Do you have Facebook friends you’ve never met? I do. Mostly they’re friends of friends I’ve met through writing, specifically at Erma Bombeck Humor Writers workshops. Usually I read something funny, laugh and comment, connect, and there you go. I also have some “friends” who I honestly don’t remember at all. It may be time to weed out the list, I’m thinking.
If I were a better writer, or one trying to sell this essay, I would know better than to start out writing about something that seems irrelevant to the headline. You’re supposed to go in strong, not wimp along for several paragraphs until you get to the point. I’ll get there eventually, I promise. While many bloggers have moved on to other media, like Twitter and Instagram, I’m still here. I kind of think of it as exercising my writing muscles now and then. Or keyboard masturbation for the mind.
Anyway, one Erma acquaintance suggested I might have something in common with a friend of hers and due to the sensitive nature of this post, I’ll try to be vague enough that no one will figure out who I’m talking about.
So I “friended” the woman, who I’m going to guess is in her mid 50’s, had split from her husband, moved overseas, and is having what seems to be a pretty steamy romance with a lovely-looking man. Lovely-looking, as in, someone an oldster like myself would consider attractive.
It’s clear that they are having sex. Not that there’s anything salacious being posted, mind you. It’s all very tasteful and kind of sweet. They are positively beaming in the selfies she shares. Her friends (presumably women who, unlike me, actually know her) comment that they’re so happy for her and oo-la-la and “you deserve it,” etc.
I’ve become a kind of hanger-onner (I know that’s not a word – zip it) who was supposed to have something in common with this lady totally unrelated to her new middle-age-to-elderly sex and semi-geriatric love. I think I need to unfriend her because I’m beginning to feel like a voyeur. If she notices my name at all (I occasionally “like” a post – but not the ones about her dating life), she’s probably wondering how I ended up following her and why.
But here’s the thing – every once in a while, when I read or hear about someone in my generation starting a brand new love affair, I can’t help but wonder if that’s something I should consider, too. Should I admit that I’ve finally called it quits FOREVER? Do I care?
The fact is, for every December love affair I hear of, there are a few dozen long-married friends who say, who needs it? They haven’t had sex in nearly as long as my own lengthy period of circumstantial celibacy – and they have a partner sprawled next to them in the California King every night. They may humor their husbands a couple of times a year, but to hear them tell it, it’s with a yawn and the desire to get it over with and go to sleep or at least back to watching whatever movie’s on the Hallmark Channel.
Now, I am NOT writing this to instigate an informal online poll. Spare me if you and your husband are still “active” and think Viagra is the best thing since the creation of floppy discs. You go, girl. Yay. But there is no need to weigh in here for or against old people sex. Please.
I’m going to get very honest with you here and admit that I’ve been celibate for 26 years. I think some people may wonder if I’ve decided to play for the other team, but that’s not the case. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, as the Seinfeld crew would say.
No, I decided to stop dating – to halt my quest for Mr. Right – to give up kissing frogs in the vain search for my prince – at age 41. At the time, it was not my intent to never date or have sex again. My son was about 15 and at an age where the mere thought of his mother being kissed (forget the rest of it) was alternately enraging, disgusting, and ultimately embarrassing. It seemed wise to go on hiatus. It’s hard enough raising a teenager without throwing that mess into the mix.
I certainly don’t miss being in a relationship (see previous post outing myself as an introvert). After living alone for so many years, I honestly can no more imagine someone living in my house – let alone hogging the covers on my bed – than me putting on a tutu and fright wig to launch a new career as a rodeo clown.
It’s not that I miss sex, especially. If you do without it long enough, the urge does pass. Maybe menopause played a big role in that, as well. And on the odd occasion, I can be the queen of my domain. I do miss Seinfeld.
Here’s one more thing about my generation that doesn’t get much air play, but I’m going to say it anyway: who wants to fuck an old person? I guess if that old person is someone you knew when he/she was young and pliable, perhaps the wrinkles, sagging, pouching, etc., comes on gradually enough that you don’t notice too much (especially in the dark). But taking off your clothes in front of some old guy who also is going to get nekkid with you and you’ve pretty much only just met? Man. That takes guts, IMO.
The plus side of giving up sex at a relatively young age is that the last man I slept with was gorgeous. Big, strong, handsome, old enough to know exactly what he was doing – and still able to do so for an extended period of time. He eventually broke my heart, but thank you, T, wherever you are. Nice job!
And why wouldn’t he do a good job? I looked like this!
So, good luck and best wishes to the Facebook lady with the white-haired honey. May he make your toes curl, even yet. But as I reflect on the fact that I am 99% certain I’ll never be in love or have sex again, at least I find comfort in knowing that my memories are pretty ones. And hot. Smooth-skinned, pretty, and hot indeed.