The Heart of the Universe Society Science 101

Women on the make, men who have it made

February 14, 1996|By Joe Murray

MIAMI BEACH -- Here I am, a geezer at his leisure, strolling into one of the South Beach hot spots with the prettiest woman in the room on my arm. I can't help worrying what people might be thinking.

''They're probably thinking you're the richest guy in the room,'' my young friend allows.

After all, it's South Beach, where all kinds of lifestyles are accepted as readily as gold cards.

A 55-year-old guy drinking with a woman who looks hardly old enough to drink? It's a way of life -- the good life for women on the make and men who have it made.

In my case, it's not what it seems. The lady -- tall and tan, blonde and lovely -- is simply the friend of a friend. She's doing me a favor by showing me the nightlife of the rich and fandangled. I'm doing my best not to show fear. Predators, of all kinds, can sense it.

Right now the crowd has thickened up around the bar. They're getting to know one another. I'm getting a lesson in Society Science 101.

In 10 minutes you know all

''That's exactly what it is, a science,'' she explained. ''You meet a guy and, if you know what you're doing, in the first ten minutes you know everything you need to know: What does he do for a living? Does he drive a luxury car? Does he have a boat? Does he live on Key Biscayne?''

For her, on the other hand, what you see is what it's all about.

''The girls have to be young and good-looking. That's what the men want, the most beautiful women with the best bodies.''

Which makes sense -- except for the reason they want them.

''It's not so much sex as it is show. The guy wants to be seen with a best-looking woman. It's the way they keep score.''

If that's what they mean nowadays when they talk about scoring, I don't even know the score.

It's the same for the woman.

''She's seen in the best clubs, wearing the best clothes, riding in the hottest cars. You walk in the door and you're taken immediately to a table. And all the people waiting in line are wondering, 'Who is she?!' ''

I wondered, too, out loud how that might feel.

L ''How is it?'' my friend says. ''Excellent! It spoiled me.''

Been there, done that, she has.

''He had a $500,000 house, a Corvette, the boat, a Harley-Davidson,'' she said with a shrug. ''But I finally decided that money isn't everything. You have to have feelings for a person.

''The women don't work. They drive Mercedes. They shop all day. Their attitude is, 'Let me get everything I can from this person. I can always find somebody else next weekend.' ''

How long was she part of the scene?

I had already noticed she had the palest of blue eyes. For a moment, they were the saddest of blue eyes.

''Six, eight months,'' she finally said. She smiled a half-smile. Her shoulders rose and fell, but the shrug didn't quite come off.

We left early. Outside, a dozen gleaming Harleys were parked in a row, backed in, wheels cut to the right, identical. You would have thought the place sold motorcycles, instead of what it does sell.

Joe Murray is editor-publisher emeritus of the Lufkin (Texas) Daily News

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