The latest dispatch from North Carolina came in @ 11 am our time.
" I'm driving through UNC's campus. Good Lord." Don said.
"What?" I replied.
" I don't recall girls looking like this when I was in college. "
" They didn't. For sure they didn't have piercings or tattoos back in our day unless they were bikers. But you ought to talk a walk on campus at Ole Miss if you want to see some beautiful girls." I said. "It is for this reason alone that I love Oxford."
" No. It would be best if I stayed in my car. It would keep a safe distance between us and them to where I couldn't get into any trouble."
"That's why I run when I go through Ole Miss's campus. It's just better if I keep moving."
" You know, it seems that everybody was always after the same girls when I was that age."
"Everybody was after Kathy Frost. There were all kinds of perfectly acceptable girls running around but everybody wanted Kathy Frost, ya know?"
No I didn't know. He does this all the time. He will speak of people and events that occurred 30 years ago at Vanderbilt as if they were last week and as if I should know who the hell these people are. Mother does the same thing. Only she's 84 and suffers from dementia.
" I think it's an alpha male competitive thing with the young men." he concluded.
" I think it's a young men are idiots thing." I said. " I certainly was. Come to think of it, I am still an idiot even when it concerns women. Even ones that are age appropriate."
" Perhaps you should go back to younger women."
" Yeah, right....You forget that heart disease runs in the family."
Actually, there's another reason. Quite honestly, I do not understand the obsession some guys have with younger women. You are all the time hearing about guys my age running off with these young things all the while blowing up lives, families and reputations in the process. I don't get it. I have always subscribed to the Molly Ivins' quote of an old Texas Ranger who said that the three most overrated things in the world were Cuban cigars, the FBI and younger women. Although that wasn't exactly the word he used. But I concede that maybe I just don't have the right attitude.
A couple of years ago, I went out a couple of times with a woman who was not quite 30 at the time. She was beautiful, smart, funny and the only practicing agnostic I had ever met from Van Buren County. Granted, having an exotic specimen like her around was good for my ego at a time when it consisted only of sub-atomic particles. Still, as much fun as she was, something about all of this troubled me.
It hit me one night over dinner. As I was looking at her across the table, I heard a small still voice inside my head say, " You know, you knock her up and this will be trouble."
I don't know exactly why that little messenger of doom presented itself at that point in time. Certainly she and I were nothing more than acquaitances at that point and things had not progressed beyond a chaste kiss here and there. The only thing I can think is that the difference between a young man, whom we concede are all idiots, and a man of my advanced age is that a young guy might think of these matters,if he thinks of them at all, as he is removing his pants. Which is, typically, way too late to do anything particularly constructive about such vexacious issues.
My situation resolved itself when she told me that she wanted to "explore a relationship" (whatever the hell that meant) with someone she had met. She was extremely apologetic about the whole thing. She needn't have been.
" My God!" I said. "Don't give this a second thought. You need to be with a younger guy. You don't need to be hanging around a geezer like me."
" Don't be silly." she said. "You're not a geezer."
"Maybe not. But you don't need to be going out with somebody who is old enough to be...to be..."
"Don't say it. You are NOT old enough to be my father."
"Well, I'm old enough to be your big brother's still reasonably attractive single friend from dental school or something. You can do better than that. I fully understand. Not a problem."
And it wasn't.
Don't get me wrong. She was just what I needed at a certain point in time. It does a person good to be reminded that they still "got game" from time to time.
But she wasn't reality. No more than those girls at Ole Miss or North Carolina are. Or the law school kid down the street who tolerates me only because she regards a geezer like me as sweet and harmless. That, and I think I know somebody that might be interested in buying her car.
I saw my old (so to speak) dinner companion from afar as a buddy of mine and I were walking to lunch the other day. She was on the other side of the street, going the opposite direction. We waved at each other from across the way.
" Who was THAT?" my friend asked.
" Somebody I went out with a couple of times. Really nice girl." I said.
" No kidding? You son-of-a-bitch!"
I just shrugged. Some things are better left unsaid. Especially when there really isn't anything to say even if I were so inclined.
But my friend didn't have to know that, now did he?