"…and before Little Red Riding Hood left for her grandmother’s house, her mother warned her about the Big Bad Wolf."
My mother used to warn me that Big Bad Wolves would lure innocent little girls into their dens with promises of sweets and treats. Although she never said exactly what would happen to me if I gave in to these sweet temptations, the warning stayed with me throughout my childhood. During my teenage years, I was told that the Big Bad Wolf would now come disguised as a handsome, suave young man in a flashy car trying to lure me with promises of a life of comfort and style.
So I grew up very aware of the omnipresent Big Bad Wolf and his tricks, and I was always extra-cautious of extremely good looking males. However, my mother stopped warning me of Big Bad Wolves the day I was bestowed with an honorary ‘Mrs.’. Perhaps she believed that the ‘Mrs.’ gave me a "knight in shining armour" who would stand between me and any would-be wolves.
Fifteen years down the road, after I had lost my ‘Mrs.’ title, my first real Big Bad Wolf came knocking on my door with armful of roses. He soon became a trusted friend with whom I could share the grief of a marriage gone sour. Sweet reassurances about my good looks and figure helped rebuild my self esteem and confidence, and I forgot all about my mother’s warnings of long ago. I was caught completely unaware when the Big Bad Wolf made his first move under the guise of teaching me to use the computer. I had no idea what to do! Luckily, someone happened to walk into the room just as the Big Bad Wolf was attempting to show me what big teeth he had by testing them on my neck.
I think the loss of my married title has become a signal for many would-be wolves that I am now an easy prey. I have since encountered wolves in many disguises, ranging from the dashing yuppies who say they prefer older women, to impotent ones who try to convince me that I could succeed where Viagra and older faithful wives have failed. I have also discovered that even wolves who profess that they believe in a good family life and have an undying love of God are just as dangerous as the lonesome ones who hang out in pubs. I even tried wearing my gold wedding band again for protection, but I soon gave up that tactic after its reappearance raised hopes of reconciliation from my mother and questioning looks from my friends.
My mother was not wrong in her warnings, but she forgot to tell me that Big Bad Wolves are not far away when one becomes single again. They seem to be able to sniff us out. Perhaps they see themselves as knights who need to protect us from the stronger half of the species. Perhaps they think it is their duty to fill the void created by our "loss". Or, perhaps we appear more defenceless, tired after our long journey and easier to lure into the den.
Remember, Big Bad Wolves seem to appear when you least expect them. And if you only see through his disguises when he is already under the bedclothes, be assured that there won’t be a passing woodcutter to rescue you in time.