Wednesday, April 1, 2009

In praise of the older man

So there you are, one lonely evening with your fingers poised over the search bar. Internet dating. A big step. But you know what you want: a mature guy, good-looking, naturally. Been around the block so he knows how to please. And there are some really dishy ones out there. Dark and handsome. Slim-hipped, broad-shouldered. A devilish glint in the eye. Where to start?

On the other hand, you don’t want an old one, do you? Or one who looks like he’s been in a few brawls. Or one that’s going to trash your rose-scented bedroom and leave hair in the plughole.

Brown eyes, greying temples. But he’s old. With a scar on the nose, he must have a sad tale to tell. Keep flirting with the others. But as the weeks go by, they each meet someone, just right and he’s still there. So you read his story. No longer useful. No longer able to work. No longer wanted. A quick email, just to enquire. Can’t do any harm. Just one phone call. No commitments.

So there you are, a cold October morning, waiting for a van to arrive. When the door opens, you recognise the profile from the internet picture. He gingerly jumps down from the travel crate and looks bewildered. But his over-riding need is a tree and then, you’re on your own. Together.

He rests his head against your leg and gazes up, trusting that you won’t let him down. So how can you? Suddenly, you have become the centre of his world.

Can’t teach an old dog new tricks? His world is full of new things which impress him: jacket potatoes, playing with frisbees, a soft cuddly bed, a good brushing, a cup of tea, big hugs, trips to the country, Christmas, a loving family. And some things that bother him and you don’t know why: the hoover, other sheepdogs, going through gates first. But as the months pass, these stop worrying him so much and then suddenly, he’s cool. He’s the dude. People stop you to admire this good-looking boy and he doesn’t hide behind your legs. And you see the magnificent dog and there’s no sad old man. And when you go out to play every evening after work, you see the pup.

So you know that he’s old and maybe you won’t have so many years together. But, it’s not the years, it’s the mileage. You fill each day with love and fun. And when it’s over, you remember all the days.

1 comment:

Go on, have a little mumble here. You know you want to.