There was no way on earth I was going to ignore this announcement from Jacqueline Passey:

I'm leaving for Costa Rica in five weeks my first stop on what I hope will become a multi-month (or year) round-the-world trip and I've been thinking that I'd really prefer not to go alone. Traveling with a partner is safer, two people together can afford nicer accommodations than if they travel alone, and I really don't want to be celibate for a long period of time nor am I interested in "hooking up" with random strangers I meet along the road.

So, I'm looking for a new lover, someone who can afford the time and money to travel for a long period of time either continuously or with occasional short trips home. If things work out this could be the start of a serious long term relationship. He should be intelligent, ethical, healthy and fit, monogamous, kind, generous, very affectionate and sexual. No married men, smokers, STDs, or religion, and must be pro-choice and pro-gay rights. For long-term compatibility he should be a libertarian and share a lot of my interests and hobbies.

You probably should read the whole thing. I wrote up a post about it, then tore it up deleted it before publishing. I consulted with a couple of women around her age, and they were in agreement that it didn't sound like such a great idea, although one of the detractors conceded: "How nice it must be to have no strings attached!"

I left this comment for Jacqueline on her original post:

My dark, foreboding, parental side keeps nagging at me: "What, is she out of her mind?"

But that's what parental sides do: nag. Sometimes they're right, sometimes they're overcautious.

I'm going to tell said side that it's overcautious, and wish Jacqueline the very best.

Which I did, sort of, here:

One fortunate man, and one extraordinary woman. Of such are legends made. (No, I don't meet the qualifications, but thank you for asking.)

Eric Siegmund registered a criticism, and seemed surprised that I "didn't blink an eye at it." Not an unreasonable response, since we're close to the same age and, in some matters at least, comparably conservative.

But the more I think about it, the less willing I am to start with the brickbats. Would I, were I in my late twenties or early thirties and actually met Jacqueline's extremely-specific criteria, offer my, um, services for the coming year? Probably not. But that's the way I was in my late twenties and/or early thirties: cautious, unwilling to rock the boat, and generally reticent.

But today I'm in my fifties, not knowing if I'll have any sixties, and I'm thinking that when I'm dead and gone and she's my age, she'll probably feel the way I do: regretting the things you didn't do is every bit as depressing as regretting the things you did.

And who knows? She might meet an imaginary friend along the way.

The Vent

5 August 2005

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 Copyright © 2005 by Charles G. Hill