Much has been made of a recent New York Times article reporting that now a majority (51%) of women live alone.
According to the Times, women are now living with their cats and lovin’ it!
But the Times has a way of putting a positive spin on such things as divorce, abortion, drug use, depression, and loneliness.
If you want to know, I think there is a conspiracy between the New York Times, Hugh Hefner, and all the sexual revolutionists of the 1970s.
I think the tripartite cabal is hoping that more women will look at these statistics and just give up on the idea of marriage. In other words, it will become abnormal to be married. Just look at the “experts” quoted in the article, such as William H. Frey from the Brookings Institution who described the shift as “’a clear tipping point, reflecting the culmination of post-1960 trends. . . .”
That of course was Hugh Hefner’s goal all along since the 1950s. A recent experience of mine confirms this theory.
Hefner, the New York Times editors, and the guys still doing the hustle on the dance floor want women to be happy about living in a sort of collective and ready harem. When the disco kings of the 1970s see footage of an 80-year-old in a silk jacket on the dance floor moving like Herman Munster they see their idol. And as his little harem becomes accepted by the mainstream (recommending Christmas gifts for girlfriends via links on Yahoo and Fox), they hope that they too will have at least three girlfriends whose collective age does not equal theirs.
Playboy Bunnies have come a long way, baby! from their places beneath Popular Mechanics next to the bean bag chair. They are, as their reality show has categorized them, “The Girls Next Door.”
My cat, Sparky, and I would gape slack-jawed at the goings-on at the Playboy Mansion where girls my son’s age in hot pants (see, the appeal to the 70s?), would go down slides, squealing. Daddy Hugh would be in the wings in his satin robe, presumably ready to un-sash for a little frolic in a waterbed, where as Marvell wrote, they would “sport” and roll in delight, with their “sweetness up into one ball.”
The quartet even made the rounds of talk shows where they chatted about their “lifestyle.” The youngest one, a self-described “tomboy” who joined at 18, even had an apparent speech impediment. I can only guess that her handicap (so nice of the man to take in disadvantaged youngsters) is a form of stuttering, wherein she cannot complete a sentence without saying “like” several times.
I asked Sparky his opinion, if he thought these girls had something I—at only 31 years Hefner’s junior, and without blonde hair--didn’t, but then he reminded me that he had been fixed.
So I pondered my state of joyful singleness, as the New York Times put it, as I watched the grinning octogenarian and his harem. I definitely was not having as much fun as these girls. I was beginning to feel out of it. Maybe I should have been a “tomboy” instead of a bookworm. How many Playmates have written dissertations that analyze the existential nature of evil in Walker Percy’s novels? I doubt that it is the fantasy of many schoolboys to have a date with Miss December and sit down and discuss the difference between Kierkegaard’s despair of infinitude versus the despair of finitude.
I thought I would go out and try to have some fun, the way the ‘girls next door,’ do.
So one Saturday night I told Sparky that instead of playing squeak-the-mouse and reading Paradise Lost aloud to him, I was going out and trying the “newfound freedom” the New York Times said I was supposed to be enjoying.
I thought I’d give a try to that fun Atlanta establishment known for preserving the spirit and ethos of the disco age, Johnny’s Hideaway. This is the hang-out for the “marchers” who “changed the world” in the 1960s and the revolutionists who, in the 1970s, ushered in a new age of freedom and libidinousness with their invention: ther waterbed. Younger readers, think Austin Powers movies.
I arrived on a Saturday night and immediately a 60-ish gentleman caught my eye from the opposite side of the dance floor. Well, it was more his gold chain that sparkled among the gray chest hairs. It flashed seductively and drew my eye to his casually posed, gracefully curved body attired in monochromatic black.
Our eyes locked, more strongly than the eyebeams that John Donne described in “The Ecstasy.”
I did my vamp dance across the floor to Rod Stewart growling, “If you want my body and you think I’m sexy. . . .”
I gave my polyester Casanova that come-hither look learned from Helen Gurley Brown and practiced in front of the mirror since I started reading Cosmopolitan in high school.
Giving a sexy toss of my hair, I threw out my inviting flirtatious salvo.
“Aries,” I said.
“I could tell you’re the fire sign, baby,” my knight of the Revolution replied, giving his own look that said with Ayn Rand-ish abandon, “I want you, and I will take you.”
He said nothing else and simply lifted his arm and flawlessly led me into a hustle twirl. Then we bumped suggestively to Kool and the Gang. I was left breathless by the dancing and when I had worked up a nice glow he suggested we slow dance to Marvin Gaye.
I could feel his belt buckle suggestively catching the fringe on the bottom of my sexy silk tunic top. Looking up into my eyes, he suggested we go to this new place in town called, appropriately, “B.E.D.’’ And who says Generation X-ers are slackers? Some bold entrepreneur, seeing a need, came up with a marvelous concept by which all couples can bypass that awkward question at the end of the evening, “your place or mine?” After the first B.E.D. opened in New York, Atlanta followed suit.
I followed his black Corvette to this downtown establishment, where beautiful people lounge on beds and couches like Roman voluptuaries, while breasty waitresses peel grapes for them. Many of the young women there wore the same kinds of tops that many of my college students wear to class: camisoles. I know what they’re called because I used to wear them under my tailored blouse under my pin-striped business suit when I was dressing for success back in the early 1980s. Their cleavages were just spilling out like lava. Even though I had religiously done all those exercises in Cosmo and Glamour, I felt inadequate and underdeveloped.
My Romeo (as he told me his name was) was quite the gentleman, discreetly handing over a wad of cash to the man at the door, and appreciatively admiring the young ladies. He led me into a room where I was bedazzled by brilliant white teeth framed by super-luscious triple glossy lips under subtle lighting.
Not only did I feel inadequate because of the size of my bosom but I felt that my own natural sized lips covered with one coat of lipstick (and that now mostly rubbed off by the make-out session in the parking lot) were grossly underdressed and under-plumped. All these women had super sexy, juicy lips that looked ready to burst with passion.
My Romeo noticed them too.
I needed a strong drink, so I ordered what Romeo ordered: a double Black Russian.
The drink helped me relax a bit. In fact, I relaxed so much that I leaned my body against Romeo’s jaunty outstretched figure on the satin-covered couch.
But though Romeo’s body language said, “Be my love,” his eyes were on a perky blonde MBA, ski-instructor, black belt, swimsuit model who was telling the metrosexual with the two-day beard about her recent climb up Mount Everest. The metrosexual kept looking into the mirror above our couch, practicing his Justin Timberlake look.
Of course, this gave Romeo an opportunity to lock eyes with Tiffany.
For a moment I thought he would leap onto her couch, like the tiger he had informed me he was in bed, during our conversation earlier that evening.
Things were not going too well for me. This was beginning to remind me of my attempt to date the captain of the football team in high school.
I became even more annoyed when Justin excused himself to freshen his moisturizer and Tiffany smiled openly at Romeo.
I knew from reading all the advice columns that jealous insecurity is definitely a big turn-off! but they were getting a bit too friendly!
For not only was Tiffany smiling, but she was setting one shapely leg on the floor, adjusting her Spandex micro skirt—all the while boldly smiling at my Romeo!
My little release of air that indicated displeasure seemed to embolden my date. He withdrew his hand from my hair and then away from my shoulder. He popped to an upright seating position.
I toppled over to the other side and fell to the floor as he stood up.
Tiffany strode over confidently. I was nearly blinded by her hair, her teeth, and her lip gloss.
She extended her hand out to Romeo. “Mr. Tortellini?”
Romeo replied, “No, but I can be if you’d like.”
He drew in his stomach and puffed out his chest and gave the same look John Travolta gave to co-star Karen Lynn Gorney.
She laughed. “Oh, I’m sorry! I thought you were my dad’s old colleague. I was going to see if I could use your services on a contract basis. My personnel department has just not been able to keep up with my company’s growth.”
I couldn’t help it, but I let out little chuckle.
Romeo was crestfallen. His ego dove. Even Viagra would not help him at this point.
Romeo ended our first date rather abruptly, telling me that he had to get up early the next morning to go to the gym. He has not called.
All I have of his is his business card that reads only “Romeo. Dance instructor. Cruise ships, parties, retirement homes,” with his phone number.
I have been too heartbroken to go back to Johnny’s Hideaway. So here it is: another Saturday night coming up, with only my cat Sparky to cuddle up with. I think I’ll go out and buy some Kahlua and wait for the Times to call and interview me.