The fine print

Saturday, April 11, 2009 Permalink

I have to admit to falling in love with people that I have never met. Well, not all of the people that I haven’t met cos, well, that would plain silly. But a few of them.

I actually like to think that it is a sign of my maturity and sophistication that I am no longer drawn to men solely on the basis of cuteness. (Or a nice smile. Or nice arms. Or…)

In recent years I have found myself attracted to men based on their wit and repartee. Not in person or in conversations, but through their writing.

I first realised this when I came across a porn magazine while visiting a health retreat a few years back. The room’s previous resident must have stashed it in a cupboard under blankets – presumably to hide it from the prying eyes of the cleaners – and forgotten it was there. Or something. Nevertheless, they forgot to take it with them and was left for my viewing pleasure.

While I have nothing against a sensible level of porn (the non-violent, not-involving-animals-or-other-weird-things-kind) I hadn’t seen a magazine since discovering a stash at a relative’s place 20 years before! It wasn’t a well-known one and wasn’t at all offensive. In fact, it was hilarious! Very tongue-in-cheek, rude but very witty. Mostly I ignored the pictures as the magazine gave a whole new meaning to ‘buying it for the articles’.

The entire thing was obviously written by the one person. I suspect that, given the focus on the actual pictures, the article and caption-writing weren’t overly arduous, so one person probably could have put it together in a month. But, there were enough words for me to completely become smitten with the author. I recall, at the time, pouring through the editorial info wondering who this author was. There was even a tone of irreverance for the target audience. I (very briefly) thought about writing to them to confess my undying love, but decided that would be, well… weird.

A year or two later (and magazine left for next health retreat resident) I discovered the next object of my desire. Reading a free inner-city weekly magazine I came across a weekly column spoofing political events (state and national). It was hilarious. The writer sarcastic and witty. Again, very tongue-in-cheek and obviously intelligently written. With no name on the column I scoured the editorial pages and the fine print wondering who authored it. I didn’t go so far as to contact the paper to find out, but I did secretly hope the author was actually male. The fantasy wasn’t as attractive otherwise. Each week I grabbed the paper, wanting my next fix until – suddenly there was a note to say the column was finishing. I thought of contacting the paper then to ask why, but again…. weird!

My latest fetish is for a cartoon called Vimrod. I know the authors are actually a couple, but my enamourment of the cartoon and the wit of its authors reminded me of my evolving taste when it comes to men.

I haven’t ‘fallen’ for anyone for yonks. Once upon a time, all it took was a cute face, nice smile and nice set of biceps. From my discussions with friends, it seems common that – as we get older – we look for something different. My own ‘wish list’ has changed drastically over the past 20 years.

Intelligence, wit and sense of humour are at the top of that list (as well as a devotion to me, obviously!). I wondered once if it was just that (as we aged and the men-market dried up) we were becoming more desperate and were prepared to ‘settle’ for the less-attractive, but nicer guys. But it seems obvious that as marriages falter, the sizzle fades, the friendships become more important.

Last year I had the exact conversation with one of my best friends. As we bemoaned the state of our lovelives, I said that the most important thing for me now, in looking for a man, was that we had to have that ‘banter’. I needed someone smart, witty and quick-minded, rather than just pretty to look at, or even just ‘nice’. My friend said that she had accepted the fact that she wouldn’t get that ‘stimulation’ from a man. It didn’t matter if he wasn’t her intellectual equal or able to ‘chew the fat’ on certain matters. She said that she could rely on her friends for that and no longer expected that in a potential partner.

The same friend has diligently dated over the enusing 12 months. Three months ago she had her first date with a guy she met over the internet. I met her the next day for a debrief. She liked him. Her only concern was that he was too much like her. He was her intellectual equal. She wasn’t sure if that was what she wanted.

But, she perservered and they are still together. She sounds happy. I am yet to meet him, but am looking forward to it. My friend has always been a ‘saver’ and I love the fact that this time around, someone is there to meet her half-way. It is no more than she deserves.

So, what of this new revised wish list and my love of the witty writers…..? I have hung up my saddle on the relationship front for the time being. Not given up entirely, but am tired of ‘looking’. Tired of not-finding and feeling rejected and alone.

In the interim, my love of the written word will continue and I will remain smitten about these men I come across, but don’t come across (if you know what I mean).

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