Thursday, April 10, 2008

So That's Where All the Good Men Go

Apropos of nothing to do with the topic of this blog:

Recently I was talking to my mother about a couple of her single friends. They are fifty-ish, physically fit, cute, fun, employed. Not frumpy old hags like me, nothing wrong with them at all. I said, “It’s been ages since either of them has had a boyfriend, what’s up with that?”

And my mother said, “Oh, there aren’t any men our age to date.”

“Well, how can that be?” I asked. I mean the population is about 50/50, right? So for every single woman there must be a single man somewhere, no? The two women I was contemplating each have an ex-husband out there (one of them has something like three ex-husbands, in fact). So how can the numbers be so skewed?

“Oh no,” my mother said. “They’re all married or they want a twenty-five year old girlfriend.”

Now, as a matter of course, my mother and I don’t share the same worldview, so I just dismissed her and then I was talking with a co-worker about a client of our’s. “Staci,” he said, “I’m sure this guy’s recently divorced, because he’s forty-eight, he’s not married and he’s not gay.”

“Well, maybe he’s just never married,” I countered.

“Listen,” he said, “I was between marriages in my forties, and I’m telling you, if you’re in your forties, you shower and you have a job, you can’t stay single for very long – you can have any woman you want. You don’t have to be smart or good looking or rich – over forty, clean and employed, that’s it.”

“Well,” I shrugged, “We’ve only met him on the telephone – maybe he doesn’t shower.”

Still confused I consulted my husband on the matter and he said that a middle aged (man) friend of his had told him the same thing several years ago. He told my husband that even as you feel like you’re getting older and balder and fatter, etcetera, it gets easier and easier to get girls.

What IS the deal with that I've been wondering - perhaps obsessing - and now Slate has given me a possible answer to ponder. And it has a link to this wickedly brilliant piece by Lori Gottlieb. After reading it I've decided to refrain from asking my husband what is so difficult about picking up the bathmat and draping it back over the tub after the kids are done bathing. Well - for today at least.


Lori at Spinning Yellow said...

That was a fabulous article! Thanks so much for the link, I ignored my son while having breakfast and kept laughing. My husband asked what I was reading and I had to lie. I think he might be offended to even entertain the idea that anyone would settle, especially not his wife. LMAO!! Loved it!

Anonymous said...

fortunately for women (and perhaps for men), there is a hormonal thing going on (i'm speaking from experience and straw polls among my friends rather than empirical evidence) which seems to lead to a far arsier attitude the older you get. this manifests itself as a huge reduction in the urge to nurture and to put other people's wellbeing ahead of your own and an increase in bolshiness and adventurous behaviour. i suspect, in evolutionary terms, this got rid of unproductive older woman who had fulfilled their biological imperative without conveniently dying, by making them indulge in probably fatally dangerous behaviour in middle age, like running after woolly mammoths (something they had never been able to do in earlier life because they were too busy keeping their caves clean and looking after pebbles and bambam).
you'll enjoy it - i promise you! i'm loving it and i'm only in the foothills!

Amy in StL said...

As a single 30-something girl, it's interesting that the authors even assumed that everyone can find someone to marry. After divorcing in my early 20s, I've never had a guy stick around long enough to give me a chance to settle. And honestly, I'm not that bad of a catch. So, it's still all up to the guys....

Dana said...

Wow. What an interesting article. I like the way the author describes the marriage proposal and how women are the "choosers". How funny.