In Praise of Older Women

My dear lady wife commented upon her 37th birthday that she was old. The matter of fact manner in which she stated this was something that bought a smile to this old chaps’ lips because I know better. Why you ask – surely the younger women are more fun.

<sigh> Any man in my humble opinion brethren will know that to embrace ones life cycle is to embrace it all as G-d intended. In this we fully experience all that we are to experience and not cling doggedly to out worn tools and ideas. To this a young man who becomes an old man experiences all that is in between – and revels in the joy of it. My Dear Lady’s statement reminded me of an essay I had read some years ago and is perhaps the same advice I will give my own sons when the time is right.

In the reading “The Autobiography and other writings:” By Benjamin Franklin, Kenneth Silverman ISBN-10: 1617430056

The commentary reads:

“As the following two selections show, Franklin was neither a prude nor a libertine. The essays instead exemplify his lifelong concern with relations between the sexes, his constant advocacy of marriage as a natural human state, and his always hearty approval of procreation and population growth . . . . . . “

I shall examine the first of the essays.

Whilst Mr Franklin’s title may appear misleading one must remember the context, the time, and the habits typical of that time. This wonderfully pragmatic proto-American revolutionary is all to rare in any male enclave.

I would like if I may to examine this essay piece by piece so as to make it more palatable to contemporary critique and remember dear reader that I with a smile am writing this not just to you but the girl I love dearly.



Advice to a friend on choosing a Mistress (1745)

by Benjamin Franklin

Philadelphia, June 25, 1745


My dear Friend:

I know of no medicine fit to diminish the violent natural inclinations you mention; and if I did, I think I should not communicate it to you. Marriage is the proper remedy. It is the most natural state of man, and therefore the state in which you are most likely to find solid happiness. Your reasons against entering into it at present, appear to me not well founded. The circumstantial advantages you have in View by postponing it, are not only uncertain, but they are small in comparison with that of the thing itself, the being married and settled. It is the man and woman united that make the complete human being. Separate, she wants his force of body and strength of reason; he, her fitness, sensibility, and acute discernment. Together they are more likely to succeed in the world. A single man has not nearly the Value he would have in the state of union. He is an incomplete animal. He resembles the odd half of a pair of scissors. If you get a prudent healthy wife, your industry in your profession, with her good economy, will be a fortune sufficient

So I must comment (In bold): Now comes dear reader a simple and universal truth. Any man that is a man knows this. Embraces it, and remembers fondly where it has affected him directly. Frankiln’s study is flawless in my opinion.

But if you will not take this counsel and persist in thinking a commerce with the sex inevitable, then I repeat my former advice, that in all your amours you should prefer old women to young ones. You call this a paradox, and demand my reasons. They are these:

It doesn’t take a colonial education to follow the meaning of Mr Franklin’s words

Because as they have more knowledge of the world and their minds are better stored with observations, their conversation is more improving and more lastingly agreeable.

This translates as – You can actually talk to them. She not worried about the latest Brittany Album or the zillion and one other tiresome things that tend to come with a young lady’s conversation. She understands that so much can be said in a single word. The older woman is a boon indeed as they have some life experience aka mileage on the clock and as such fill the time appropriately and not with prattle. Their advice tends to be platinum. Listen.

Because when women cease to be handsome they study to be good. To maintain their influence over men, they supply the diminution of beauty by an augmentation of utility. They learn to do a thousand services small and great, and are the most tender and useful of all friends when you are sick. Thus they continue amiable. And hence there is hardly such a thing to be found as an old woman who is not a good woman.

Too many women believe their looks are gone and oddly enough go to surprising lengths to make it so like its a foregone conclusion. This is a tragedy to any man as his life mate will always be beautiful to him – but therein realizing that the symbiosis of man and women – is greater than the sum of its parts he also sees the divine in his wife and what was a physical beauty becomes so much more.

The wrinkles, the stretch marks and all the rest pay testament to experience, love, and life. I would say that Shirley Valentine was wrong when she said: “Don’t men talk some shit” as she didn’t get it – the simple reality that they remain beautiful but for entirely different reasons.

And of course there’s a great deal to be said  for having ones laundry and ironing done, shorts and socks in the draw, chicken soup and peace when you’re ailing, and shagging you senseless at every opportunity even though she knows you adore her.

Because there is no hazard of children, which irregularly produc’d may be attended with much inconvenience.

Meaning: In praise of older women it is clear Mr Franklin is talking about a post-menopausal woman and one would think: too old ? Lets’ examine this – to the lads – think on this: Kate Bush, Joanna Lumley, Felicity Kendle – Nurse Gladys Emmanuel. Tell me you wouldn’t tap that and I’ll tell you bollocks!

Because through more experience they are more prudent and discreet in conducting an intrigue to prevent suspicion. The commerce with them is therefore safer with regard to your reputation. And with regard to theirs, if the affair should happen to be known, considerate people might be rather inclin’d to excuse an old woman, who would kindly take care of a young man, form his manners by her good counsels, and prevent his ruining his health and fortune among mercenary prostitutes.

Older women are well aware of all that goes on. They know who’s doing who, and who’s not paying. She has learned a long time ago to function under the radar of muck rakers, gossip mongers and other undesirables alike. She will keep her own counsel as to her own private affairs, and will likely give you a hug and a smile than anything else when your future wife comes to the fore (chances are she set it up) . At worst unless you are dealing with a nutter people will tend to look at the union as a means to “educate” and domesticate a young man in a more civilized fashion that have him squander his health and livelihood on jail bait and gold diggers.

Because in every animal that walks upright, the deficiency of the Fluids that fill the Muscles appears first in the highest Part: The Face first grows lank and wrinkled; then the neck; then the breast and arms; the lower parts continuing to the last as plump as ever; so that covering all above with a basket, and regarding only what is below the girdle, it is impossible of two women to know an old from a young one. And as in the dark all cats are gray, the pleasure of corporal enjoyment with an old woman is at least equal, and frequently superior, every knack being by practice capable of improvement.

Simply put:  One does not look at the mantle when stoking the fire. Youth and enthusiasm will never match experience. They all look – and feel – like Marilyn Monroe in the dark. As for plump bottoms – one word – spankathon!

Because the sin is less. The debauching a virgin may be her ruin, and make her for life unhappy.

Baggage. Virginity and the stigma attached to it is just asking for trouble. I never could understand the Islamic proclivity for 72 virgins. Oh dear god – the blood, the tears, the “lost innocence” and that pre-programmed belief that you’ll love them forever and ever. The stigma of impurity which translates directly to – Christian hangover – premarital sex – impure – self flagellation etc etc etc. All very tiresome and I can’t believe some of the rubbish young women come up with – even the really horny ones.

Because the compunction is less. The having made a young girl miserable may give you frequent bitter reflection; none of which can attend the making an old woman happy.

Again the baggage – and not just from taking the maidenhead of the poor girl, but actually leaving her – you miserable bastard – etc etc. None of this is of one jot of use to a man in the aftermath regardless of the volume. So it is and all its’ melodrama when relationship with younger women go south. But a point to ponder on and regardless of your alleged bastardry and misdemeanours no matter how well meant at the time – none of this serves you in the servicing of an older woman. Pay attention lad – and cry Harry for England and St George.

8thly and lastly. They are so grateful!

Meaning:  Ignoring the apparent callousness of Mr Franklin’s statement he is no stranger to her needs. She is a woman. She has needs and knows exactly WHAT she needs. Also an older woman knows people. Has connections. Has influence and can build a career with a single phone call or do the opposite resulting in a lengthy term of character building through ordeal and it’s all for your own good. In a lot of cases she usually has a will and I shall say no more on that matter but suffice it to say one does not cross the queen bee because she know what ticks, where ticks, and why ticks. Only a fool wouldn’t recognise and respect that.

In closing  this letter we again attend the points made in the commentary and Mr Franklins tendency towards marriage.

Thus much for my paradox. But still I advise you to marry directly; being sincerely Your affectionate friend, B. Franklin

In Summary brethren I would only say that spending your life chasing tail – and young tail at that whilst may seem fine sport at the time is self defeating. Women could be likened to very fine wine – and they do improve with age – immeasurably and in ways too deep to fathom let alone discuss in words. Such ways must be experienced as many good things in life, and experienced to their full.  For all their apparent vanity – an older woman is a wonder indeed.


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