How to be a cliche-TipsyLit Edit

This is an adaptation of an earlier post, now seeing action as a respnse to the TipsyLit weekly prompt.

Despite my relentlessly advancing years, I still find women attractive. I’ll not apologise for that. You can blame my y chromosomes. I do. All the time.

It’s a nightmare.

To illustrate how difficult life can be with a y chromosome, here’s a snippet of something that I wrote for my first novel.

The background is important, so here’s what you need to know. Rick, the main protagonist in the tale, has lost Charlie, the love of his life, in a motor accident. After a decent period of mourning, and a lot of faffing around, he has ended up in bed with Constance, Charlie’s best friend. Constance is so different from Charlie that during the subsequent pillow talk she’s trying to get a handle on how this has happened.

Constance said to me, ‘Saying you found me attractive is not much of a compliment. You find something attractive about nearly every woman you meet. It’s part of who you are. Let’s take that teaching assistant at the school.’

‘Which one? The Goth with the magenta and orange hair and pretty ears, or the quiet one with the nice wrists?’

‘You do make things hard work, don’t you? Let’s talk about them both. The Goth first. You described her hair and her ears. Anything else?’

‘Not that I can think of. Oh, black nail varnish. Somehow she manages to make that work.’

‘What about the squint?’

‘We don’t always see eye to eye, but so what? She still has really great hair and pretty ears. And black nail varnish.’

‘The other one. Quiet? Nice wrists? She also has really bad acne. Most men would have said something along the lines of ‘Which one? The one with a face like scarlet porridge?’ You see her wrists.’

‘Well yeah, she does have a few zits, but it doesn’t alter the fact she’s quiet. I find that attractive even though I spent three years of my life with the angriest woman on the planet. And she does have nice wrists. And rather finely turned ankles as it happens.’

‘Closer to home. Treeza.’

‘That could take a while. How long have we got?’


‘Don’t get me started on Abby. The sun’s going to burn out in about seven billion years.’


‘That’s hard. She’s got great posture. Then there’s that hollow in her throat that looks like angels might drink nectar out of it. But it’s not so much how she looks as how she is. Steely businesswoman, personal vulnerability’

‘So Let me summarise. You like quiet or angry women, tall or short or of medium height, with red or magenta or auburn or black or blond hair, perhaps with nice wrists or ankles, pretty ears, good posture, or an attractive hollow in the throat. Grey or green or brown eyes. Capable or vulnerable. You aren’t very selective are you?’

‘Well no, I suppose not. It’s my sodding y chromosome. And that list isn’t even comprehensive. It misses out necks and shoulders. Collarbones. Nice arse. Good legs. I don’t mind wobbly bits; Rachel was no sylph. Then there’s that weird way women stand when they’re talking or looking in a shop window; one leg crossed behind the other, but with both feet flat on the ground. No man ever stands like that. I’ve tried to do it and fell over. I’m not worried about the chest department, though yours is rather pleasing.’

‘You’re hopeless.’

That’s me. Hopeless around women. Anything can set me off. But here’s something crucial. I don’t act on it. I have the insight to realise that I am no longer the sex god I once was. OK demigod. Semidemigod. Whatever. Attractive women are no longer interested in me. I can’t blame them.

However, I do have two friends of about my age, and they just don’t see it. A leggy young thing comes within a 50 yard radius, and they’re as alert as bloody meerkats, quite openly ogling. I do wish they wouldn’t do that. There’s no need. Do what I do and watch in the mirror behind the bar.

They also will hit on women all the time. I don’t mean flirting. I’ve been told I’m a terrible flirt, and paradoxically this means I’m good at it. I’m puzzled by this. If flirting consists of being interested, and listening to what women have to say, and making gentle fun of them, then yes, I flirt. It’s unconscious. But my friends are like bull elephants in must. It’s not a pretty sight. I find it rather embarrassing to be honest. One of said friends was so morbidly obese he’s had a gastric bypass. He’s still a big old unit. The other thinks that tales of derring-do when he was in the SAS will cut some ice with a 25 year old. It night work were he not as wrinkly and grey as I am.

I’m going to give out a rare piece of advice. It’s aimed at men of a certain age. Grow old gracefully. Don’t hit on women who clearly aren’t interested.

Now I come to think of it, that’s a pretty good piece of advice to men of any age. Don’t hit on women who aren’t interested.

Footnote One of my beta readers said that my description of the hollow in Madeline’s throat was Genius! I was pleased by that.

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