Readers' Submissions

Invisible



It’s over for me. My life is over. No one even looks at me any more. I can tell; I might as well be invisible.’

What are you talking about? I said to my friend Peggy.

She was of a certain age, between fifty-five and sixty. She weighed a few pounds more than when she was younger but was not at all unattractive, certainly very pleasant and sociable, not yet at the stage where she could be looked upon as matronly.

She was neatly dressed with blond hair fashionably cut, a ready smile and bright blue eyes. She was just older, that was all.

I haven’t had a date in years. Men just look past me, right through me. I give up; it’s no use in kidding myself.’

I had run into Peggy in the local supermarket in Manhattan. I was an old friend and she just seemed to want to unburden herself and besides I was a man and possibly she thought I could offer her some perspective.

I bet there’s plenty of guys that would want to go out with you,’ I said in a positive manner.

You have to make an effort you know. Get out more; join some clubs and don’t be afraid to date someone older than yourself.

Don’t forget, men are shallow. No matter how old you are, if they are the same age they always want to go out with someone younger.

A man, say ten or fifteen years older than you could still be pretty lively.’ Even if he had one foot in the grave, I thought.

I was no kid myself at fifty years old. I knew the feeling. I had stopped going to the clubs; they all seemed to be filled with younger people, much younger people. I felt as if they thought I might be looking for my daughter. In a way I was, well, at least looking for someone that would be my daughter’s age if indeed I had a daughter. I told myself that I was fortunate, that men age better than women. However that was more wishful thinking than a fact I supposed.

Being in the restaurant business in New York City I had the opportunity to meet many people. But now it seemed that the women customers who were attracted to me were my age or older. All of a sudden I was the darling of the early-bird dinner crowd, the blue-tinted and white haired ladies who took advantage of the pre-theater dinner special as we euphemistically called it.

Where were all younger girls that used to pay so much attention to me, crowd around me at the bar, slip their phone numbers to me?

No doubt looking for younger guys. I could imagine myself slowly disappearing like the photo of Michael J. Fox in the movie

Back To The Future. I would also soon be invisible. Sometimes life can really be like in the movies because I was going to become a new man and have a new life by the magic of flight. As an older person, I would be noticed, respected and yes, possibly even sought after. I was moving to Thailand, a place where age and experience – not to mention cash were valued.

Young girls would notice me, even call out to me, Handsome man, you come here. This would never happen in a bar in New York City, where the last time that I did go out a girl tapped me on the shoulder and said, Please don’t stand in front of me, no one can see me.’

It’s been very pleasant living here in Phuket. I’ve made many friends but I often think of Peggy, especially when I see some of my white single lady friends here. I wonder how they are doing and how their social lives are; I mean their intimate social lives. Why would a single white woman want to live in Thailand anyway?

Not easy for a younger girl where they are looked upon as fair game for hard nosed sexual sport by the local Thai guys, but for an older woman it’s a different story. It must really be difficult being noticed and sometimes it’s the wrong kind of attention.

I know three women that did not have a lot of choice in the matter. They came with their husbands to retire or to open businesses. But a man would need the strength of Hercules and the wisdom of Solomon to withstand the charms of the supple, tanned beauties here, especially after being married to the same woman for the past ten or twenty years. And within a year’s time all three of my men friends had left their wives, who also chose to stay on.

I have such a desire to interview these women, to ask really personal questions, but would they really open up to me?

Would they let me know how they feel? I don’t think so, it would be too embarrassing, too painful. I have the sense that no matter how brave a face they put on, these women really feel invisible. Well, almost. They’re not invisible to the Thai men. In fact they are desired and sought out as an object of prestige.

One of my lady acquaintances, Isla, a middle-aged woman from Holland asked my advice.

She hadn’t had a date since she arrived here five years ago and a Thai man had been asking her to go out with him. She said he seemed to be a nice guy and had a job as a policeman.

Why get involved?’ I said. Sooner or later he’s going to start drinking and then smack you around and who are you going to call?’

Do I sound prejudiced and intolerant? Well, yes I do. But then you would have to live here.

There was a younger white woman that lived two doors away from me and soon a dredlocked and tattooed Thai man moved in with her. I sleep with my windows open and one night I awoke to a woman’s screams. They stopped and then there was the roar of a motorcycle and a loud thump. And then again, a motorcycle engine revving up and a few seconds later another loud thump.

I walked outside in my shorts and sandals to see the Thai man trying to drive his motorcycle through the locked front door.

I went home and called the police and tried to go back to sleep. The girl moved out the next day and I never saw her again. <Did the police come?Stick>

I have another middle-aged lady friend, Penny, who is a tall attractive blonde. She sells real estate and has the opportunity to meet many expatriates. But nothing ever turns out for her and I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that there are three lovely younger Thai girls also working in the office. Then she met a youthful Englishman, handsome and charming.

In kind of a reverse role switch this older white woman moved in a younger man. Usually it’s an older white man moving in a younger Thai girl. And then just like in a parallel life or can I say again, like in the movies, she found out that he habitually lied to her, did not have a job or the slightest ambition to find one, was always using her computer and asking her for money.

He refused to move out and constantly watched television. Jeeze, just like most of the Thai girls that I know.

I had to pay my last girlfriend to leave,’ I told a mutual companion. I bet she will have to pay him to leave also just as if he was a Thai girl.

Penny wants him to leave but is too soft hearted to throw him out. She is just waiting for his visa to expire.’

I don’t believe that. I bet the sex is great for her and who knows when she will get a nice looking young white guy like this again,’ I said- ever the realist.

Ask any white guy why he still has his Thai girlfriend after she has screwed him over, taken his cash, cheated on him and they are still together.

His answer is always, But I love her.’ Well duh, get a life, wake up, smell the coffee and move on. But they can’t, can they? They’re stuck. What can they say? That they are too feeble, weak and insecure to end the relationship?

And no one wants to be invisible again do they?

Stickman's thoughts:

Isn't Gambia and some other African nations the place for these older white women to go?