Poor Annie. She recently found out that her boyfriend’s last girlfriend was a personal trainer, and the one before that was a massage therapist. Fantastic news, for sure.
We can only hope that they both had terrific halitosis….
Annie is actually in very good shape — not just for a woman of her age, but of any age. But still. There’s nothing like really liking a guy and then running smack into a ghost from his past with perfect abs.
This is yet another thing that happens more frequently at this age than when we were younger. I mean, let’s face it, the biggest nightmare when we were younger was probably the varsity cheerleader. Now that “cheerleader” comes in a whole menu of nightmarish varieties. By the time we’re into our late 30’s and beyond, women have a far wider variety of accomplishments and accolades than we did as college co-eds. And it is precisely those experiences and achievements that can be so threatening when we first learn of them.
I, for one, once dated a man whose ex-wife had climbed Mt. Everest — twice. Try that on for size the next time you’re feeling accomplished and put together. Then there was the guy with two ex-wives — both were aerobic instructors and one had (at one point in the distant past) even been a stripper. So much for those exotic dancing classes I took right before dating him… But my personal, all-time favorite was the guy I dated whose ex-wife had a very successful and lucrative career as lingerie catalog model, before giving birth to three gorgeous children, serving as president of the PTA, and pursuing a culinary degree. When he told me, I literally choked on my food. Seriously, it was almost enough to forgive him for still being in love with her. Hell, I was practically in love with her.
I’ve never had a female friend — no matter how accomplished or beautiful or intelligent or desirable — who did not, at one point or another, do battle with the ghost of a nightmare girlfriend or ex-wife. In fact, I have one friend who is wildly successful — a published author with a law degree and a successful career in television and print journalism — and in possession of a physique that suggests Pamela Anderson might have a twin. She routinely dates billionaires (yes, that’s a “b”), and when she fell for her last billionaire boyfriend, she found herself floundering when confronted with with the ghost of his high-school sweetheart who is the epitome of domestic bliss, complete with an apron. So, really, this “You’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me.-How-can-I-compare-with-THAT?” experience seems to be universal.
The ironic thing is that, of course, the same woman worrying about measuring up to her new lover’s ex, might actually be the nightmare ex for some other poor woman. Indeed, around the time that I was considering whether I should learn how to perfect coq au vin in my push-up bra and thong, one of my ex-boyfriends was being dumped by a woman who felt that she couldn’t measure up to his memory of me. So there you have it.
Over time, of course, the seeming perfection of these nightmare ex-wives and girlfriends fades…. Their flaws come to the surface and their humanity is revealed. The reasons why your guy is no longer with her becomes increasingly obvious, and your own superior suitability for him is apparent. But until then, you can at least hope that she snored — really, really loudly, each and every night.