Four Men At Once

December 10, 2011 § 28 Comments

As I left, because I do this thing with my liquid eyeliner, one of my adorable children said I looked like Cleopatra which I remembered and it gave me a little fillip of confidence when a little while later my lovely hostess whispered to me that she had put a single man either side of me, so I had to be sure to love her forever.  I will, I will, I promise, I said.  But I was a bit confused when I sat down and the first two words spoken by the man on my right were, “My wife…”  So there had obviously been some kind of glitch in the seating plan and in one fell swoop my chances were reduced by 50%.

The man on my left was tall, thin and struck me as rather sad as in blue rather than pathetic.  A divorcee with two small children and a high-powered ex-wife to whom he had been married late-ish (aged about forty) and from whom he had separated after only a few years.  He was a little shy and did not have a Sumptuous New Girlfriend as far as I could make out.  He lacked a certain vivacity and there was friendliness between us but absolutely no spark.

The second single man was a parody of campness.  He was wearing a suit but that was the only thing which set him apart from Dame Edna herself.  If he is not gay, I am a duck-billed platypus.  He came to talk to me and was full of funny, outlandish anecdotes and was a hothouse of wild enthusiasm and gesticulation.  He was entertaining in a completely over the top sort of way.  I liked him and felt I could have been in the Piano Bar in Brewer Street circa 1983 rather than the cold and godly venue where the dinner was taking place.

The third alone man came to sit next to me after the pudding prompted by the host of whom he is an old friend and long associate, testimony alone to the fact that he must be extremely nice.  He was large and wearing a Christmas tree on his lapel and was a financial conflict negotiator.  He told me he lived in a large Eastern European country, inasmuch as he really lived anywhere.  He is a sort of roving one-man ACAS as far as I could make out.  For the past twenty years he had been based everywhere from Chile to China and almost any other country one might care to mention in between.  He said he never, ever wanted to stop moving.  He had flown in from Moscow for the evening, was staying in a hotel here for the night, and was off to some far-flung spot I forget which this morning.  He loved his way of life.  I asked if there were any disadvantages.  “It impacts on my personal life and relationships,” he said.

The fourth I didn’t see or even hear about.  Perhaps he was the pianist, who was all of 19?  Or perhaps he was in a consecrated corner consummating matters with his SNF?

I never did find out.

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§ 28 Responses to Four Men At Once

  • EmGee says:

    Well, at least 3 of them didn’t have dates along. I think I’d ask the hostess about #4, whether there was a seating mishap or status mix up.

    Anyway, it sounds like it was a stuffy affair.

  • Dawn says:

    So. No surprise there, then. I hope you had an enjoyable time otherwise.

  • Barry says:

    So ,I WIN ? One with a Wife , three without .

    I still can’t understand this ” there was no spark” thing P . I speak with umpteen women every month , and even when approaching divorce , wasn’t looking for a commitment from every Woman i encountered . Please RELAX …. and I’m pleased you had a not bad time …even if Anthony wasn’t available .

    Piano players are poison i hear …lol

  • Elle says:

    That sounds like it was a tedious evening apart from the man who set off your gaydar. A gay male friend and I agree that the best husband for a woman of a certain age is a gay man. The would both be allowed to take handsome young men as lovers.

    If you’re resolutely heterosexual then the sad blue man in a tall suit should get a chance even if there was no spark. If I like somebody I will date them spark or no spark because an instant spark can fiddle out but there’s potential for a spark to grow in the first few dates.

    The married man on your right may well pretend he’s single a lot of the time when he’s out. This may have caused your host some confusion.

    Mr Fat World Traveller is a dead loss. His social needs are probably few and his physical needs will be taken care of by random girl in hotels the world over. He possibly like it that way as he doesn’t have to put in any emotional effort.

    Well done for braving the dinner, I hope the food and wine was good.

  • Lydia says:

    I’ve met men like that or talked to them who are always travelling. They do find it hard to settle and yet they seem to like the travelling life too. It’s often why their marriage broke up – wife got sick of being alone with the children and / or husband found all that travelling very convenient for all manner of adultery.

    Sometimes they say they will be going to settle more here but I never quite believe them and as I am the archetypcal hearth and home lover (exulting in the fact I don’t have a single Christmas even to attend as one of my major gifts to myself at Christmas and wondering if I will get one day a year free of anyone being in this house (I won’t)) I think someone the antithesis of the traveller is likely to be the man for me.

    Well the man I was to call at 8 isn’t there. I have given him another 5 mins… nearly up and I’ll try again. I am little miss reliability and as 90% of people in the UK seem to be unrealiable it makes it dead easy to be good at work simply by as Woody Allen used to say – simply showing up. I always show up. I am 100% reliable. i am dull, not feisty, faithful and dependable. i was born middle aged. I am delighted in my late 40s suddenly to feel I am moving to the age I’ve felt since I was 11. So lucky am I… let’s try lover boy again…

  • Margaux says:

    Well I got the gay one right! If he had announced it over dessert you certainly wouldn’t have been surprised…

    All social invitations are still useful – it keeps us up to speed. It’s too easy to get out of practice putting on the slap, the heels etc and make small talk – even with people we are never likely to see again …

    Roving one-man Acas – ( great phrase P!) – definitely a non starter!

    Mr Blue – sounds sad. If there was no spark – no point…

    Note for Barry . The elusive ‘spark’ is nothing to do with whether men are hitting on us or whether we are ‘relaxed’. It’s everything to do with a certain magnetic, pupil dilating,’this feels like we’ve clicked’ feeling.

    You can’t manufacture it and you certainly know it when it happens…

  • MissM says:

    Perhaps #4 was that married man on the right, he just went one impressive step beyond having a Sumptuous New Girlfriend, and got himself a Sumptuous New Wife between October, when the invitations were handed out, and now.

    Sounds like the other plankton would also have gone home disappointed, unless one of them found an interest for Mr Thin and Blue. As Elle said, the world traveller is a dead loss to anyone, he has not the ability nor the interest to commit one person. SFAR indeed. In fact a woman would have more luck with Mr Camper Than a Row of Tents. If I were there I would probably have tried to take him home as he at least sounds amusing, but not being his type I wouldn’t have succeeded anyway.

    Still has me wondering where exactly all the single, not gay and not commitment phobic, middle-aged men are. Your very considerate host obviously had tried to come up with four, bless her, but in reality could only find one. I am sure she could have doubled the number of plankton attending with ease.

  • rich2305 says:

    Have to disagree with Elle – sorry. Afraid if there is zero spark to start with, I’ve never found it’s developed as time had gone on. Or perhaps it’s just me!!

  • plumgrape says:

    It’s rather sad to think that if there is “no spark” in a flash, that your “goose is cooked”! I believe people must be given time. I am quite sure one woman I met years ago, about whom I really felt nothing much to begin with, I began to feel particularly unhappy about when “spinning” she decided she could’t wait. I think the problem was, she was in too much of a hurry. My father always said: “Marry in haste and repent at leisure”. I have felt much since that time, to take my time was the most appropriate course of action, and now I repent at leisure unmarried, but perhaps better than unhappy.

  • Chris says:

    Ah, no spark….again !! Better check yer plugs on the ol’ motor methinks !! Seriously, this spark, this overemphasis on physical attraction is all a bit…ummm…adolescent don’t yer think ? I mean, by the time we reach 40’s/50’s we have all long ago lost the bloom of youth. Bits start to drop awf, teeth start to loosen and old age creeps ever on. I mean, I know the try and tell us that ‘ 60 is the new 49 ‘ these days and all that kind of tosh but I think they’re just trying to con us into accepting our pensions later. So at our age we have wrinkles ( unless you have botox which looks just awful ), men have paunches, women have droopy boobs, Tena lady might have kicked in ( I know a lady in her 40’s who needs this, fancy sharing such a snippet with me ! ), you get the picture. So don’t you think both sexes should be a little more forgiving in the criteria they set when looking fo a partner in the middle years One day your children will have left home and what then ? I work with 2 people who are single, both about 60, both live alone. Their biggest concern ? That they will die or get sick and no one will know. A far cry from the world of hedonistic singledom as portrayed in the media.

    • june says:

      Chris these 60 year olds you know sound a bit sad, i may be .lonely at times without a partner, as im on my own and over 60 but im not like them Do they have no friends who will care what happens to them then. Dear god my teeth are still intact and as yet ive no bits dropping off,yes ive a few wrinkles. not that many,ive always used sunscreem and never smoked , but im fit and still slim. Goodness me 60 is not old these days

      I went to a peter andre concert last night with my 45 year old friend and her 15 year old stepdaughter. There were loads of people there in their 40s,50s and 60s having a great time. My 60 plus friend who i met friday night with other friends for a meal, was going to london the next day, had been invited by some lodgers she used to have when they were at uni here. After the meal i went into city with 3 of the party for a dance and drink, one was in 30s,other two in 40s. When out i spotted several members of the social group i belong to, they are late 40s 50s and 60s. Lots of us are not dead yet.It may be hard to find a partner at our age, especially if a bit choosey, but we can still enjoy ourselves.

      Me thinks your workmates are old before their time..

      • Chris says:

        Methinks yer right June. I am 59 and still having a good time though I must confess me teeth are starting to fall to bits !! As you say you can have a good social life at such an age. But I gotta be honest, I would draw the line at going to see Peter Andre, that just ain’t cool. Saw Chris Rea last year, that was uber cool…or was it the year before ? See, it’s me age !!

    • Lydia says:

      I don’t have particularly fussy standards on looks but the man I met last week I didn’t feel attracted to. I looked around the bar (we had a good chat about it all as we have both met a good few people internet dating and both like it) and just about every other man in that particular hotel bar that afternoon I found attractive so I don’t think it was me.. It’s either there or not. I have certainly tried more than one date a few times if the physical spark isn’t there though.

      Also I’ve been out with someone I didn’t find attractive. I think we used a blind fold a lot. It was an interesting experiment but I could never get over it – very interesting feeling but not something most people really want to put themselves through and I don’t think I’d repeat it, lovely man though he is. He was so clever at talking about it too.

      • Elle says:

        A blindfold Lydia? How interesting! Somebody said to me that I should try “alternative” ways of meeting men where people do a lot of “ahem” experimenting with blindfolds and the like. Apparently age doesn’t matter so much to these people as they are tolerant of everything except stupidity. I was interested for all of ten seconds but my squeamish and conservative nature got the better of me.

    • maria says:

      Chris, in my experience men value youth and physical perfection much more than women. Why do you think men only notice young lovely girls, whilst middle aged women, however pretty, are ignored?

  • Margaux says:

    Chris – the spark is not about an emphasis on physical attraction- it’s about a ‘this feels like we’ve clicked’ feeling.

    I have felt the spark with some not very obvious oil paintings – while some Mr Drop Dead Gorgeous’s have left me cold.( It’s usually ‘all about them’..)

    Hard to define – certainly not based on looks – call it chemistry if you will. In my view it’s not worth settling for anything less. If you want a ‘companion’ – get a dog.

    Btw- shocked that your 60 year olds see themselves as old! lol!

    • EmGee says:

      Margeaux, I concur, i ‘spark’ has little to do with looks.

    • Chris says:

      I know, it is sad they see life the way they do. But honestly, they do not help themselves. The lady says she is only attracted to guys under 25 !!!! and she looks older than my mother !!! and my mother is in her 80’s !!! I have to confess all this modern life leaves me very bewildered. Thank goodness I have someone and am happy. If this relationship were to end I don’t think I would bother again, it’s just all to much hassle these days, and anyway I would never find anyone as nice as my present partner ever again I think. It’s like I had a cat once and it died. I never got another cat, it was an irreplacable unique cat Hope this makes some kind of sense. maybe not !!

    • june says:

      see my comments to Chris, Margaux, re th 60 yr olds

  • Margaux says:

    Thanks June – indeed you are living proof that you are as young as you feel! Rejoice in it my friend …

    On that note – I have one male friend who has talked himself into being ‘old’ for as long as I have known him – (our 30s!) He constantly goes on about it and has behaved like an old codger all his life. He’s now 60 but acts like he is 80 …on the other hand another male friend gets younger by the year. Took up skiing at 50 and happily hurtles down black runs at the age of 67 with no sign of letting up…plays in a rock band and generally disregards his physical age …

    Chris, I have some sympathy. You are not the first man I’ve heard/read say that modern life is bewildering and too much hassle. But from our point of view I don’t think any of us women would want to go back to the notion of the 50s housewife -which is how things used to be.There were not many choices for women then.
    ( I am not saying you are saying that – just trying to explain why we women may seem hard to understand!)

    • Chris says:

      Hi Margaux oh I understand modern women totally…only had sisters, no brothers, only had daughters, no sons. I have been over exposed to women all my life. So here I pose a question : if the life choices of modern women are so great why the heck are millions of them on anti depressants ? Why are so many western women stressed and unhappy ? Why are there women on this blog blatantly carping moaning and carping if the life of modern women is so great ? The bewildering part of modern life that I don’t get is the lie that the grass is always greener somewhere else. It’s like churning, people are always being urged to up grade, to be dissatisfied with their present relationship and partner, always seeking out the smallest imperfections in others. Bull crap, it’s a marketing scam, just like making you unhappy with your current car, making you want to upgrade. Yup, relationships really have become that disposable and that shallow. I mean for women and men.

  • Twinkletoes says:

    Dear Ms P, ‘Duck Billed Platypus Photo’ would appear to be a link to another website. I haven’t dared click on it, in case it’s one of those nasty PC-infecting sites. Could you remove the post please. It’s not like s/he has actually said anything of interest! Ta muchly, TT

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