*Author’s Note: I recently saw a commercial that I almost missed. I had the TV on mute and wasn’t paying attention. I glanced up and read what was on the screen then turned up the volume and started watching.

When I saw the woman’s name and that she was 57 years old, I immediately perked up because she was not only a very attractive blonde, but because she looked 20 years younger than her age. The ad was for a supplement of some kind, so it made sense to use her in it.

She served as the inspiration for this one. I hope you enjoy it.

*****

“What are you reading, honey?”

“Dr. Montgomery’s latest book.”

“The guy that was on TV a couple of days ago, right?”

“Very good, Mom. Yes, he was on Dr. Phil.”

“I thought that was him. You know, someone I love very much went on and on about how handsome he was,” she said to her daughter.

“That’s because he is. He’s gorgeous. And famous. And rich. Oh, and smart. He has two PhDs and he’s written three best-selling books and he’s only 35.”

“Self-help books, right?” her mom asked just to be sure.

“I know how that sounds, but his approach is just so different. It’s been described as revolutionary.”

“It seems a little hokey to me, but if you’re interested in it…”

“Hokey? You can’t be serious, Mom. It’s life-changing stuff!!”

Her mom hadn’t listened to much of it because it sounded a lot like the kind of thing every other self-help guru had said for as long as she could remember. But since her daughter was clearly enamored with the newest of the new ideas about love, dating, and marriage, she was’t going to argue the point.

“Did you know he lives here in Seattle and that’s giving a presentation locally next month?” her daughter asked when her mom wouldn’t defend her position.

“Oh?” was all her mother said.

“I wanna go, Mom. Come with me, okay?”

Her resolve not to criticize him faded fast as she said, “Honey, I know you think this guy is great, but that’s just so much mumbo jumbo.”

“Mom, I almost never ask you for anything. Just do this one thing for me, okay? I’ll pay for your ticket. Just go with me. Please?”

“You’re not depressed so it’s not like you need his…advice, so would this maybe have anything to do with the fact that he’s so good looking?” her mom asked playfully.

“Well, that doesn’t hurt,” her daughter said in a way that let her mom know that was quite possibly the most important aspect of her decision.

She waited for a second then smiled at her mom and said, “He’s single and if I don’t ever meet him, then there’s no chance I could ever get to know him, right?”

Her mom wanted to laugh but didn’t as she realized her daughter was never going to meet him anyway beyond maybe a ‘hello’ and a selfie or possibly an autograph even if they went.

The fact was, her daughter wasn’t beautiful. She was most definitely attractive, and some would say even pretty, but few would call her beautiful. But this self-help ‘guru’ was very good looking. He was also now very well known and on his way to becoming famous and fabulously wealthy. So infatuations aside, Kami had real no chance of ever even going out with him.

Rather than mention the obvious-but-painful truth she gave in and said, “Okay. I’ll go. It might be nice to do something where I could dress up for a change and get out of the house for something other than work. Just don’t ask me to buy into all that New Age stuff of his, okay?”

“Mom, New Age was like…twenty years ago. This is cutting edge!”

“Cutting edge, huh? Okay. If you say so, honey.”

Kamilla McClain-Fox, Kami to her mother and her friends, was 32, recently divorced, living at home again, and very interested in finding another husband. Her mother, Jenna Fox, was 57 and finally happy living alone after her husband walked out on her four years ago just weeks before Kami’s husband did the same to her.

They’d always been close, but they leaned on one another almost constantly during the months that followed this gawd-awful double breakup. Even now, they were nearly inseparable and more like sisters than mother and daughter. And although Jenna never acknowledged the compliments she often received with more than a ‘thank you’, she and everyone who knew her knew it was true. She looked more like Kami’s sister than her mother.

The closest way to describe it was what a woman had said a year ago. She said Jenna was like Naomi Judd back in the early 80s when she and her daughter, Wynonna, were singing country music together. Maybe people assumed that her mom really was her sister even though they were separated by 28 years. The hurtful part was that her daughter, Wynonna, who wasn’t un-attractive, wasn’t even in the same league with her gorgeous, older mother.

Like the elder Judd, Jenna had those gorgeous ‘apples’ for cheeks and her skin was still smooth and taut. Even at 57 she could wear a size 6 dress, and if that wasn’t enough, she had a very tight casino siteleri waist, amazingly-firm C-cup breasts, and a perfectly round tush. In a word, she was the envy of women of all ages. And she could still wear her dark-brown hair to her shoulders and look fabulous when virtually all of her friends were wearing some sort of bob.

As far as being single, it wasn’t that Jenna was happy with it so much as she’d learned to make peace with living alone. She’d been hurt so badly it had caused her to shut down where men were concerned for nearly two years, and even since then, she’d rarely dated. Still, in her heart of hearts, she wanted to find someone she could trust and who would love her the way she wanted to be loved. However, when it came to finding that kind of man it seemed impossible, so she’d all but abandoned trying.

To fill in the huge gap left in her life, she’d taken up all kinds of hobbies like Yoga, Pilates, gourmet cooking, gardening, and ballroom dancing. She’d loved dancing, but every time she went it made her realize she was still alone. And truth be told, the available partners she paired up with, most of whom were her age and older, were anything but attractive to her.

Jenna most definitely wasn’t a snob, but she was a realist. She simply wasn’t about to consider a relationship with a man that made her feel like she was settling. He didn’t have to be George Clooney or Robert Redford or whoever the hot guys were these days. But he also couldn’t be Danny DeVito or Michael Moore. No amount of fame or money or anything else could make her see past someone that physically unattractive.

All she did need was a guy who at least took care of himself physically, had a nice smile, an easy laugh, and, okay, a full head of hair would be very nice. Even grey hair for that matter. For that matter, even if were the kind of guy who could pull off the shaved-head look, she would gladly consider him, all other things considered.

Even so, once those physical things were at least mostly all there, he would also, and most importantly so, have to be someone she could fall really in love with.

So far, every man she’d met had either been physically unattractive to her, emotionally immature, a cocky jerk, or some combination thereof. Well, there had been one very nice, very good-looking man close to her age she’d really, really liked. That is, until she unexpectedly met his wife one day when she and her husband were sitting outside at a cafe near Pike’s Place Market.

When Jenna saw him, she was so surprised she nearly ran to him before she noticed he was sitting with someone. A woman. Once she saw her, Jenna slowed down, but still assumed this was a business lunch with a colleague from work. She wasn’t a jealous woman, and he was entitled to a private life. However, when she got a little closer, she could see his hand on hers and that sick feeling of betrayal set in immediately. He just happened to glance her way, and when he did, he did a double take then slowly pulled his hand away. His reaction told him this other woman wasn’t a colleague.

Jenna stopped right next to the table causing the man’s wife to look over at her and ask, “Honey, do you this woman?”

Jenna waited for him to look at her again then shook her head in disgust before turning and walking away. Somehow she managed to neither lose her composure nor cry. That had been nearly a year ago, and she hadn’t even gone on a second date with anyone since.

So attracting men wasn’t an issue. It never had been. At 5’8″ and 115 pounds, Jenna still had a figure most 35-year old women would die for. She was a genetically-gifted woman who’d also taken superb care of what nature had given her. She’d attracted men all her life, and doing so was no big deal.

But finding love—true, lasting, unconditional love was a problem, and unless she could somehow find it, she’d remain the female version of the Neil Diamond song, Solitary Man.

*****

Doctor Tyler Montgomery was a 35-year old, single psychologist, who like Dr. Phil himself, had begun appearing here and there on TV shows like Oprah. These appearances quickly boosted his already-strong book sales and sent one of them to the top of the New York Times best-seller list.

Dr. Montgomery had never been married, and until recently had no interest in ever settling down. After working his way through grad school and leaving with PhDs in psychology and philosophy, he went into practice first with the Veteran’s Administration in the Seattle area and later into private practice with a psychiatrist who could prescribe medication for their patients.

But even after just six years of working with people who were sad, angry, or depressed all day, every day, he’d had enough. The constant negativity was draining; so much so that no amount of running or time in the gym or a pool could restore him to balance. It was like being exposed to a kind of cancer that was somehow contagious, and he began to fear for his own mental canlı casino health.

Making matters worse was the deep-seated emptiness in his life that came from one hook up or brief affair after the other. Beautiful women were everywhere and more than happy to sleep with the handsome, young professional, but after nearly two decades of sex without love, it too, had become more of a burden than a pleasure.

Consequently, for the first time in his life, he’d been giving serious thought to finding a woman he could love who would love him in return. Having never once even bothered to ask himself what that woman might look like, he was in some ways, starting from scratch; the proverbial clean slate. And by ‘look like’ it wasn’t just the physical, although that most definitely did matter.

So while he hadn’t defined this ‘looking like’ thing much at all yet, he was ready to start searching in earnest, even in places he might not have ever considered looking. If the woman was intelligent, warm, caring, and as willing to love and give as he was, Tyler Montgomery was willing to consider her.

He reflected back on the best and the worst experiences he’d had with women, and by far the worst were with women in their 40s who were still dumber than a box of rocks. He hadn’t cared about anything but going to bed with them, but when they couldn’t even engage in intelligent pillow-talk, an oxymoron to be sure, it was a massive turn off. He expected that in women in their late teens or early 20s, yet every now and then he was pleasantly surprised by a younger woman who was also intelligent and well-informed.

But the most enjoyable of all his many ‘rolls in the hay’ came with a woman twice his age. She’d been one of a literal handful—as in four or five—of women who hadn’t gotten up to leave (or have to be told to leave) as soon as the shagging was over. In fact, she was the only woman he ever took to breakfast the following morning.

As they ate, she asked him, “Would you mind telling me how old you are?”

“I’m 25,” he told her without hesitation. “May I ask why you wanted to know?”

“Just wondering,” she’d told him with a smile.

“I won’t ask yours, but I will take a guess,” he’d said.

“Okay. Sure. Go ahead.”

“Between 35 and 38,” he announced after pretending to study her very pretty face.

“Wow. Thank you,” she said.

“You can’t be 40. I’ve been with enough women your age to know.”

“No. I’m not 40,” she admitted.

“You look great for 39, though,” he’d assured him.

The way she looked at him got his curiosity up and he asked her to tell him. She seemed to want to but pretended she didn’t.

“Don’t make me grab your purse and dig out your drivers license,” he teased.

She smiled then said, “I’m 50.”

He was chewing a bite of food and nearly choked.

“No. There’s no way you’re 50. No way.”

“I can prove it,” she told him, enjoying the challenge. She fished around and found her clutch then opened it and handed him her drivers license.

Tyler sat there staring in disbelief after verifying she really was 50 years old.

“I don’t even know what to say,” he told her as he handed it back.

“There’s nothing to say. I had a nice time last night, and thank you for breakfast.”

And with that she was gone. Gone but not forgotten.

This change in attitude about his practice began about two and a half years ago, and that’s when the idea to write a book first hit him. He had a friend who knew someone in the publishing business, and after dinner and a few drinks, he pitched an idea for his first book. This person just happened to be a reasonably attractive, much-older woman, who was smitten with the handsome, young ‘doctor’, and after a very active night in his bed, she was more than happy to pitch his idea to her publisher.

Within days, the publishing company offered Tyler a modest $25,000 advance and six months later, after several edits, the book went to press. It didn’t set any records, but it did well enough to let him write a second book which came out roughly nine months after that. And that’s when one of Dr. Oz’s producers found it, and having reading it, realized having him on would make for a very good show. Once she met with him in person, and saw just how ‘camera friendly’ he was as well as being very well-spoken, she booked him for the next available show which was about three months later.

Tyler was an instant hit with the mostly-female audience, and the added exposure tripled his already-brisk book sales by the end of that week. A third book came out just a a couple of months ago, and that led to his appearance on Dr. Phil and the book rocketing to the top of the list. That, in turn, led to a series of lectures around the country followed by a six-month contract to keep touring and speaking.

No one but Tyler himself, however, knew just how empty and lonely he felt most of the time. He wasn’t estranged from his family, but he wasn’t close with kaçak casino his parents or a younger sister who lived in southern California with her husband who was a career Navy man.

He had friends, but none of them were what he would call good friends. They were fellow therapists, doctors, and people who made the party circuit whenever he or one of his colleagues threw one. Like them, he would make his way around the room, chat someone up for a few minutes, wish them well then move on to the next familiar face. And all the while he’d be trying to decide who the lucky girl would be he’d take home (or upstairs) that night, knowing she’d be gone before he woke up.

Lately, however, he’d turned down every such invitation as the thought of going through the motions of hooking up yet again was of no interest. What was was touring. His interest would be short-lived, but for now it was new and interesting, and very lucrative.

After the Dr. Phil show, several people began wooing him to let them take him on tour. They promised to take care of everything. All he had to do was show up and give a 45-minute presentation, and receive a healthy percentage of the ticket-sales take. It wasn’t the money so much as it was not being in an office listening to people who were angry or suicidal or suffering from some form of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, but the money was nice. Very nice.

Traveling was new and for now, at least, exciting, and he fed off the energy in the crowd as he offered his own unique brand of relationship advice and how to be ‘happy in love for life’, the title of his latest book. Yes, he would inevitably get the question which asked how he could be an expert on the subject when he’d never been married.

Tyler would always smile then remind that person he was ‘the bearer of the principles of happiness’, not its personification. So far, that had seemed to satisfy, or at least mollify, anyone who’d posed that or similar questions. But after just a short while of being on the road, he was asking himself that question quite often and coming up blank.

“Don’t forget we have Seattle next weekend,” his personal assistant reminded him as he was once again daydreaming and asking himself that very question.

He’d grown up in the area and practiced in the city, and he was very much looking forward to getting home. This was his last ‘gig’ for a month, and he was grateful to have some down time.

“I remember,” he said pleasantly with a smile, knowing the pretty young girl had a huge crush on him.

And yet, as pretty as she was, he knew there wasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell he’d ever be interested in a girl like her. But why not? She had a college degree, she was pleasant, kind, and caring, and very good at her job. But Tyler couldn’t generate any interest in her, and for now, he chalked it up to them working so closely together day after day. Still, he was aware it was deeper than that, and at some point, he was determined to try and unpack the reason why.

Doing so might help him better understand what kind of woman would interest him as he had little faith in the notion one would just ‘fall into his lap’ someday. It was possible, but it seemed more like a fairytale than reality, and if there was one thing he believed in it was making things happen rather than passively waiting.

“I’ve got us booked into Sea-Tac arriving the day before, a limo will take you home, then come pick you up two hours prior,” she told him.

He hadn’t been paying attention as his mind was focused on trying to understand what it was he was looking for so he had to ask her repeat what she just said.

“Tyler, if I didn’t know better, I’d think you were in love,” she said very sweetly.

“Sorry. I was daydreaming, but I can assure you it’s not because I’m in love,” he told her just as politely. “But I’d like to be someday.”

She went to turn away then smiled sweetly and said, “Good. Then there’s still hope,” before leaving the room.

“Hope,” he said to himself, paying no mind to what she said. “Hope springs eternal. Or so they say.”

And with that, he began getting ready for his presentation that night in Columbus, Ohio, knowing he was ‘home free’ after that.

*****

“Mom, I’m really glad you agreed to come with me. This is going to be so awesome!”

Jenna didn’t laugh or comment, but she did think how far her daughter had come from her teen years going to concerts and getting stoned to finding a self-help lecture more her speed. Neither did she say a word about how ‘awesome’ it would be to sit for over an hour (between getting there early and the lecture itself) listening to what she was still calling ‘New Age nonsense.’

They found a seat fairly close to the middle about three-fourths of the way back and sat down. The huge auditorium where the Seattle Symphony played was rapidly filling up as the event had been sold out for over a week. At a hundred bucks a pop, Jenna thought someone was making a tidy profit. More than likely, several people were taking healthy cuts. What she really wondered, though, was would they be getting their money’s worth.

Right on time, an attractive younger woman came out and addressed the crowd.

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