Despite the best efforts of several doctors, I find myself, after almost 50 years of marriage, quite alone in the world. I now need a way to answer well-meaning friends who are concerned about my new condition and offering countless suggestions as to what to do. It is amazing to me that they think a hairy man can be replaced with a hairy pet.
Marriage taught me that no man is perfect and you live with traits that are wonderful and traits that are less so, with abilities that are good and abilities that are lacking. Having spent a long time adjusting to the strengths and weakness of one man, I have therefore decided that the solution for me, is to “marry a committee.”
1. First on the list of those chosen is the beefy kid who works at the pizza parlor in a muscle shirt showing his tattoo. His will be the easiest assignment on The Committee. He doesn’t have to do anything; just let me peek at him every now and then. This will keep my estrogen level closer to where it should be and perhaps extend my youthfulness a bit. Let’s be realistic, to wish for more would probably necessitate an exchange of money and that would be a bit demeaning and a negative ego shift. However, I might perhaps let my imagination “use” him on occasion.
2. Second to be welcomed to The Committee would be the skinny and balding, somewhat timid “CPA type,” who would be the excellent choice for assistance with my financial matters. Thick glasses or an unimpressive build are certainly no detriment when coupled with the ability to straighten out my tax records and advise on financial matters.
3. Now let me include a part-time member: the “Handyman type,” for the occasional sink washer that needs replacing and changing the filter for the water supply. I have mastered many of the other skills and can lay tile and hang wallpaper with the best of them. His position is the most precarious, for I will attempt to hone my skills and eliminate the need for his pampering.
4. Being an elder-athlete type, I would also add to The Committee an aging jock. This is the personality who might spend his evenings romancing others and showing off his build — like making a fist and saying, “Feel that bicep.” But no matter, I only require him during the day for company on the skating trail, the bike path or the ski trail.
5. There is a special opening that will please the “Equal Opportunity” folks: someone to accompany me to the ballet and chamber music concerts and thus eliminate that awkward time standing alone in the lobby during intermission. No hormone test to be applied here and comments praising my choice of wardrobe or hairstyle would be welcome.
6. With those matters in hand, I am now free to choose the “nice guy to hang around with” for pleasant company on a lunch date or a daytime movie, or pushing it, just a day of errands. A lumpy physique is totally acceptable, for that sometimes accounts for the “nice guy” personality and tends to give hugs a “teddy bear“ quality.
7. Before I get to the two more important members, I will focus my attention on seeking out the “Techie type” for his invaluable assistance with my computer and TV-VCR-CD needs. Physical attributes, again, are of no concern, but ready availability is an asset.
8. Evenings require a more careful choice for The Committee, for now I need to select someone for their intellect, who would be quite content to sit by the fire with a good book, or choose the History Channel or a good documentary over a sit-com. Yes, he would prefer a violin concerto to “Best of the 50s” or even put up with my ignorance in attempting a discussion on politics.
9. And now, alas, the most important and I’m sure the most difficult to find: the physical soul-mate. First, is there anyone out there reasonably around my age who would consider me? Let that remain as a rhetorical question for the time being. Is there anyone out there my age who is still healthy? Without a pacemaker? Without Viagra? Without adult diapers? With teeth?
I shall get very personal here. I am 68. A male acquaintance of 68 dates a lady 54. With that same ratio, I would appeal to someone 82. This is not a happy thought. It would appear that even excusing this committee member from all the requirements satisfied by the other committee members, this one, most important position may go unfilled.
And so, dear friends, who are out there looking for the perfect man, I give you my more pragmatic solution. Try assembling your committee. You will lead a full and satisfying life and probably get as many as eight birthday cards every year!