Saturday, February 9, 2019

Don’t Be Boring !!

It’s my birthday month.  As you all know by now, since February is the shortest month of the year, I reserve the right to celebrate my birthday all month long, and I do.  It’s only fair, n’est-ce pas?  What isn’t fair is that I am now officially in my late sixties and, yes, age has left its calling card, but I have not yet invited him in. 




But It Should Look Effortless!!
I am, however, unable to prevent the inundation via email of ads for walk-in baths, hearing aids, retirement communities, Depends and Silver Singles.  No matter how young I still feel, the marketing industry has clearly targeted me for creeping decrepitude, to which I say “Hah! Hah! Hah! And Hah!”  Want to sell me those things?  You have to catch me first. 









Last weekend we had dinner at the Bar Room at the Modern, right next to the Museum of Modern Art (“MOMA”) in Manhattan. 




The Bar Room at the Modern
A beautifully done restaurant, the décor is decidedly modern, as befits the name, but despite it being essentially one big room with high ceilings, the ambiance feels warm and inviting.  You can actually have a conversation with the person sitting across from you without having to scream at him.  Somebody obviously put some thought into the acoustics.  The food is excellent, the wine list is over-priced but has a nice selection, as you would expect from a restaurant with the word “bar” in its name and the service is attentive. 

It was a typical Friday night in New York.  Beautifully dressed, pretty young things were perched on the bar stools interspersed with men of varying ages who were not even close to “natty,” as my Grandmother would have called the well-dressed man of her day. 

A couple sat down at the table next to us.  She was one of the pretty young things, blonde, early thirties, and he was an attractive man in his mid-fifties.  They were both very well dressed. 
 





She immediately took out her phone and began texting.  He would periodically reach out to hold her other hand when it was free.  They spoke in a language that was unfamiliar to me when they did speak, which wasn’t often, probably an eastern European language. 

The odd thing was that he spent most of the time looking at me and not being the least bit discreet about it.  He was sitting across from me, so I couldn’t fail to notice, and neither could my husband.  The only person who seemed not to notice was his dinner companion.  When we got up to leave, he looked me up and down in a way no one had looked at me since I was a pretty young thing.  I won’t say I didn’t enjoy it, because I did, but, as I said, I did think it odd. 

As we left the restaurant, Dan said, “Did you see the way that man was staring at you?  He wasn’t even subtle about it.”  This was said with a slight smile, as I have the good fortune not to be married to a jealous, possessive man. 

“Don’t you think it was odd?” I replied.  “I mean, he’s having dinner with a beautiful young woman and he’s staring at a woman who’s close to 70.  What was he thinking?”

Dan’s smile got a bit bigger, “I know exactly what he was thinking.  I think the same thing every time I look at you.”  My sweet, myopic husband still sees the same “young thing” he met over 40 years ago when he looks at me.  If only I did when I look in the mirror! 

Suddenly, it hit me.  It wasn’t me.  He was just bored.  The man was flat out bored with his beautiful dinner companion, especially with her constant texting, and every time he looked over at me, I was animated -- laughing, smiling, talking, clearly enjoying myself.  And then I remembered something my Grandmother had told me many years ago, long before I was married. 
 





Marie Anastasia Lumley was a great actress with a beautiful lyric soprano voice.  She could still hit a High “C” well into her eighties.  She had lovely, dark eyes, but was never considered a beauty, unlike her daughter, Isabelle.  Marie was usually referred to as a “handsome” woman.  From my Mother I learned about style and grace, but from my Grandmother I learned about men.  She grew up with brothers and had spent her life in the theater surrounded by all sorts of men from the best to the worst.  She understood them, she liked them and she looked at them with a clear eye unclouded by the romantic notions that Mme Mère fell prey to on a regular basis.  In short, she was a good judge of character. 

And now her words came back to me.  “You are a very pretty girl, my dear, but you can’t get through life on your looks alone.  I never had much of them so I don’t miss them.  You have a good mind and a good sense of humor.  Keep your mind and your wits sharp.  Men like clever, amusing women, because above all else, they hate to be bored!  Nothing drives a man away faster than boredom.” 

She was right.  My ardent admirer at the next table was bored with his texting dinner companion and I looked to be a lot more fun.  For the record, I always thought Marie Anastasia Lumley was a beautiful person.  And she was never boring. 




24 comments:

  1. The gentleman was obviously bored and was probably thinking what am I doing with a bimbo who doesn't recognize me? Men like attention. A real woman or grown-up would have something to say! The price to pay for the demands of a penis. And he's learning it... the hard way.

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    1. Dear Friend,

      You are so right, and you have no idea how "hard" I laughed when I got to the end of your comment. Brilliant and funny.

      Cheers, M-T

      Delete
  2. Comment sent to me by my friend Anna:

    "I agree with Dan, he liked you and you do look fabulous. He must have known his dinner companion's behavior in restaurants so she must be a trophy date or wife. He could have told her to quit texting. I guess he is paying for a trophy but would really prefer a beautiful lively woman.

    P.S. Take it as a great compliment!!!"

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    Replies
    1. Anna, you are too sweet. BTW, that birthday card you sent me w/that "fabulous" kitty (first picture) was "fabulous." How could I hope to compete w/that? LOL. And, yes, I did take it as a compliment.

      Trophy wives/girlfriends come at a price. Sometimes the price is boredom.

      Cheers, M-T

      Delete
  3. Comment sent to me by my friend KMT:

    "Good morning, my dear friend. Just a note to let you know how much I enjoy your posts. I am not always able to post through the blog site, but wanted to personally let you know how these posts bring light to my day. ��

    A bientôt,

    KMT"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please reach out to me privately any time w/your comments. I am always happy to post them. Between Google+ going away and taking all those followers of my Blog w/it and Blogger making it increasingly difficult to sign up to receive my posts via email ("Please check all the boxes that have pictures of bumpers in them...."), it's not always easy to respond, but we soldier on.

      Always love hearing from you. Looking forward to getting together for dinner after your busy season.

      Cheers, M-T

      Delete
  4. Comment sent to me by my friend Natalie:

    "Once again, I loved your blog entry. Happy Birthday.! It is a surprise how many you have celebrated from your photo. I am not surprised that the gentleman was looking your way. I seem to remember a line from a movie about a woman being "so vivacious..." Cell phones have so many wonderful uses,but like other things,there is a time and a place for them. So glad that you can celebrate the anniversary of your natal day in such a wonderful way. The restaurant sounds divine. May many more birthdays come your way."

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    1. Thank you so much, Natalie, for the lovely birthday wishes and the compliments. I, too, love vivacious people. Life is tough enough w/out having spend it in the company of a Debbie Downer, n'est-ce pas? I hope I am able to celebrate many more birthdays, as well.

      Always love when you stop by and take the time to comment.

      Cheers, M-T

      Delete
  5. Thoroughly enjoyed your post. The photo of the restaurant sets the perfect scene. A little peek at life in Manhattan is always fun for an Ohio girl. Love your interpretation of the evening, which highlights the benefit of the wisdom that comes from our age. And I think your grandmother was just lovely.

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    1. Delighted you enjoyed my post and my little vignette of dinner in NYC. Life in Manhattan is not always easy but can be wonderful. It has the best and the worst of everything. The trick is to know where to find the best and ignore the rest.

      You are spot on about the benefits of wisdom at our age. It's a wonderful vantage point from which to view and analyze life.

      I think my grandmother was lovely, too. Thank you for that.

      Stop by again.

      Cheers, M-T

      Delete
  6. Happy Birthday Marie-Therese ! As a woman, who was what my mother called a late bloomer, I had to develop my personality and sense of humor early. As I grew into myself, it came along with me. Now that I am a lady of a certain age, my looks are still lovely enough, but with men I have noticed my personality and especially my sense of humor are what is attractive to them. I am sure that is what was happening to you at dinner. Men like to laugh. Men like to have intelligent conversations with women who are intelligent (a small bit of information on a topic can get a man talking). Your grandmother was so right. I thought I was suffering , not being one of the 'pretty' girls in high school but in the end it served me well.

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    1. Thank you so much for the happy birthday wishes. We appear to have something in common. I, too, was a late bloomer, who came into her own rather late.

      Your comments show how wise and witty we ladies "of a certain age" are. BTW, have you seen those "pretty" girls in high school lately? Some of them have really weathered. I'll bet you're even prettier now than when you were in high school.

      Please stop by again. Enjoyed your comments.

      Cheers, M-T

      Delete
  7. Happy Birthday Marie-Therese ! As a woman, who was what my mother called a late bloomer, I had to develop my personality and sense of humor early. As I grew into myself, it came along with me. Now that I am a lady of a certain age, my looks are still lovely enough, but with men I have noticed my personality and especially my sense of humor are what is attractive to them. I am sure that is what was happening to you at dinner. Men like to laugh. Men like to have intelligent conversations with women who are intelligent (a small bit of information on a topic can get a man talking). Your grandmother was so right. I thought I was suffering , not being one of the 'pretty' girls in high school but in the end it served me well.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Dearest Marie-Thérèse,
    Yes, a lively partner is so very important! Pieter is observing just like Dan, whenever we are at a Fine Dining place and he often tells me about things he sees. When the wife is not looking happy and does not converse.
    Both of us will never ever un out of conversation topics, wherever we are. When we ride in the car together I often have to ask my husband: 'Where are we, which exit...?' So in conversation that you don't really pay attention to your surroundings. Which is a plus and a compliment as we both sure don't know boredom. Your Grandma was a beauty and a wise, straight no nonsense woman! That is far more valuable than an 'empty' hull which looks beautiful in her younger years, till life will catch up on her. If you don't poses humor, it will show on your face in your later years.
    You know how to age gracefully and the most important thing is to stay alert and active in mind!
    Big hugs and a belated Birthday to you!
    Mariette

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    1. Ma chère Mariette,

      Yet again, your comments show just how much we have in common. There are those men out there who prefer the bubble-headed beauty, but such a man is not worth a moment's notice, nor would he get it from us, n'est-ce pas?

      I agree completely with your assessment of how to age gracefully and would just add one more attribute -- enthusiasm. If you lose enthusiasm for life, you lose interest in it and you become uninteresting.

      Stay active, stay mentally engaged and stay interested in life and what it has to offer, which is bountiful.

      Big hugs to and Pieter and belated birthday wishes to you, as well.

      Cheers, M-T

      Delete
  9. I loved this!....and I know it must have felt mighty good to have a man gazing at you. I think that is what we women of a certain age really miss. Don’t get me wrong I am not out there trying to pick up men. I have a wonderful one of my own. At 72 I do feel invisible at times...and that wasn’t so when I was younger. I think that young man was thinking what a lucky guy your husband is to have an attentive attractive woman to spend his time with!!!!

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    1. I know exactly what you mean, and, yes, it did feel delicious to be stared at by a younger man. And, like you, the last thing on my mind is "trying to pick up men." Again, like you, I've got a real keeper at home, and when we go out, we never run out of conversation.

      I also know what you mean about feeling invisible sometimes. A few years back, I did a three-part series of Blogs on just that topic that was well received. You might enjoy them. They are listed on the right-hand side of my Blog under "Most Popular Posts." "Youth Fades -- Must We?" Start w/Part 1. Would be interested to know what you think.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a great comment.

      Cheers, M-T

      Delete
  10. Marie-Thérèse,

    I have something in common with a man, it seems. I like to think I've never been unkind, however, being in a relationship with a boring person is a difficult hurdle to get over, so the relationship wouldn't develop very far.

    When I see a man in his 50s, 60s out with a pretty young thing, I often wonder (a fleeting thought) what the basis of their relationship is -- is it his wallet or something else? If it happens to be his wallet, he must know it too. If the pretty young thing marries (or dates) a mansion, she will end up with the man. It can be a long life so one better better have good motives.

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    1. Debra, I have a suspicion we all think the same thing when we see a man in his 50s/60s w/a pretty young thing who is not a relative. Actually, I know of such a case where a pretty young thing married a rich, much older man. She had dreams of a mansion; had one all picked out. She ended up w/the man for a few years. After telling her he would take care of her forever, when he died a few years later, he left her w/worse than nothing -- massive debts. She lost everything. Sometimes that "rich" old guy is really in debt up to his neck. A cautionary tale for every young gold digger, I think.

      Cheers, M-T

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    2. Oh my goodness, he had been living beyond his means forever it appears. Horrible to think about! So important to enter relationships for the right reasons and for both parties to be responsible and real.

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    3. Absolutely! Sometimes when you get what you want, it's not at all what you had in mind. I am reminded of that line in one of the great songs in "HMS Pinafore" by Gilbert & Sullivan -- "Things are seldom what they seem; skim milk masquerades as cream." Buyer beware!

      M-T

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  11. Happy birthday to you! I celebrate my birthday for at least a week, but a month sounds even better. We better have some personality to fall back on as the looks fade that's for sure. And a smile is an instant face lift. Being interested and engaged makes us interesting and engaging, too. xo

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    1. Deborah, you deserve to celebrate your birthday all month, as I do. Right you are that relying on one's looks becomes harder and harder as one ages, no matter how much cosmetic surgery you've had. I see them at the opera in NYC all the time. After a while, the face looks unnatural and rather bizarre, especially when attached to a much older body. There's nothing wrong w/doing your best to look youthful, but if you try too hard, something always gives you away.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Cheers, M-T

      Delete

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