Wise Old Aunt

October 23, 2012 § 101 Comments

From yesterday’s Times:-

My wise old aunt rings occasionally and we talk for ages, laughing a lot, on the subject of finding a man.  She’s had a few in her time and is no prude, but her notions are steadfastly reactionary.  Years ago, it was she who told me that if I wanted to find a husband I would need to learn to cook.  At the time, I thought the suggestion typically absurd and insufferably unreconstructed, but even my more-progressive-than-some (now ex-)husband railed at my culinary inadequacies, and since then I have witnessed many a partnership flounder in the face of the woman’s domestic shortcomings.

It was this old aunt who first told me that when a single man comes on the market, you have about ten minutes.  This I pooh-poohed as ludicrous, but her words have been proved spot on again and again over the past few plankton years.  One example among many: a rare match-maker once asked me to dinner in order to introduce me to a recently divorced, handsome academic.  Three days before it, he rang the hostess.  He’d fallen in love and could he bring his new girlfriend?

Yesterday my aunt told me that an arrangement with a younger man was necessarily doomed and the friendship would be in tatters were I to sleep with my new twinkle. I know.  Yet I had weighed up the pros and cons over the past few weeks and had decided that the pros – fun, confidence boost, a spring in the step, if fleeting – trumped the cons – temporary pleasure, hurt in the face of the inevitable, however prepared I am for it. But I would be a fool not to listen to my aunt’s old-fashioned words.

“I don’t disapprove – he is younger but very much an adult – only tread with care.  Kiss him if you like, but don’t sleep with him,” she said.  “The moment – the second – you do, the power shifts out of your favour as funny, wonderful, attractive older woman, and is all in his.  Then it is over and you’ve lost a good friend as well as a lover.”

Would that I could be as laid-back as cougar-y Cindy Gallop with her annals of young men for sex, but she and I are different animals, obviously.  I can’t entirely preclude emotional attachment.  Been there, done that.  It would be a rare person these days who is shocked by an older woman’s relationship with a younger man, but my aunt is absolutely right: in almost all cases – voracious Cindy is an exception – it is the woman who ultimately stands to lose.

There again, where’s the fun in always heeding good advice?


§ 101 Responses to Wise Old Aunt

  • Kimmy says:

    better regret what you have done than regret what you have not done 🙂

    • Jill says:

      Good morning, P. I read “Wise Old Aunt” yesterday in The Times, as I read your articles every Monday, and I have been thinking about your quandary this week in between watchng a succession of potential purchasers wander around my home. Being an old-er,( if not wise-r!) woman, I am reserving the right to change my initial enthusiastic response to your news about YT. I surmise that you have already decided what to do (or not to do, and my instinct tells me that you are not really looking for a fling, much as that would be very jolly in all sorts of ways. If this young man is not someone with whom you can look forward to a proper, meaningful relationship and with whom you, your children (SO important) and your friends will feel relaxed and comfortable, then I am in WOA’s corner. I like your Aunt – she sounds not only wise but pretty wonderful too.

      • SteveH says:

        Ummm, not really following “Aunt”.

        She says ” don’t sleep with him, the moment you do all power shifts and you’ve lost a good friend as well as lover”

        How can you lose a lover by sleeping with him? By definitition, he’s not a lover until you HAVE slept with him!!

      • The Plankton says:

        Thank you, Jill. I am glad you enjoy the column and that you’re in the WOA camp. And, yes, my aunt is pretty great. Pxx

  • Dawn says:

    WOA knows of whence she speaks. The double standard is alive and well. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. If there is a way of getting around it, I’ve never found it.

  • MissBates says:

    I like your WOA — a fount of wisdom, indeed. There is some suggestion in your post that she herself has spent time in Planktonville, although I may have mis-read it. If she is or was a plankton, how did SHE manage to come to terms with it?

  • Elle says:

    WOA is right, to a point, but life is short and we plankton have to grab every chance of happiness we get. Even if it is short lived.

    She’s right about cooking though. So learn to cook and seduce the boy! 🙂

    • Geez, forget cooking, just stock up at M & S and whilst you are there browse the lingerie section … 😉

      • Elle says:

        I don’t know. Lots of men have said to me that they love a woman who can cook. It’s not very 21st century but they like being nurtured. I think if this boy saw P slaving over a hot stove for him he’d be her slave.

        Nice lingerie helps too, but you should wear it anyway. Being a plankton is no excuse for wearing grey knickers and saggy bras.

      • malcolm says:

        Whoa – easy on the lingerie advice, lingerie is a turn-off for a lot of fellows (me included). I can’t help thinking of Tim Curry in the Rocky Horror Picture Show when I see a mature woman in lingerie.

      • Elle says:

        Malcolm, that’s odd. I’ve never met a man who didn’t like to see an attractive woman in nice lingerie. I don’t know where you’re from, but I think that European men appreciate good quality lingerie more. I have never dated an American man.

      • RS says:

        Maybe Malcolm is misinterpreting “lingerie” to mean full-on kit of corset, stockings, etc. when I think to most of us “lingerie” is actually any underpinnings. And yes, it’s a good thing to have nice stuff, whether someone else sees it or not. Could be white cotton, certainly, so as not to frighten the likes of Malcolm, but NICE white cotton.

        But I’ve yet to meet a guy who didn’t like some lacy underthings. Some don’t pay a lot of attention but still appreciate the effort. Those who are into the full-on kit, though, are thrilled by it.

  • rosie says:

    I’m with WOA too, which means I would also be out browsing the M&S food/lingerie sections and deal with the fallout (not that there will necessarily be any, just that there ALWAYS has been in my ‘relationships’ with younger men!) later.

  • Sophs says:

    I think if you really fancy the person then it’s worth it. I was in a similar situation with someone younger than myself (I’m 33 he was 25) who was beautiful and very seductive. I really regret not sleeping with him because I think it would have been great and now I’m convinced I’m never going to have sex again! x

  • James B says:

    From a man’s point of view, I say only this: If you don’t sleep with him you will never know what could have happened next. The only thing you can be sure of if you do not sleep with him is that you will not have any (possibly good) sex.

    We men never know how we will feel about a woman until we have had sex with her. Sometimes the thrill of the chase has ended and we drift off. Sometimes we start to fall in love or at least long for more of that person. Sometimes NOTHING happens and we feel just exactly the same as before. It’s completely unpredictable.

    All I know is that if you don’t sleep with him you will never and know and almost certainly you will come to regret the missed opportunity. If you do sleep with him and the friendship changes or ends – so what? Once you nearly sleep with a man there is no going back to a purely platonic relationship in any case. My advice (which is probably worthless) is go for it Ms P, go for it. Go get some oxytocin!

  • EnglishRose says:

    You should do what feels right for you. If you feel you need a man to keep you and for money then the old principles hold. If you are an equal and he wuold be as lucky as you to have you as vice versa and your virtue is not your currency but instead your income, looks, personality then the old standards are a load of rubbish and do not apply.

  • Margaux says:

    My mother – an archetypal 50s housewife -always said ‘you will never get a man unless you can cook, clean and iron’.

    I looked at her life and concluded that I was uninterested in cooking, would hire a cleaner when needed and only iron if strictly necerssary. However, I was berated for my lack of culinary and domestic skills by a longterm now-ex.

    Conversely, a younger friend who was the quintessential ‘wife’ – cooked to perfection, supercleaned with zeal, and ironed everything in sight for her long term partner – has just been dumped at 40 for a younger model who doesn’t do anything domestic at all.

    So …re young twinkle – stuff the domestics and, as James says, go for the oxytocin.

    After all – we are a long time dead.

  • Leftatforty says:

    WOA is right. He’ll have all the power once you sleep with him and you’ll loose a friend eventually… but you already have many friends and no one else to sleep with. Have him.

  • EmGee says:

    Wise Old Aunt is wise. But so are you.

  • Steve says:

    To hell with cooking – I don’t need anyone to cook for me, I can cook perfectly well without help.

    Get the best lingerie out! That’s far more interesting than lasagne 🙂

  • ex-pond-slime says:

    Don’t sleep with him. Not unless you are going to be honest with him and yourself and say upfront that you are looking for a permanent relationship and see sleeping with him as a step in that direction. If you try to enjoy it as a casual fling, when it ends you will either have to remove him from your life in some way and lose the pleasure of his company, or live with his being there and being perpetually confronted with rejection.

    If you really want the pleasure of a sexy younger man – and I sympathise, you are young and attractive and the juices are flowing and none of this lasts forever – go away somewhere and have a holiday romance. Or go online under a false name and have an affair for the sake of sex.

    I had a few holiday romances in my time and don’t regret any of them – they are a source of happy memories. I regret all the years of non-sex when my body was ripe for it – now I have the lovely husband but the things like arthritis do get in the way a little. I greatly regret the friendships I ruined and the angst I caused myself by thinking I could have flings with younger men in my proximity and keep cool about it. I enormously regret the time I wasted messing round with the unattainable and licking my wounds after the inevitable letdown when I could have been acting rationally and putting myself into a position where I could have met the attainable man of my dreams years before I did.

    • Elle says:

      ex-pond-slime, where did you go on holidays? There never seem to be any spare men when I go on holidays. Most group holidays are full of single women. Skiing holidays aren’t bad but again the groups I’ve travelled with have been mostly women.

      • Cindy Gallop says:

        Elle – for some reason I couldn’t leave a reply on your comment to me – but in the wake of my appearance on The Saturday Night Show on Saturday I am indeed aware of what you say because young Irish women are writing to me asking for online dating advice – do email cindy@makelovenotporn.com if you’d like to discuss further 🙂

      • ex-pond-slime says:

        walking, sailing, ski-ing holidays, just back-packing and staying in youth hostels. But yes there tend to be more women, and opportunities got much fewer as I got older – sorrry, that’s not what any plankton wants to hear I know.

  • Cindy Gallop says:

    Voracious Cindy says go for it. 🙂

  • Scott Benowitz says:

    “Would that I could be as laid-back as cougar-y Cindy Gallop with her annals of young men for sex, but she and I are different animals, obviously. I can’t entirely preclude emotional attachment. Been there, done that. …”

    You want an emotional attachment? Wow, I can’t believe that I was ever at all interested in you…. Well, you’ve made me lose all my interest in you here, you don’t have to worry about me offering to send you my cell phone # in the future ever again….

    I think that I speak on behalf of most attractive, sane, intelligent or wealthy available men these days when I say “Commitment… YUK !!!!… A few weeks of good fun ‘n makin’ whoopie, and then we’ll want to find some other floozie to move on to….. and the less intelligent the women are, the more fun they’re going to be, even if the dumbness is just an act, at least they’ve learned to conceal their intelligence from us !!!”

  • Scott Benowitz says:

    I offered to send Cindy Gallop my cell phone # too- She didn’t write back to me either : (

  • EnglishRose says:

    Whether you are male or female big age gaps can cause problems but plenty of people risk them. Generally it is harder to find thing in common with someone who is a very different age and most of us, male or female, tend to want someone to talk to as well as sex. Indeed plenty of men when they use prostitutes like to eat first and talk when they get the chance. I think we are all built pretty much the same whether male or female.

  • rosie says:

    “I enormously regret the time I wasted messing round with the unattainable and licking my wounds after the inevitable letdown…”

    Hear, hear! If only I’d realised in time that ‘exciting and dangerous’ more often than not just meant ‘loser’. What’s even more galling is that those same losers, the ones I still know about anyway, have never been on their own for longer than it takes to say ‘I’ll call you’.

  • rosie says:

    Malcolm, P is in her forties, not Joan Collins, or is that your idea of ‘mature’, even if a woman is still in shape?

    Tim Curry in the RHS show did strange things to me the first time I saw it. Not sure what that says about me.

    • PY says:

      All this chat of The RHS got me a tad confused as I tried to imagine Tim Curry in his prime , strutting his stuff in full war paint, black bodice, straining gusset and sussies along the crowded paths of The Chelsea Flower Show.

      Now that would be lingerie being put to the test!

      • Cindy Gallop says:

        I was there, at the tender age of 16, watching Tim Curry live on stage in lingerie, and it was the sexiest thing out.

        I’m happy to report that at the age of 52, as someone who is extremely fond of rather sensational lingerie, I find that a very large number of 20-something men do not share Malcolm’s views on older women in lingerie 🙂

      • Jill says:

        I had exactly the same reaction when I read “RHS” – but I couldn’t see the powers that be at Vincent Square consenting to anything quite so louche at Chelsea as M. Curry in his Ann Summers kit – perhaps in the less restrained environs of the Hampton Court Flower Show? They did of course permit a rather cheeky display of compost and flower-filled over shoulder boulder holders bobbling up and down on a washing line as a competition entry a few years ago

      • py says:

        Do you think there is a dangerously narrow line to tread with lingerie ?

        It may well be the stimulant or catalyst for either attraction or self-indulgent fantasy, but the contents of an extravagantly wrapped present must match expectations in order to avoid disappointment.

        I appreciate that the same comment applies to the contents of a well cut business suit .

      • fi says:

        PY – that conjures up such an amusing image.

      • fi says:

        That was put in the wrong place – annoying – I meant the idea of a man on the tube in a cod piece, behind a copy of the metro, or gazing insouciantly round the carriage is really quite funny.

    • EmGee says:

      A well cut business suit? I’m not sure if you are serious. Not that a well cut suit doesn’t look nice, but I don’t think most women would find that sexy (except in a rich banker kind of way).

      Men have been wearing baggy ill fitting clothes for so long, that I think we have forgotten that men used to wear clothes that showed something, cut off jean shorts for example that showed off a little thigh, and tight t shirts showed off hard rounded biceps, nowadays we’re lucky to get a glimpse of a knee under all of that drapery.

      I was shopping online for some drawstring pants today, and one of the Amazon reviews went something like, “My girlfriend bought these pants, and they fit, but they are so baggy and we both like the look of tighter fitting clothes.” I suspect he was speaking for himself.

      I would like to see men wearing better fitting clothes, and looking like they give a sh*t about how they look, instead slouching around in calf length ‘shorts’ and big clownish sports shoes.

      • fi says:

        EmGee – I think you’re talking about the way American men dress. Honest, the rest of the world doesn’t look like that- shorts and big shoes. Shudder.
        And a suit is divine. Just view Daniel Craig as Bond in his suit and tell me you wouldn’t want to rip it off. I can’t believe its just me. In fact I know it’s not just me.

      • fi says:

        Sorry, I went to see Skyfall tonight and I’m sTill having palpitations 🙂

      • Jill says:

        Hmmm, EmGee, for my part I would far prefer to see a man in a well cut suit than in “baggy ill-fitting clothes” – and as for calf length “shorts”/clownish sports shoes, perish the thought! But it is surely, as in everything, a question of what is appropriate to the occasion. I would certainly expect my companion to be wearing a suit if we were having dinner at a smart restaurant, just as I am sure he would expect me to be attractively dressed; I think the wish to look one’s best for each other is an indication of mutual respect. Being proud to be seen together is a very important part of sexual attraction, in my view.

        And as for the matter of lingerie, how deeply disappoiinting/disconcerting if the outer layers come off to reveal less than pristine underwear – it doesn’t have to be Myla or the male equivalent, but just NICE surely?

      • EmGee says:

        I was initially responding to PY’s comment that women find a man business suit as sexy as men find a woman in lingerie. That comparison doesn’t make much sense to me. Personally, in the bedroom, where one would expect to see a woman dressed only in lingerie, I find a man sexier when he’s wearing somewhat less than a suit, apparently I am in the minority there, even (especially) if it is Daniel Craig.

        “Hmmm, EmGee, for my part I would far prefer to see a man in a well cut suit than in “baggy ill-fitting clothes”.

        Well that is sort of my point. I am unsure how you read;
        “I would like to see men wearing better fitting clothes, and looking like they give a sh*t about how they look, instead slouching around in calf length ‘shorts’ and big clownish sports shoes.”
        and understood it to mean I actually like men in baggy, ill fitting clothes, rather than something more tailored?

      • Jill says:

        Hi EmGee (and btw I loved your Amazon-type review of “Harvey” – brilliant! Have only ust read it.)

        I think what we have here is the dissonance caused by an individual reading of the written word in a situation there is no provision for verbal inflexion or emphases of any sort, e;g; italicisation or underlinings. I think that can also happen when there are cultural differences, such as a different take on humour – we British do enjoy a bit of irony….not that I am saying that that is exclusive to those living on this side of the Pond, I hope you understand.

        I certainly did not infer from what you wrote that you were attracted to men in “baggy, ill-fiting clothes”- I think we were all talking about different scenarios. PY’s point, if I understood him correctly, was that the alluring impression created by the cunning use of various items of underwear, could end in disappointment when the final “unveiling” should occur – and then, to be totally even-handed, he compared this to the equal disappointment which might result when a well-cut business suit is shed by its wearer.

        I thnk that Fi and I are both attracted to men in well-cut business suits, but we would not expect them to be wearing them in a bedroom – well, not for long anyway! (Have lost my crib sheet for emoticons in the house selling exercise or I would be using those to illustrate what I am saying….but I hope I have conveyed what I am trying to without their assistance…. 😀 ) .

      • EnglishRose says:

        You don’t have to take off the suit and nor does she have to take off the lingerie (nor her own business suit) to have sex though… ring the changes. Makes life more fun.

      • PY says:

        Yep – and a tie ( NOT novelty, shoestring nor kipper)

        Jill , bang on in terms of your interpretation – the suit is merely the wrapper ( you’ll be pleased to hear that this discussion has led me to make a mental note to review my collection of ageing ‘shreddies’).

        Having read some Bond reviews, a Tom Ford suit clearly does it for Kate Muir as well as Fi ( or maybe it’s a Scottish thing – a kiltish counter-reaction ? ).

        Anyways, whilst not a sartorial icon, I do remember a fashionista’s query ” When exactly was it that men started dressing like kids ?” That matches EmGee’s observations.

        ER , with you on ringing the changes, but I can assure you that there aren’t many men would risk a close encounter through a half open zipper – well, possibly only the first time.

        Altogether now , ” Dum-di-dum, dum, dum-dum “

      • Jill says:

        Well, I learn something new every day, PY….having never come across the word “shreddies” before, I had to assuage my curiosity just now and Googled it. Somehow I wish I hadn’t…..chemical warfare underwear ????? 😳 I shall never again look at a man in a business suit without wondering if he is sporting his shreddies beneath it…..Indeed you have just put the kibosh on my forthcoming (5.30 performance) visit to see “Skyfall” as I shall be gazing at Daniel C. wondering if he’s got some on……

      • fi says:

        Personally a kilt does it for me too, and like a well cut suit, it does the same trick of making any man look better than he (probably) is. Kilts – make fat men look slim, make thin men look bulky. Don’t know how they do this but they just do. A well cut suit (like Bond’s) just makes the shoulders and back broader, the waist and hips narrower, and empasises the legs. Think the secret is to have the cut narrow round the body but with enough fabric to allow for movement. It’s a magic trick I think and one you only get with an expensive version. Am off to read what Kate Muir says about it now.

      • EmGee says:

        “You don’t have to take off the suit and nor does she have to take off the lingerie (nor her own business suit) to have sex though… ring the changes. Makes life more fun.”

        ;-D Sounds a bit puritanical to me, having sex fully clothed that is, but I suppose there is room for nearly every fetish.

        I must be dense, I still don’t see the correlation between outerwear and underwear being the same. Although I must admit a kilt works for me too, but in that case the underwear doesn’t even come into play. And imagine this, perhaps for the same reason a skirt on a woman is attractive to men in that it shows al little leg?

      • EnglishRose says:

        There are lots of possibilities. Man in very good suit, one his tailor made, woman in nothing is a very sexy combination for sex. Anyway as said above people differ in their interests and you can always ring the changes.

        Yes, men certainly have over the years had tighter fitting clothes – in 1600s England men were in tights with a cod piece I think and women showed an awful lot of cleavage. Mind you that last one has not really changed in terms of what attract men; although swimming this afternoon I noticed a young lady asking permission to swim in her Islamic compliant clothing – long black things and long top. I was amused. In Queen Victoria’s day I would have been scandalous attired in mixed company in my swimming suit even at my age and today in 2012 in London the girl who wants to cover up in the poor has to ask permission (which of course is much the best way round and why indeed do we not allow totally naked swimming).

      • PY says:

        As you say, Jill , you learn something every day – such as a school day euphemism being hijacked by an underwear brand. How on earth was I going to know that ?

        However, “It’s an ill wind …” – particularly if it raised a laugh.

      • Jill says:

        Well, it just raised another one hereabouts, PY 😆 (Actually, am more than grateful for that as your post has raised me from a particularly low ebb, and my sons were extremely relieved to see my tears turn to laughter….ill wind indeed!!

      • PY says:

        Chin up, Jill , it’s all pretty shitty but should be better when you’re on the other side of it.

        Just musing over EnglishRose’s comments. Donning a cod piece would be an excellent way to get more standing room on the morning commute. At least half a carriage.

      • Jill says:

        Goodness, just how big a codpiece are you imagining/contemplating?!

        As for the tears, I will just say that divorce and moving house, despite notoriously being two of the most stressful of life experiences, are as nothing compared to the mind-boggling and gratuitous duplicity and unkindness of which some people seem to be capable. I must be very naive because I still find myself stunned and deeply upset when it happens, and I’m sure that I should be enured to that kind of behaviour by now. Not feeling sorry for myself, honest, just perplexed.

        Yours aye,

        Mrs. Do-As-You-Would-Be-Done-By

      • Basil Meatballs says:

        Why is “it” (why are they) called “codpiece?

      • Jill says:

        Much as I always like to be helpful, Basil, I think that this is one that you should Google for yourself…. ;D (N.B. Wikipedia is very helpful.)

      • py says:

        Appropiately enough, Basil Meatballs, the ‘cod’ or ‘codd’ appears to be Old English for a bag or, in this instance, the scrotum .
        (Source: O.E.D.)

      • Basil Meatballs says:

        Well, I already have done.

        Wikipedia was not very helpful. I thought a cod piece had a dual use – the other was for keeping your money.

        Neither did I understand “Cod”. Wikepedia says “cod” is the old word for scrotum in which case why name a fish after the male Australian department?

      • Basil Meatballs says:

        Benson and Esten “Unmentionables”: The entire male population above the age of three appeared to be suffering from a severe case of priapism…….These exaggerated codpieces were said to be used as storage areas for coins and sweets….in the world of ballet…it is stuffed, usually with women’s sanitary napkins not only to protect the dancer’s private parts but as a symbol of masculinity.

        How bizarre. What’s that down your pants? Half a dozen tampax. Cor, what a man.

  • James B says:

    What I wonder, is the true definition of a “Loser”? It’s something that interests me, anyway. Many men rate themselves and their peers by how effective a serial seducer they are. The number and ‘quality’ of their conquests, (by which I mean the perceived level of universal attractiveness of women they get) is often their sole arbiter of success.

    So these ‘losers’ think they are winners, simply because they are never alone for more than a short while. I have often thought that we ought to all carry bar codes that explicitly indicate our level of required/intended commitment preferences at any one time. It would save a lot of heartaches all round. There are plenty of women predators out there too of course. Also – why is their no website that reviews men and women on their emotional, relationship (and even sexual) levels. Then we might all learn a bit. Just joking by the way. But still …

    • fi says:

      I think ‘loser’ is just a derogatory term for any man that a woman doesn’t like. There is no scale of Loserdom or agreement on what constitutes one.

  • James B says:

    ‘There’ not ‘their’. Sorry about the typo!

    • EmGee says:

      Brilliant James! Like the reviews on Amazon. I think the online dating sites should do something like that. 😀

      Customer Reviews: ** out of ****
      My first date with Harvey was mixed at best. While I instantly recognized him as he came through the door of our appointed meeting place, evidently his profile picture was somewhat dated, and the six pack was now under his arm, not his stomach. Nonetheless, he is a good conversationalist, and topics he seemed to think he knew something about seemed endless. Although I am still not convinced after a lengthy discourse on chemtrails, he was good natured enough and didn’t seem to take offense at my skepticism.

      I would have given Harvey 3 stars, but the pale ring of flesh around his left ring finger. leads me to suspect he is not quite the bachelor farmer as stated in his profile.”

      [customer would NOT recommend Harvey to friends or family]

      • Joules says:

        Emgee – so wish this could be true. Much easier to choose a dress on Boden than a man on Match.

      • EnglishRose says:

        Isn’t that why that UK website mysinglefriend (which don’t use) was so successful? Because it was based on rating your friend.

        It is not hard to root out what type of person someone is and we can all find someone we like but if you look at the male responses here you instantly can see what most men are after – quite a lot of good sex. The so – called sex deficit (see Hakim et al).

      • James B says:

        Very funny!

  • James B says:

    It’s more the issue about commitment than just sexuality I think. Most men want lots of good sex. Some want a real relationship at any one point in time and others are not capable of being monogamous for any length of time. That’s about it really. Add in whether a man is honest, solvent, affectionate, needy, funny or interesting and you have everything. I guess you ladies could also rate sexual performance too, but it seems to me that that’s a personal thing really as one person’s sandwich is another person’s hamburger. Well you know what I mean …

    • EnglishRose says:

      It’s why I could usually have someone and why may be plankton doesn’t . It all comes down to sex really and what you’re after. There are lots and lots of good men around.

  • Jill says:

    Good evening, P. I wonder if you ever read your fellow Times columnists, and whether you saw yesterday’s (28.10.12) article by Hannah Betts entitled “The Weight of Expectation”. She makes some sound comments about the state of singledom. Well, I found it interesting and thought-provoking anyway….and would recommend it to fellow plankton.

  • june says:

    I would say P if a younger man fancies go for it,what the hell, I just wish one would me as i just cant fancy most men over 60, im sorry i just cant, they are totally unfanciable,well the ones i see are.

    As i said previously ive stopped dwelling too much on it, and am trying to be more positive, with sitting my friends dog and pilates. But still i find myself thinking especiallywith the onset of darker nights and dreary winter days, is there any chance i could have a little romance in my life, ever. But i just dont meet men anywhere, well not sort i want to meet, pilates is all women, and the dog not really trained enough yet for me to walk him. So i must accept the status qo i guess, but P go for it, i would.

  • rosie says:

    Hope MissBates and Cindy are ok?!

    • py says:

      And what about Scott ?

      He’s ringside and just about to don the Jellyfish outfit for Halloween – just in time for a ‘Frankenstorm’ tidal surge .

    • MissBates says:

      Hi Rosie — Yes, I’m fine, and very lucky indeed, as I live in a part of Manhattan that is neither under water nor without electricity. I have a severe case of cabin fever having been inside for the better part of 72 hours, but it’s back to the office tomorrow, even though we’ll have a bit of a skeleton crew as the subways and commuter rail lines are still down and will be for several days. Thanks very much for thinking of me.

  • rosie says:

    Scott too (and anyone else in the firing line), didn’t realise he lived there.

  • Doc says:

    “my aunt told me that an arrangement with a younger man was necessarily doomed”

    So? Why does it matter? Look at it realistically, after almost any relationship you don’t keep in contact, so why should it matter? When I take a young woman to bed, I’m not thinking about our “friendship” or “what about when we break up” – I’m more interested in what is going to take place tonight. Damn the torpedoes – full speed ahead…

    Go have some fun. That is what matters in the end – not how miserable you were able to make yourself, but how many fond memories you have. I have met a lot of women I’ve bedded over the years, later, and we share an inner smile. You only regret the opportunities that you pass up… So don’t pass any of them up….

  • Jill says:

    Hello P…..hope you are okay? No Times article this week, but I am guessing that half term has intervened. Are you even at this minute carving teeth in pumpkins and preparing to bob for apples?!

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