By: Shannon Shull
I’ve discovered that I have a tendency to attract older men. And when I say older men, I’m talking Grandpa “older.” I’ve had random marriage proposals, excessive hand kissing, and yes, even serenades.
Now let me clarify – I’m no model. Like most women, I require a lot of extra effort to look what I would call “presentable,” or even anywhere near the “hot” category. As I always say…”to each his own.” What one person would consider incredibly attractive, another person could have zero interest in. That’s one of the joys of human nature!
But I’m wondering if maybe that whole pheromones thing isn’t true. And if it is, then apparently I put off pheromones when I’m certainly not trying, when I’m around older fellas, and when I (quite honestly) look my worst! Frankly, I don’t get it!
Most recently when I was surprised by the flirtations of a couple of older gents, I literally had on NO make-up, had done zero hair maintenance, and was wearing a t-shirt, leggings and sneakers. No lie.
I’m wondering if it’s not a case of the universe and God bringing me a smile when I most need it… some sincere compliments from a trusting, older, more mature soul that will leave me with a warm heart instead of making me feel like an object.
My Aunt tells me that older men are not too shy to do sweet things for what they consider truly beautiful women inside and out. Well, whatever it is, whether there’s a real explanation for it or not, I will take it! Some friends may say it’s creepy, nothing but dirty old men. But I choose to differ – at least when it comes to my encounters thus far. I personally like to think better of people. Yes, I tend to be naïve – I have all my life. But daggomit, I’d rather think the best of someone instead of jumping to the worst.
So….yes, I was literally serenaded on aisle 7 in Walmart the other day. With my hair in a wind-blown, messy pony tail, sneakers, and an outfit that looked like I’d just finished a sweaty aerobics class (sadly I had not!). I was there to dash in, take advantage of the deals, do my grocery shopping, and dash out. And did I mention, I had ZERO make-up on!?! In fact, I was also totally munching on a Chick-fil-A sandwich as I was grocery shopping too! I was not what I would call sight worthy of being serenaded. But to my surprise, this old, precious fella – I’m guessing in his 70-80s or even older – was suddenly right at my cart, holding on to steady himself, and softly speaking words of stunning sweetness. At first, I honestly thought that maybe he had some form of dementia and wasn’t sure where he was, who he was and/or who he was talking to. But he continued with his sweet words and then low and behold, he literally started singing to me. Softly, but loud enough that when other folks walked by, they just smiled. (I’d love to know what they wondered was going on!) And he had a lovely voice – singing classics by Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. I was very proud that I actually knew most of the songs he was singing, which of course, prompted him to sing more.
Was it awkward? Well, sure. But was there a total loveliness about the sweet moment? Heck yes. He continued to sing as he adjusted the hearing aids in both his ears. He sang on, in close proximity, a little too close for comfort, but I instilled a level of forgiveness for that. There was a moment when I thought, “oh my, how am I going to continue my shopping and get this endearing old dude away from me?”
I was saved by a phone call from his cell phone. It was his wife asking where he was. Naturally he talked very loudly into the phone and she reciprocated the loudness because I could hear their entire conversation. She questioned his whereabouts and declared she was at the check out and he better come on. He replied, telling her that he was busy serenading a beautiful woman on the aisle with the hot sauces. Her response was, “well, invite her home and tell her we’ve got an extra bed!” I thought I would croak! I just stood there giggling like an idiot. As he continued jabbering with her on the phone, I realized this was my moment of escape, so I patted his shoulder, said “Bless you,” and thanked him for making my day.
The very next day, I was in the gas station grabbing an early morning cup of coffee, looking pretty much the same as I did the day before, just with a different t-shirt and this time with my hair clipped into a sloppy low bun. I got in line to pay for my coffee behind an older gentleman who looked like he was about to embark on a long, hard day of work and the fella told the clerk that he insisted on paying for the lady’s coffee too. I was shocked and quickly reciprocated with a “Bless you! Thank you so much!” His response was “I like to make it a habit to pay for a beautiful lady’s coffee.” …..O….K…. well, I’ll take that. Not sure what he meant by that but hey, I still took it as a compliment. Why not, right? I again said thank you and that he had made my day. It totally made my day.
Between that experience and the serenade experience the day before, it was, quite honestly, just nice to be noticed and complimented. And I like to believe that an older man can have a better appreciation for a good woman. Not true in every case, of course! But, as a lady having a really hard time with the fact that she will be turning 40 all too soon, I’m sorry, but I’m not gonna turn down compliments or moments like these with older gents who bring a smile to my face and warm my heart.
Now if they start getting frisky, don’t worry, I’ll jack-slap them and be the tough Southern woman that won’t take no garbage! But as long as the old gents keep putting on sincere air of genuine kindness, I will gladly welcome and take the sweet moments that boost my self-confidence. 🙂