Archivi del giorno: giovedì, 25 marzo 2010

Happiness is an older woman

Il Sunday Times ha intervistato sette scrittori su cos’è che di fatto rende le persone felici. Fra le varie risposte, riporto quella di Howard Jacobson, scrittore e conduttore televisivo britannico:

«Happiness is an older woman. I don’t mean older than oneself necessarily. Beyond a certain age [Jacobson è nato nel 1942] its’ hard to find a woman older than oneself who’s still capable of standing up. But an older woman in the sense of no longer being a younger woman. Not a girl. And not a girlie.

A lower voice is part of the appeal, along with lower skirts, lower heels ad higher neckline. Men are hypocrites in the matter of overtly coltish women: they might look them over on someone else’s arm, but the truth is they dont’ want them on their own. The company of a young woman showing too much leg or breast, breathing too excitedly through her nostrils, makes a man feel a fool.

Of course, some older women make the same mistake, so we should say that happiness is an older woman with judgement. And that means non facelift, no Botox and no liposuction. Desperation isn’t attractive in either sex.

An amused resignation to the ravages of age, however, is. Cleopatra wouldn’t have been half the woman she was, had she not made a jest of the condition of her skin – “Think on me/That am with Phoebus’ amorous pinches black/And wrinkled deep in time” – turning the sun himself into one of her many lovers.

Nothing beats the conversation of a woman with the confidence to laugh at herself while piquing you to the point of jealousy with the depth of her sexual experience. Whare has she been, the older woman? What has she done? Who else has pinched her, where? No younger woman can light these fires of curiosity. In the amused lines around the older woman’s eyes you read the questions that never will be answered. There’s the excitement. There’s the challenge. There’s the sting that makes us happy.»