July 15, 2011 § 16 Comments
I suppose all us planktons have in our minds the kind of man we are looking for. We know that’s almost certainly what we won’t get – that’s if we’re lucky enough to “get” anyone at all – but we certainly have a set of criteria, however vague, and we dream on.
I will admit to mine.
But, first, a bit of context so you don’t think I am a total monster.
I have never been a gold-digger. I wouldn’t have been any good at it even if that had been my bag. Not that kind of girl with demanding legs and a complexion smothered with entitlement. The three great loves of my life have all been artists of different sorts, but none of the rich sort. I have never gone out with a rich man, or sought one particularly. I am not an expensive woman (This is why it is all the more vexing that no man is interested in me. I’d have thought I was gold-dust – someone who isn’t remotely interested in fleecing the man in my life – but it seems men are so often turned on by spoilt bitches. Perhaps I should be a spoilt bitch and I’d be in with a much better chance? But that’s another story, for a blog another day).
I am genuinely indifferent to jewels and poncey clothes and exotic holidays and fuck-you cars. Nor am I a space queen: the advantages of a small home seem to me to be joyful and endless. I hope I am not mean but I am not much of a spender. I hate shopping and never go in for pampering myself, which I think is hugely over-rated and, frankly, dull. Having said that, I am not a total hair-shirt. I love good food, comfortable houses, being able to buy lots of books, and I appreciate the numerous privileges that life has dealt me.
When I was younger, choosing a man was all about love. Didn’t matter who they were, where they were from, or if I had to pay their bus fare. It still is about love, of course, but the experience of the years has taught me to make a few tweaks.
I now want someone posh and rich.
Let me qualify that. By rich, I don’t mean RICH, I just mean someone who is solvent and who doesn’t ask me if he can borrow 50 quid. Perhaps someone who has a job, even, and a roof over his head, and enough money not to have to worry about fuel bills or taking off to a B&B for the weekend. To give a fiftieth birthday party with me – for me, or perhaps that’s too grabby? – which isn’t bring-a-bottle. Someone who can take me to the movies and not scrabble for loose change. No, actually, if I am honest, a bit more than that. Someone for whom the basics of a pleasing but not Rich List existence are not a struggle: warm and aesthetically positive housing, healthy (occasionally organic?) food, the odd bit of (modest) travel and culture, the means merrily to entertain friends, to pay his children’s university fees without going bankrupt and – what else, I don’t know, not going under when faced with a vet’s bill? That is what I mean by rich.
As for posh, I hasten to say I am not dreaming of a duke. What I mean by posh is someone who is not going to get at me for being middle-class. Someone who is not going to question my choice of supermarket or holiday or school for my children. There are many, many things that are hard to live with: arrogance, selfishness, pomposity and so forth, but chippiness is right up there at the top. Chippiness chips away at you till you despair. I don’t want to have to feel a strain in my own environment about being who I am, to feel ashamed of my fortunate friends and my many advantages and my bourgeois choices. That’s the only reason I want a bit of posh.
So posh and rich, and no less important: kind and grown-up.
Kind is obvious, and absolutely the opposite of what I sought when I was young, to my cost. Then, good-looking and cool was more important. Now, cool is what I actively do not want. I did cool men in my twenties and cool was invariably synonymous with cruel.
Grown-up, meaning I don’t want another child in the house. I love the ones I have got and am past the age when I am seeking to have more, least of all a middle-aged one with issues.
And if all these lottery numbers – posh, rich, kind and grown-up – were to come up, then I might as well flag up my bonus numbers which would surely be the small ad classics: SOH and healthy and nice-looking; NO FACIAL HAIR. And preferably not too in love with someone else, be she alive or dead.
But now I am hurtling into the realms of fantasy here. It’s not much to ask, a man such as this, but it must be too much to ask because he does not seem to exist. I shall probably have to be bowled over by, if anyone, a man who is decidedly un-posh, completely broke, kind only when it suits him, juvenile in many, many ways and who, for all the world, has more than a passing resemblance to a wart-hog.
But as long as he makes me laugh… may be that could be OK?