Ever since Carla Bruni married Nicolas Sarkozy and became first lady of France, I have been a bit obsessed with her. There is something about Carla, and I don't just mean her fabulous style. It is her confidence, her calm and cool demeanor. You have to love a woman who has unapologetically slept with both rock stars and royalty. A woman who professes to be polyandrous and then settles into domestic bliss. A woman who sings sultry French pop songs while attending embassy parties in chic flats and covered up couture. When I heard recently that she might be pregnant, the picture was complete. The President of France, clearly wildly in love with his wife, will now be bonded to her forever-polyandry be damned.
So, as a recent divorcee, who is dipping her toes (well-pedicured) into the pool of possibility of finding love again, I have decided that Madame Sarkozy is my mentor. Calm. Cool. Collected and confident. Not a Cosmo-swilling, bar hopping, man hungry babe on the prowl in knock off Loubutins .For me, I will don my ballet flats (or real Loubutins) with confidence and style. Let those good men find me (I know they are out there) not because I am available, but because I'm not. I am thriving (albeit not polyandrous...yet) on my own. Like Carla B., I will be the mystery woman behind the brunette mane and chic sunglasses.
I realize this plan to cultivate my inner Carla may sound far-fetched and perhaps even egotistical, but this persona is my armor. After 22 years of marriage, babies, confusion and heartbreak I must enter this new phase of life protected by my strength, not my weakness. What did not work before is being tossed out-I am trying on the new me and trying out the new men (where ere they may be) So far, I have accumulated a string of starter beaux-those Starbucks baristas with the nice smiles and the man at the car repair shop who thinks he's still got game. Those men are not the goal, but a girl's got to start somewhere. I have not pulled my Carla out for them. I am reserving her aura for the men who get it. For the men who appreciate a woman's gifts (all of them) and can keep up with the desires of a woman starting over and ready to dive in-consequences or not. If I play it to safe (long nights of solo Scrabble-well, solo anything, at home) I will miss what's really happening. With Carla B. as my muse, I will venture forth to see what's going on in the world. A week in Tokyo? Check. A sexy weekend in San Francisco? Check. An esoteric lecture at a museum with dinner afterwards? Check.
As I alternate between my ballet flats and my stilettos, I will find my balance. I may even find that man-not the man I "need" but the man I desire. Like Carla Bruni, I'll make settling down sexy, not subservient. Vive la difference-I am off to change my shoes and change my life.