goes blank... 

I mindfully breathe a few deep breaths then start to try and look at the situation.  This is the wild woman sisterhood stepping out I am talking about, who am I now is where I am, and unhelpful thoughts of "is what I am wearing going to get me a second date, if of course we are both interested in going any further than the padron peppers and pulpo?...  

I breathe some more, coming into the present moment, my tummy tense, I give it a rub with my hand as I breathe, this helps me relax and then as our minds can be so flighty I then obediently follow my wild mind into the past and what I had worn before.  This is of course no help, a few smart dinner party silk dresses shimmy over my hands, trusty and worn tops that had seen better days and a die hard rock 'n roll T shirt with a sumptuous pair of red lips and a tongue on the front waved at me.... nothing or so I thought to go and have tapas with a stranger.  

I bring my attention back to my rail of clothes, espying a cheeky black see-throughish shirt number that merits a colourful bra strap underneath and then I stop myself... OMG as the full impact of a pink bra strap could veritably give the very wrong impression. I find my 'best bum' looking jeans winking at me, pleading with caution to put them on as a starter
... "Mum so who are you going out with tonight?" comes the sing song voices of my children, their interests picqued at my inability to seem normal in the face of a future night of possible laughter, fun and really some attention - what I could really do with. 

Ummmmm, sticking my head deeper into the hangers "what top should I wear my loves" I ask. "Depends on who you are going out with" the children are grinning, they sense evidence of weakness, "just a nice person".  This answer is clearly worth a bit of constructive advice..."This is lovely and you look really pretty in it, wear this" .... noooo I think 'really pretty' is giving off the 'pick me' energy... I want to be happy, calm and comfortably at peace with my dinner date not sidestepping advances of shared extras.  

Treading carefully and literally as a dear man I heard from told me that on his first date he treated this lovely lady to him wearing a pair of bright red shoes, he said he felt free to finally choose and have a different wardrobe whilst married.  So I have work flats and heels, a pair of guaranteed f**k me shoes and conversely the trainers that my bunion feels oh so comfortable in. I am of the opinion that after a certain age my feet would protest too much at the thought of vertiginous heels and I now feel I am in need not only of a wardobe overhaul but also of some much needed advice from those that know 'what is what' in the land of mid 40s dating singlies... 

I am no longer a welcome guest of a healthy joint account to purchase freely les vetments of sexiness and I realise I need to get clever, believe in myself a little more and realise that in the grand scheme of things that a next life partner is really going to truly find me attractive as I am.  No longer do I read fashion magazines or have them in my house to judge myself by or for my teenage daughter too and thoughts of mindlessly trawling the internet for a sassy top leaves me cold.  I have a couple of hours to go... I begin to look with a more positive eye at the end result that walks through the restaurant door.  

Confidence in myself is the sexiest attire for the evening.  Realising and reminding ourselves how much we have all been through should not be an obstacle when there is an unexpected joy to be had of just 'being out' on a Saturday night, perhaps with someone who is equally delighted to have a date. That element of gratitude comes shining through and I suddenly feel so much better.  

It is a tricky time this, for so many single 40 somethings and as I reach for the cheeky black shirt I realised that a new wardrobe in itself is a journey of self-realisation.  Being happy in your own skin is the true, honest deal, smiling your biggest smile and remembering who you are is what is to be worn... now where did I put that black bra ....

With love Natasha

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