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Posts from the ‘Adventures in modern prudery’ Category

Let’s Get Personal (A Country Western Ballad)


GuitarCalling all country singers:

I wrote these lyrics a couple of years ago when I was channeling my inner dude. They desperately need to be set to music. Any brave guitar-pickers out there?


My girlfriend left me for another guy, she said I’d waited too long. So I called up a friend with a wife and kids and asked him what went wrong. He said “make a long list of what you like—now don’t leave off a thing. You can get what you want if you know what you want and if won’t cost a goddam ring.”

So I put my list together, it took five minutes—it came straight from my heart. Don’t need a piece of paper to prove my intentions, to show we’ll never part. I know there’s a girl, who’s just my type, a girl who’s off the charts. Then I joined a dating service, it made me nervous, and this is how it starts:

“I want a drop dead, beautiful, purely indisputable, red head with double D’s. Doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink, doesn’t tell me what to think, and stands only five foot three. She’s sharp, prodigious, and not too religious, a babe with a PhD. She’s anti-marriage and baby carriage — now this is the girl for me.”

I got a few answers on the second day, but none of them were right. Some were nice, some were sassy, and only one seemed bright. so I picked up the phone and called her number and said, “Can I see you tonight?” She said maybe I could if I looked real good, and could help her solve her plight.

She wants a handsome, charming, super disarming, A-list movie star. He’s manly, intellectual — not a metrosexual — a man who will really go far. He’s talented, arty, knows how to party —he’ll let her drive his car. He’s smart, he’s happy, he dresses snappy, and knows how to play guitar.

I said, “I’m your man, I’ll see you at seven, say could you meet me downtown? My Benz is in the shop, hit a deer in the Hamptons and the engine completely shut down.” She said “I’ll come over, fix you a meal, let’s cut right to the chase. If you’re a movie star with a talent for guitar then I’ll meet you at your place.”

Well she wasn’t pretty, she wasn’t busty and she didn’t have red hair. She smelled like smoke, I thought it was a joke, and she said “Honey, au contraire.” She said “You’re not handsome, your tie’s too wide, But you’re strangely debonair. I’ll overlook the car, and even the guitar,” and on the spot we became a pair.

I told her: “You wanted handsome and I’m not handsome” and she said, “honey yes, I know. And you wanted busty and pretty and small” and I said, “Indubitably so.” “We’re not made for each other but we found each other, so please, hon,  don’t lose your nerve. You might not get what you ask God for but you get what you deserve.”

No Country for Old Broads

March 27, 2010

Vickery Eckhoff

What I Learned on the Red Carpet from Javier Bardem

I’d just passed a significant birthday when a 24-year-old colleague suggested the unthinkable: “What you need is a nice, 60-ish retired math professor,” she declared, sipping a latte. “You’re a tall blonde WASP. You should be dating Americans, not those Latin lovers you go for.”

My kittenish pride was wounded. Swarthy men were my specialty: How could I forget the dashing Chilean I’d lived with for six years after grad school; the Spanish producer with eyes the color of robin’s eggs; the Uruguayan guitarist I met backstage at Carnegie Hall; the bohemian Colombian designer at a recent writing job; and my greatest love of all, an Italian motorcyclist and photographer I’d tearfully given up after seven years, just two weeks shy of turning 40? He baked me cakes and wrote love poems. But I wanted marriage; he didn’t.

Getting him out of my system was difficult: two Milanese, a Roman and one Sicilian later, I still hadn’t found anyone as warm, adventurous or good in the kitchen, so I decided to give Italy a rest. Shortly thereafter, I met an Argentine videographer in Wholesale Liquidators who asked me, within months, to be his fourth wife. I declined. Read more

Male Spinsters, Benvenuti!

November 7, 2009

Vickery Eckhoff

foto fabrizio Dear Luvs2Cuddle:

Thank you for writing. No, I’ve never heard of a male spinster, though why not? There are many unmarried men of gentle family like you past the common age for marrying and unlikely to marry. There may be even more of them than the female variety. Perhaps the dictionary definition should be revised to include pioneers like you. Congratulations, dude, on breaking the lace ceiling, and welcome to the club!

I’m sure you’ve tried Match. I did. I think I was viewed something like eight thousand times. Oh, I was popular with young guys and old guys, alright,  but particularly atheists. I think there’s a correlation between atheists and looking for love online. It’s amazing how many there are, many expressing such personal virtues as “loves to laugh” and “extremely open-minded” at the same time that their “religious views” articulate a particular hostility toward people of faith. Hello! I did go out with a couple and sure enough, all they wanted to do is argue about Jesus! Read more

John Edwards and Me

October 29, 2009

Vickery Eckhoff

John and Rielle

Dear Fellow Spinster:

It’s hard knowing where to start a story as long as mine: my first memory of lying in a crib in the childcare room at the First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Huntington, Long Island, wrapped in a blanket and staring up at a mobile that hung like a branch just beyond the reach of my tiny fingers? My need to forgive my dad, who charmed nearly everyone with his mad genius and good looks, and who I lost nearly three years ago? My dream last week of a certain philandering Senator otherwise dubbed “the little Breck girl” back when he tossed his hat into the presidential ring and the name “Rielle Hunter” still meant nothing to the public?

Hmmmm. They are all related, these stories: my upbringing as a church girl, the senator’s infuriating penchant for affairs, my dad’s infuriating talent for charming ladies far and wide and the way he cheated on my mother right up to the day she died of breast cancer and I sat at her bedside at our home on Lake George, holding her hand until her eyes closed forever.

Let’s have fun, shall we? John Edwards for five hundred, please. Read more

Prude and Prejudice

October 21, 2009

Vickery Eckhoff

Vickery-Forbes_1999-small Dear Fellow Spinster:

There is a lot wrong with the world today, but I have an antidote that has so far escaped mainstream media attention: more modesty. Sneer if you like! Modesty — or prudery — has been too long out of  fashion. And while we’re extolling the virtues of the financial and economic variety, let me make a bold suggestion: we should be wiser in our estimation of Love and stricter in our demands upon it. Or, as Jack Hubbell, a beloved teacher of mine,  once said, “it is not important whether or not you are loved, but whether or not you are loving.”

Strange thought! What does that mean, exactly? What is this thing called, Love? And why, despite the ever widening acceptability of activities not-long-ago-deemed scandaloso, is everyone acting as if they have been shortchanged? Isn’t it about time that we elevated the discussion to something a bit more joyful and exalted?

That is what I am proposing: a modern-day prudery for women and men, one that enables us to stop cheapening ourselves until we no longer have anything to hide—whatever it is. I bring to this my own little secrets: a history of mischief, Latin Lovers, motorcycles and—until recently—five years of teaching Sunday School. My parents and one sister are deceased; I don’t have kids, a spouse, or  job; I dream constantly about movie stars and politicians. I am, in other words, a modern-day spinster, always curious about the world and frequently cranky about what it offers as explanations and role models. That is what The Modern Christian Spinster’s Guide to Love in the 21st Century is about: things deemed proper and things deemed not and why it all matters. Welcome and please try and behave yourselves!