Dating at a certain age is very difficult. There are loads of whackos out there and huge amounts of excess baggage being carried around. I have my fair share I suppose, but mine is small and interesting and ha ha, who am I kidding. Anyway, when you do eventually meet a man who is not a stalker, mentally insane, broken, bitter, fragile, insecure, shaky or ill, and is also good looking, sexy, and bright, you want to shout out from the rooftops “Hey, I met this guy, he’s perfect, he’s perfect.”
But because you’re of a certain age, it isn’t so easy to climb up the stairs to reach the rooftop – sore knees, sore back, fear of heights – so instead you giggle with your girlfriends over coffee, send your new beau tons of Whats-Apps, and try very hard to arrange the next knee- knocking date.
It is not that easy.
Children- I have mine every second week, every third Friday night, on alternate weekends and really whenever they want to be with me. The man I’ve started dating has his every third day, alternate Tuesdays, on public holidays, birthdays and really whenever his fourteen kids want to be with him.
Food – I’m easy. I eat everything except chicken. I often have cake for breakfast, love cheese burgers, hate spinach and most vegetables, and have this romantic idea of lazing in front of a fire with Chinese take outs.
He is not easy. He’s a god-awful vegetarian, allergic to wheat, dairy and MSG, very precious about his caloric intake and really, a pain in the arse when it comes to food.
Alcohol – I drink whisky. Single malt. And I’ve been known to down a bottle of champagne. Good taste. Expensive taste. He sips wine. It has to be red. Sulphur free. And organic. He thinks my drinking habits are extreme. I think his are odd.
But most importantly, and certainly the biggest negotiation, at this certain age – Sleeping!
I’ve been on my own for a couple of years. And in those years, have still not ever, not once, never ever, rolled over on to my ex-husbands side. Apparently this is not unusual; some women never roll over on to that side of the bed.
But, we had a great fourth date, and in the back of my mind I knew I was going to have sex with this guy, so I’d waxed and bathed, primped and preened, changed the sheets, tidied the bedroom, lit candles, and I was right, we had great sex. And then he clearly had that fabulous content, snuggle for a bit then roll over gently and go to sleep feeling. Because he went to sleep.
On my side of the bed.
I did not have that same fabulous feel good feeling. I lay there, wide awake, heart beating wildly, on the wrong side of the bed, staring at the wrong side of the ceiling. I shook him gently. Nothing. I tried to push him over to the other side. Not strong enough. A gentle kick. Nope, it hurt my knees. I thought about climbing over him, elegantly, but that hurt my back, and it was dark and the one dog was in my way, and the other dog started growling, and so instead I lay there, shifting, tossing and turning, in a state of panic.
I dozed off only when I heard the birds chirping. And that was when he woke up.
“Morning Violet, what a fantastic night, let’s make tea, herbal, and I really like you and God I haven’t slept so well in years, and come here, snuggle a bit, and oh oh, you’re still not wearing anything, delicious…”
He eventually got up to put the kettle on. I’ve never moved so quickly, over to my side of the bed. Bliss. I was asleep within seconds. And he woke me up, this new lover of mine, calling me a layabout and a lazybones and I don’t know why I just smiled and I never said a word.
Tonight is our fifth date, and I’m pretty sure he’s going to sleep over again. If I can sort out my children, the dogs, the food and the wine. And I’m not going to primp or preen or do anything like that this time. But I am going to buy a new bed. King size. Fresh. With no memories. And no baggage.
Dating. At a certain age. Not just difficult. Very expensive too.