GRAY IN L.A..: Adventures With MEN
It's high time for a new post. I was just so terribly busy - with MEN. Probably not the way you think, or the way I hope. But men just the same.
Let me simplify. I am single and like it that way - although, as I have written here - at times I've had an attack of the dating bug, only to realize that interesting men my age are as rare as dog-owners who pick up their pets' poop in Hollywood, where I live.
But something interesting is going on, and I can't totally put my finger on it yet. Lately I have been the center of attention and am practically showered with glances, smiles but also occasionally with inexplicably ardent admiration by a variety of very young and very old men. Why me? A woman close to seventy? Am I really that charming and good-looking? Is it the clothes, maybe my hat? Don't know. So let me list my roster of admirers, starting with the bottom line (and the most baffling one).
WELCOME TO MY MEN DIARY
1. On my way to CVS, an old, filthy gray-haired, bearded, incredibly sun-burned and dirty homeless without shoes who sits in the middle of a parking space, booze-bottle in hand, yells in a jaunty fashion: "Hello Grandma, looking great!" and waves at me. OK, fine, I get it. I'm neither offended nor flattered. What the hell does he know whether I look great or not! Or maybe the homeless are on to something the rest isn't yet? I shake my head with a bit of a reluctant grin, humor helps - and move on. It's still early.
2. A very white 34-year old "artist" with very labor-intensive real long dreadlocks, a bandanna and truly atrocious old clothes intended to make him look like a raggedy clochard is besotted with me, doesn't leave my side (we're at an art event), wants to meet again at all costs and showers me with compliments that have the words "fascinating", "beautiful" and "sexy" in them. BINGO! Like him! Dreadlocks or no locks!
3. A group of workers who are drilling a very big and very deep hole into my street for some tests regarding earthquakes, whistle when I pass by and a very handsome young man shouts, "I love your outfit!" On my way back from my errands (as you can tell I walk a lot) I stop and ask a few questions about their endeavor. That young geologist, Paul, he introduced himself, in his thirties I would say, is very charming and eager to reveal geological secrets to me, gives me his card "in case you have any questions?!" Then he carves me a perfect cube from the dark clay sample they had dug out, as a souvenir. What an original gift. I have yet to call him. Still have the cube on my windowsill - to remind me that the days of whistling workers aren't over yet.
4. Metro-Madness! Because I can't help myself, I tell a young skinny Mexican who wears his pants below the crack of his ass, displaying his dirty underpants (I DO NOT WANT TO SEE) in fake motherly tones: "Excuse me, your pants are falling down!" Another, very pretty and stylish, young Mexican with a fetching red brimmed hat laughs and says: "You've got guts. Wanna go out?" "Sure", I say, "next time", and dash off at the next stop.
5. Trying to quiet down a group of four older teens who unfortunately hang out in my street after hours and smoke dope and listen to music, we get into a small argument (which I win), they leave, cursing me (the word "old lady" might be involved), except for one really clever and friendly one who talks a lot and is in the usual uniform of basecap, wide shirt and unspeakable ugly, wide, short pants (do they have a name, it's not cargo anymore, is it?). He introduces himself with a handshake and "Chris". After saying, "You’re a real nice-looking lady", and "are you married?" he wants a hug. After some hesitation I give in for peace' sake and to coax him into being considerate and quiet next time around with his buddies. He grabs my ass ever so slightly. What?
6. While I'm sitting at "Starbucks", waiting for a friend, looking around, I see a young, really not very attractive "blackish" guy of the usual kind clotheswise (a nightmare!) with frizzy hair, frizzy beard, winking like crazy. I'm sure he doesn't, can't possibly wink at me. Why would he? I ignore it but from the corner of my eye try to check who is the recipient of such wild eye-movement. Nobody there, just me. Our eyes lock for a second. Yeah, he's winking right at me. I do my arrogant "lady face" and look away. My friend is coming and saves me from further winking. Starbuck customers are not famous for being the fanciest dressers - so, yes, I stick out with my often flamboyant flair. And, admittedly, I would look at myself, too!
Last, not least, so that you don't think this is all bragging and flirting and breezing through life accompanied by cat-calls, whistles and applause!
7. Same day at "Trader Joe's". Skinny old homeless-type man with greasy long hair, dirty fingernails and glasses with a crack in one eye, asks for advice regarding good olive oil. I point out one brand I like and then roll off to the frozen food section very quickly. He follows me and asks where I'm from (my accent, always an ice-breaker, whether I like it or not). "From Mars", I say and grab frozen "Green Enchiladas" (highly recommended). "Can you give me your phone number. I want to get together," he says casually. "I have no time," I say politely, yet firm. "I have all the time in the world", he answers. In a way, a very nice and nowadays rare quote. Couldn't that been uttered by a smashing, greatly dressed California dreamboat for crying out loud? Still, I smile at such audacity that seems unreal, but I am almost moved, too! Yet, in the back of my head I wonder about the growing attraction I seem to inspire in the male homeless population. But then again - sheer Interaction with the people around me is a boost and a shot of energy. I'm basically in Love with reality, even if it bites real hard once in a while.
Upon telling a much younger friend of all of this gray-haired lady's men-adventures in the city of Los Angeles in one month, she sighs: "Nice work if you can get it", and adds that she herself - at the ripe age of 36 - does not have such luck! I agree with her. And as long as I can pull it off - I'll be smiling back most of the time at young men, old men, homeless men, men in suits, dreadlocks, with thousand tattoos, woolcaps, overalls or with one leg only - in a wheelchair. It's healthy and it's easy to do. I'm sure there are studies that confirm that smiling prolongs your life. And there you have my secret - which I discovered as well: I'm approachable, and in a way I'm just one of them, that's all. Humans of L.A. In fact, anybody whose glance lingers on ME instead of being glued to his or her damn devices deserves my attention as well. And a big smile that recognizes their existence! And mine, too!!
And how was your month?
A REAL Boyfriend when I was young!
And this is what I'm left with!
"F#CK BEAUTY DUTY"