Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The Very Last Time

In praise of older women.

This recently in Feministeerium:

"It's obviously difficult for women to find a male partner with whom she's not bored and whose values she shares -- after all, women are on average more educated and tolerant than men."

I’m told finding a man in Estonia isn’t easy, and it’s even more complicated if you’re over 50. A middle-aged female friend allowed me to look over her shoulder on Tinder, watching her swipe right at shirtless men with Auschwitz prisoner haircuts and small beer guts posed in front of bathroom mirrors. I can sympathize. I wouldn’t want those mouth-breathers, either. If I had a choice, that is.

But even sadder than the Tinder Neanderthals are the women who have simply given up. Those that are prepared to die as old maids, killing time watching ├Ľnne 13, reading Pealinn, and waiting in line for free firewood.

It’s unfortunate that they’ve given up, because the fact is that there are good men out there. There’s the one your 50-something friend Piret has. He doesn’t cheat on her or beat her either one, and he even cooked dinner for her once back in 1995. Then there’s Tiina’s man, who finally married her after a decade of shacking up, and once took her to Sharm El Sheik in February. There are others out there, too. And, if you believe Roger Angell, it would be worth our time to find each other:

"I believe that everyone in the world wants to be with someone else tonight, together in the dark, with the sweet warmth of a hip or a foot or a bare expanse of shoulder within reach. Those of us who have lost that, whatever our age, never lose the longing: just look at our faces. If it returns, we seize upon it avidly, stunned and altered again."

You may have difficulties admitting it, ladies, but I suspect you need us as much as we need you.

But what can be done to bring us together? Perhaps the women are too critical? Might they lower their standards? Or maybe they value the wrong things in a man? Is it within the realm of possibility that that shirtless cad with his ex-girlfriend’s name tattooed in runny ink on his knuckles – I M B I – is capable of deep and lasting love? Consider this, ladies: Despite his minuses, could he want to hold you in his warm embrace through the lonely hours of the night? Could he be the most sensitive and thoughtful lover you’ve ever experienced, to whom your satisfaction is paramount?

True, the men might benefit from some minor improvements: Put on a shirt for your photo, preferably one that’s been ironed. When you finally meet her, ask a dozen questions about her before you tell her all about your motorcycle. And of course, as all the advice columnists tell us, never send dick pics without being asked.

The men should also be made aware of the virtues of middle-aged women and the joys of a lover over 50. I can say from experience that the fifty-something woman offers more depth than the twenty-something, who seems concerned mainly with whether Gwyneth Paltrow-brand eyeshadow is really any better than Kat Von D’s. You will also discover that the woman with crow’s feet is loads more fun than the thirty-something who spends her life at civil society events and then cheers vacuously on Facebook about how she’s changing the world.

Middle-aged women are often highly educated and excellent conversationalists. But if that holds no interest for you, know that they usually have practical knowledge about things of real consequence in your life. The healthy food she will teach you to eat may prolong your life. She knows that a few well-placed flowers will brighten any room. And she may show you that bleach poured in the toilet eliminates the need for the brush.

If the male reader is still not persuaded, then he might consider the middle-aged women’s enthusiasm for love making, as explained to me by a 65-year-old friend: “You young guys may think you’re fine swordsmen, but you haven’t really enjoyed sex until you’ve been with a woman my age. While making love, a single thought repeats inside her head: This could be my very last time. This could be my very last time...

And since male readers have been good enough to indulge me with a few DIY improvement tips, the ladies might also lend an ear. We men are not as caught up in your physical appearances as you might think. We are not put off by your caesarian scars; they are the patina of life, evidence of the fact that you have lived. And get over your wrinkles, your thinning hair, and the bags under your eyes in the morning. You were surely a great beauty once, but now you’ll be another sort, one not powered by pulchritude but by self-confidence.

It may be that for us to find and enjoy each other, we must both slightly revise our expectations and embrace the spirit of tolerance. I agree to put down the ring on the toilet, even though it is my own home. You keep your bra off the light fixture, even though the heat does help it dry. You accept my love of raw meat, and I agree not to eat your annoying little dog.

I would beg to differ with Feministeerium’s Aet Kuusik. It’s not men who lack tolerance, but rather the whole goddamned planet. And the first step to living with us men is to set aside what you think you know about us. Yes, we’re all those negative things. But, like you, we’re also so much more.

This article was originally published in the Estonian language in Edasi.org.