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I have water hammer in my pipes when the dishwasher is on. My clothes dryer has given up the ghost. It’s winter and there’s no sun on my clothes line. John Gray tells me, in Mars and Venus Starting Over that I should serial date before committing again to a sexual relationship! So this is where I’m at, on this Saturday night.

A savvy plumber can fix the water hammer thing, but I am waiting for the inevitable blocked drain, to make the call-out charge worthwhile. The clothes dryer, well that’s another issue. The damn thing knows my friendly appliance repairman has already been to visit twice in the past month – first for the dishwasher then the washing machine. Of course it wouldn’t have thrown its solenoid at those times. Oh, no, it waits until I have a house full of guests with tiny children, before it decides it doesn’t want to do messy laundry.

As to John Gray, just where does he get the idea that 50-something women get the chance to serial date! Just one date would be a miracle! Maybe it’s different in America, but hasn’t anyone shared with him that women become invisible after 50. That men, once they pass that magical age, find it impossible to even acknowledge a woman over 40 unless she is selling food, booze or cigarettes. There are times when I seriously feel challenged to walk through the local shopping mall stark naked to see if any man over 50 actually looks at me. The trouble is, I’d scare the wits out of the youngsters, scarring them emotionally for life. It’s the only thing that’s stops me from undertaking the experiment for scientific purposes.

Friends say to get involved in activities I’m interested in and I’m sure to meet men of similar interests and ages. Well, I tried bushwalking and found an interesting collection of couples and the odd younger woman – mostly girls intent on getting fit to trek the Himalayas. Wives clutch possessively at their husbands, herding them out of range during the breath-catching breaks. Fearing. I guess, that I might engage in discourse with their hapless husbands, presuming that as an unattached female I am ever the huntress.

I’ve taken courses in topics as diverse as Egyptology and South American Spanish; taken myself solo to plays, movies and concerts – all of which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed; but never once along the way have I stumbled on a like-minded, unattached, similarly-aged gentleman. So just how do I go about this serial dating concept, I ask?

Oh, yes, I’ve looked at one or two internet dating sites, but you read through those profiles and it will bear out what I am saying. The Aussie male believes a woman over 50 is not worth a look, no matter whether he is 65 or 70, and has long found it impossible to actually see what lies below his waistline. He asks for them to be 10-to-15 years his junior, but of course, no larger than size 12. I fit the size criteria, but the age thing is the stumbling block, and what’s the point of lying? Well-meaning friends assure me that no one would believe my true age, but you have to remember all sorts of stuff if you start lying – not just a different birth year, but when you graduated school, what music was popular when you were a teenager, even whether you are too young to remember where you were when President Kennedy was assassinated.

I know it sounds as if I’m desperate to find a man, but truthfully it’s not that. I’d just like some compatible company at this great stage of my life – kids off my hands, time to spend doing stuff I enjoy. I’ve signed up to volunteer my time for various worthy causes, and I suppose the reaction there is nice – a whole bunch of delightful elderly men who kiss my hand, tell me what a sunny, positive joy I am in their lives. Hang on, it has just hit me! They are all well into their late 70s, so there you go – the old 20 year younger thing prevails.

So what do I do John Gray? Serial date a bunch of 70 and 80 year olds, and then find when I’m ready to commit to the sexual relationship it’s just not going to happen!!!!

Maybe I should just take a plumbing course and focus on fixing my water hammer!

Author's name withheld