14 August 2012

The Arrogance of Youth - Homage to Oscar Wilde

Advice to the Ladies, especially those past 35 years of age.

Never flatter a man much younger than yourself unless you truly are in a relationship with him.

He does not understand that you feel confident and that age has bestowed you with endless generosity.

He will come to believe that he condescends to you; you, whose gifts of flattery he perceives as indications that you must be grateful for youth's attention.

Madam, you do yourself a disservice to entertain the belief that you may groom this young calf and shower him with the openness that you suspect dames of his generation are incapable of giving him freely (such is the arrogance of your age!)

Madam, stop!

Your kindness is not seen as such by him. He cannot fathom that you bloom and that experience has endowed you with inner peace, nor that the amassed joys of your years keep you from self-doubt, doubt that you merely affect from time to time to hint at modesty.

It does not even cross his mind that you are oft graced with pleasures beyond imagining and that you have none to envy. Youth and the conceit of his youth cloud his mind.

Your generosity is misplaced, Madam.

You are kind but know this, know that no insecurity of his, no, none of his inner doubts appear to him as shortcomings compared to those extra years which he is convinced he erases in you through his attention.

Such is the arrogance of youth.