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The Etiquette of Love
The Etiquette of Love
By Tony DeLorger © 2011
Heaven knows I tried, but I can’t be one of those love’m and leave’m types. For all my attempts to be salacious and licentious I just don’t stand up to the moral ambiguity. I’m not a misogynist; in fact I support ridding society of gender based inequity. Maybe that’s my problem; my mother instilled in me a high moral code and a deep sense of respect for not only women but all living things. It’s not something you can just ignore; it’s implanted in the fibre of your being.
Having said all that, sometimes I want to be the bad boy, perhaps be reckless and hedonistic for a day. But who am I kidding? I remember years ago when I was first divorced, I was hit on by several woman, none of whom I even noticed. My friends would make a comment after the fact and I was stunned. ‘You’ve got to be joking,‘ I’d say, having not even noticed the advances. You see if you don’t think like that you simply don’t notice, or perhaps take the advance in another way. I wished it different; a good fling could well have helped my bruised ego and gave me some emotional and psychological release. But that wasn’t to be.
Now in my fifties and having found myself single again, my high moral code still oversees my social activities with a cast iron fist. I have every opportunity to indulge in promiscuity with beautiful women twenty plus years my junior, and what do I do? I say, ‘what the hell are you talking to me for, a have a daughter older than you?’ However attractive the fantasy, the reality can be another matter. Wisdom and foresight can be a burden, but you can’t pretend you don’t see the truth. As they say ‘be true to yourself’.
Perhaps I’m old-fashioned, perhaps so out of the loop that a good thing could bite me on the bum and I’d squat it like a mosquito. But I’m becoming desperate for female companionship and miss the intimacy of a real relationship. When you’re young, there’s a process of trial and development that allows you to discover what works and what doesn’t with relationships. Being game and with nothing to lose we throw ourselves into sexual relationships with abandon just to see what will happen. When you’re older you know damned well what will happen and it’s more like tentatively dipping your big toe in the water. It’s scary as hell!
The battleground is far more complex in middle age and our perspective vastly changed because of the passage and experiences of life. As much as I’m complaining about my dilemma, I know that for me this is right and I don’t want to have to go through the sexual mill to find someone of my ilk. So, in the end there is etiquette to love, or at least finding love. The world has changed so much the rules have become blurred and one has to fight blindly through the mud to find a clear resolution.
So I’ll keep searching for that right person with eternal hope and not sully my morality by temptation. Frustration, yes; impatience often; loneliness always, but being a survivor and an optimist I’ll hold on to my values and let the universe deliver.