Charday, has a PhD in Behavioral Sciences.
Years ago, she self-published a book called Magnetizing Your Man in 30 Days.
Let’s just say she still had cases of unsold books in her garage.
Newly re-invented as a Dating Coach, she recently gathered a “focus group” in her home in Sausalito to research her next book about being Suddenly Single, again …
After an abbreviated cocktail hour (15 minutes) she urged us 10 “Special Invitees” to take a seat in her very small living room. Our group was comprised of five women and five men. We all looked to be 50 – except for the Botox babe in plunging neckline and leather skirt and boots. She looked older – and perpetually surprised.
Charday had set up a video camera and said, “This is going to be fast and easy. The camera is rolling and I’m going to offer a “Prompt”. I want you to say whatever comes up for you. Don’t hesitate. Don’t edit yourselves. Shoot from the hip.”
Clipboard in hand, she scanned the five men seated in front of her, she paused. She took a deep breath like she was starting a game of Charades. She said, “Okay, men. Fill in the blank: Women are like …. which animal?”
Without missing a beat, the man across from me said, “Otters.”
All women the room looked at this guy quizzically. He was handsome, lean, with a shaved head and twinkling blue eyes.
I laughed out loud. He smiled and repeated “Yep. Otters.”
Charday urged him to continue.
Handsome bald guy said, “My experience is that women, meet other women and they bond instantly. Like otters they band together on the raft of life and are totally content to be with one another. There have no need for a man. No need for intimacy or even male companionship. They’re happy- alone with each other.”
The five females instantly disagreed. We were, momentarily, indignant. Slowly, two of us nodded our heads – he made a point.
There was actually some merit to what he said. I was thinking of several friends who once were ‘foxes’ – did time as “cougars” and now were definitely otters.
A second man, the red head guy in navy corduroy pants and a tweed jacket chimed in, “No, women are more like Border Collies”.
This time all of the men laughed.
He said, “For a long time, all the women I met were like Border Collies – you know – good looking, protective and affectionate, with a real sense of direction. Only problem, they all wanted the same thing.”
We all waited for the punch line. Smiling, he continued, “They want to be in charge and direct everything. That’s a major turn off.”
He smiled broadly and looked to the other men for validation. Didn’t happen.
Our host didn’t miss a beat and reminded us to be quick and decisive in our responses.
She indicated we would not dwell on any one subject. Once again, she took a deep breath, looked at her clipboard, smiled in the direction of the camera and this time she looked at the women in the room and said,
“Okay, ladies: Ex-husbands are like?… fill in the blank.”
All of us either laughed or rolled our eyes. Then the blonde woman sitting next to Otter -guy said, “Ex-husbands are like a pair of Levi’s. When they are new, you love them. You take care of them and they fit you.
They look good on you and they go with everything. Then they began to wear a little thin. And they’re not so great anymore.
They are let down. A zipper may break. You might experience the heartbreak of broken zipper or broken vow.”
All of us sat spellbound.
“Then, let’s say after 17 years of wear and tear and some situation, those Levi’s don’t fit your life.. You have problems with style, shape, communication.”
She took a big gulp of air and continued, “You wake up one day and realize you might have to go to a tailor for a repair or even get professional help. It’s not a perfect fit.
You realize one day: those old Levis are out of style and you deserve better. You deserve designer jeans.”
She stopped speaking and just stared at her hands.
You could hear a pin drop.
Everyone stared at this total stranger who had revealed so much in so little time.
Even Charday – totally off her game – simply looked at the woman who sat motionless.
And then we stopped.