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Thursday, 07 February 2013


By Johna Ferguson

Just what is it that we women find so irresistible about men? I don’t think it’s only their male anatomical features that we women don’t have. Is it their looks, their strength, their money, or what?

I spent quite awhile thinking about this subject but I never really figured it out. Yet I know from your writings that many of you wish you still had a man around and I wonder what type you would like.

I know my first marriage was different from my second. The first time around I was young and I thought “in love.” Of course “in love” has many meanings. I try to define them now, but they are as illusive as ever.

Yes, I married a very handsome young man. We had one thing in common, college, but other than that not much I found out later. Our families were from different backgrounds. His father was from Scotland where he had run away as young boy, been kidnapped and brought to the states.

When I met my husband his father was an alcoholic, having fallen from vice president of a large electric company down to lineman.

My father was educated at the University of California as a physician and was still working at his profession. I had one adopted sister while my husband was one of eight children, besides being a fraternal twin. In fact, as I learned later, his twin brother was really his best friend, even closer than he and I had ever been.

But why did we fall in love if that’s what you call it? We didn’t meet until our last year of college and then it was by chance on a blind date. Most seniors already were couples so since we weren’t, perhaps we gravitated to each other.

But we found we were compatible and both desired marriage and children, he was used to a big family and I wanted to be surrounded by one. Also, everyone else was doing just that - getting married after college, so why not us?

But we divorced after 32 years and I moved to China to teach.

After many years in China, I knew I wanted to stay but the only way was to keep on working and I was tired of that. I thought of returning to the states and meeting up with some old friends, but they were all still couples; they didn’t need a single woman tagging along.

I had been introduced to various Chinese men during my stay but none were in the least bit satisfactory in my mind. One was very rich but way too fat. Another was very powerful in the government but too short, shorter than I am at 5’ 3”. And one couldn’t speak any English. Then Zhou’s and my paths crossed again.

I had met him and his wife three years earlier for we taught at the same medical school where they had been doctors. They had gone to the states to visit their daughter but his wife got sick and they returned to China, and it wasn’t long before she passed away.

At that time, I truly never thought of him as a possible person to marry, just a friend. He was good looking, very athletic and spoke excellent English and over time, we came to know each other better, We found we were similar in many ways.

We were from medical families, our parents both being doctors, we had higher educations and best of all we liked the same things: swimming, biking, reading and listening to classical music.

He had told a friend after his wife died that he wanted to remarry for he wanted companionship in his later life, but he had three stipulations: the woman must have enough money to support herself, she must be as educated as he was and her English must be better than his.

(Incidentally, his English is really better than mine, both grammar and spelling wise.) I fit into those qualifications and he fit into mine; a perfect way to stay in China if I wished.

All too calculating for you? Well, I must admit that before we married, love had blossomed between the two of us. We spent many evenings talking after supper at my Chinese family’s home. We’ve been happily married 11 years and are hopeful of many more.

May you be so lucky in your future. Never give up hope at any age. Who knows who is around the corner?

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


A good story. I always say that inertia has kept me in my marriage (49 yrs. in July) I don't think I'd want to remarry at this stage of life, but I would seek companionship, of course.

Great story! I have told my husband of almost two years that had we dated when we were young I'm not sure we would have married. We were different people at 61 yrs of age.

Lovely story.

I think the desire to have a family is very underrated as a reason people marry. I believe it's a huge motivator for people. But once that's gone, then it's companionship as well as sexual longing that pushes people together. Men complement women in many ways. And if it's a good fit, time flies by. I can't believe my hubby and I will be married almost twenty years now. Feels like we got hitched yesterday.

For some reason, I prefer talking with men rather than with most women. However, I would not give up my friendship with women. I think women need both. I always like your stories. I am curious to know what you taught.

Jackie: I taught everything from Medical Terminology to Business Management to Hotel Management and also many classes of just spoken English in 6 different universities in various cities in China for 16 years.

Great topic, wonderful discussion..I miss having men in my life..luckily I work with some..they do add something women friends do not..married the first time in that youthful rush, do like having had children and now grands, but hope I meet someone, let's see if hope springs eternal...

Reminds me of a joke I heard in China:

Four things that make you happy:
1. Chinese food
2. American salary
3. British house
4. Japanese wife

Four things that make you unhappy:
1. British Food
2. Chinese salary
3. Japanese house
4. American wife

Love this story and the comments too. I too often wonder about my own marriage. We are definitely not soul mates, I have never really been able to open up my heart to him at all.Yet our marriage has survived and we were both family oriented and we have been blessed with three happy healty children all adults now, and we have 3 teenage grand chidren. I enjoy the company of other men at a social level and I find so many I meet are very enteresting and they indicate they find me interesting too but I can never leave my husband of nearly 53 years and don't wnat to. We have always lived different lives on a social level and these days he doesn't enjoy much of that anymore. But I get out and about as much as I can and it is our evenings and family outings at weekends we share.I know if I was suddenly on my own I would continue as I now do. Enjoy being with other men in social groups and then come home to my own space.

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