Thursday, March 22, 2012

Toy Boy Speed Dating

This is a little out of place, but it is something  wrote a couple of weeks ago hoping to be a guest blogger on  The Plankton

Why don't you just date younger men?

It is often put to me that what we older women need is.. younger men. The two major arguments are the carnal and the demographic.

As a colleague recently asserted across the table from several single planktons. "Women over 35 are their sexual peak, and well, lets face it, men of that age will basically fuck anything"

Whilst you choke on your chai latte, I will move onto the demographic factors. Here in Australia the Man Drought is an entrenched concept. Thanks to Bernard Salt we have the hot deflation index (HDI). Briefly, women under 34 and men over 40 have such a glut of available members of the opposite sex that they get an inflated idea of their own attractiveness. To quote;

"This oversupply of single women relative to single men, especially from the 40s onwards must have an impact on men's self perception. All that attention from women would go to their head. Where others might see a paunchy, balding middle-aged man, he sees a modern day Don Juan who is quite irresistitble to women"

I venture to add a third argument, from a personal perspective. Many of we middle aged people have not addressed our issues of self-love appropriately. Hence out there, in the dwindling bachelor market, (along with those who find themselves irresistible), are a fair number who can't commit, who are looking for others to make up what is lacking in their lives and are continually disappointed, or who using sex as a form of drug - to relieve stress boredom and self esteem issues.

So here, in a nutshell is my argument. If my ernest attempts at forming a mutually respectful pair bond with a man of my own age are going to result in basically being used as an upaid hooker, or having my investment of love thrown back in my face. I eschew the paunchy bald egotist for something younger, firmer, easier on the eye... what's the worst that can happen?

Then last week an invitation to "Toy Boy Speed dating" dropped into my inbox. I hastily crammed those lustful thoughts right back in the pandora's box where they belong reasoning that $89 (60 Quid) was way to much for such a hiding to nothing. Yet insistently, a day before the event, a half price offer came through, and my resistence and buckled in the face of mounting curiosity.

So it was that I found, paraded before me, twelve eager, good looking young men. The event certainly had a frissant borne from the spirit of experimentation. Both [sets of] parties were out to size up the market.

The clumsy chat up lines were sweet, often complimenting me on my physical attributes "you have a nice smile" or "your accent is such a turn-on". I've forgotten, but is this how we got chatted up in our 20s? no need for them to feign professional interest a woman's career, or big themselves up with oblique reference to their house/boat/bike/car/expense account?, nobody dredged up sordid details of their last horrific relationship...

But even by the time I put the keys in the door of my single girl oasis/cocoon I was acknowledging what was really going on. In putting myself forward for such an event, I was offering sex. There wasn't, and never would be any chance of a meaningful relationship there.

Within 24 hours, all the men I ticked had got back to me, asking me out for a drink. Including one whom I seriously fancy. Only one of them honest enough to say he was testing the waters and would be dating many women at once.

And suddenly, I had cold feet. I can't trust myself to treat it with the playful abandon it deserves. Part of my experience as a sexual being is a need to truly love desire and admire the person I am sleeping with. I need to respect their, and my own, human dignity.

For now at least, I think I have to accept toy boy dating as an end in itself. I paid my 30 quid and was openly chatted up and lusted after by twenty and thirty somethings for an hour or so. One walked me to the bus stop, and planted the sweetest, softest kiss on my cheek. And in that moment, I was walking on air.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Missed call (2)

I'm glad to say I can definitively classify the missed call. Its a (5). A day or two later Hamish sent me one of those Junk Mail circular kind of emails. In a day or so I responded asking if he had "Butt Dialled" me to which he replied that he had been ringing to find out how I am.

So he is trying to be my friend. I have to say this is an entirely new situation for me. I am more used to the "ignore her and she'll go away" approach from exs. Actually in truth I don't like the gray area.  I suppose whilst genuine respectful friendship would be a beautiful thing. I can see it is more likely to be a case of being held on a string and giving into sex with him if he presses the right buttons. I would really rather nothing at all.

If he rings again maybe I'll tell him what he wants to hear (reassurance and an ego boost):-

Things are pretty good, I'm keeping busy at work. I've booked a couple of holidays. Can't say I don't think about you, I still love you, but part of this is that   I want what's best for you. I really hope you find it.

Or should I tell him the truth:-

I'm pretty much existing from day to day. My life is very boring and I only booked the holidays so I have something to look forward to. I think about you every day, trying to fathom why the hell you would terminate our relationship. I miss you very badly. I haven't been able to sleep in my own bed since you left. I can't understand how I have arrived at this particular point in life. I'm at sea. If this had happened to me in my 20s it would've taken me apart
 I have just found one more (slightly contradictory) thing I wrote in relation to break ups and aging (my personal experience)

I fall in love easily, but have found since I turned 40, that  I fall out of love rather easily too. Fickle. Not a good predictor of relationship success maybe? Or else a wordly conviction that I will not be " used" and there is no point flogging a dead horse.  I had a further slightly unnerving thought this week -perhaps it is just my failing memory. Nothing is so intense these days as i simply can't remember the detail.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Three Challenges

You've heard the stories right? of people who come back from adversity? Like the man born with no limbs who climbs mountains and has a lucrative career giving inspirational talks on the lecture circuit. Well, if they can do it, why can't I? Come on cheering squad..!! there is NOTHING we can not do if we put our minds, hearts and souls to it..

…and so it is that I find myself with three independent challenges

(1) Osteoarthritis
(2) Effective parenting
(3) My career

I used to be a record breaking masters athlete - not so long ago. I loved the rush. I had no issue with training hard. No pain no gain. Well I tell you now the worst pain I ever felt in finishing up a middle distance race, is nothing compared to the pain I get just walking up stairs or lying in bed often theses days. I am only 45. Yet a little voice still says to me, with the right training, physio, pilates, drugs, surgery I could overcome this. I could be back on the track doing what I love. The bloody gruelling uphill struggle that this presents is daunting, but no doubt if I put my mind to it, I could make a comeback. It would be worth it because I would be energetic and enthusiastic again.

I have a difficult child. He is manipulative, negative and angry most of the time due to his severe dyslexia. Many parents would quit  work and devote their time to getting the best out of him. He needs a lot of help and attention. I have slipped into a fairly servile role to him. I know he is getting the upper hand and this is no good for the teenage years. Often it is motivated by just wanting to give him a rest from his life of failure, just wanting to have some FUN together. However I know this behaviour situation could be turned around with the right discipline, routine, intervention, remedial help. I know it can be done but it could be one person's life work to make this change manifest. But I am only one person, and as you see I have conflicting imperatives.

Before Kids, I was a very ambitious person and moderately successful person(not an unfamiliar story). I think many women adjust their ambition, even accept, as society does, the virtue in devoting your life to home and family when the kids come along...except I married a man who couldn't support me and then rendered me into a single parent, so by necessity I had to KEEP GOING. Sadly in my career I am stagnating. I can't seem to make the reward system work for me. My child takes so much energy away that I can't acheive what I need to, let alone what I want to. This adds to stress.What I want to know is ..

Where is the lynch pin in all this?

Time obviously appears in a couple of spaces. But time also needs to be used effectively. Its no use having all the time in the world if you squander it away worrying, blogging or blogging about worrying.

 I could find ways of getting myself more time (apart from paying someone)

  • Pay someone very little...
  • A favour for a favour
  • Sleep less

Whilst we're on the subject of time, How the hell does one find time for a husband/boyfriend/lover? I barely have time to sort out my tupperware/knicker drawer, sugar soap those stains off the walls or trim the hedges. (I guess perhaps society or nature intended that the man would assist in all this home upkeep stuff, or even assist with the child shock horror) but I can't expect this of a new man.

"A man is not a plan"

Seemingly I can't expect this of Simon either (that's a topic for another post).

What if health is the lynchpin? Get strong, feel good about yourself. Or maybe just get medicated to feel good about yourself. There is a definite link here. Being in pain is tiring, being tired affects work and parenting.

I have long thought that my career was the lynchpin. If I can sort that out. I will raise my self esteem, make more money, be able to look after myself in my retirement, see connor through school earn more money so I can see more of my beloved family (which is another issue in here probably under health - mental health and well being)

Or maybe parenting is the lynchpin. If I get him to behave better, I will have more energy to devote to other things. He will take responsibility for his learning. (Even as I write I can see there are no guarantees here). I could put in a huge effort and he could still behave badly meanwhile I would've lost other things. I honestly am not sure if I am the right person for this particular job ('course you are you're the parent you dingbat) yes, but this requires specialised help. If I lose patience we take two steps back.

Imagine I took one challenge away, which would it be?

(a) Give up work for health and parenting?
(b) Give up parenting for health and work?
(c) Give up health for parenting and work?

I am currenting opting for (c) (a) is a popular model where a functional co-parent exists, and (b) is probably what I would like to do (ha ha!!)  - outsource parenting so I can keep fit and apply myself at work - no wait? this is what Dads do!!!

If I were to think outside the box and (a) actually give up work for a while. The families immediate well being is at stake - how to pay the mortgage? what'd I do? sell? get tenants in?
Maybe a snatch of each - take long service leave, go on painkillers and/or anti depressants and get a lodger/nanny.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Missed Call

Last night, whilst I was kid-wrangling, I got a missed call from Hamish.  In the free (brain space) moments I have had today I have come up with this list in ascending order of desirability

(7) He wants something from me: Can I fix his computer? he's in the area, can he come round for sex? Do I know someone who can give him a quote on...?
(6) The Butt Dial he accidently called me from his pants
(5) He wants to play at friendship - can he come over and fix my shelves, hedges, bathroom tiles....
(4) He realised he was too hasty in terminating me, and want to see me again
(3) He really wants to see me again and has a specific date and time in mind (not a bedroom date)
(2) He's seen a doctor, sorted out his shit, and realises he wants me back in his life
(1) He realises he loves me.

I guess if he loves me he'll call again, right?