Book Review: Still Hot
Uncensored Guide to Divorce, Dating, Sex Offers Survival Tips and Laughs
One day, you wake up, log onto your home computer and find out your husband has been e-mailing someone named “Hotbabe32.” That’s when you begin to realize your once loving spouse has turned into Don Juan, bald head and all. That’s what Sue Mittenthaland Linda Reing discovered about their respective spouses.
The two women, who “met when their children were toddlers” say they “reconnected when their husbands toddled off.” Instead of letting the mid-life crises of their former mates get them down, the two women turned their divorce experiences into a hilarious guide with tips to the newly single lifestyle in the book, “Still Hot: The Uncensored Guide to Divorce, Dating, Sex, Spite and Happily Ever After,” Wevorce.com caught up with them recently and asked them a few questions about their creative effort.
Wevorce.com: What prompted you to write “Still Hot”?
Sue: It started out innocently enough. We were meeting for lunch regularly to commiserate about our divorces. To our surprise, we found ourselves giggling and snickering. We decided to take notes, and before long we were interviewing scores of women who had fallen down the same rabbit-hole. It snowballed into the book we wished we could have read when we first realized that our marriages were toast!
Linda: It’s the guide each of us desperately needed and couldn’t find anywhere when we were going through separation and divorce.Wevorce.com: The disclaimer says more than 100 women were interviewed for the book. How much of the book is their experience versus yours?
Wevorce.com: The disclaimer says more than 100 women were interviewed for the book. How much of the book is their experience versus yours?
Sue: The book was inspired by our own experiences, but the contents really reflect those of other women — tweaked a bit to bring out the humor! Most important, we found that there were huge common denominators among all of our experiences.
Linda: I’d say that jointly our experiences might total 15-20 percent of the book.
Wevorce.com: Was it tough to write “Still Hot” together, given you both sound like you’d be laughing too hard to remember where you were in the writing?
Sue: It was so much fun to write. We’d come up with hilarious lines and crack each other up while we were typing.
Linda: We did laugh a lot and generally we had a good time cracking each other up. Anytime we tried to include something, even if we felt it was good solid advice, we left it out if we couldn’t make it funny. There’s more than enough serious good advice out there from psychologists and clergy members. Our aim was simply to make this difficult life passage smoother with humor.
Wevorce.com: What’s the best tip you can give our readers about how to get over a man who just dumped you for a blonder model?
Sue: Understand that it’s not about you. The hair on his head is thinning, his waistline is thickening, and he’s trying to escape his fears of death and decrepitude through a younger, blonder babe.
Linda: Realize that it’s about him — it’s not your fault. And we do have some wonderful examples of how rewarding spite can be.
Wevorce.com:Do you really think women can, as the book suggests,”Shop for Justice,” and makethemselves feel better?
Sue: Retail therapy is a great remedy. After my husband moved out, my 21-year-old daughter went online and ordered a dozen thongs with matching bras for me. Then the two of us went on a shopping spree. We called it “the jihad.”
Linda: Well, it certainly doesn’t make you feel any worse to change your image from soccer mom stodgy to single mom sexy. Men will notice, and more importantly, so will you.
Wevorce.com: Given the introduction in your book, do you think all men go through a mid-life crisis phase and look for a “newer model” or is there some hope for women?
Sue: There are certainly good men who stay in their marriages. Either they don’t go through that mid-life stage of questioning and depression, or they find a healthier outlet for it — like a sports car or hair plugs.
Linda: Both of us have more married girlfriends than single ones. The majority of married guys we knowdeal with their mid-life crises by zooming around ina red convertible or on aHarley. Or maybe they take up the electric guitar. They feel younger and better with these new toys andthey stay with their wives and families.
Wevorce.com: How do you stop yourself from repeating — over and over again — the same old stories about how your ex turned into an alien?
Sue: At first you can’t get your head around it, so you talk about it to your girlfriends or your shrink until they’re bored to death. Eventually you even start to bore yourself! And once you rebuild your life, you move on and realize it’s not worth analyzing anymore, especially because you’ll never fully understand it.Linda: When your friends cut you off in mid-sentence and tell you they’ve got to go when you start in on this topic for the umpteenth time, you have no choice. You’ve got to realize that the stories are getting
Linda: When your friends cut you off in mid-sentence and tell you they’ve got to go when you start in on this topic for the umpteenth time, you have no choice. You’ve got to realize that the stories are getting oldand as a matter of fact you’re even boring yourself. So you brush up on current events and talk about Senator Obama’s educational policy instead.
Wevorce.com: What’s the best thing you can do if you’re spouse asks you for a divorce?
Sue: Start interviewing lawyers, even if you think there’s a chance you can save your marriage. It’s never too early to start doing your homework by learning how to protect yourself legally and financially. And pay close attention to the bank statements and credit-card bills — he is likely spending wads of your money on someone named Samantha. Save records of everything. If you’re really headed for divorce, stay in the house with the kids and make him leave. If you allow him to remain in a separate bedroom, next thing you know, during the negotiations he’ll refuse to move out unless you fork over the Mercedes, the 401(k), and the bronzed baby shoes.Linda: Short of hitting him over the head with a frying pan? Probably the best route is to try couples counseling together. If that doesn’t work, and
Linda: Short of hitting him over the head with a frying pan? Probably the best route is to try couples counseling together. If that doesn’t work, and he’s clearly already decided, all you can do is make sure you have the best lawyer in town and lean on your A-list girlfriends — they are your most valuable asset.
Wevorce.com: Based on your experiences and interviews, what’s the best thing that comes from divorce?
Sue: (Whether you wanted it or not.) You discover strengths and capabilities that you never knew you had. You learn how to be self-sufficient, as you were before you got married. You lean on your sister or your good friends, and that brings you closer to them.
Linda: A whole new underwear wardrobe and a better sex life than you’ve had in the past 20 years. also, confidence in yourself and your ability to survive anything.
Wevorce.com: Everyone carries around baggage. What’s your best suggestion on how to deal with it after the divorce?
Sue: It’s important to get that out by talking to somebody — a close friend or a therapist. Eventually, you have to let go of the anger and bitterness, or it will eat away at you and you’ll never be happy. Don’t bad-mouth your ex to your kids — nor to any guy you date. As for your next relationship, be tolerant when your boyfriend’s son comes to stay with you, along with his pet boa constrictor!
Linda: There’s not much you can do about your own baggage except to recognize that you’ve got some and that you need to accept that any man you meet will also have his. The trick is to be able to tell the difference between a guy’s normal manageable baggage and what we call in our book “steamer trunk” size baggage which is over the limit andhas to go–along with him.
Wevorce.com: Can you give our soon-to-be single women or newly single women some dating tips to live by?
Sue: Be careful out there and take things slow. At the beginning you’re on the rebound and you don’t know what you’re doing. You’re desperate to become one-half of a couple again, and to hear some guy say that you’re sexy and alluring. Next thing you know, you’re head-over-heels in love with Mr. Wrong — the kind of guy who will break your heart. And you’re especially vulnerable at this time.
Linda: Never call your therapist or your divorce lawyer from the table on a first date. And avoid getting drunk.
Wevorce.com: Where do you suggest our readers go to meet men? (Good ones only please.)
Sue: Ideally, join activities that you genuinely enjoy — whether it’s volunteer work, a yoga class, a hiking club — and maybe you’ll meet a man with whom you have something in common. That’s the most natural way to meet a guy. And even if you don’t, you still had a good time. Second best way is a fix-up through a friend. Bumping into guys at bars or through online dating is much more random, so the chance of your having anything in common is low.
Linda: Lots of places, including The Military History section of their local bookstore, or an Adult Ed course on Advanced Auto Repair.
Wevorce.com: Was “Still Hot” a way to exercise your relationship ghosts, if you will?
Sue: It was very cathartic to filter the experience of divorce through humor, and to discover the commonalities with other women. Plus it made us laugh at ourselves, which was very therapeutic — laughter is the best medicine.
Linda: I think it was cathartic for us to tell the stories of so many women and actually get paid for it!
Wevorce.com: Do you have any practical tips for any of our readers who are, for whatever reason, thinking about marrying — again?
Sue: Before jumping into a second marriage, take the time to process what you’ve been through and find yourself again. Otherwise you could be heading for a second divorce. And if you have kids and you happen to have money, get a prenup — unless your fiance is loaded!
Linda: There’s every reason to believe that you’ll find a better- suited mate this time around, especially if you give yourself the chance to know yourself really well. You need to spend some time alone as a single person first before you get really involved again — don’t jump into a relationship on the rebound.
Wevorce.com: Does “Still Hot” favor an ending that’s “happily ever after?” Yes, the overriding idea of our book is that you’ll rebuild your life, discover your strengths, and you WILL be happy again.
Sue: Yes, the overriding idea of our book is that you’ll rebuild your life, discover your strengths, and you WILL be happy again
Linda: Absolutely. The Happily Ever After part of our book reflects my own experience and I really believe that once you know yourself really well and you’re confident that you can handle anything and nearly everything on your own, you’re more open to people and a good relationship is likely to form.
“Still Hot” can be found at Amazon.com and bookstores everywhere.
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