Excerpt: 'The Ropes'

If there's one thing I've learned, it's that once you're over the hill it's time to start picking up speed. You needn't give up everything that you once considered fun (including sex) just because you've hit another age marker. I realized that while life might not exactly begin at fifty, it most certainly doesn't come to a screeching halt -- unless you let it. The sixty-year-old woman is still a viable force in today's world. She works, she dates, she is sexual, she is chic, and she is dynamic. It's not about being "beautiful" in the classic sense. Although it sounds like a cliché, it's about being beautiful inside. And that's all about being comfortable and confident in your own skin, being clear about who you are and what you want.

I made up my mind to share my wisdom and experience with other single women who have fallen victim to age discrimination in the most personal and devastating ways. I decided to write this book, and I knew the perfect collaborator. I first met Raechel Donahue in 1969. She was the embodiment of the woman of the times, a perfect combination of elegance and funk. Widowed in 1975, Raechel remained successfully single, gracefully breezing through romances and media careers. She was still a sexy dynamo in her fifties and I couldn't think of a better writing partner. We pooled our forty years of single life so that we could make yours more fun.

So kick off those practical shoes and get ready for what could easily become the best time of your life. You don't need a rocking chair. You just need to rock!

This book is to help you do just that. Older women need to know that they can still be glamorous, sensational, and sexy. They just need to know The Ropes.

How Old Are You Anyway?

Pros and cons of lying about your age

Age only matters if you're a cheese.

-- Helen Hayes

Lying about one's age is always a dilemma. Once you've done it, you're stuck with it, and more often than not it will come back to bite you in the most inappropriate place. Whenever possible, go with the truth.

I have a hideous compulsion to tell the truth about my age. Possibly because I think if age is going to be an issue, it should be on the table up front. That way there are no disappointments or surprises. Besides, if I lie about my age, I must also lie about what I've done in my life, and that would make me less of a person, if only to myself. Also, since I know I look younger than my age, I like invoking that look of shock, although I admit it's more fun to do it to women than to men.

The one time I tried to play it coy, the man fell for me hard. On our third or fourth date he started telling me how he had frozen some of his sperm and I was in deep soup when I realized he was planning for "our child." Oh, boy.

I was working on just exactly how I was going to break the news to him when he asked, "How old are you, anyway?"

First I made him guess. Bless his little tadpole heart, he guessed forty.

"Sixty," I said, batting my eyelashes.

He was just having a sip of champagne and, to his credit, he didn't do a spit take and no bubbles came out of his nose. But he was rendered speechless.

As for me, I spent the rest of the evening wallowing in the pleasure of looking forty. It was our last date. I'll bet he asks that age question a lot earlier in the game from now on.

It's a big thrill when a man under guesses your age by twenty years, but when another woman does it, it's absolute bliss.

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