Yesterday I thought I got theeeeee worst advice about men everrrrrrrr. That’s pretty bad considering I’ve had a whole lotta advice throughout the years by a whole lotta women. And men for that matter.
Yesterday, a well-dressed and well-meaning woman about 25 years my senior sat across from me and said, “What you need to do is fall in love with money first, and then try to fall in love with the man later.” It may seem that the only appropriate response was to screw up my face like I’d just smelled a skunk and said, “Are you for real sweetheart?!”, but I just looked at her, and with a straight face smiled politely.
You see, I know on which side my bread is buttered, and it’s on her side. To be less general and more specific, my bread is buttered on the side of acquaintances who are sincere in their efforts to add pieces to my dating game. You see, at this age, it’s not so much a game, but it’s still pretty fun.
When I first started dating after my marriage went up in smoke, more often than not, I ended up in the washroom, locked up in a stall desperately thinking of a way to end the evening in a hurry. I faked hives, food poisoning and a sick child. I declined offers to walk me to my car, didn’t pick up phone calls and did crazy things like go out without my hair done so he’d be turned off.
I remember spending the intermission of a live theatre production in the marble floored and chandaliered bathroom of a beautiful theatre thinking to myself, “OH. MY. GOD. I’m hiding in a place where people poop.” Now, ladies, when your dates are worse than spending time where people do their doody-business, you know you need to step it up a tad. So, after that date, I did. Many, many years later, I can honestly say that the men I date today are better than stranger’s doody places.
Last night I thought a lot about what that woman had to say about falling in love with money first and the man later. Naked, except for my thin jersey knit nightie, nursing a dirty martini and a book about a landmark lesbian relationship between Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas, I decided the woman with the tainted advice about love wasn’t so bad after all. I mean, hiccup, she had my best interest at heart. I finished my martini, swallowed my last olive almost whole, closed the book and drifted off to sleep.
A few hours later, I woke in a cold sweat, swatting at Richard Branson. “Oh good,” I said quietly into the darkness. I was alone in my room, my nightie damp from the effort of trying to get away from Sir Richard’s teeth and senior-citizen sunken chest. I walked to the bathroom and rinsed my mouth. I’ve gotta stop looking at the cover of Zoomer magazine I thought to myself, looking at my sweat-curled hair and pillowcase scarred complexion in the reflection in the mirror. I switched off the light and shuffled back to bed.
I think it was a combination of the terrible Zoomer cover featuring a topless Mr. Branson and my friend’s advice to fall in love with money first and the man later that caused my nightmare. Could be that, and a couple of dates I had a while back with a man who was low-ded, but older and, well, looking older. Much older than the low-ded-much-too-young-27-year-old who courted me during the holidays….ahh, the memories, “What are you doing New Year’s Eve,” indeed! When I was 27, I loved dating older men – they knew where to eat, where to dance, where to make love, and how to make you feel like a woman. Now, however, I am the age of those older men, and the thought of seeing much older men naked has me concerned that I might turn to booze, drugs, or even worse, inappropriately younger men to soothe my lonesome nights.
Not if my gal-pals and gal-acquaintences have anything to do with it though. This morning over breakfast, one of my colleagues was talking about an event she attended and wouldn’t you know it? She knows someone who knows someone who is looking to date. I just happen to have some knowledge of that second someone, and would at the very least enjoy an evening of his company. After all, what have I got to lose?
This wouldn’t be nearly as dangerous as meeting the friend of a friend while I was chin high in a hot tub, one bottle of bubbly down, with only my bathing suit holding my middle-aged-rage-of-hormones back. Not nearly as dangerous at all!
So, ladies and gentlemen, when your friends give you really crappy dating advice. Just nod and smile. After all, they’re the ones who will be your conduit to greater things…or at least a few really good memories. As I get older my list of the three “BIG W’s of Dating “has been whittled down from wiener, wallet and wit to just one ‘W’ – wonderful.
So bring’em on ladies, the someone who knows someone, the ugly awkward guy who is loaded, the brother-in-law with tickets to a Broadway show and the cute guy you know who roller blades on the same trail that I run. My bet is they’re better than spending time in the loo.
It’s summertime, and this is a set-up!