Thursday, October 9, 2014


My wife spends the occasional weekend at a retreat in the Berkshires. After one visit, she said, "If I die first, you should go there. There are so many single women you could meet!"

Understandably, I asked, "How old are they?"

"Most of them are our age."

Understandably, I replied, "But I wouldn't want someone our age!" 

A slippery slope.
What younger woman wouldn't want to get involved with a man who was around when the likes of Humphrey Bogart, Oliver Hardy, and Ethel Barrymore still walked the earth? Especially if she even heard of them?

I'm kidding (kind of), but many older men aren't. According to a recent poll conducted by the dating site OK Cupid, 50 year-old single men prefer 22 year-old women. And although single men older than 50 weren’t part of this survey, I have a feeling many of them would be equally as delusional.

What was he thinking?
Women have a right to be unhappy about this state of affairs, but they have to take certain things into consideration. First, many older men suffer from ocular conditions that make their mirror reflections appear decades younger than they really are. Interestingly, the chances of this happening increases in proportion to their net worth. Exception to the rule: Taylor Hackford, who married Helen Mirren (in 1997) when they were both 52, and who are still together. Crazy show business people!

Man, is she old!
Second, if men are still single by age 50, it’s probably because they’re not marriage material to begin with. Exception to the rule: George Clooney. And just to show what a mensch he is, Clooney (age 53) married a woman only 17 years his junior.

Third, scientists say that men are hardwired to seek out the most fertile partners for the survival of the species. Although, frankly, I think they say that to justify the first two excuses.

I’m not sure what men in their 50s have in common with women three decades their junior, although emotional immaturity appears to come into play. I hear these girls talking on the street and in the subway, and few of them appear conversant in anything other than the latest pop sensation (usually with the moniker DJ or MC), or reality show celebrity. 

Too, they speak almost exclusively in a kind of verbal Morse code, thanks to the limits of Twitter, texting, and education. And don't get me going on the excessive use of "like" and "y'know," and that uptick at the end of every sentence which makes every declarative statement sound like a question?

MC Bobby D
While similar values were important during my dating days, a shallow guy like me gravitated toward pop culture touchstones. If I were still single, it would be paramount that a prospective date remembered a time when grade school came to a dead-stop to watch a rocket launch on a little black-and-white TV, a new Volkswagen Beetle cost $3,000, and Bob Dylan was regularly heard on Top 40 radio. The rest would take care of itself.

Men who troll for excessively-younger women will undoubtedly enjoy a quick thrill before their sugar babies eventually desire someone their own age. As for me, there’s something quite satisfying about spending a rainy Sunday afternoon on the couch with my wife, as we silently read and enjoy each other’s company. After 22 years of marriage, that’s pretty damn thrilling in itself.

And for the record, OK Cupid found that 50 year-old single women go for men no older than 46. Unfortunately, if you look at the graph atop the page, you'll see guys that age only have eyes for 20 year-old girls. 

Middle-aged women can take heart in one incontrovertible fact: there are more 
100 year-old men alive today than ever before. Start filling up those hot-water bottles, ladies!


1 comment:

Kevin Thomsen said...

Many people forget that Clooney has already been married. (His ex is now married to John Slattery.)