Monday, October 15, 2012

Ah, well...

J and I had a rather enlightening conversation yesterday. She's a widow and I've been post-divorce single far longer than I was married. Since we're of a certain age, we spend a lot of time discussing the strange and odd things our bodies are doing as they deteriorate without our mind's consent. Our conversation this time wound round to the fact that neither of us would be able to enter into an intimate fling at this stage in the game, not because our once taut skin is now wrinkled like an elephant's knees or our once healthy hair shows signs of being chewed by mice in the night or because we might cause permanent physical damage with the swinging bat wings on our upper arms. No, the demise of our night life hinges on the fact that our night life has taken on rituals sure to stymie even the most determined man.

It used to be that we splashed some water on our faces, slipped into something more comfortable, and jumped into bed. Those days are gone forever. As gradually as the wrinkles appeared on our cheeks, so the little bedtime routines grew from slapdash to must do. Now, just getting up out of the chair and into the bathroom takes planning and ablutions include special non-drying, colloidal soaps and emollient rich lotions. There's the anti-aging night cream, the delicate skin eye treatment cream, the spot eradicating hand cream. There's flossing and brushing and rinsing, eye drops, ear drops, anti-ache foot potions that smell like an herb garden run amok and capsaicin cream for aching joints.

Then there's the whole climb-into-bed routine that includes finding just the right sleepwear - old people nightclothes that won't bind or pinch or cling or wedge. Looking sexy has taken a waaaay back seat to being able to turn over under the covers without exposing too much flesh or being tangled, strapped, caught or strangled. The very act of turning over requires strategy because now one's knee pillow must follow along, the head pillow arrangement for the left shoulder does not match the pillow arrangement for the right shoulder, and the whole bed becomes a war zone of arms and elbows and knees as we struggle to alleviate aching hips. There'd be no room for even the most intrepid fellow even if he was willing to put up with the smelly lotions, the shifting pillows, and the fanatic need for absolute dark. 

This must be why one's libido diminishes with age. Imagine having the energy for a spot of hot and bother after all that preparation. Imagine the light of day (or a bedside lamp) shining on what now looks best in pitch black (and the safety of one's imagination). I know, I know, I'm leaving out love and the comfortableness of a long-term relationship and J admits that if her husband was still alive, he'd be fine with all that. But someone new? A stranger, no matter how wrinkled and smelly himself? He'd have to be blind, deaf, and willing to sleep in his own house at night.


Tabor said...

I have not reached that time in my life, but I am not saying I never well. Right now the rare aspirin helps. The creams go on after a shower which is usually in the morning. I live with someone and our sex life is nothing to advertise but I also think sex as opposed to romance and love can be overrated. Don't give never know what awaits you.

Molly said...

My absentee husband will be home tomorrow, first time I'll have seen him, save for Skype, in four months! I know he'll expect to sleep on his side of the bed to which I have grown accustomed! I've also gotten used to having the entire bed to myself; to not being woken up by snoring or snorting or other, unmentionable, noises, and to sleeping in the kind of garments which would make me not exactly the poster girl for Victoria's Secret! Not to mention how much further down the saggier and baggier road four months has put me....It will be a true test!

June said...

Oh, this is too funny! So true.

June said...

You reminded me of this folk song that my grandfather loved to sing:

Brian Miller said... i have this to look forward to? new mission in life...make like a squirrel and start storing up...smiles....a very honest look though at aging and where we will all end up...if we are lucky...

Anonymous said...

I was going to say that the men age as well and have their own routines and quirks, but I agree with you on the starting over with someone new thing. Awkward!! lol

Pauline said...

Tabor - I'm definitely giving up on a light on in the dark lol

Molly - can't wait to hear how it goes ;)

June - that song about sums it up lol

Brian - stick with the woman you've got and you'll be fine ;)

Barbara - men do age and some of them not so well but I'm not about to become involved with any of them, well done or not, unless we have separate houses ;)

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