Richard included a line from my blog of last week(http://blurbfromtheburbs.blogspot.com/2005/10/i-found-my-thrills.html), "you have the smug joy of knowing that you are in a position to spend more money on clothes than you would have dreamed of in your teenage years yet choose to spend it on your child and home," and then pointed out that: 'My grandmother had that smug joy until her husband left her for someone who 'looked after herself'. Go on. Tell me I'm wrong...'
Oh dear, he's given me a wee challenge to respond to, yet I'm sad reading about what happened to his Grandma and angry that his Grandpa (who, for the sake of brevity, will now represent all despicable men) left her for 'someone who looked after herself'.
I'm going to be wild and crazy and assume that this woman may also have been a year or two younger than Grandma? As we all know, whenever an ageing male celebrity (or 'local identity' here in the Australian womens' magazines) 'Finds love again,' it invariably seems to be with a blonde and bronzed Trixie Buttypuff who is exactly twenty years his junior. Of course when the age difference is raised by the gushing reporter, it's always blown off with "It's never been an issue with us...we felt like soulmates from the first time we met....he's young at heart....she's mature and easy to talk to...." I can not even think of one forty or fifty-something Aussie male who has found love the second time around with a woman even ten years younger, let alone his actual age.
Aussie blokes that immediately spring to mind include serial chick-rooter Gary Sweet (his last one was a 21 year old barmaid); Michael "How's the serenity" Caton (he's in his fifties, she her lateish thirties); Adelaide 36ers coach Phil Smyth (47) with a blonde bimbo (27), John Jarrat (fifties) and new wife in her thirties. Even I remember when Mike Gibson used to have a column in my Mum's Womens' Weekly magazine in the 1980s, chattering on about his 'child bride' and his kids. Several years later, he ditched his then fortyish 'child bride' for a newer, actual child bride in her early twenties. Not surprisingly, his column was no longer needed by the magazine.
Which leads me on to another wild assumption - that Grandpa was slightly over-endowed in the wallet department. No? So you're saying that he moved on to a newer, more improved woman on the sheer force of his personality and looks alone? Yeah right, and the younger woman would have fallen in love with Gramps even if he was just the local garbo, wouldn't she......
As for the smug knowledge of having a larger income in your thirties to spend on clothes yet electing to spend it on your children and your home, it remains true for most of us. Even though I am fairly resigned to (not proud) of my dagginess, I am also grateful that my husband, Love Chunks, isn't overly concerned with fashion or makeup. The few times I do put make up on he remarks that I look like a baby (many thanks to my parents for giving me a face that resembles a scone with two sultanas pushed into it for eyes). That's not to say that I don't look after myself physically - running, swimming, keeping clean, haircuts etc, but I no longer see the need to spend $450 on a work jacket when it could go towards an outdoor setting we'll have for years and use every day.
My last assumption is that the woman who 'looked after herself' was quite possibly childless, and therefore unencumbered with such time-consuming responsibilities such as 5am wake up calls, dashes to daycare at 7am, sponging snot and weetbix off one's shoulders before a meeting, late night housework, shopping, school run, playgroup, babysitting another toddler, school pick up, after-school activities (swimming, ballet, gym), dinner and then cleaning up all the mess after the kids have gone to bed...??
If I'm correct, it may also mean that this now-infamous woman who 'looked after herself' may then have had ample time to apply her lotions, potions and make up, do her hair, go to the gym after work, take a relaxing soak in the bath with a moisturising face mask on, paint her nails, apply some fake tan and eat a home-delivered 'Lite'n'easy meal for dinner. Maybe too she was able to stay awake beyond 9:30pm too, not only to sexually service Grandpa but also to listen with interest to his conversation.
Of course, all of these assumptions may be wildly wrong, but the law of averages suggests not. If a fifty-something like Billy Joel, a then-fifty-something like Michael Douglas and a forty-something like Nicolas Cage end up marrying women in their twenties, what on earth sort of adult conversation do they end up having apart from "Oh god, oh yeah, oh god, oh yeah baby." ??
I hope Grandma found someone fabulous and worthy of her Richard, I really do.