The other night I went to a summer soiree in Deer Valley with a friend. It was the kind of eclectic socio-economic shindig at which couples (ranging from ski bums to high tech CEO’s) get together and drink expensive wine that the hosts picked up while passing through the Rhone Valley on their way to Marseille for some nude sunbathing. A personal reward, I guess, for being on Jenny Craig all spring. Not exactly my idea of recompense, since to me nude sunbathing is right up there with that dream I occasionally have in which I’m naked in the frozen food aisle of a Super Walmart and all the obese people point at me and laugh. This vision usually permeates my subconscious when the gas or electric bill is looming and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to pay either one.
As I’m standing on one of several terraces of this rambling Silver Lake McMansion, admiring what looks like a Photoshopped view of Park City, I heard the collective cackle of a herd of women. It’s that familiar Girls Night Out guffaw after a punch line that typically involves a man’s refusal to ask for directions or his inability to replace an empty toilet paper roll.
Always up for a good laugh, I decided to wander over and see what this “estrogeneric” hilarity was all about.
Self-proclaimed Trophy Wife
As I approached I immediately noticed that I didn’t recognize one woman in the group. Which is fine by me, because I love meeting new people. When I introduced myself the statuesque, svelte alpha woman of the group extended her beautifully manicured hand and said, “Hi, I’m Trudy. Rick’s trophy wife.”
Her introduction took me by surprise. Although there is many a trophy wife in Park City, I’d never met one that beat me to the punch in my assessment of her.
As expected, this particular version was tall, blond, fit, and had the requisite Beverly Hills boob job that inspired tired, old mama tatas to suddenly leap up off the couch and become part of the conversation. I guessed her to be about 45, but I’m sure she’s often mistaken for at least 10 years younger. And I have to admit, she had a “Julia Roberts”-esque smile that would lighten up even the darkest of hearts.
“Wow!” I replied. “How remarkably BUtterfield 8 of you to introduce yourself that way.” She laughed knowingly, and since she got my joke I mentally upped her age to at least 50.
“Well, I am his third and much younger, final wife,” she said sardonically. The way she verbally punctuated the word “final” was a little scary. Kind of like when an heir to the throne anticipates her ailing father’s final resting place.
That’s not to say she’d be picking out Merry Widow lingerie anytime soon. Even though she’s probably a good 20
years younger than her counterpart (maybe even more if I’m wrong about her age), I have to say her dear old hubby is a hunk-a-licious hottie himself. And that’s not even counting his money. Which I’m sure didn’t hurt when it came to their chemistry.
Trophy Wife Interruptus
But even though she owned up to the Trophy Wife label, there was something about her that just wasn’t traditional Trophy Wife material. Maybe it was the fact that she was interestingly attractive, but not young and beautiful in that iconic Farrah-Fawcett-when-she-was-in-Charlie’s-Angels sort of way. I always thought of a Trophy Wife as a life-size Barbie doll, but this woman had way more going on than that.
She was smart, witty, successful (in her own right), and unpretentiously confident. It’s like she’d been previously kicked around in life, but wisely appreciated the seams and scars she earned as a result. The fact that a rich, older man eventually fell in love with her, and vice-versa, was simply sweet icing on a bitter, dark chocolate cake. Whether she orchestrated that or not is of no consequence, because the outcome is the same. That being her well-worn self-assurance actually adds to her physical beauty. And let’s face it, anyone who’s comfortable in their own skin is totally hot. I could see why a man of any age would be attracted to her.
That’s when I decided that “Trophy Wife” is simply a subsidiary term of “Trophy Life.” Which means unapologetically going after what you want without giving a rat’s ass what other people think. At a certain point everyone earns the right to be happy, as long as it’s not at the expense of someone else.
For me falling in love with a rich, older man is not on my to-do list, but a lot of other farfetched out-of-the-box line items are; ones, in fact, that others may find irresponsibly quirky. But I’m not too worried, because as Trudy the Trophy Wife showed me, when you let yourself off the hook for being who you are, miraculously so does everyone else. And at some point a few of those naysayers may even come around to admire you in spite of your quirkiness.
I’m looking forward to that day. Because that’s when I know I’ll have finally achieved that coveted and rewording “Trophy Life” status.
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Stacy Dymalski is an award winning keynote speaker and stand-up comic who gave up the glamorous life of coach travel, smokey comedy clubs, and heckling drunks for the glamourous life of raising kids (who happen to be bigger hecklers than the drunks). This blog is her new stage. For more of Stacy’s comedy check out her book Confessions of a Band Geek Mom available in bookstores and on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.