ELDER MUSIC: Some More Pianists I Like
Another Reader, Another Age Dilemma

Kisses in the Rain

UPDATE: Some people reading this post seem to think I'm sitting here in Lake Oswego pining for a man to sweep me off my feet. So I would like to be clear:

I am not. The couple kissing in the rain last week was like a lovely movie moment. It reminded me of another way things are different in old age that I thought was worth commenting upon.

Yes, some old people find love and romance. But not many. And it's not something I am out searching for or feel lonely for not having. At the same time and unlike a few of you, if he turned up I wouldn't mind sharing the TV remote with the right person.

But there are so many new things I'm discovering and learning in these later years that I'm mostly relieved the urgent yearnings of youth are gone.

Doesn't mean I can't have a moment or two of sweet/sad memory now and then.

category_bug_journal2.gif No one would mistake them for young, but they were not old yet either. At least, not as old as I am at 70. They were about 50 – closer to 55, I think, than 45 - and a handsome couple they were.

It was drizzling rain and they stood close, bodies touching slightly while he held her face gently in both his hands, gazing into her eyes.

He kissed her eyelids, one then the other. She tilted up her head slightly as he moved his lips to her mouth. It was not a passionate, sexual, eager kiss although I knew they had shared those too. And would again. Soon.

Right now, on a cloudy, late afternoon the kiss was about tenderness and love and assuring her that she means more to him than anyone else alive.

As I watched from inside the car, my eyes misted over. A tear slipped down my cheek. In my time, I had been kissed like that and now, waiting for the traffic light to change, an ache as gray and damp as the day appeared near my heart.

Grief, no doubt, for the kind of romance that will not pass my way again.

At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Lyn Burnstine: Daddy's Girl


You said it well! Who knows? There might be a 'happily ever after' for both of us but we have to go out and meet people or so 'they' tell me and I'd rather stay home. Oh well.

Ronni, I would have felt just the way you did after seeing that kiss, because we all grew up believing we'd find that soulmate to keep us company in our golden years. I still think that's a lovely idea until I think about all those old feet I'd have to handle before finding the Cinderfella who fits the glass slipper I'm holding in my mind. Also, it hasn't escaped my notice that having total control of the thermostat and the TV remote feels pretty special, too.

Well, one thing I can tell you for sure. If there is such a thing as passionate romance among old people, nobody wants to know about it. It seems distasteful and inappropriate to the masses, so I recommend keeping a low profile.

Who wants to take care of some old man? No thanks.

It's not just passionate romance for "older" folks that no one wants to talk about: it's any kind of male-female relationship! That is, unless it involves a child somewhere in the picture to make it all cutesie and less frightening to younger people--lest they imagine their parents "doing it."

Seriously, though, we don't talk about what relationships look like when people are over 40, yet we have at least two generations of people over 40 who certainly aren't dead yet. As far as I know, relationships get interesting, and complex. Just because that couple has that wonderful romantic moment doesn't necessarily mean they are having hot, steamy sex. What it might mean is that they have known one another, love one another, and accept one another, warts and all and can still see that certain Something Special in the eyes of the other one. Romance, passion, all that stuff *changes significantly* once medical conditions, menopause, andropause, and all that stuff kicks in. But just because we can't necessarily get it on like horny 20 yr olds doesn't mean passion doesn't exist.

as I always say: sex is easy, love is difficult. If you find love, real love of the unequivocal acceptance kind, stick with it. Because that will give you passion when things get tough.

That kind of feeling is not gone for any age. Ask anybody who works in assisted living places. I can think of several films I've seen fairly recently about it also-- they aren't US made which says it's us who put timetables on it where our movies have old men with beautiful young women. Now what's that all about! Kisses in the rain like that sound timeless to me.

Yes, Ronni, me too. Not sharing my life with someone is my biggest single regret. And I know, I know all the wonderful things about being single - it's all I've ever known - and yet: Not sharing my life with someone is my biggest single regret. Knowing that possibility is gone forever was the most difficult part of turning 60; yes, I know I *could* meet someone, but still, most of my life is over, unless I live to 121. Thanks for sharing such an intimate, honest moment.

Hugs.....and remember, you don't know what's going to happen.

Thanks for your honesty and feeling. I had a passionate affair at 63 thank goodness and while I do not expect another so gorgeous in this lifetime, I am open to it. I wrote the song Sex after Sixty (which includes love!) to give voice to the aliveness and ecstasy many older adults experience into the far reaches of the later years. "You don't expect to find the ancestors/rolling ecstatic in the meadow grass/ under the trail of shooting stars" but it happens. Hallelujah.

Three husbands, four children, several lovers who did not "live-in", between ages 17 and 60. Have been very happily single seeing our country in a motor home for almost 28 years. At 80 there is no interest in cohabiting with anyone other than Clyde, my cat.

Your post reminded me of a private/public moment I saw between a couple recently. I was in my car, waiting to pull out into traffic. I saw them in their car, pulled over to the curb. Engine running, lights on. The woman in the passenger seat was crying. Big sobs, face contorted. The kind of crying one does after getting major catastrophic news. Someone died, perhaps. The man in the driver's seat did nothing to comfort her. Nothing. He looked ahead. Maybe he had just told her that he didn't love her anymore. Instantly I fought tears myself! I wanted so much to go over to her window..rap on it and ask her if she needed me to hug her! I wanted to!
Good men are so few and far between...l! (But never say never Ronni...because Halley's comet does "return"). Always keep options open!

You just never know, and I do miss the moments of closeness of all kinds. Thanks for your openeness. Got sick this weekend and found myself crying in the shower, feeling alone but it was theraputic. I wonder if its the holidays.

Many things that I read, or see, or dwell upon in my mind frequently cause a tear, or a flood of them, to momentarily blur my vision--this post would fall into that category.

As for having "romance" in one's life.....I think there's much romance to be gained from a solid companionship based on shared interests and values....and I don't think 70 (or in my case, pushing 69 :)) is too late in life to look for that if it's what you truly want.

A Cole Porter song can make me feel nostalgic for a young romance that ended unhappily; tears threaten and I feel a great sadness.

I guess we never fully get over wanting that excitement in our lives. I have accepted that it will never happen for me again, but there are regrets.

Lovely moment and beautifully described. May their love prosper and may you find a tender love, too. It's one of life's great blessings. My father met his current partner at an aerobic's class at 84 and they've been happy together for 11 years!

So lovely. The couple you saw could have been me and mine - but I've been with a boy or a man almost all my life, since I was 14, with few interruptions. Maybe I've missed some of what you've had. Some of us need that kind of love and intimacy more than others, I think.

Thank you for sharing your tender and private thoughts with us. Very touching.

Have faith. You never, ever know what might be ahead of you. I love to look at life from a glass at least 2/3 full. I am rarely disappointed.

Oh Ronni...you said it all. I just turned 70 and feel such an ache in my heart because I so miss that kind of tenderness. I've been married and have children and grandchildren but I've been without a partner for a VERY LONG time. In many ways I feel like a part of me has died. Thank you for expressing your feelings so openly.

Every once in a while I have a dream in which I am being held and kissed like that. That kind of thing happened to me often enough in my younger years, but I also know that those feelings rarely last; as we know, it gets "complicated." Like many women commenting here, I have no desire to accommodate to any man any more. And I don't expect to meet any who would want to accommodate to me.
Deep in December it's nice to remember
Although you know the snow will follow.
Deep in December it's nice to remember
Without a hurt the heart will hollow.
Deep in December
it's nice to remember
The fire of September that made you mellow.
Deep in December our hearts should remember and follow

Your blog today reminds me of a young couple I saw not so long ago standing very close to each other on a crowded train.

As they kept gazing into each other’s eyes, one could not help but think back and remember when.

The feeling was bittersweet!

Those of us who have found and still have our life's companion after weathering divorces and far too many bad choices in our misspent youth are fortunate indeed. Your post, and those of others, make me even more grateful for my husband and the "forever" relationship we've shared for the past 33 years. At 82, he's 7 years older than I am, and I can't imagine life without him. I think that a loving, caring relationship is possible for anyone at any age, but admittedly it's probably harder to find "The One" when we're 65+.

And/or, one has a relationship of long standing but it's marred by decades of squabble & struggle. Recently, my very first love (I was 18.) stopped replying to our gentle chats on FB. It hurt just as much as when he walked away from me in 1970. Then my dear second love up and died last month. At 63 I feel I'll never again be in the sweet scene you saw, Ronni. But I'm hoping against hope I might. Miracles do happen. I hope a very nice one happens to you!

I feel fortunate to be one of those few who found someone to love at 70, married him and 11 years later am still as fond of him as if he's a first love. Keep looking, you never know who you might find, but hopefully you won't have to travel to China like I did to find what you want.

Ronni, Thanks for the update. I always appreciate your candor. Hooray for those who have loves in later life, hooray for those who are content with single life. I notice that feelings of loss pop up from time to time, and not only about romance or intimacy. It seems natural to me. We are in the process of letting go, even as we continue to be vitally engaged in life.

I'm still married to my best friend, and I love him dearly except when I want to throttle him! Lol. Honestly, most people who have lived together for decades, and who can predict the next words out of their partner's mouth, aren't very much like your kisses in the rain couple. There's a fair amount of exasperation mixed in with the companionship.

There is luck involved in love, and desire, by which I mean, the desire for an intimate life. Some do not want it or do not believe they deserve it. Others are amazed that love (and passion) can appear very late in life. The important thing, to me, is to love, whether it is your partner, your dog, your god(s), the birds in your garden.

Now and then I remember those days, and I am so happy that I have those memories.

I sometimes get a little weepy when I see happy little kids getting on the school bus,too, but that doesn't mean I would want to go back to those days. I understood you completely, Ronni!
As I used to say about my kids, and can now say about memories of the men in my life "I wouldn't take a million dollars for them, but I wouldn't give you two cents for another one."

You folks are making me think I should try looking again. Thanks!

After a sudden and unexpected divorce at age 62, my visions of growing old with a loving partner disappeared. Then I got caught in a snowstorm while trying to take my 3 kids and ex-mom-in-law on a trip to Mexico via Phoenix. We all squeezed onto a plane in Denver, and I sat next to a tall, blue-eyed gentleman in a baseball hat.He helped me stow my carry-on...the rest of the story is here...http://thedasslerdiaries.blogspot.com/2010/11/backing-up-love-in-air-part-1.html

Would I have continued to be happy as a single person? I think so. Ronni, finding the joy in daily things, in friends online, Ollie, family and Oregon weather and greenness is something you are good at. I like to think I would have done the same sans a partner.

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