Not to be taken too seriously - well - not unless you want to!!!
PMS to OMS to YMS
At about the age of fourteen the majority of women will become acquainted with the all too frequently recurring phenomenon of PMS. By late thirties or early forties, many of them will experience the disturbing OMS and by the time fifty creeps up on them another percentage will have moved into the YMS phase of their lives.
It is this third and most unnerving stage that warrants attention right now. What do you do when you have endured the Other Man Syndrome and either divorced your husband and gone for it, or stuck it out with your husband and thanked your lucky stars for your strength of character and your loyalty to home and hearth, only to be tormented by the Younger Man Syndrome, not even a decade later?
Maybe you actually gave into the restlessness in your late thirties, and in some cases, just because you found yourself attracted to other men, regardless of whether you had an affair or gave into those feelings or not, you took it as a sign that your marriage was irrevocably over. This brought on the not to be envied, single mother status, that is anything but romantic and anything but glamorous.
OK, so the OMS is over, and you are now heading for the uncomfortable middle years. Years of hot flashes, mood swings, yearnings and insecurities. For those of us who stayed married, the OMS stage will fade away eventually; those of us who divorced may have given into the urge or will do so at some point and dive into OMS with great aplomb. But believe me OMS is also only temporary, and whether you like it or not YMS will at some stage rear its (ugly) head and off we go again, restless, yearning, pining for something.
And don’t you just love those conversations you have with contemporaries. Nothing more stimulating than a group of women of a certain age sitting at some Grand Cafe or other, contemplating the meaning of life! The married the single, the in-between, all the same. The only criterium is age, oh, and more often than not, motherhood.
“Did you see Nadal on Eurosport, yesterday?” Asks one. And we all know she couldn’t care less about how good he is at tennis! No, when she asks, did you see Nadal, she is remembering his fantastic, athletic, youthful body; the sweat pouring down his chiselled face, and the images of him in other situations that her YMS imagination conjured up for her.
Another just happened to have a training session at her gym yesterday. “My personal trainer,” she begins, sighing as she recalls Charlie, the thirty year old who was assigned to her when she signed up for fitness and cardio workouts. “He is just so attentive. He never rushes me, takes great care to ensure I do all the exercises properly, and that I don’t strain a muscle or anything.” And we all know she’d forgive him anyway, just for the pleasure of his torso with the well developed pecs and rock hard six pack leaning over her and helping her manoeuvre on the bench press or abductor.
And then there’s the really adventurous (or desperate) friend, the one who has been divorced for longer than any of us care to remember. She’s the one who went through the tempestuous OMS stage, diving into the relationship with a contemporary who in the end was a bigger disappointmen than the father of her children. However, she endured and survived this repeat performance and managed somehow to put this second relationship behind her, too. Then with renewed zest for life and a rather more stringent list of demands and requirements, she threw herself into YMS. “Well, I took the plunge,” she says, a grin splitting her face from ear to ear (she can at least still smile, despite the botox). “I chatted him up, got his phone number, and asked him out.” Triumphant, she continues after a suitable pause wherein her friends can wait with baited breath. “And he said yes! He said he’d love to have dinner with me!” Him being the thirty year old she was introduced to at some function or other and whose local bar she began to frequent, drooling at him from afar at first, and eventually manouvering herself into a conversation with him.
I am sorry for all you older men hoping for your very own Catherine Zeta Jones. You won’t find one in my circle of friends. We are so done with the distinguished middle aged man. And we make no apology for it. We have raised kids, we have sublimated, we have toed the line. We have been homemakers, child psychologists, personal coaches and motivators and all for our families and the home life. Well, now it’s our turn. And we are all looking for our very own Ashton Kutcher! And yes, an older man with a hefty bank balance is still an older man. We don’t need a meal ticket or a nest egg for our old age. No, thank you!
YMS is the light switch going on in our heads and hearts. Switching it on is like going into the time tunnel, and going backwards. Switching it on is like erasing the years in between. And how exciting is it to feel carefree again. Now, after having endured the years in between we nourish and cherish even more that feeling of ‘the world is our oyster’.
The mirror to that vibrant, unblemished part of ourselves, that thankfully did not die, but just waited patiently somewhere in the recesses of our existence until we were ready to embrace it, is YMS. YMS allows us to recollect what it was like to be twenty four. YMS allows us to be sillly and self indulgent. YMS, coupled with the knowledge gained in the years between twenty four and forty something, will help us to appreciate the feeling more than we ever did in our twenties. It is our second chance, and no well preserved forty year old man can do that for us.
You see, the forty plus man has his own baggage. Needs his own mirror to forgotten youth. Come close to him, let him under your skin and before long you will be listening to his woes and complaints about the ex wife who is fleecing him for alimony, the pubescent children who only come and see him when they need something, the job that has no more prospects. And worse, much worse, his fears about failing libido.
No thank you, we scream. We are done. YMS is our gateway to a fresh start. YMS is fun, inspiring, and quite simply does us the world of good. YMS is the best thing that could happen to a forty plus woman. A woman in YMS is at the peak of her sexuality. We have long since tossed aside the complexes and prudishness that got in the way of our enjoyment. Our last eggs have cracked so there’s no fear of producing more offspring. And to be quite honest, we just don’t give a damn, and will dive into the experience hook line and sinker. So we need a man who can go the pace. YMS will ensure we find the right combination of hormones and youth to still the yearning.