Nothing wrong with a pretty lady giving a nice old man a smile to say ... "Thanx for the music"
You're right, nothing wrong with THAT...the 'pathetic' part is when we delude ourselves into thinking it's anything MORE than that. Like posing with 'young chicks' and implying that they're 'into you' really IS kind of sad. I say just concentrate on being a good older musician, accept any compliments for what they are, and quit pretending that you're attractive to anything other than a female green fly. JMO, of course.