In malls, at workplace, even on top of the Eiffel Tower where you are with your husband for your golden wedding anniversary, all male eyes – cataractic, rheumy, clad in bifocals – follow the backside of the youngest woman.
It is a given fact that the older the man, the younger the object of his attention. This would have been hilarious if it wasn’t so rampant, so everywhere.
After veteran wives have affectionately or exasperatedly teased their husbands on this, there might just be that wedding invite in the mail, signalling his moving on with a PYT. Of course, said veteran wife can be heard giggling away in the background.
We are told there is biological excuse as to why older men are so into young girls. It is nature’s way of perpetuating itself, that men, who even at advanced age can father, get on with nubile members of the opposite sex at their most fertile. So this is all a part of the primal man-woman cosmic plan blah blah blah.
It is only the fact that the girl is post-pubertal that keeps it all this side of the law, sometimes barely. Bring the man down to his thirties and his romantic partner is busy being born. That such women are seen as gold-diggers or having daddy issues is beside the point. That men are on various websites offering their services as sugar daddies, saying, please, use my yacht, my apartment in central London, my swimming pool, my bank balance – now that is the real nuisance.
A May-December pairing is fashionable only if you are Mrs Macron, that is, older than your husband. (And while we applaud the older woman’s capacity to bag a boy, we do sympathise with her frantic 24/7 efforts at youth.) But when hubby is many birthdays ahead of wifey, it is all rather boringly ageist.
If Trump was still with the first Mrs Trump, at least he would look good in photographs standing next to her. Melania looks more like Ivanka’s friend; seriously young/hot wives can be taken for exotic walking sticks to their senior-citizen spouses. One can just imagine the pick-up lines; the girl rolling her eyes mentally, the guy flexing his wrinkled (let’s call it) bicep.
A former mayor of Godalming in Surrey, Simon Thornton, was recently jailed for sexually abusing a teenage girl. We all know what Huma Abedin found in her ex-husband’s phone – sexts to a minor. And what Clinton was up to during office hours Monica told her BFF and her BFF told us. As many wives before us have said down through caveman times: ‘Get me my dark glasses. I can’t watch him having a mid-life crisis!’
And don’t forget – however, old the woman, she is a chick to some man out there. So all women, whatever their vintage, are eyed up by a man two decades her senior.
Grandpas, chase grandmas. That is, if you want to be liked for yourself. The little girls you think love you for your, er, experience, are actually waiting for that last gray hair on your head to fall. When oh when, they are thinking tenderly as they gaze into your eyes, will my beloved go completely bald?
Shinie Antony is a writer and editor based in Bengaluru. Her books include The Girl Who Couldn’t Love, Barefoot and Pregnant, Planet Polygamous, and the anthologies Why We Don’t Talk, An Unsuitable Woman, Boo. Winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Asia Prize for her story A Dog’s Death in 2003, she is co-founder of the Bangalore Literature Festival and director of the Bengaluru Poetry Festival.