My body got up this morning and left my mind in bed. My bladder had won the war of nature, a struggle that ensues on most normal days. I’m not a morning person. The thinking part of me, left on the pillow, chewed over the conversations of yesterday. I resolved to put my fingers to keys and so the rest of me got up.
Dorothy’s Tin Man wasn’t the only fictional character seeking a heart. Romantic love or the most popular interpretation of it has inspired literature, poetry, theatre, film, songs, art, and endless conversations since Adam met Eve. The world revolves around the search for love. Social networking owes a great deal to the need for it as do the numerous dating sites that offer hope to the lonely.
But how does a woman know whether she’s met the man of her dreams or a tin man? How does a man know when he’s met his princess? Sixteen years ago, Princess Diana ‘lent her leg’ to raise mine awareness. I can’t help but draw a parallel between her walk through a minefield and her life spent seeking true love. There is no bomb squad on earth that can protect you from a minefield of men. Forgive my cynicism, but experience is the worst teacher.
We are told that, unless they are blind, most men are first visually and sexually attracted to a woman. Hence the old adage, ‘Men are only after one thing.’ In ‘Victorian times’, marriage was the usual prerequisite. Common practice now is to embark on a mating game to see how long the man can wait before claiming his prize.
If the woman gives in, she risks losing her virtue for a short thrill before her ‘admirer’ discovers an alternative attraction. Strike the match and you may just as well blow up the relationship.
In the early years, pregnancy and the demands of a little family can distract from the call of the wild. Many a male ego has stumbled away from nappy land to flounder in indiscretion. Once lit, the fuse smoulders on waiting for mommy to make a wrong move. The explosion is never his fault or so he will say.
In the middle years, a strange phenomenon evolves. Older men, divorced or widowed, seek women ten to twenty years their junior in an effort to recapture their youth and boost their ego. Some may re-enter the field at the same point as before, their brains having reverted to their teens. Their bodies, however, have limited time to play.
In the senior age groups, most men apparently seek financially independent partners whilst women seek security. Anyone who can tap dance through that patch is destined for the pearly gates.
But let me return to the reason for my musings. I met a merry widow in real life. Her eyes twinkled as she confessed, “I’ve met somebody.”
Love is amazing. It bubbles up like a potjie over a hot fire until the aroma overcomes the senses. Wrinkles and scruples don’t seem to matter when you’re eighty two and your ‘toy boy’ of seventy something doesn’t want to know how much you have in the bank. Will it last? As my mother would say, “How long is a piece of string?” Boom!!