There are many things that tell us were old, they exist from out teenage years onwards. One that occurred to me this weekend was acceptance of a bachelor life. I had a lovely dinner with friends on Friday evening which started with drinks in the bar. As I sat, facing the restaurant, I was regaled with stories of the women passing outside. Two couples were watching the window and commentating on Friday night ‘talent’, I was wondering if the ice bucket was broken.
Many years ago (well I’m old) I worked in a nightclub, attached to a pub and run by a couple. As a young man I was frequently astounded by the old man turning down salacious assaults by pretty young ladies. The various attempts to solicit employment, drinks, free entry were rejected out of hand because he was married. I knew that as a couple they didn’t particularly get on and to a young man he seemed to be throwing away ready opportunities for fun.
On one occasion he must have seen the look on my face and patiently explained to me that there were two types of publican. There were the publicans with the more mature, hardened wife and the ones with the younger more attractive models. The key point was that in the first example the bodies remained buried whereas in the second silence had been purchased. He told me that every time you saw a younger wife you were seeing an unsuccessful businessman, having had to buy his way out of the first wife.
Whilst this only really works for lifelong publicans it is certainly true. I know of many that have changed wives in the licensed trade, all have had to mortgage property to escape. The trouble with such a public existence is that bitter ex partners can actually cost more than gold plated divorces. This is why I am confident that I am now sufficiently mature to have my pub, I no longer see a bar full of young women as anything other than a run on RTDs* and a late night.
But this is not an age thing, it doesn’t equate to a birthday or a numerical measure of age. This is experience or psychological because it doesn’t hit us all at the same age and some it seems to never hit at all. Yesterday I saw an old mate in the pub who I have not seen for a while. From when I first came to this town this was my number one barmaid, a gorgeous girl with a fantastic character just made for the role. I maintain that I will offer her the first barmaids job in my future pub although I don’t think the commute is viable!
Long lost mate hugs exchanged we talked of kids and pubs and I refused (as always) to dance. When I looked over I caught the look on a few of the older men in the pub who were merrily contemplating my ‘prospects’. I didn’t bother to explain, their view of the world is simply different to mine, I like to think I’ve grown up!
*ready to drink, those colourful and pointless alcohol delivery systems favoured of the young