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Michele Willens Headshot

FACE IT: Cyber Love For Aging Women?

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There is a great deal of attention right now on the Notre Dame linebacker caught up in the online girlfriend controversy. Was it love at first site?

I, of course, wondered if his situation could be related to women of a certain age.

No, I am not talking about going for a Heisman -- at this point, the Heimlich is a bigger concern -- but damned if I don't want to show I still have some fight and fizz in me. Maybe it was the 30th wedding anniversary, the 45th high school reunion, or the latest AARP Magazine trumpeting "The Eight Symptoms You Can't Ignore!" (Wasn't it like a month ago that I was avidly reading Cosmo's "Eight Ways To Satisfy Your Man?")

Whatever has spurred my momentary malaise, it is time for action, to prove I am not invisible, that I am not as predictable as I appear. But how to make mine a more "interesting" story? Several possible scenarios come to mind:

Plan A: Become A Scientologist. I have joined women's groups, anti-war organizations and every gym on the East Coast. So why not this? It would be a great learning experience, a way to "get clear," (as they call it in S) -- which means ridding my mind of all negative thoughts. And hey, Tom Cruise is momentarily single.

But what would my Jewish mother have said? Plus, I hated "the Master" and haven't liked a Tom Cruise movie since Jerry Maguire. Nope.

Plan B: Try Infidelity. When I broached the subject with some friends, "Ashley Madison" was the name that erupted way too quickly on way too many lips. it turned out, this does not refer to a gigolo in disguise, a cosmetic surgeon, or a shrink. No, AshleyMadison.Com is considered the creme de la crème for those seeking "discreet encounters and extramarital affairs." Who knew?

It wasn't long before I realized I could not go there. I am, in fact, perfectly happy with my husband, even if the marriage itself may be at that tender post-kids, pre-Amour stage. Furthermore, I am big on truth and short on memory. If I can't recall where I put my glasses, or the name of that movie with that actress, how will I be able to keep up the lies about where I was last night?

Plan C: Run Away. I admit to some envy when I hear of women abandoning their lives altogether and starting anew, be it in the gray but hip Northwest, or under the soothing sun of Tuscany. I momentarily envision myself munching truffled fries at a Portland bar, while going mano on mano on sports statistics with the guy beside me. And there I am frying up oregano leaves with the Italian gardener after a long day of writing, reading and siesta.

Alas, I would miss my friends, my family, my 92nd Street Y. Furthermore, when I would return for a visit, I would look even older. Based on writing countless articles and a book on beauty, I have come to the conclusion that it is in fact easier to age in front of everyone.

Plan D: Get A Cyber-Lover. Here would be a chance for me to pick out a partner with whom I could be virtually flirtatious without danger. (Not to mention without hormones.) I would be able to brag about him to my drooling friends ... assuming none would be curious enough to ask to meet him.

My imagination takes flight: "Lucien's" photos show him to be handsome in a rugged sort of way. We email regularly, Facebook frequently, and whisper sweet tweets about our secret life. "Lucien" wants to go to second base, and l submissively Skype. He proves to be animated, and I rise to the occasion. Amazingly, distortion makes me look younger!

We progress to phone calls, and I broach the subject: should we meet in person? But he keeps finding excuses not to, reminding me that the original goal was to remain in ether ecstasy. I insist, and make the trek to meet "Lucien," only to discover he is either the invention of a 14-year-old whiz kid or is, in fact, a dirty old man named Ned.

I have been Catfished! Even though I have eaten nothing but salmon for years!

Plan E: Time to get off of my cloud, and back to real life where fantasies are fine but no guarantee.

Earlier on Huff/Post50:

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