Johnnersintheraw's Blog

May 16, 2010

My Life As A Puppy

Discovering My True Vocation

I’m not exactly an old hand when it comes to online dating.  In fact, I’m not exactly an old hand when it comes to off-line dating.  Come to think of it, even though I have never tried them, I might suggest that I would make less of a mess on inline skates than I have on the dating scene.  In other words, I am potentially armed and dangerous, and ready for a rumble.

 My past experience in online dating (and yes, there was only one) proved to me – yet again – that I am willing to believe anyone, and that I would fall in love with a garbage truck if it whispered to me often enough it was really a Morgan roadster in disguise.  So yes, I fell, if not in love, then into a state of near-fatal curiosity; it also cost me a fair amount of money and a lot of wasted time.  Fortunately there were no broken hearts, at least not on my side, for if truth be told even before I had flown halfway round the world I was already hearing the alarm bells clanging in my head.  And needless to say, less than half a minute after I met her, I was already re-examining my options (and yes, that entire cautionary tale shall get an airing). Fortunately for me – and, yes, it was a ‘fortunately’ – within two days she was rude to a waitress, thus giving me an out. For in spite of all my failings, if there in one thing I will not tolerate it is rudeness towards a server or a salesperson.  That being so, I simply stood up, went over to the waitress, paid her, apologised to her, and left, thus severing in the bud a non-relationship that would have been a disaster had it blossomed.  

Now, the fact that I rushed into this little contretemps was my fault. No-one had pointed a gun at my head, and in spite of the fact that the hairs on the back of my neck were not only tingling, but shrieking, I still went ahead with it, saying merrily, “Well, at least it’s another country I’ll get to know!” 

That episode aside, I have always been sceptical when it comes to dating services.   Especially one accessed over a computer, because even if you are serious about your quest and you write an extremely detailed and lengthy profile – a profile that should leave no doubt in the mind of even the mouldiest cabbage what and who you are looking for, it always appears as though the computer has not only not  looked at what you have written, but that whatever is written is is not specific enough; therefore the computer will simply ignore it; and usually being an American computer, it will decide it knows better than you do what it is you want.  Then, of course, one must take into account the inevitable fact that the individuals who are surfing through the site never bother to read any of the details which you have so carefully and lovingly provided.  But I am learning. Perhaps more slowly than most, but I am on the way.  In other words, I am now leaving absolutely nothing to chance.  And I’m also having a lot of fun.

First of all, let me say that I did check out my current dating site beforehand.  The first piece of good news is that it is free.  And by that I mean exactly what I say.  In other words, it is not one of those ‘free’ sites that professes to free, until, of course, the minute you institute a search, at which point it informs you that – oops! – it is unable proceed to the next step until you upgrade to their premium service.  As far as I am concerned, either it’s free or it’s not, and if it’s not free, it should say so on the box instead of wasting my time. 

I have been so excited (it does not take much to please me) that I almost forgot to say that this site actually vets the photographs.  So if you are looking for a man, you are not suddenly inundated by a lot of images gleaned from the Bel Ami gay porn site.  Not that I have anything against these images, but since I already know what most of their models look like (I am very thorough when it comes to research) I tend to be turned off when some forty-eight-year old bricklayer from Barnstable claims to be the owner of that very lovely and perfectly-form Croatian penis.  For you immediately suspect that he might have something to hide, such as the fact that he weighs two hundred stone, is covered with fur, and lives with his mother and two-hundred budgerigars. In a caravan. In a halting site.  Just next to the nuclear power plant.

In my humble opinion, looking for a possible long-term relationship is not like looking for a bit on the side.  That being the case, any man who feels obliged to display his wears to attract someone’s attention, is probably not in it for the long haul. After all, during a long haul you do have plenty of time to study the scenery. And in any case, since this is not a gay dating service specifically targeting the meat-locker trade, but rather caters to everyone, it’s actually refreshing to see someone’s face and discover that they actually do live somewhere and have a life. However, if you are not interested in that, but rather in salivating over a wall-to-wall exhibition of rampant photo-shopped penises, here is the URL:  http//: www.  

So anyway, what I am leading up to is this (and no, I am not an employee of the site in question and have nothing to gain from saying anything nice about it, except perhaps they will stop sending me notes begging me to “Please find someone and leave us alone!”):  it is not a porn dating site.  And if it is, its hidden agenda is squirreled away so craftily in one of their five hundred plus tests, that I have been unable to unearth it.

No, seriously.  It is not a porn site, and this to me is refreshing, simply because most of them are. I know it’s probably a case of supply and demand (or at least ‘presumed’ supply and demand). However, just as I don’t think most women are pining for men who ask the size of their breasts the first time out, any bloke who asks the size of my willy in his first message, before we have even introduced ourselves, may not get the response he is expecting (unless of course, he offers me a month’s holiday on his yacht and promises ‘cross my heart’ not to slit my throat the minute we enter International waters). But back to this pesky ‘tell us about your willy’ question.  Now, to be perfectly blunt, the reason I do not like this type of question is not because my willy has anything to be ashamed of.  After all, he is what he is and he is in his original wrapper and, all in all, he is rather a cunning little devil.  He has never had one of those ‘operations’ on his nether region or had his head chewed off or had one of those interesting and exotic infections or viruses named after Greek gods. Nor does he have any bad habits that are any worse than those of other models, either foreign or domestic.  And he has never, ever been subject to a recall.  In other words, his warranty – by some miracle – is still good.  But the thing is, a willy does come attached to a body and with a body comes a face and with a face comes a personality, and sometimes – though not always – a personality comes with a brain. Then – if you are really lucky – there will be a sense of humour lurking somewhere in the shadows.  And perhaps even a heart.  Yes, yes, yes, there is always baggage (for none of us has lived in a vacuum), as well as a few of those tricky character flaws.  And then, of course, there is always the inevitable cultural nonsense to deal with.  Yada yada yada.

Now lest you think I am going all politically correct when it comes to body shape and size and physical attributes, I am not.  For every one of us has a certain something that makes us tingle.  And there’s no point in someone trying to convince you that ‘in time you’ll come to love them’, because it’ll never happen.  And puleeeese don’t even think about bringing up the issue of discrimination, because as far as I know, a relationship is not a job offer.  Unless, of course, it is; but in that case I suggest you ring up your local MP in the middle of the night and ask him. Or her.  

But, to continue with this bothersome business of physical ecstasies and vomits, what happens if all the right boxes are ticked, but other person – no matter how fastidious he or she may been – has the wrong smell. Or the wrong body shape. Or tastes like Chicken Tikki Masala when all you like is deep-fried bacon and sausage pizza?  It’s called a physical reality.  So, yes, one has got to be straightforward and upfront – and, yes, if certain physical dimensions are important to you, you have to address them – and right away – otherwise you are a time-waster. However, please remember it’s not a porn site.  There are plenty of those available, many of which no longer come with computer worms or Trojan horses.  Not even when the models on the sites actually wear Trojans themselves. 

So, what do I want?  How do I know who I will eventually fall for?  I may like to say that I do not want a man young enough to be my grandson; in other words, a lover and companion who, while he may be physically an adult, is still – emotionally-speaking – an adolescent.  Do I really want to be his father?   That being said (and I have been there and done that and when it ended it had nothing to do with the disparity in age), chemistry is a wonderful, miraculous thing. We have to give it free-reign and let it play. For if the right person comes along – and I mean the right person – maybe it’s worth taking a chance. I certainly will.  Now, I know how old I am.  I am 62.  I do not deny it. And not only that, but I do not wish to be any younger.  For I have earned every single second of every minute of every hour of every day of my life.  And when I look at people twenty years younger – at that truly awful transitional age of 40 – I am so glad I am not there.  I am so thankful I do not have all that shite that forty-year-olds have to struggle through.  It is a morass, a swamp, a nightmare.  It is the age when you are still hanging on to your ‘shoulds’ and  ‘shouldn’ts’ and to all your illusions.  It is an age when you are still deluded enough to think that you can pass for 20 or 25 or 29 (if only you spend enough time in the gym or pumping Botox under your skin or adding hair extensions or attending the right support groups or changing all the light bulbs in your office and house to a flattering pinky-peach colour).  I was a living nightmare at that age.  And almost all of the forty-year-olds I encounter force me to remember what a miserable plank I was.  The memories make me cringe, but it is a grand thing – both for me and for the world at large – that there are a great many exceptions to the rule. And I can say this freely, because most of my friends happen to be – quite coincidentally – that exact age.

So, what is it I really want?  Initially, on one particular question in the site’s ‘personal details’ section, I had hedged.  In other words I had left too many options.  Where it asked what I was I looking for, I did not narrow the field down sufficiently.  After all, I do like women and if the right woman came along, I would say ‘yes’, and having said ‘yes’, I would be faithful to that decision. So, with that in mind, that was the only question in my ‘details’ in which I did not specify a man.  But I thought I was covered, for when it came to my profile, I was very straightforward.  Although I am bisexual, I want to live with a man.  However, because I had fudged that one particular question, the computer inevitably zeroed in on that to the exclusion of all else.  Consequently, I only got replies from single mothers looking for someone who would give them a little love.  In other words, a home.  And many of these women were desperate – at least, going by what they wrote in their profiles and in their notes.  And I am sorry, because I know (at least theoretically) how tough things must be for them.  However, to be perfectly candid, in no place in my profile did I ever mention women (except in that one fudge), and I always specified ‘no children.’

After a couple of weeks went by and I received nothing but solicitations from these single mothers (none of whom had anything in common with me; otherwise I wouldn’t have worried about it), I suddenly remembered that one single question that I had fudged.  So what I did was to un-tick that one box where I was asked if I was bisexual. And since then, every single suggestion and solicitation has been – if not spot on – at least intriguing.  Problem solved.

To get back to age.  Now, no man of 62 – providing he is reasonable fit and in good health – feels his age.  And even when he looks in the bathroom mirror to shave, he doesn’t look 62.  But, as we all should know – but choose to ignore – bathroom mirrors are liars. But even if we try to ignore our age; those younger than us certainly do not. Nor, when all is said and done do we really look any younger.  I well remember the day – a couple of years ago – when I was in Ireland and happened to run into a good friend who was just a few years older than I.  Now, she was a very good-looking woman and certainly did not look her age.  However, while we were walking down the street together, we had what you might call a reality check.  What happened was this.  In a shop window there was a very large mirror, and it was angled in such a way as to reflect passers-by.  And so, there we were, happily chatting and thinking about stopping somewhere for a cup of tea, when – simultaneously – we were confronted by these two broken-down-looking old people who were dressed in clothing just like ours.  And we even commented on it, and agreed that the two of them should probably wear something more subdued.  Needless to say, the two broken-down-looking old people were the two of us.  I really think it was one of the most unpleasant moments in my life.  Now, to be frank, the one or people who’ve known me since the days of the Neanderthals have been rather outspoken about my appearance.  “God, you’ve gotten old,” being the worst example.  Granted, at the time, I had just been crushed by a falling horse and was looking for all the world like a wrecked car, but still honesty is honesty, no matter what the excuse. 

Therefore, when someone specifies they are looking for someone, say 35 to 55, I am very cautious. I only reply if everything else looks like a ‘possible’ – but I start off by telling them my age. Because – as I have already said – we give our preferences for a reason. And, although it is hard when you get older to realise you are getting older, you’re not going to find anyone if you are not honest.  And, in any case, you are not going to pull the wool over their eyes.  And to get back to a possible scenario wherein I am approached by a twenty-one year old, I would ask one question of him.  “Yes, now it might be OK now, but how about in ten years’ time, when you will only be thirty-one, but I shall be seventy-two?”  And if he says, “I know, and I still want you,” then I would have to give it serious thought.  It goes without saying that it hasn’t happened, and I am not deluded enough to think it might.  And, quite frankly, although it was no doubt lurking in the back of my mind – in the place where all our fantasies fester – I really hadn’t given it any conscious consideration.  Yes, I am in good health, yes, I do look at a young person and admire his or her beauty.  But that’s life.  And don’t forget, in twenty years, a twenty year old will be a forty year old, whereas I will be an eighty year old.  And believe you me, when I am an eighty year old, the last thing I shall want to deal with will be a forty year old.

As you are no doubt aware, I have not mentioned the likelihood of a relationship with someone much older than I.  There is a reason I have not addressed this probability, and it’s called panic.  And it deserves – and shall get – a whole chapter of its own.  When I can steel myself for it.  And stop wanting to run out of the room screaming.  But let’s put it this way:  it has everything to do with the fact that so many older men seem to fall to bits.  And I am not sure I am ready to nurse another person through a lingering decline and death.  At least not yet.

So ANYWAY, what is it I want?  I mean, what do I really, really want?  Even setting aside all the sundry interests and activities I have mentioned in my profile, what would make my life wonderful?  Make my heart sing?  Yes, it’s all very well for me to mention National Hunt racing and sheepdog trials, and Crofting and rare-breed pigs and sheep.  And, yes, it’s important that I talk about my love of words, and comedy and Improv and storytelling.  But underneath all these things – and yes, they are just ‘things’ – what am I and what do I need?   Let me tell you.

I am a puppy.  And all I want is what every puppy wants.  A warm place to sleep, room to frolic, enough food to keep my belly full. And someone who loves me.  And who I can love in return.  Enough said?

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