Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Senior Dating (or Why I Date Fresh Men)

Once upon a time there was a little girl who had a little curl right in the middle of her forehead.

For a fairly cute girl, she liked to read, and read she did. Every damn fairy tale ever known to womankind and published in the full set of the Book of Knowledge. The Book of Knowledge. What a misnomer that was. For the uneducated, the Book of Knowledge was an encyclopedic set that covered history to science and everything in between--including fairy tales.

I don’t think it is as much so today as when I was a girl, this believing in fairy tales, that either a handsome prince or a white knight would dash in to a young woman’s life and the twosome would live happily ever after with nary a woe. In fact, I don’t guess there is much of a market for fairy tales with today’s young girls. Fairy tales mislead girls to believe that there is one special someone out there who will love and protect them all of their days. Well, there is. He’s called your daddy. Trust me, that is the only man, and I mean the ONLY man who will ever love and respect a girl as she deserves to be. To hell with the rest of them.

Forgive me for generalizing here, but men, as it were, is a misnomer, too. When have you known a man to ever grow up? They don’t really, only if they sire a girl child, and only in respect to said child. I hate to be the burster of bubbles here, but men never grow up in respect to womankind. They always see themselves as they were at the peak of their sexual prowess, a virile young man, no matter how many nose and ear hairs you can count and no matter how little hair is on their pates.

Once, an older lady friend of mine emailed me a cartoon. It showed a fat, balding man looking into a mirror admiring the image of a studly body builder. In the next frame, it showed a good-looking woman, looking into a mirror with disdain at the image of an old hag. It kind of reminds me of that old Robert Burns poem, “O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us.” Wouldn’t that be something? For either a man or a woman to see how others see them? Therein lies a fairy tale in itself.

As a woman who has been around the block a time or two or three or more, I can tell you this much, I’ve seen everything from a sweet gherkin to a beef stick to a pile of Jet-Puffed Marshmallows (my apologies to Kraft). You women out there know what I’m talking about even if the men don’t. Yes, I admit, I’ve been accused of being a cradle robber for having married and dated younger men, or in today’s parlance, being a “cougar.” And for good reason. Call it what you will, but younger men do have their benefits when you consider that the old farts never grow up and only gain in nose and ear cartilage and hair. Besides, what’s the point of dating someone your own age, especially if you are a reasonably attractive woman who desires the same in a man?

There is also a misconception that once a woman reaches menopause, she is no longer interested in the male of the species. It is true for some, but not all. For example, a famous female author friend of mine, who is approaching sixty-five and shall remain unnamed, told me not long ago: “I’ve sucked my last dick.” I love her frankness (no pun intended), but for me, I don’t think I’m quite there yet.

I fully understand that by posting this blog, I may be cutting off future dating opportunities with men my age and older, such as they are, but the damn fairy tale is over.

Now it’s all about slaying dragons.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Darryl Strawberry's Half-Brother

Some of my Facebook friends may have noticed a post my oldest son made to my page today. It simply said: "Darryl Strawberry's half brother." It was his Christmas gift to me to put a smile on my face.

Yes, of course, there is a story behind that simple post.

It happened one night in the fall of 1990 or '91, as I recall. I was sitting on my bed in my condo in Northern Virginia wearing nothing but an oversized T-shirt, writing a letter to my boyfriend du jour, when I heard a man's voice in my living room. I thought it was the television at first. It was around 9 p.m. and time to get my two young sons to bed. So I got up, went into the living room to see my boys chatting with a tall black man with very small ears. Needless to say, I was shocked. Evidently, he had knocked at my door and my sons had opened it and invited him inside. They were chatting away as my mind was racing about how to get this man out of my house before there was an ugly scene that would scar my sons for life.

When the man saw me, he introduced himself and said he was selling magazines to earn money to attend community college in California. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'd heard that story before. I quickly purchased a year's subscription to the Village Voice in an attempt to shoo him out the door and give my sons another lecture on not letting strange people inside one's home. I wrote him out a check for said amount and told him I needed to get my sons, then about ages seven and five, or thereabouts, to bed. The man was ever so grateful and began to flatter me, telling me how good I looked in that T-shirt, etc. That is when I knew the trouble was about to begin.

"I'm Daryl Strawberry's half-brother, you know," he announced.

Of course, that piqued my sons' interest being sports fans and got them very excited to have a somewhat celebrity standing in their living room. I don't recall the conversation that ensued too well, all I know is I was frantic to get this man out of my house before my boys were forced to watch the rape of their mother.

"I'd like to take you to see Jungle Fever, if you don't mind," he said.

I told him I didn't think that would be appropriate and finally led him to the door and let my aura, if you will, push him out the door. Then I clamped the deadbolt shut and warned my boys of the dangers of letting strangers into one's home, especially late at night.

The next evening, I got a phone call. Yes, you guessed it. It was from Darryl Strawberry's alleged half-brother. He had gotten my phone number off my check and was pressing me to go see Jungle Fever, a movie about a white woman dating a black man or something to that effect. I have not seen the movie to this day, so I couldn't tell you what it is about really. I informed the young man that what he was doing was unethical and could jeopardize his position with the publications company for which he worked. That was enough to end our conversation and I didn't receive any more calls from him after that.

Ever since then, that evening has become somewhat of an inside joke between my sons and me and Jeff always knows it is good to illicit a laugh from this lonesome heart.