The other afternoon, bored and tired of reading, and with no incentive for a new article, I started to click my TV remote and came upon a rerun of something called Four Weddings. As I was about to click off, I noticed the groom tossing the bride’s garter which was caught by a Seasoned Citizen. Again, just as I was about to move on, I heard a young woman’s voice: “Isn’t that cute!” she said. “That old man is 90. How adorable!” I’ve heard the same words applied to older couples walking together and holding hands.
When do we stop being who we are and become “Cute”? My husband and I were more in love after 62 years than at the start. We had weathered adversity, loss, disappointment, and came through with more respect, understanding , and true abiding love…both emotional and physical. It’s time we realized that passion exists at all ages and doesn’t just belong to the young.
Aging is not an illness. It is, with luck, an inevitability. Older people are not caricatures of themselves who need to be fussed over as we do with babies. Babies are cute; Seasoned Citizens are exactly who they were 25 years ago but with a somewhat different outer appearance.
Seasoned Citizens do not need or want to be tolerated and placated. They have as much confidence as younger more active people and a lot more real life experience to back it up. That 90 year old gentleman, I’m sure, took as much delight in participating in wedding games as anyone else. Obviously, since he joined with the other single men and caught the prize!
We are living in a time where people are marrying later and becoming first time parents at a more mature age. By the time their children are out of school they will be in their 60s. When then do we become “cute” and “adorable”? At 70, or 80, or 90? In what arena do Seasoned Citizens differ from youth or middle agers? Not in the arts or sciences or law or politics; where physical prowess is needed, as in police officers or fire fighters, these older folk usually find less strenuous jobs in allied professions.
EPIPHANY! I think I have finally figured it out! Because of our Puritan American heritage anything that smacks of sex in older people embarrasses younger generations. That’s why catching a garter or holding hands becomes cute. “Cute” is asexual, not threatening, and makes it more palatable to the viewer.
Well, hold on to your hats, people. Seasoned Citizens enjoy every bit of life as much as you do. Stop being so demeaning and get over it!
Contact Adrienne at firstname.lastname@example.org.