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The Cost of a Boyfriend
Judith Wilson

The Cost of a Boyfriend

Lifestyle

Voters Rating 50 / 1000

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Synopsis

The Cost of a Boyfriend is a humorous and honest reality tale about being brought up in a household of three generations of ‘new’ men: my grandad's; my uncle and father's; and my three brothers'. In the middle of this, I couldn’t help but be self-sufficient and capable. I certainly saw no reason to waste my time searching for my own man, except possibly for sexual purposes and moving heavy objects.

Having travelled around the world teaching, working in IT and singing in some inappropriate places, I found myself turning fifty in perfectly pleasant Cheshire and seriously considering that now might be the time to find a partner to accompany me into old age.

But what would the physical, mental, emotional and financial cost of this decision be?

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Extract

I was very happy with my single life, but what if I did suddenly want a boyfriend? Was I still attractive enough to find one? Did people notice me or had I become one of those invisible women as soon as I hit fifty?


I was definitely attractive last year. I know I was. I was walking along the street when a man got out of a car in front of me, did a double-take and managed to splutter, ‘Wow, you’re beautiful.’ That kind of attention from a man in the street is definitely okay.


And another guy, on his thirtieth birthday.


‘You’re lovely,’ he said. I preened. ‘I bet you were stunning when you were younger.’


I gasped. His friends gasped. The whole pub gasped.


‘And I’m stunning now,’ I stammered and went home and cried.


But he was right. I was stunning when I was younger. All young people are. I look at eighteen-year-old girls today, worrying about an inch here and a spot there and want to shout at them. ‘You are gorgeous. Use it, while you still have it. One day you’ll be old like me.’ And for all those years, I had used it and had always taken it for granted. But was it limitless? Was there a sell by date on stunningness?


Of course I was old, if you counted the number of years, but people were never quite sure how old. Only the other day I was chatting to one of my friends and I mentioned my age. Her son, who was studying American history, overheard. You could almost hear the cogs in his little brain whirring, as he calculated the year of my birth. And then he blurted out amazed, ‘My God, you were alive when Kennedy was shot!’


A moment of confusion and then I countered, ‘Yes, but I had nothing to do with it. I’ve never even been to Dallas.’


This young man hadn’t even been alive when John Lennon was shot. I had to get out of there and stop dwelling on death. Was I thinking too much about my age? After all, you can’t actually stop ageing, no matter what the cosmetic companies say. I was embracing my advancing years, with my accumulating experience and knowledge, but having always looked ten years younger than I am, it was a bit of a shock to find that my body was now slowly disintegrating. Wasn’t it time to come to terms with it?


Maybe it was my young outlook on life that had allowed me to keep off the ravages of time, or perhaps it was my genetics that gave me such smooth skin. Even my hair was a natural dirty-blonde with no grey and no highlights, dyes or tints. Or was it the fact that I had never had kids that kept me so young, with none of the angst and ageing that they seem to cause?


It wasn’t that I was depressed about getting older, because I was quite content with life, but looking forward into my sixties and seventies I decided that it might be good to have someone to grow old with. Maybe it was time to find myself a man. And if I was starting to look old then it might be more difficult to attract a nice young one, so wouldn’t it be a good idea to find myself that man now, while I still had my own teeth.


You see, in all my years of having fun and enjoying myself, I’d forgotten to get married and settle down. I’d looked for men and tried a few out, but my heart had never really been in it. I was never sure what the ultimate goal had been.

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