It's not Estee Lauder that my skin needed, but a thick layer of active carbon. Anyway, about 90% of its class identity may be considered as gone, which means problem solved, at least as for a make-shift solution. With this, my new hairstyle and a loss of some two or three (by now) kilograms of weight, I can consider myself as a presentable lower upper class aspirant. Unless I'm very much mistaken in those things, which is not to be excluded.
That's at least a beginning, to face the City of Men. Certainly a long way in front of me, especially to clarify what I actually want to achieve. I have been trying to check how a 46-year old man actually looks like, sort of statistical approach. The idea that comes to me is that the years gone by build abysses between people, the ugly and the pretty, the lazy and the dynamic, the successful and the losers. As I try to imagine in what circumstances, in what social or professional ambit I might find my man, success is certainly a trail to follow. And as sceptical as the vox populi of my old country might be, I feel better equipped for this challenge than any time earlier in my life.
The gist of this problem is the fact that the whole game is to be played in such a narrow percentage of the population, which means that me and him are lost in the crowd. I suppose that the percentage of men that might interest me against the total population of 46-year old men is lesser than 1%, some 0,5 or 0,3%, or even less. Perhaps it would be more appropriate to speak about a part-per-thousand, not a percentage. This is the result of combined restrictions concerning physical attractiveness, social class, income, religion, and fine personal factors, such as intelligence or what I call purpose in love. Mission impossible? No, it simply implies very precise, goal-oriented strategies; even if, in a city like Amsterdam, all my restrictions may leave a margin of merely tens of individuals. Only one of them is needed to fill the vacancy. The one who feels interested.
That would be a hellishly difficult recruitment in any circumstances.
My approach is totally opposed to what one can read in all sorts of popular handbooks dedicated to finding a relationship. All of them claim that it is crucial to abandon detailed wish lists, stop waiting for the prince on the white horse. Experience tells me the contrary. I am very attached, for example, to the idea that partners should be precisely the same age, up to 2-year difference. Till now, all the guys I do not regret too much to have met were born around 1970. Certainly, I very strongly reject the idea - repeatedly suggested to me in Poland - that I should be with some sort of fellow professor, even if he is 20 years my senior. The trauma of the mere suggestion is a nasty splinter, still somewhere in my mind. Even if I'm out of Poland now, it strongly dissuades me from thinking about finding a partner in academic circles. No professors, please! On the other hand, I just cannot construe myself walking through Amsterdam with an almond-eyed Egyptian or Moroccan boy in his late twenties.
I attach a great importance to physical attractiveness (not advised in the handbooks), even if I myself am not a beauty. I suppose this is the reverse of a very common male attitude, at least in Poland ("She must be physically to my liking, and accept me as I am"); meanwhile, it is expected from the woman to put up with male imperfections (if he has a fat belly like a teddy bear, I should call it endearing). There is something about it that my experience says. Years ago, I lived with a guy who happened to have a flat buttock. In general, he was acceptable, even quite handsome, but somehow his flat buttock parading through my home was high on the list of factors that made me opt for the Woolfian ideal of "a room of my own", and the man ended up ditched. Perhaps the anatomic detail resumed a broader symbolic charge, having to do with sexual inefficacy and such things. But still I claim that, especially for a long term relationship, the body is the key. No use in denying it. Similarly, I cannot construe myself being with a man without a beard. The handbooks advise to economise on such insignificant, secondary details.
The same might be said about social class, income, educational level and such things. But still, any long term relationship is to be regarded as what I call community of lifestyle. Traveller to traveller, adventurer to adventurer, opera-goer to opera-goer. The primary source of love is similarity and equality, that's what Imam Ibn Hazm al-Andalusi says, and I follow his opinion in the matter. If putting up for less were a solution, love and partnership would be an easy game to play; perhaps too easy to even think about playing it. Quite in the contrary, the Platonic purpose of love-making that I've mentioned in the previous post is to strive for resembling and becoming equal with the better. That's the game I accept and consider worth playing. Even if, in the end, I find no partner and no opportunity of any love-making at all, I will still be the winner.