A Lovely Man
She said I was a lovely man.
I have to say that I was deeply suspicious of this.
What evidence did she have. She hardly knew me and yet she claimed this overwhelming knowledge.
I know that women have some subtle intuition which allows them immediate availability of all the facts of any situation.
But me ? A lovely man? Surely not.
I pride myself on concealing my true self from people, covered by the banter of wit and personality below which lies something that even I do not know exists.
People who claim to know themselves well must be very boring I always thought.
Better to keep a bit of excitement and intrigue in a relationship otherwise itís all slippers and tele.
Dating - Part 45
We had hardly been out at all. Just coffee and a few drinks.
We hadnít even held hands though I did put my hand on her knee in an affectionate sort of way once.
She seemed to freeze somewhat. As if I had crossed a barrier, a bridge too far.
I donít understand how women set themselves up for dating and then refuse to participate.
Havenít they heard of being tactile, friendly, open & sparkling?
Itís just a laugh isnít it? Itís a bit of fun and some company to brighten up the day.
Some silly conversations about life and our histories.
Just donít mention ďbaggage.Ē
Baggage is a dead spot. It conjures up all kinds of conflicts within the female brain.
I obviously tried to make it better by saying that everybody had baggage and that anyone who denied it was just covering up.
I could see a big hole opening up in the road ahead. The conversation was winding towards it.
I could see it but still I drove right into it.
ďAnd itís not that people have baggage itís the way they deal with it and resolve it... the issues.Ē
I started to slow down and stutter as I realised that this had opened up a whole universe of conversations that I didnít want to have.
No, I canít get out of this. How do I get out of this? I didnít even want to consider the implications of what I had said.
Because the only way to continue this line of conversation was for us both to discuss all our ďbaggageĒ and how we had ďresolved itĒ. Or not.
Which is a conversation that you might struggle through after six months, if you make it.
But not after three dates and forty minutes.
Women and Love
I donít know. I havenít got the foggiest idea whatís going on with women & love.
I know that things changed quite a lot as I got older and not any wiser.
In our younger days we would take girls out along quite a stony path where they would have this inbuilt route map of hurdles that males had to jump over.
Now being this route map has been superseded by the new subtle ďexpectationsĒ.
Women expect men to be; solvent, have no psychological problems, not to be dependent on alcohol or drugs, have a job and a suitable income, be stable but interesting, be good-looking and physically fit, to want to travel and provide holidays, have absent children, be emotionally open, fit in with all their friends and family and to have an independent life.
But most of all to give them their undivided attention at all times.
Compromise is another word that should be avoided at all cost.
Women fall for the men who are good providers and have a good gene bank.
Women over fifty look for men they can nurture into respectability.
They prefer the muscles of the building site worker but they donít like his bad habits.
Like standing at the bar for long periods, glass in hand staring at the moon.
Like taking the piss out of their best friends.
Like turning up for a family restaurant meal in t-shirt and jeans.
Like drinking at Sunday lunch and then sleeping on the sofa all afternoon.
So they will take an unsuspecting male and turn him into a housemaid.
There are soooo many jobs that a man can do around the house; the garden, the diy, the house repairs, the big projects, car repairs. Not to mention all those things that women canít do like; map reading, tuning the digital TV, setting the video recorder, or the alarm clock, or the mobile phone, or the computer.
Then they wonder why he is such a wimp, and look for someone else.
But then she said it.
It wasnít quite what I expected to hear from mouse.
I just happened to mention that she didnít respect me. It was a casual remark.
And she laughed. Not just a little laugh. A big hysterical out of control laugh.
That said it all didnít it. Not only had I failed in the illusion of being a man.
I had failed to gain any respect for being me. How could that possibly have happened?
Sometimes you will just click with someone and carry on as if itís a continuation of your previous marriage (hopefully without the bad bits)
This can be a smooth transition which lets you carry on exactly as you did before with the least effort possible.
Just like you did when you married someone who treated you as badly as your parents did.
Itís like you miss the pain.
Being a self deluded pop star is one of the several layers of stupidity often found in the British male.
I went out on a gig the other night and as usual found the audience totally unsuitable.
Donít they realise that I am playing original songs from the depths of mankindís soul.
A sensitive outpouring of the emotional drift of a lifetime of learning and refining my art?
Why do they always want the same old s**t.
ďCan you play the House of the Rising Sun?Ē
Do you know any Beatles numbers?
Romeo & Juliet - Email
Juliet. How cruel is fate to have taken you from me before we have even met.
And you, who callously spurned my offer of coffee for the mere trifling of a holiday in France.
Have you never heard the song of the wind travelling within the shadowy streets of Exeter?
You may travel the world but you, my beauty, will always be just a faint reflection of your inner self until we meet and you feel the electric charge as our finger tips touch (casually of course) . And I stare deeply into your eyes, the emotions rising deep within our chakras (thatís enough of that, ed) to feel such a deep and lasting love, my Juliet.
The flowers will never smell as sweet; the sun will never shine so bright, the sea never so cool until you return.
Have you never heard the wise words of the songstress Charleene, who knew a thing or two about gadding about, when she uttered those thought provoking words, ďIíve been to paradise, but Iíve never been to me.Ē
And France, I fear, will be full of French men who will sully your English maidenís brow with thoughts of garlic and frolics in the vineyards of La Soire,
The grapes full and ripe for picking, the orchards heaving with the weight of the golden delicious on their boughs.
And you my sweet, drifting like an angel, your dress floating lightly in the breeze as you stand, sadly, alone. Thinking of what could have been.
How can you travel to such foreign shores, full of French men, when your own English Romeo waits in vain?
Watching the waves, standing on the cob at Lyme Regis, waiting for you to say ďItís me Juliet, Iím coming home nowĒ (Wuthering Heights).
The tears of joy rolling down my face, blistering from the open wounds of deprivation and solitude, My heart broken a million times for every day that has passed.
Only then will we stand as one, together in a timeless place, for a cappuccino.
Romeo my dear, I think you have totally lost it. Itís probably living in Devon.
It gets to you after a bit all the fields and cows and things.
Have you ever thought of going out with a therapist Iím sure that would help initially.
Maybe after a time you could settle down and start up your own home for the cynically insane. Maybe fall in love with the occasional friendly Welsh sheep or something.
I am sorry that I had to postpone our tete a tete. I am sure that you will be able to wait just a few more weeks knowing that you have already lost half a lifetime.
I will probably not miss you while I am away as Iím sure there will be a million things to do.
I think of you fondly though, as it is not everyone that gets that close to the sun and survives.
A lot of people look forward to retirement. The end of their working life.
The end of their boss-worker relationship.
The freedom and the time to do whatever they like.
A new beginning, an exciting challenge.
The initial flush of excitement can start to wane after a few months.
After you've done everything you wanted to do you may find that the situation is a bit different to that which you had envisaged.
Though work may have been a chore, you may find that not having any work is a positive danger to your health.
Firstly there is the routine of getting up and getting motivated.
Then there is the loss of direction and mental stimulation.
And of course you have to stay physically fit to keep your body well.
All these things have to be reconsidered and re evaluated.
And then, if life is a permanent holiday, can you afford it?
Dating Ė Part 93
We met in the pub car park. It was early evening.
There was a river running alongside the garden with trestle wooden tables and a view of the weir.
It was the idyllic setting for my first date.
The swans were busily leading their young in and out of the reeds.
A family of ducks flew in from farther downstream and landed heavily on the water with a great splash as their feet skated the rippling waters.
She stood at the end of the car park, tall and elegant.
Her dark hair falling from her shoulders to her waist.
As her face turned half to one side I could see her skin was lightly tanned, possibly from Bali or some other Polynesian outreach.
My stomach was racked with nerves as I strode towards her, carefully trying to avoid her gaze.
ďHi Annie,Ē I said. The nerves biting hard into my psyche.
I chatted away leading with a few superficial chit chats.
She stood confidently still with a slight smile on her face.
Listening, looking at me with obvious interest.
There was a pause in my conversation as I invited her to the table.
She did not move. She just smiled sweetly and said ďIím not Annie.Ē
A Permanent Holiday
You can develop an interesting social life.
Ladies who lunch, men who play golf.
Walks in the park or on the moors. Sandy beaches, fresh air, lazy hazy days.
But substituting the social interaction which you had at work can be quite a challenge and requires a lot of effort.
There is also the 'black hole' which you can sink into when you wonder what you really want from your retirement.
The rest of your life could actually last another thirty years.
What exactly are you going to do with all this new found time?
Holidays and meals out always seemed an interesting break from working life but on their own they seem a lot less interesting.
Some people long for the sun and set up home in Spain or Portugal.
Even this idyllic venture can have its down side as the reality of living abroad can turn to disillusion
And if you haven't allowed for 'plan B' it can be a financial disaster.
Dating Ė Part 53
It is unusual for a woman to invite you to pick her up from home on the first date.
I knocked at the door and she invited me in to her living room.
I sat in a chair as she sat opposite on the sofa.
ďI suppose youíve realised by now,Ē she said,Ē that Iím blind.Ē
ďNo,Ē I replied stupidly.
Salsa is quite a good thing to do because the atmosphere is very relaxed.
Women are much more relaxed in a dance class.
It often turns into a solid mixed age social group..
You can take a friend with you to try it out.
The evening usually starts off with a ďshineĒ, which is a group warm up, in lines.
You are then taught the basic steps and a few turns etc. Nothing too tricky.
Then you pair up for some other dance moves.
Every few minutes you change partner so that you get to dance with everyone in the room.
How cool is that?
I went to a festival in Devon. It was great fun.
We all behaved like children and danced and listened to loads of bands.
By the end of the evening some of the women got rid of their inhibitions and threw their arms around me in a passionate embrace.
Always a good thing I think and a nice way to spend the weekend.
In fact I got so enthusiastic with the whole peace and love hippydom thing that I joined in a drumming class.
I sulked for the first ten minutes because I didnít get a drum, just a fracking agogo bell but when I got on a drum all was peace and light.
I went to another class on dancing or something and ended up staring for twenty minutes into a lovely ladies eyes.
Cross legged we sat opposite to each other as we held each others gaze. Aaaah.
She was so sweet that I fell in love instantly.
This was part of a taster for breaking down the barriers between people.
But beggars the question. ďIf I can fall in love with a complete stranger in twenty minutes doesnít that completely frack up the whole basis of love and marriage and society and all that stuff?Ē
(Oh Yeah. Everybody knew that .ed).
Which conveniently leads me on to the Chinese lady who emailed me from Bejing University and suggested that our first date should be in China. ??
And there was this other young woman from Bristol who was married with kids but was in the totally bored housewife syndrome.
When you start feeling emotional about people you have never met you start to wonder what is going on.
I quite liked the Dali Lama and a lot of the stuff he says.
And got into the realisation that love was something that was in you and that you could release not just to one person but to anyone or everyone.
This kind of explained why love and marriage didnít really work after the first three months,
Why people had affairs and why repressed emotions had become a way of life for the British.
But then you really need someone to share your life or you miss stuff and also you need someone to open you up emotionally.
Obviously a religious leader isnít the best person to ask about relationships as theyíre mostly single.
We talked we hugged. She seemed ok, quite sweet, my age, slightly housewifely though but something lurking inside. Something agitating her, something unfulfilled.
We talked about this and that for about twenty minutes.
ďHave you got a tent?Ē, she enquired. ďNo. Iíve got a car to sleep in if I get too drunk to drive home.Ē
She looked at me, tutted and walked off.
Another opportunity missed. Doh!
Some men retire to find that they have a new boss, the wife, who is a lot more frightening than their old boss and a lot less sympathetic to their needs.
Women don't understand the male routine of tea breaks, lunch breaks, trips to the stationers for unnecessary goods.
In fact she has a complete list of 'jobs' that she wants done around the house. And she wants them done in a particular way. Her way, not your way.
Decorating, gardening, hoovering.
All the years of work experience come to nothing when faced with this new managing director.
Women on the other hand can find the intrusion into their homely lifestyle an unnecessary and unwanted distraction.
Having a new companion hanging round the house all day can prove to be an annoyance.
On Being over 60
Being over 60 has its advantages.
No mortgage, no children and no babies.
The Multi-Dimensional Warrior.
Lady Beasdale was an artist of fine repute.
She wrote to me on several occasions of her love for the existentialist life.
She said that she lived in a multi-dimensional reality.
She was an artist of extreme talent so, presumably, people made allowances for her.
It seemed that she did not take critism well, as I found out on our day out.
She requested an activity on our first date and when offered a selection, chose to go canoeing down the Exeter Ship Canal.
It was a full moon which could explain in part her hyper animation.
She was fashionably late for our meet at noon.
Not one to waste time on casual chit chat she launched into a personal in depth analysis of my life and personality which verged on an interogation.
She then diversified into psychological profiling, counselling and questions about my close family relationships.
I took all this in good spirit as I had not actually met anybody quite that barking mad before and was facinated by her condition.
She revealed that she had been tortured by a failed relationship some six years back.
When I suggested that tortured was a highly emotive word and that it may help her resolve her pain if she used a less emotive description she railed at me saying ďAre you saying I wasnít tortured?Ē
She was superbly gifted in all fields, she told me. Her talent and mastery of everything we discussed was never understated.
I tried to find a place on occasions during the conversations where I could find a slight weakness or frailty where a man such as I would be able to survive.
But there was none.
She was highly competitive in all fields. Sport, art, music, work.
Her confidence and energy in all things was totally unlimited. Her only failing, she said, was that she had a weakness to allow others to win because of her good nature.
I never saw the slightest sign of this.
We had pizza in a bar which was sadly undercooked and during a relaxing few moments on the sofa she continued her dreams for a film, frame by frame.
The intensity and speed of the description staggeringly graphic.
I happened to mention that I was starting to feel a bit barraged by all this information (It was now 8pm).
But she didnít take it too well. She froze for a few seconds, considering my impudence and then made an excuse to go to the ladies room.
At the end of the day I asked if I was likely to get a hug. A jovial little piece that I like to throw in to save the awkwardness of goodbyes.
She said she could not hug me because there would be such an explosion of emotion that the ground would vibrate with the shock of it
And that if we kissed it would be like full sex because her sensuality was so great that nothing could withstand its power.
And then added that she would have to consult her Tarot before making a decision on that.
( I quite liked this woman as her insanity made me feel very grounded and sane.
It was all quite amusing until my sister pointed out that she was probably bipolar II.
Which is incurable for someone who refuses help.
Its not funny any more.
In fact itís very sad.)
END AUGUST 7TH
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