Keeping a keeper. Easy, really.

Nice guys are actually very straightforward. They say so, in a bewildered way, usually when they can’t understand why the last relationship went wrong. They’re so easy, so ready to settle down. When they’re pressing fifty or accelerating towards sixty-something, you have to know things have gone wrong before. Why? He’s such a nice guy. Ask Clarissa. She wrote the book, literally (there, see it, in the margin?)

Actually I don’t want to mislead you. The men she meets aren’t keepers. Interesting, but not keepers. In fact we’re slipping off the topic a bit, which is nice guys, aka keepers, and how to keep them. They are easy. They are looking for nice women who will gently but firmly move in, take control, run their lives and keep them happy. It really couldn’t be much simpler.

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So, all a woman has to know, to get the lovely man of her dreams and her happy ever after, is

A – when to turn up. He has to be over the last one, and just wondering when the next one is going to arrive

B – what to look like. He might want you to gain just a little weight, or lose a little. Grow your hair, or cut it. Wear skirts at all times, or occasionally wear jeans. Always be immaculate, or always look as if you wouldn’t mind being a little mussed-up. The tricky part is sussing that out, because he will inevitably say he doesn’t mind, until you go too far the wrong way and he does.

C – Good food should happen effortlessly, so have a core list of recipes you can cook from memory from stuff that hangs around most pantries. Time enough to get exotic when he’s addicted enough to your repertoire to run your shopping errands. Do housework and cleaning while he sleeps. If he believes tidy happens just because you’re there, you’re in.

D – get the sex just right. I’m not saying Clarissa’s book could help here, but it couldn’t hurt. At least you’ll be braced for all sorts, especially if you’re a bit on the naive and inexperienced side yourself. Sometimes he’s in a quickie mood, and sometimes he wants to be adored and seduced, and sometimes he wants to do the seducing and coaxing himself. Sometimes he doesn’t want sex at all, just a quick cuddle. You need to know instinctively know which mood he’s in.

E – last point, or maybe the first point – some men want to hunt, some men want to be hunted, and some men just want you to turn up at the door (see A), looking right (see B)  and be easy to live with (see C and D).

See? Couldn’t be simpler.

Go find one.  Let us know how you got on.

wrinklie love

Aging overnight, hey, don’t I get any warning at all?

Remember playing Statues as a kid? You crept up on the person who was it but couldn’t move if they glanced at you. Ah, the games of children, first introduction to stress.

Age can be a bit like that. Glance away for a second and kapow, another chunk added into the mix. I still remember the nasty moment I glanced in the mirror and realized I’d inherited my father’s jowls.  I was barely forty at the time, and I’d turned into Deputy Dawg overnight.

Anyway a couple weeks ago I went on holiday and caught a chill on the beach – as only I can – and for a couple of weeks I’ve been resentfully thinking damnit, one long weekend, and the switch flipped and I got OLD. A bit stiff in the mornings, aching in numerous joints, even a little bit deaf after that hellish double flight back.  I finally went sighing to the doctor after a fortnight to see if anything could be done at least about the ears, because I’m now missing out on half the office gossip, and tell you what, I’m nominating that woman for sainthood. She’s a fresh-cheeked thirty-something, she could have glanced at my chart, recoiled, said yes you’re old, what do you expect at your age? And I’d have crawled out of there and ordered a zimmer.

Nonsense, she said instead. You have eustachian tubes dysfunction. You flew with a head-cold, you’re paying the price, and you should be as good as new in a couple more weeks. It will take as long as it takes.

So then I mentioned the stiffness and aching and she pushed and pulled at my legs and tied them into some pretty fancy knots and said nope, no problems whatsoever, you’re very fit and flexible, you just overdid things. Do a bit more exercise and the aches and stiffness will go away.

More? I hadn’t done any since getting back because I was feeling so ollllllllllllllllllllllllllld. So I started again and let me tell you, if you really want to feel ancient and decrepit, do your usual full exercise routine after a few weeks break. But I do feel better, already. Well, stiff and aching in different places, but I remember those places, they do stop whinging if you keep going.

I hope I’ve learned a lesson from this and won’t automatically hit the pause button when the next symptom, real or false, pokes its head up. I could kick myself. I blether on and on about the benefits of exercise and (fairly) healthy diet and forget everything the minute I feel briefly under the weather.

What are you doing, reading this? Get out there and dance!