The Look of Love
I recently discussed the topic of love and the many different types thereof on my weekly radio show. I was quite alarmed to discover that there are more than fifteen recognised forms of love. I see only one.
Freud asked the question, "what do women want?" and seemingly, he sought to convince himself and others of the elusive response. The answer is really quite simple, yet we shroud our vision and cognitive ability to what suits us.
Lovers and inappropriate relationships, encounters abound and are for the taking. A gay friend recently confided to me of the hundreds of meaningless encounters he had endured over his lifetime. And he uttered the words that will remain forever etched in my mind: "I want to be loved. I don't know what that feels like." How sad to have spent more than forty years in meaningless sex when "love" was what he really craved. We all search for love. A smile at the end of a long day and a cuddle are worth more than diamonds, pearls and rubies combined (unless you're a Capricorn, in which case, you'll take the hard cash any day).
In the second half of my life, I am just myself. This makes me less of a fantastic potential mate. I'm irrascible because I've seen it all before. If a man is seeking a doe-eyed, lapdog, he will easily find one elsewhere.
A few years ago, I was hiring staff when I interviewed a young lady whom I thought was suitable for the role. I offered her the job and a salary - higher than the average for the position. "No way," she explained, " I could have a sprog for a premier league footballer and get more than that every month in child support". I deferred to the football irreality. I couldn't afford £30k per month. It's not her attitude that is the problem but her absence of grey matter. Not just intelligence but complete absence of self. She was in fact, a speaking shadow, an amoeba, which quite literally will absorb whatever DNA one chooses. The thinking mind would find the-ensnare-a-bloke-with-a-child scenario the least favorable way to live a life.
And so, the best relationships today are the ones of least resistance. The less than hard work, the easy option, the woman who is gentle, undemanding and malleable.
In Middle Age we don't do malleable. We do affection on a grand scale. We do laughter and we generally have bucket loads of life experience peppered with a substantial inventory of very funny jokes. That's all we have. It's not the money in the bank that attracts us, it's that chemistry. The unexplainable. The smile, the number of laughter lines, the soulful eyes, the guy who has sorted out his life and his brain. And the one who's just grateful at the end of the day, for this crazy, little, magic thing called life.
And there ain't the fifteen ways to say "I care". There's just the one.
Photo and painting, Waiting for you, copyright S.van Dalen
A New Year's Resolution
New year. New beginning. At this time of the year we are plotting those resolutions with a vengeance. Things we plan to do. Changes that need to be made. Promises to ourselves and others that we swear we will stick to.
Resolutions can be defined as stopping or starting something. We might want to write that novel at last. Find a new job. Ditch the useless boyfriend. Give up smoking. You get the idea. But do we stick to any of them?
Everyone will head back to work in January singing a collective hymn about needing to go on a diet after the Christmas over indulgence. And you can be sure that at least one person you know will start the new year fitted with a nicotine patch. Resolutions are made to be broken.
I gave up smoking years ago yet last night at a dinner party with my French friends I smoked two cigarettes. Mea culpa! You know how the French are - great food, superb wine and then the fags come out at the dinner table. Totally un-PC these days, well, whatever! One goes with the flow in life perhaps to our own detriment at times. Oh boy, did I enjoy those two cigarettes. And not an ounce of regret this morning as I write this. The crux though is would I take up smoking again? No. But being too rigid about anything in life turns one into an overly religious, zealous nutcase or killjoy, to be precise.
Life is about living. As one gets older, one is acutely aware that our time here on Planet Earth is shortening. So why put ourselves in an emotional straitjacket which stops us from enjoying life? Why not resolve to simply laugh more. How's that for a New Year resolution? To be happy and less miserable. To spend more time bursting with the giggles. Now there's a resolution that's worthwhile. Just a thought! Happy New Year, everyone!
Photo copyright S. van Dalen