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I’m a reasonably attractive 64-year-old woman, and in fact a grandmother, albeit a youthful one, with a slim figure and great legs that allow me to still wear outfits that fall above the knee, Louis Vuitton mostly. After all, I am French, and we French women drink wine and eat butter and never get fat. I’ve been known to ensnare a young stud or two, particularly in my 40’s when I was a drama teacher at a lycée, when a rather intense and cocky student of 17 became besotted with me and vowed to marry me one day. (Full disclosure: He did).
Anyway, while I am no stranger to the attentions of younger men, I confess that older men, especially the pompous, bloated, bloviating sort, generally do not interest me in the least. I suppose I am not of interest to them either; these types tend to prefer what they consider trophies—younger, nubile, even docile—but are otherwise pathetic attempts to convince the rest of the world they are still vital and virile.
It amuses me sometimes that these men actually believe themselves attractive and irresistible to all women, to the point of delusion. Take this one man, for example, an American with a rather bizarre orange cast to his skin. Pompous, yes. Bloated, definitely. Bloviating, not quite, as his vocabulary was rather simplistic. It made me wonder what sort of school he went to and how in heaven’s name he even got past fourth grade. And now it appears he was elected to public office. Mon Dieu if I were American I would die of honte.
Unfortunately, last week I could not avoid being introduced to this orange man. He was not attractive in the least, in fact rather reptilian if you ask me, with his strange bleached eyebrows and his face in a permanent smirk, mais vraiment, how could that even be considered remotely attractive to anyone? And he was grossly overweight and distinctly lacking in finesse. I suspect not even his wife finds him attractive, but it’s not my place to speculate. Then again some people want to be American so badly, they will do anything for a green card.
He did not just look at me, he leered at me, and a shiver ran through my body. He looked like an albino iguana ready to strike: slimy, horny, scaly, and OLD. In other words, the shiver that ran through my body was one of disgust, not excitement. “You’re in such good shape,” he said to me while giving my body the once-over. “Beautiful,” he added. While my husband was right there, mind you. Pas de finesse du tout.
And I know what my husband was thinking. It was the same thing he was thinking when he met this man a few weeks before and shook his hand. You see, this man, he only knows the reach of the media. My husband, he understands the power of symbolism and the dramatic gesture and comes out winning every time. He must understand drama, naturellement; I was his drama teacher, after all.
So my husband, he was thinking, “Game. Set. Match, moi. You’ll never be better than me, mon vieux. I’ve got the hot and smart wife who loves me, and never once swats my hand away.”
And as if to prove it, he tapped my derrière so very lightly. It gave me a start, I admit, but it made me smile, too. My little boy is still a little boy at heart.
So Abby, here’s my question: I washed my hands clean so many times after that encounter to eliminate the stain of sleaze from meeting that odious man. Would it be polite to ask if his wife prefers Purell or Lysol?
Dear First Lady,
This man you speak of seems to be in a position of power, perhaps even a president? Let’s assume he is. While you are not the first woman to get hit on by a president, I am afraid you may have been hit on by the most odious of them all. He’s no Jack Kennedy, and while you are really quite sublime, you are no Marilyn Monroe. Which is not a bad thing, if you think about it. Of course there are other presidents around the world who make a habit of hitting on women dead or alive. Nevertheless, you handled yourself well; after all, you’re French. You understand class.
You also understand subtlety, and this man appears to be the furthest thing from subtle. It’s bad enough that he’s not attractive; does he have to be vulgar as well?
Besides, you have your own président who very obviously adores you.
As for his wife, you might want to recommend an effective French cleaning product to her instead. She may be in greater need of it as the pervasive stench of Russian scandal envelops her ever more indelibly. Monsieur Propre, perhaps? Or as it’s known elsewhere, Mr. Clean.
B. Wiser is the author of Making Love in Spanish, a novel published by Anvil Publishing and available in National Book Store and Powerbooks, as well as online. When not assuming her Sasha Fierce alter-ego, she takes on the role of serious journalist and media consultant.
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