Denis Lehane: Message to Macra - All we need is love

Advice to Macra president James Healy: Drop the age barrier.

If there is one thing lacking in rural Ireland today, it’s love. And I’m not talking here about love thy neighbour and that kind of rubbish. 

I’m talking about the real deal. The thing that goes on between a man and a woman, when the curtains are closed and the lights are down.

Yerra, I’m blue in the face from calling for more action.

I’ve been roaring about it for years, there needs to be more canoodling in rural Ireland, it’s as simple as that.

So you can only imagine my joy when the first utterance made by Macra’s new man James Healy was on the subject of lovemaking.

James suggested that Macra was the greatest matchmaking outfit in the land. But while he was certainly making sense to some degree, he was a long ways off the mark by suggesting that Macra was the business, when it came to matrimony.

For if Macra was the answer to every lonely man’s prayers, there would be precious few single fellows left in rural Ireland. Macra does its part, but ’tis far from the answer when it comes to matchmaking.

You see, the problem with Macra, and it’s a big problem, is the organisation’s cut-off age. Once you reach the age of 35, regardless of how amorous you may feel, you are shown the door.

Your services are no longer required. Like an old bull, you are cut adrift from the herd.

You can moan and groan all you like, but you are still culled, a very cruel business.

It’s a terrible rule, that goes against the grain of any outfit that claims to have an interest in matchmaking.

To fully comply as a first-rate matchmaking outfit, Macra needs to change the rules to allow in members of all ages.

James, if you have any sense at all, you’ll take on board what I’m saying here today. For it might well be the scheme that could make you the greatest Macra President of all time.

You need to swing open them gates.

Age should not be a barrier for the organisation, or more importantly still, for love.

Open the gates and see the ranks swell.

The organisation will blossom, make no mistake.

For I too was once a member of Macra, and I found the whole business to be very troubling.

My greatest fear, you see, was that I would reach the tender age of 35 without securing a wife.

And really, if I can be blunt here, 35 is no age to be getting excited about.

There are many people well beyond 35 who are still a long way from requiring a walking frame. These days, at 35, you are only just getting going. 

In farming terms, where old fellows still rule the roost, a man of 35 is nothing more than a garsún. A greenhorn, a boy still wet behind the ears, who might be let drive the tractor at Christmastime.

I was as green as can be at 35, with my only knowledge of women having been gained from titbits heard down the pub or from watching the odd French film on television. Yerra I knew damn all about women.

It was only with 40 fast approaching that I got any grasp of them at all.

And wasn’t I better off? For what business has a young fellow got with knowledge of the fairer sex? A fellow in his 30s has better things to be doing, on the land.

So James, there you have it. Change the rules, open the gates, and let’s make Macra a matchmaking outfit for all.

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