Dear Cheryl: I'm a 66-year-old Italian male who's in excellent shape and health. I work out religiously five days a week, ride my bike ride to the lake in the summer, lift weights, etc. I have strong shoulders, firm arms, most of my hair and teeth, and good skin. I'm considered attractive. I shower twice a day, use lotions and dress well. I like to dance, travel, go out and entertain. I have a good sense of humor.
I go downtown a lot. I was at a very nice Italian restaurant with 15 guys having dinner. An attractive lady came to our table. She was quite outgoing and talkative. When she went back to the bar, I followed her, introduced myself and gave her a very flattering compliment.
We started making small talk. She asked who all the guys were. I told her we were members of an Italian social club. I suggested that perhaps another time we could meet for a glass of wine. To my amazement, she stated, "You're probably married."
I said, "That's a two-way street; you could be married. And by the way, I'm not married." She was very flirtatious, and after five minutes stated, "I'm in love." At this point, I realized the lady had issues, so I thanked her for the conversation and walked back to the table.
As she left, she came up behind me and said she was kidding and just wanted to see what my reaction would be.
What do you make of this? — Italian Stallion
Dear Italian Stallion: I'm still trying to wrap my head around a woman who would approach a table of 15 men! I'm going to go way out on a limb here and assume that Chianti was fueling her behavior.
Dear Cheryl: I was happily married and didn't do anything wrong. My wife had a change of heart and destroyed our family. I moved out. She'll get the condo and custody of our 7-year-old daughter.
I'll be spending thousands of dollars on legal fees that should be spent on better things. This is not the way it's supposed to be. I'm embarrassed, humiliated and brokenhearted — and she doesn't care.
"Get over it," she says. "Move on!"
Why does this happen? And what do I do? Lawyers don't care. — Confused, Lonely And Hurting
Dear Confused, Lonely And Hurting: I'm going to be brutally frank with you. You can dwell on being confused, lonely and hurting, or you can concentrate on making the next chapter of your life better than this one has been. It's not easy, but it's crucial. You will be happy again, but you're going to have to work hard to get there.
Here's what you do. Go to a bookstore and find one or two books on starting over after divorce. Read them; underline them; take their advice. Do all the things they recommend to get your life going again.
If you need more help, see a therapist, but not one who will allow you to wallow in your unhappiness. Find someone who will help you make a plan and stick to it.
Even though you didn't make the mess, you still have to clean it up. And you're right; lawyers don't care, and your wife doesn't care. You have to care enough to stop feeling sorry for yourself.
About those legal fees: The more you and your wife can agree, the less they'll be.
Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants to [email protected] And check out my e-books, "Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front" and "I'll Call You. Not."