Monday 29 September 2008

School disco

I had a sad e-mail at the end of last week from an old school friend: "In process of joining the massed ranks of the divorced - keen to hear how to date in London without catching anything!!!"My reply, I hoped was suitably supportive, but elicited the following response, which I found quite shocking, "Yes a shame, no real reason, just end of!!! Now back to the best places to meet younger women in central London (without looking like an old git out of water)". And this from a mid-Forties man, married for nigh-on two decades with three children. Recognising there's a degree of bravado here, it still seems wrong that a marriage could be dismissed so easily.

I remember being shocked about marriage twice before... a sixty something next door neighbour split up from her now-revealed alcoholic husband. It occured to me that at that age, you really should be able to relax with your partner, and not have to go through the trauma of break-up. The second was a friend who lived with her American boyfriend and was pressurised into tieing the knot. Which she duly did at a glorious ceremony in the south of France. A few weeks later, she had changed job and met the man of her dreams. Clearly the decision of a lifetime commitment had been taken for the wrong reasons - I'm glad to say she is still with THE ONE and they have two terrific if somewhat boisterous young lads.

In both cases, it caused me to re-evaluate the concept of marriage...not that either one stopped me doing what I still regard as extraordinarily romantic...I met and married in 99 days. We were divorced five years and five days later. Some sort of perfect symmetry.

So for the boy, I hope he meets and chooses the right person, and when they get to know each other properly, they live happily ever after. As they do in all the best fairy tales.

Equally I despair of my schoolfriend who thinks that dating in mid-life is the same as going to the school disco and grabbing the best-looking girl for a sweaty-clinch for the slow dance at the end of the night. Oh those were the days!


  1. Could you label his forehead so all the unsuspecting young women can have a headstart... MH

  2. Excellent about 'toxic to touch'!

  3. I didn't know you were at school with my ex husband, my my, what a small world !

  4. 'Those were the days...' How right you are. Wasn't life simple, then?

  5. Ah yes...the good old wonder I like watching black and white movies!


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