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One day last week, I had the luxury of a two-hour break between my many daytime appointments. Looking for a place to kill some time, I spotted a small corner café and decided to go in.

It was way past lunchtime, only a few tables were taken, and the waitress showed me to a cozy booth. Pulling out my laptop and notebook (so I could pretend to be doing something useful), I noticed a couple sitting in a booth not far from me. Two things immediately grabbed my attention—their obvious age difference and the fact that they were having what sounded like a "gray hair" discussion.  

The woman was young, probably no more than 25. And by looking at her beautiful blond streaked hair, it was obvious that the conversation did not revolve around her gray hair but the gentleman's sitting next to her.

couple in love

He was about 43, tall, dark and handsome, with salt and pepper hair and the look of a very accomplished businessman. By his appearance, one would never suspect that he felt insecure about his hair or anything else. Yet, here he was, trying to persuade his companion that he should color his hair before the wedding.  

I knew I shouldn't "eardrop." But like the daytime soap opera you watch with guilty pleasure, I couldn't help but listen in on their conversation. The wedding was scheduled for next week, but the pictures for the album had already been taken the week before. Frustrated and upset, the bride protested that it would be comical if he showed up for the wedding looking 20 years younger.

Just as I was about to tear myself away from their conversation, the groom-to-be announced that he was also considering a Botox injection prior to the big event. The horrified young lady could only stare at him in disbelief. I wanted to reach out and comfort her, but of course I had to mind my own business.

Having daughters almost the same age as the impending bride, it disturbed me to see a young girl getting married to a man embarking on his middle-age crisis. Young, beautiful and naïve, she had no idea of what she was getting into.

I thought of my husband and our friends and the changes I have noticed among them.  In many cases, the men have become just as obsessive about their appearance as their wives.  I've also noticed that over the years their self-esteem has became just as fragile as ours. Among my girlfriends, the topic of conversation has often turned to our husbands' use of eye creams, hair coloring. Some have started using Botox to get rid of wrinkles, while others are actually considering plastic surgery. The incessant media fixation on being skinny, fit, and beautiful has always impacted women. Now it seems to be having an effect on our men as well.

Of course "our" men are not 20 years older than us. My man married when we were both young, and we grew together, sharing the ups and downs of life. We raised kids, took care of parents, battled sicknesses, buried friends, built a business, lost a business and started another one in our next chapter of life.  

We've been through it all. So when our husbands decide that they want to color their hair, buy a red sports car, or do something along those lines, we know it's just a phase we both can handle. Of course it will be challenging, and at times frustrating, but in the end it represents just one more stepping stone we both have to overcome.

With years of experience behind us, we Fabulously40 women can usually predict the outcome. Because we have gotten this far and grown much wiser, we know to let our men do their thing until they run out of steam and realize they are just being silly.

As for the girl in the next booth, she has at least 20 years before she even begins to understand what's happening to her man.  I silently wished her good luck and went on my way.  She has a very interesting, and challenging, journey ahead of her!

All the best,


Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Dana Hall wrote Apr 29, 2008
    • Oh My!
      I can’t help but feel sorry for the years this young bride will have missed. Yes, it was difficult building a life together, but we built it TOGETHER. I wonder what the odds are of a May- (let’s say October) marriage surviving?  

      My 40 something husband went in for stress-testing today. I was terrified. He’s been under such stress. (It all came out ok). I cannot imagine handling this 20 years ago!

      Well put, Yana... your description makes me want to watch Father-of-the-Bride two. Remember Steve Martin with the silly die-job hair, and new sports car... and the eventual baby that came from his little testosterone high? I love that movie!

            Report  Reply

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Yana Berlin wrote Apr 29, 2008
    • I love that movie, but my very favorite movie of all times is
      “Next Year Same Time”

      Let me know what you think if you ever get a chance to watch it.

            Report  Reply

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Carine Nadel wrote Apr 29, 2008
    • I wouldn’t have been able to keep from not only giggling but wondering, “what do these 2 actually know about one another?”
      Like you, my hubby and I met fairly young and have grown into one another.
      We like each others wrinkles.

            Report  Reply

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Kathy Holmes wrote Apr 30, 2008
    • I’ve observed those women who married older men when they were young and when these women are in their late 40s/50s, etc. they regret having married an older man. They joke that as soon as the old guy is gone, they’ll find a much younger man. They feel they missed out on something.

      I married younger men (not by much) twice and there’s a challenge in being the one to reach an age first. You really have to call upon your self-confidence.

            Report  Reply

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