I could understand why Mary preferred younger men. She looked fabulous -- a trim figure, intelligent, her eyes lit up when she spoke, and she had beautiful smooth skin. Clearly, she had it goinâ€?on. She could easily pass for 60. Why would she want to put up with a cranky old codger her age?
Hereâ€™s the problem: When Mary finds someone with potential, and age comes up, Mr. Potential is gone. I suspect that if Mary had money and celebrity, it would be a different story.
Let me relate a personal experience: At the pharmacy where I work, a customer Iâ€™ll call Mr. Smooth, in his mid-fifties, made it clear that he found me interesting, even though he knew I was married. One day the local paper ran a story about my new book and mentioned that I was 76. Before that, my age was mostly unknown because I never talked about it. The public disclosure of my age raised eyebrows, and whispers began at work. â€œSheâ€™s HOW old?â€?Formerly friendly male coworkers began looking the other way. Sheesh! Be seen talking to an old woman? The guys will think thereâ€™s something wrong with me.
Back to Mr. Smooth. He must have seen the story in the newspaper because soon after, he appeared at my prescription counter. Glaring at me with disdain and disgust, he blurted out, â€œI canâ€™t believe you are as old as you are. I just CANâ€™T believe it!â€?He turned around and strode away never to be seen again.
A womanâ€™s age matters to most men. Except when sheâ€™s 18 and heâ€™s 81. Then itâ€™s a different story. Society accepts it with a knowing look and a wink. If the relationship produces progeny, thatâ€™s really, really cool --until the kids lose their father before their sixth birthday.