Monday, September 15, 2008

Must You Kiss a Man Whose Teeth Float in a Bowl?

I work from home, which affords me the opportunity to indulge in a guilty pleasure, namely watching The View. It doesn't matter who you're backing in the current presidential election; the ladies' (as ABC calls them) interview with John McCain on Friday offered probably the most revealing picture of a candidate I've seen since this never-ending campaign began.

At the end of today's show, Barbara Walters mentioned she'd been to a wedding over the weekend, where she met a 48-year-old woman and her date, a 73-year-old man. Barbara made a comment to the effect of, "Is this what it's come to?" and added that she's been told that 50-year-old men insist on dating 35-year-olds, and it's just harder for women to find men their own ages after they get out of their 20s.

I wonder about this.

Seriously. I suppose if you're a vain, image-conscious man with perhaps a lot of money but not much interest in spending valuable time with a human being you might actually have something in common with, you might risk looking sad and silly with a woman young enough to be your daughter.

But I haven't seen much evidence of this in my own life. One widower I know (age 77) even resisted hanging around with an attractive, financially independent 63-year-old woman because he was afaid she might be too young for him. (Friends and family have since convinced him it's cool to date her; she could be his younger sister, for Pete's sake, not his daughter.)

This is the same guy whose grammar school buddy (yeah, he still hangs out with the fellows from grammar school) thinks the sight of a turkey-necked old man with a young woman is "disgusting."

So don't believe everything you see on TV. Not every guy wants to date a woman whose Pampers he could have changed (although Mick Jagger will not fall into this category).

About eight years ago, a good guy friend of ours, broke up with a longtime girlfriend at age 37. He gave himself time to mourn the loss of the relationship. When he decided he wanted to take another stab at romance, he joined the Adirondack Club because he likes the outdoors and hoped to meet a woman who also enjoyed them. Then he took a cooking class because he loves to cook and hoped to meet a woman he could have fun with in the kitchen.

Eventually, he met a series of women, all of whom were a couple of years younger or older than him. He dated an older woman until she accepted a promotion out of state. Then he met, fell in love with, and married a woman just a year younger than him. They'll celebrate their sixth wedding anniversary next Sunday.

In my experience, men who want to date women around their own ages are the rule, not the exception.