I recently found myself on an evening out attempting to chat up a young woman, who upon reflection, was quite possibly young enough to be my daughter. Of course, at this point I’d had more than a few, and as I’m sure we all know a few stiff ones can suddenly make one believe that you’re the funniest and most charming man on the planet. Now this can go one of several ways; they’re either as pissed as you and you end up in bed, (more of which I’ll come to later), they pity you, and put up with the smarmy offensive for a while, whilst hoping that it’ll soon be past your bedtime, or they’ll take the more direct approach and tell you to fuck off.
What is it that makes a man of my age suddenly think that he can still be attractive to someone who was still learning to talk whilst he was starting his first job? I’m sure there are those out there who thrive on this; who still love the thrill of the chase, whilst at the same time worrying about their pension. I’m not one of these people; I can think of nothing worse than being thought of as a ‘dirty old man’, or whatever term is used these days. This has happened to me on far too many occasions though, and more often than not I’ve woken up the next morning, (or afternoon), wondering what the bloody hell I was playing at in the first place. There is nothing worse than that horrible creeping feeling when your mind clears and you realise just what an ageing lothario you’ve become; especially if the other poor individual involved is still asleep next to you. You feel frozen to the spot, unable to move, even though all you want to do is to get the hell out of there. Of course, if you happen to be in your own bedroom, then you’re quite literally screwed.
Can I put this all down to the onset of the fabled ‘mid-life crisis’? Perhaps. I think you do start to panic a lot more about life when you reach a certain age; in fact I know you do. Little problems that you would have once laughed off, ignored or took in your stride suddenly become magnified; it doesn’t matter what it is; it could be work, money, relationships or your appearance. Or it could just be the fact that you’re getting older; and let’s face it, getting older sucks cock. Big time.
This isn’t all about sex; I don’t particularly want to be thought of as some ‘dirty old dog’, clinging onto some lost, halcyon days of youth. Perhaps it’s a fear of commitment; for many years now I’ve never been involved in a relationship with someone the same age as me; the problem is of course that all those people are getting older too. They want to settle down, get married and perhaps have children. It all suddenly becomes very serious and very real; a feeling that your carefree life is now in all probability over. So, you move onto even younger people, and that’s where you start to look silly, and a bit desperate. That’s not to say that I don’t want all of those things; in reality I do, probably more so now than ever before. However, before one can get to that stage there has to be a degree of acceptance; not only of your age and where you are in life, but also an acceptance of yourself as a person. I’ve always had a young outlook on life, I don’t feel any differently in my mind from when I was eighteen, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. However, you have to adapt that young outlook as you grow older; for example, how often do you see a man pushing forty still trying to look like a twenty year old? I don’t think I really try to do that, although, I will confess to growing my hair longer this year in a vain attempt to ‘knock a few years off’ – this has resulted in several different reactions from work colleagues. One told me it made me look younger, the other asked me if I was having a mid-life crisis. I decided to go with the first response and ignore the other; there is no better way to massage my fragile ego than to tell me that I could still pass for thirty. In fact, if anyone reading this actually knows me in real life, perhaps you could just email me, or phone, and just tell me that! Male or female, I’m not that fussed; you’ll make me a very happy man….
Just because you’ve not reached your ideal place in life by your late thirties, it doesn’t mean that you’re a complete abject failure. I know I’m not alone in this; I’m sure there are many of us out there feeling a bit washed up and passed our best; I’m sure it doesn’t have to be that way though. I think the secret is just to relax a bit; don’t take it all so seriously, and learn to come to terms with who you are. In reality, people like you for who you are, regardless of your ability to stay out until 4am every Saturday night, although I think doing that once in a while does you a lot of good. It’s about achieving a certain balance in your life; the fine line between growing old before your time and still trying to look as if you’re a guitarist in a band on the cover of the NME.
Now, until next weekend……