Middle aged men

Don’t you just love them?

One of the good things about getting to middle age, ie anything over 40 as far as I am concerned, is that one no longer expects to have total idiots hitting on you.

That’s not the case of course though. I must have had more idiots hitting on me after 40 than I did in the previous 40 years put together. Instead of being stand-offish and snooty I unwisely chatted and smiled at people as I gaily went about my solo travels.

I met a nice chap on Brittany Ferries and we booked into the same hotel together and agreed to go out for a drink that night. As ever, I ran out of money to buy drinks so he happily continued to pay.

As we went back to the hotel and I commented on being short of money, he quickly said that I could have shared his room. Bit late when I had already booked into mine, but honestly, why would I want to? I did give him my email/mobile number the following morning but as both are long since gone, I’ve no idea if he tried to get in touch. Sorry Roger.

There were a couple I met on the bus from Málaga to La Linea. One was an RAF bandsman. I went for a drink with him and another bus passenger in La Linea, but then left them to dash home to see my dog. Oh and Partner too.

But we arranged to meet later that week for a drink with me and Partner. He never turned up. Nor did he ring to cancel. I may have sent him a snotty text.

Worse was the man who had returned from somewhere in the East faffing with computers. He was staying Marbella way for a while with some company prior to another job. He asked me nosy questions about my married life. He was married but told me he thought it was pretty much over. It would be if I’d been his wife, as he recounted his sexual exploits while he was working away from home. Surprised he had time to work.

He really got up my nose though when he asked in a strange Scottish accent, slightly whiney, ‘Haven’t you ever been naughty then?’

What a stupid euphemism. He meant had I ever committed adultery, ie cheated on my husband for the benefit of some tosser like him. I don’t think so. I can think of very little that would be seedier than going back to a hotel room with a total arsehole like him for a quick shag. I mean, just why? It wasn’t even as though he was exuding megavoltage sex appeal. And what business of his was it anyway?

In Spanish exile recently, on puppyminding duties, I had a similar experience. Obviously I was alone at the finca most of the time as Partner was working in Gib.

I stopped to talk one day to a man who lives in a van with a tiny plot of ground. He’s made an extremely tidy job of it, and is a typical example of how Spaniards are so good at making something out of nothing.

He often listens to British music, so Snowy and I stopped to listen to Tainted Love, or something similar.

We got chatting, and he invited me in for a glass of red wine. Oh no, I thought quickly. It may be harmless, but married women in my village do NOT go for a drink with another man in their home when their husband is working away.

A little later, on yet another Snowy walk, I saw him down the beach bar having a drink one evening. Did I want a drink? No thank you, got to get home before it’s dark.

Meanwhile, I met another single man. A Brit who walked past our house most days and we eventually got talking too. He was renting a basement just up the road from a woman we have known ever since we arrived. She’s Spanish but speaks superb English and has had an English boyfriend, who it seemed, cleared off to England 18 months ago and hasn’t been seen since.

Walking the dog as usual, I turned the corner of our street, and waved at this man who was sitting outside one of our village bars. He stood up, pointed to his glass and invited me for a drink.

What the hell, I thought, and wandered across with Snowy. At least it’s a bar and one drink in the afternoon isn’t going to brand me as the scarlet woman of the village. Maybe easier to do with someone of your own nationality/language.

As ever, I didn’t have any money on me, you don’t need money when you walk the dog, so I couldn’t buy one back.

He offered another drink. I said it was up to him, as he would be paying again, his choice if he wanted to. He did, so I settled back with another red wine. He mentioned one of the local gays and launched into a tedious story about how there were no gays where he came from, and he hadn’t realised when the bloke had asked him in for coffee. Idiot. Vast scarcity (can one have a vast scarcity?) of women asked into the gay home and lots of men seen going in, not too difficult to put two and two together. So my Brit host then emphasised he was only interested in women. I countered by saying how nice it was to just be able to chat to someone whether male or female without worrying about all that.

I met him a few days later. Did I want a coffee in his dungeon? Or port? Or water? Pretty crappy choice of drinks there, but no anyway.

One night he was getting money out of the bank and asked me over the road for something to eat. I could take the dog home and then join him. No, why would I want to leave my dog who was better company anyway?

We saw him this last week, and I introduced him and Partner. We agreed to meet him at the bar for a drink when we had taken Pippa home, we would take Snowy to the bar. After all, I still owed him a couple of drinks, and at least I would have Partner with me, they could talk endlessly about Wales and rugby with any luck.

But when we approached the bar, he was leaving with a British woman. Oh well, that saved us a couple of beers, so we turned around and went happily home. Duty and obligation fulfilled in the sense that we had offered.

The next couple of times he walked past our house, he never looked up or spoke. In fact the last time, he skulked past on our side of the road – we are elevated above the pavement so can’t see who is on our side unless we peer over the garden wall – hoping we wouldn’t see him. Sadly Partner was sitting right at the top of our steps with a clear view down through the gate. He gave him a brief wave of acknowledgement but our acquaintance chose to see nothing.

Compare this childish behaviour with that of Paco the Spaniard however. He’s obviously realised I’m not available after all, and that my talk about having a husband working away wasn’t idle rubbish. He still speaks to us both, whether we are together or on separate dog walks. He’s probably not quite as friendly and chatty as he was to me on my own, but at least he isn’t churlish enough to suddenly ignore us both.

So all I can conclude from that, is that middle aged and older single men are incapable of relating to women on a sensible level, they are so desperate they don’t care who they pick up, so long as it is a woman, and preferably better off financially than them, and that I am just as naive now as I was 30 or 40 years ago.

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About roughseasinthemed

I write about my life as an English person living in Spain and Gibraltar, on Roughseas, subjects range from politics and current developments in Gib to book reviews, cooking and getting on with life. My views and thoughts on a variety of topics - depending on my mood of the day - can be found over on Clouds. A few pix are over on Everypic - although it is not a photoblog. And of course my dog had his own blog, but most of you knew that anyway. Pippadogblog etc
This entry was posted in feminism, friendships, life, relationships, thoughts, WPlongform and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Middle aged men

  1. I have always thought that ‘middle aged is an description because how do you know? I suppose it might be defined as ten years either way of the mid point of life expectancy? UK male life expectancy (UK) is about 80 so on that basis middle age is 30-50. If life expectancy continues to rise then middle age will become, by my theoretical measure much older than it is now so in a few years time you will be posting about being hit on by middle aged old men? At 59 I think I can safely keep ahead of the category now!

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    • I agree with you that it is subjective or relative, but if you divide it into childhood, young adult, older adult, middle age, old age etc, you can make all sorts of silly definitions. I tended to think of it as 40-60 as in the days when 60 used to be the start of the OAP, Ojála! I don’t think anyone would describe 30 as middle aged these days. It’s really a sort of description for staid and past your wild youth isn’t it? 😀

      You are probably right about the ages of men hitting on me going up! The one was actually in his late 60s, ten years older than Partner. To be fair he looked pretty fit, as in physical condition (ie not remotely sexy fit). At 59 I think you could probably fit all the categories!

      I just wish men would grow up and stop being so trite sometimes. I preferred my Partner’s attitude. At least when we met he didn’t beat about the bush what he was interested in.

      Anyway, I am off to be a domestic goddess and make tomato and onion bread again as the spinach bread is nearly finished. In between I may write about childhood books on Everypic – LIttle Black Sambo. Did you ever read those?

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  2. davidprosser says:

    Ouch. All tarred with the same brush. I promise we’re not all that bad. I enjoy the company of a woman for company’s sake much as I’d enjoy the company of a man.It would take me forever to get round to anything else and only if she was unattached.( I am, but never cheated when I wasn’t) Not that I’m blind or anything but like a lot of men I prefer a relationship based on friendship rather than a quickie after a bottle of plonk.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

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    • Of course not all tarred. Or bad. The issue is women on their own (ie not single but on their own temporarily) are unlikely to meet nice men as they don’t display the same traits. The two nicest out of the ones above, were definitely Roger, I did have a good night out with him drinking Cherbourg dry, and Paco, who is actually quite polite and respectful.
      I think the idea of company for company’s sake is important and that’s what I always expect, but it seems I’m at cross purposes with some people. Maybe I should write a post from the past about young men? It wouldn’t be that different. I suppose I expect a bit more sense from men in their 40s/50s/60s. It’s not as though I don’t talk about my partner, and say us and we. So I don’t wear a wedding ring and don’t use a married name, wouldn’t stop some of these idiots anyway 😀

      Hugs to you for 2014

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  3. Big laughs! It is so real. Egos or desperation?
    It’s nice to have friendships – but that seems to be getting more rare these days…too many bad TV/movie scripts raising expectations? Worrisome to have to be constantly evaluating “What it really meant by this?” Apparently there are plenty of women finding this flattering/amusing or are totally desperate themselves – which just encourages others?
    Big dogs. Ones that are very protective…not Molly-the-party-girl, but the German checks people out and makes quick judgements…and she just makes no bones about not liking some people.
    Hilarious post

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    • Ha! Glad someone understands where I am coming from. Desperation is an interesting concept. My problem is that I have never been, or wanted to appear to be desperate so have always assumed – incorrectly – that any friendly overtures were just that. Because that’s how I wanted to think. And maybe because I didn’t like to play the games either.

      Dogs as automatic radars? Absolutely. My dog no like you? I no like you.

      Hilarious? Probably a laugh at my expense to be honest. Entertained partner as I snarled away about the one who stopped speaking to us. LIke just why? What was wrong with saying Hola buenos días as he walked past? Or even hello good morning? Silly idiot.

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  4. Back in 1978 I left home to attend University. I did not have hardly a clue but did have one secret weapon: I knew how ignorant I was. This one thing kept me always in check; made me think things through before acting and always made me observe and listen as best I could. Even back then I (the mostly quiet, shy one–but not always; alcohol could loosen me up a bit. Lucky for me I didn’t have much tolerance for it. Deadly hangovers kept me alive and well for the most part) could easily spot them: arrogant, not terribly self-aware, selfish and driven primarily by immediate desires (sex, food, pleasure, winning, stuff like that). We called them “Arseholes,” but, I suppose they’d be more correctly described as anti-social, narcissists, sociopaths or psychopaths.
    They did all sorts of anti-social things including:
    • Skipping class and then cheating to get by;
    • Taking things that did not belong to them;
    • Bragging—always bragging;
    • Bullying those they were able to gain power over;
    • And last, but by no means least, shagging everything foolish or weak enough to let them “have their way.” If someone was gullible enough to call them boyfriend (or girlfriend, whatever) you can be sure that cheating would be involved.
    These Arseholes were mostly male, but there were some females. I would say 3:1 was the ratio and that around 5% of the people I encountered made up this group.
    But because they were so nasty, rotten and boorish it seemed like a bigger group.
    Now, time has passed; lots of it and we are all in our fifties. I still encounter these people from time to time and find that while some of them have taken some of the “edges” off their personalities (i.e. the anger and the violence is a little better under control) they are still not the kinds of people the vast majority of us would want to associate with. Once an Arsehole always an Arsehole.
    Here’s how I see it:
    • 80% of the people I meet are just fine;
    • 15% are “difficult”—that is they have some tendencies I don’t particularly like but can either deal with or otherwise put up with. Maybe they are bad-tempered, intolerant, mildly racist, a bit boorish when drunk—stuff like that.
    • 5% are Arseholes and no good ever comes of interacting with them. As such I take great pains to avoid having any dealings with them and, if I have to, ensure that the rules are out there on paper ad that I have some means by which they can be enforced.
    But still it often seems as if that 5% is a bigger fraction than it really is, especially when I am frustrated when I encounter them.

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    • What an interesting comment. I’ll substitute 1978 for 1977 and then say I might as well have written that too. Which is why I commented above saying I must write about young men too ie the ones you meet at university – or met back in the late 70s.

      The only difference between us, was that I was well versed in alcohol. My parents had taught me the niceties of fino sherry, white burgundy, good claret, and beer. Not much in the way of spirits although I could manage a G&T or vodka and tonic. Perhaps their logic was that no-one would get me rat-arsed particularly quickly.

      In fact I didn’t mix with an arsehole set. Most of the people I knew were pretty straight, hard-working and quite pleasant. But, as a single young woman – how do you decide whether someone is genuine or just wants a quick shag to add another notch on his bedboard? A difficult one.

      Much easier to recognise arseholes in older age, but sad to see it, I suppose. And I never got sufficiently involved with any of the ones I described above to even categorise them enough. Just knew enough to leave alone.

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  5. Vicky says:

    I’ve always preferred male company to female company. Even as a child I was happier climbing trees and playing in the mud than playing with dolls and dressing up.
    I find men a lot easier to read, they’re either very loyal friends, or they’re the groping, smarmy chatting after a shag type.
    The problem I’ve found while growing up, probably because of the era I was born into, was women just didn’t have male friends. To spend any time alone with a man it was always assumed ‘there must be something going on’. I think a lot of my generation still think that too.
    Paco’s pad look perfect for chilling with a glass of red in the Spanish sun.

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    • I have to say that I did too. Is that a peculiarity of only girl children from Yks?? Some of that was passed down from my mother who was not a fan of women, which she got from her mother. Etc etc, so it just continues down the line. i did like my dolls and dressing up. All my dolls were painted with yellow over the stomach after I had appendicitis 😀 But I liked climbing trees too. And climbing walls and on rooves, and anywhere really. Especially rock pools at Brid.

      I do like my male friends from university that I have kept in touch with. Totally platonic, nothing heavy, a card and an update at Christmas – and a bed and meals whenever I go to London (not very often as you know).

      I could never cope with the troupe of women who needed to go to the toilet together. It drove me insane. I don’t know whether they were reapplying more make-up (why?) gossiping, or just couldn’t go for a pee on their own. I never joined in. Why can’t women wear sturdy shorts/trousers and sit on the pavement/ground/rocks? Why do they always have to look pretty and flirtatious? Why don’t they know one end of a socket set from another? Aaaagh. I know the answer, but I’ll save you the feminism rant.

      I don’t think your generation was much different to mine, there’s less than ten years in us anyway. I think for me, going to university made it easier. You can’t shag every single male you speak to! Plus my hall of residence had a ratio of 3 men to 1 woman. I tell you I was dead pleased when I got allocated a place in Roscoe and Gladstone. Not surprisingly, I had a lot more male friends than women. But I’ll write about that under a younger men post.

      Yeah, it would have been nice. And he would have been good company. I just figured it wasn’t quite the right thing to do. Shame.

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      • Vicky says:

        I did have dolls, probably because it was what little girls had in those days, but I always wanted a train set (I’ve got one now LOL).
        The best days I can remember from my childhood, were exploring the cliffs and caves around Flamborough and the lead mines of the dales.
        Dressing up was my cowboy outfit (I was adamant it must not be a cowgirl) so I could play cowboys and Indians after the Saturday afternoon matinee at the cinema.

        You’re probably right about uni helping.
        I went from an all girls school straight into the big bad world where men as I was told ‘were only after one thing’
        I wish I had the knowledge and confidence then that I have now.

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        • Me, I loved Danes Dyke. We didn’t go that often, so I was always excited to run down the long path and finally see the sea. I’ve met another Yks internet pal who posted a lovely pic of Bempton the other day, must send you the linky. I’m surprised how the geographical tie can be quite strong, I wonder if it is the coastal one though? Having said that I’ve got West Riding friends here in Gib too.

          I can’t remember if I had a cowgirl outfit or not. I liked my nurses outfit (no idea why, last thing I wanted to be) – must find the pic!!

          I was at an all girls school too, but we did have boys in prep school and first year of junior which I think was a good thing, so I had lots of good young friends who were male, ie not boyfriends although Richard Eyre and Julian Barber both kissed me. Julian was lovely, he always looked after my beret when I left it on the bus.

          I got the ‘men were only after one thing’ line too. As Maurice basically said above, some are, some aren’t, but unfair to skew young womens’ views like that. Plenty of my schoolfriends were going out with their boyfriends for more than a year, so they weren’t exactly shagged and dumped after a one night stand.

          Me too. So very much. I would have been one very different woman. And people think I’m bad now.

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  6. angryricky says:

    I live around a lot of straight, single, middle-aged men. They’re frequently revolting.

    Don’t feel bad. I’ve decided to hang onto my naivete as long as humanly possible.

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    • That’s good to hear from another man. When I write about younger men it will be interesting to hear your view on that. Of course, you probably fall into the perfect age group right now, neither young nor old enough to be idiotic.

      Sex and naïveté are a dangerous combination.

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