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DanvilleSanRamon.com

Living - May 30, 2008

Ah, men!

Three women hope others can learn from their mistakes with the opposite sex

by Meghan Neal

Most of us remember getting the infamously uncomfortable "birds and the bees" talk - walking away wondering why mom or dad was blushing the whole time and what babies have to do with insects.

But what happens in the months and years following that un-illuminating encounter? Are women really prepared to fend for themselves in the confusing, game-infested and often heartbreaking world of dating and relationships?

"Lessons about Life Momma Never Taught Us" lightheartedly warns against the ill-fated blunders women can make when it comes to men - sometimes over and over again.

"We want so much to be in a relationship," said Linda Edwards, one the authors. "And so we make mistakes in trying to achieve the goal."

Edwards, 50, co-authored the book with Danville natives Nicole Glennon, 20, and Danielle Glennon, 17, a senior at Monte Vista High School.

The three became fast friends when Edwards was involved in a serious relationship with the girls' father.

"I was almost a surrogate step mom," she said. "They always came to me with things that they thought their parents didn't want to talk about, like the private things.

"We'd have PJ parties. They'd come over and spend the night and we'd eat popcorn and laugh and they'd tell stories about the boys in their life," she continued.

Long after Edwards and the girls' dad split up, the threesome remained close. They kept sharing stories and learning from each other's mistakes, eventually putting them all in a book. Via funny anecdotes their message comes across loud and clear: To find someone who'll love you, you have to love yourself.

Chapter One: Stop being needy, clingy and psychotic.

"We don't like to play games, but as a woman you can be in the driver's seat," said Danielle Glennon.

Don't call him 2 billion times a day, the authors warn. Don't drop all your plans because he wants to see you. Be able to say no.

"Women need to choose to be the one in control and not let them put you in the position where they're in control," Edwards said. "It's just a changing in attitude and a changing of behavior."

The authors originally wanted to name the book "From 15 to 50," she said, because they learned that regardless of age, women still have the same questions and issues about men.

But the advice throughout the book is mainly aimed at teenage girls, with the hope that they might be spared from having to find out the hard way.

"We felt like we could help save them from going through years of repeating the same negative patterns," Edwards said. "Like shaking them a little bit and making them think, 'Wow.' Do you see yourself in these chapters? You should."

The book is broken down into five sections: dating, sex, health, marriage and life. Each chapter is written from the point of view of one of the authors who shares insights from her own experiences.

"Our tips are successful because we've tried them out. We've been out like scientists, experimenting in the relationship," Glennon said.

The authors are quick to explain that the book isn't intended to have an "anti-men" message. Rather, it deals with how women can alter their behavior to stop putting themselves in unhealthy situations.

"We are trying very hard not to bash men. We are trying very hard to bash women!" said Edwards. "For making the same mistakes over and over and not learning from their past. We do talk about jerk-like patterns that men get away with. But who let them get away with it? We did!"

At the end of the book is a story Edwards once heard comparing women to apples on trees. The best ones are at the top of the tree, but boys don't want to reach for them because they're afraid of falling and getting hurt, so instead they pick up the rotten apples from the ground that are easy.

The apples at the top think something is wrong with them, when in reality, they're amazing. They just have to wait for the right man to come along, the one who's brave enough to climb up to the top of the tree.

"Every day we actually have the choice to decide where we will place ourselves on the tree," she writes. "I think the best way a woman can get a man to treat her with respect is to treat herself with respect."

Meet the authors

What: Book signing, "Lessons About Life Momma Never Taught Us"

Who: Authors Linda Edwards, Nicole Glennon and Danielle Glennon

Where: Barnes and Noble, 1149 S. Main St., Walnut Creek

When: 5-7 p.m., Thursday, June 12

Cost: Book available for $14.95

Website: www.happyabout.info/lessons-about-life.php

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