Every once in a while, I hear of some couple in their 80’s or even 90’s getting married. Good on them! I applaud their courage. I will dance at their wedding.
On the other hand, I, who have passed my 61st year, am surprised I’m still alive, let alone thinking about getting married again.
Of course I do not have any prospects at the moment, but my recent date put the idea in my head.
Do you realize that not so long ago, the median age at death was 35?
Since for the most part we have conquered infectious diseases in the developed world, the average lifespan has climbed to 79. That was last week. This week, it’s probably 85. Next week our prospects will be 95. I’m nearly, but not entirely, joking, of course, but as we begin to find more and better cures for various lethal conditions, we will doubtless be saddled with longer and possibly healthier lifespans.
Women nearly always outlive men, so there is a plentiful supply of widows available to the widowers and divorcees out there.
But there is a thorny problem: many–or, stretching myself out on a limb, I will say most–single men prefer younger women, especially as the wrinkles and the various effects of gravity set in. They are mistaken, of course, because older women have a lot to teach them, both in and out of the sack.
I have a number of male friends, some of whom I have dated at one point or another. All of them are in their 50’s or early 60’s, and all of them are looking for a 30-something with whom to start a(nother) family, or simply to admire.
I have known these friends from a minimum of 8 to a maximum of 40 years; and I have watched them get slower and fatter and grayer and balder, and they still have not discovered the elusive 30-something, preferably never-married and childless, with whom to cuddle up in their new love nest.
The natural consequence of living is that we get older. Let’s face it, if we keep on keeping on, we are going to get wrinkly and saggy. We will not look like we are 30 anymore.
There are days when I look in the mirror and mutter to myself, “Who was that plastic surgeon again?”
Right. I know women who have had fantastic face lifts, tummy tucks, butt lifts, titty lifts, and within 5 years it’s all back where it was before, except that now they’re covered with scar tissue that is much less attractive than the sagging body parts they had before.
I, for one, am past the point of Internet dating. tried it after I was a divorced 30-something, and it proved frustrating even then, since most of the male factors mostly wanted a wham-bam, but after 40 I was tired of dodging the gropers and gave it up.
When I emerged from my last long-term relationship, at age 48, I dove straight into the Orthodox Jewish life. That meant no touching, no singing together, dates either set up by friends or matchmakers–and Orthodox internet dating, managed by a matchmaker, of course. Ho-hum. And the men I met that way were either obnoxious or exasperating or both.
Now that I have emerged from that life, I feel rather like the subject of Shel Silverstein’s poem:
“Whoops, we’ve been caught by a Quick-Digesting Gink
And now we are dodging his teeth
And now we are restin’ in his small intestine
And now we’re back out on the street!”
Except. Now. I. Am. Sixty. One. Years. Old.
And not only that, but those of you gentle readers who have been faithfully following my blog, and I do love you for it, and for who you are, and for your own blogs, and everything….you all know that life has been a bit of a rough ride for me. This cowgirl has seen a lot of biffs and bangs, got bucked off a few times, and as I have told the few prospective dates who have wandered in and out of my life, I am a “scratch and dent model.” But no bargain by anyone’s stretch of the imagination.
I require careful watering and fertilization. An orchid is nothing to the maintenance I require. My brakes are bad, transmission needs an overhaul, tires are bald, I have a poorly patched hole in my muffler, and I mix metaphors.
As if that were not enough, I am terrified of exposing the lumps and bumps life has dealt me. I dread the revelation that I am chronically preoccupied with refining my suicide plan. I suffer from various chronic physical illnesses that limit my mobility and versatility. My teeth require frequent patching and emergency treatment. My joints are for shit. And other, more embarrassing consequences of aging that needn’t be discussed here.
I bring this topic up because I know I am not the only one out there with these insecurities.
Whenever I open the question of whether I will ever gather the courage to enter the dating scene again, invariably I get all sorts of encouraging comments saying, “Oh, you’re such a wonderful person, one day Mr. Right will show up.” And depending on my mood I either laugh hysterically, or smack the unfortunate encourager in the gob, because I only bring the subject up when I’m having an attack of The Lonelies, which could last an hour or a day, but not much longer.
I have a lot to do. And I’m not sure that, after all these years as a crotchety old hermit woman, I could share life with anyone else. My dog is good company. She doesn’t care that I am set in my ways. She likes my routine. She doesn’t mind that the bathroom is outside. She herself goes outside to do her business, so why shouldn’t I? (BTW my outhouse is frozen solid at the moment, which complicates things. Don’t ask.)
I suppose if some Prince Charming were to show up at my door and say, “Oh by the way, I find wrinkles, sagging breasts, and stress incontinence irresistible in a woman,” I would be suspicious as hell, unless he happened to be 79, in which case I would give him tea and send him packing.