I have noticed an interesting trend in relationships over the last few years. My cousin is doing it. A friend recently did it. It’s the practice of looking up ones old high school boyfriend after a relationship ends and getting together with him.
As a single woman of a “certain age”, I know that it’s slim pickings out there. I’ve about exhausted the online dating sites. It’s brutally unfair, really; if one is not prepared to put a lot of time and effort into it (that one would be me!) you just quickly assess potential soulmates by the picture they have posted and what – if anything – they have written in their profile. There are so many cell phone selfies in a bathroom mirror posted that it makes you wonder why these guys don’t have one friend or family member who would offer to take a decent picture for their online dating profile. And the write-ups are often two sentences. Not much to go on.
And let’s talk for a moment about what people look like at this age. Often the ladies have hit menopause and are gaining weight. We have wrinkles. We look tired. The men have lost their hair, or it’s gone white. They have a beer belly. We’re all the kind of people who you would have a great time with if you sat next to us at a dinner party and had a conversation. No expectations. What a nice surprise, it was so great to meet you!
On the other end of the spectrum, there are the aging beauty queens and athletes. The ladies have had work done. Fake boobs, eye lifts. They wear too much makeup. Botox has frozen their features. They squeeze into teen-size jeans, and some of them still look pretty good! The guys still want to spend a lot of time skiing, hiking, and mountain biking. Their skin is weathered, but they don’t bother with the botox. They’ve gotten a little barrel-chested perhaps, but they are still out there being fit. They want an activity partner to ski and hike with, and she should probably look like one of the aging beauties. But does she ski? Hopefully these two types will find each other; I don’t want to be with a guy who judges me by my fashion sense (zero) and how much makeup I cake on (very little) and big fake boobs and skinny legs (boobs are big and real, legs not skinny!) And I am not an activity partner. When I hike, I get out of breath, and I can only bike on the flat. No mountains, thanks. Let’s just say I am good at indoor activities…… But he’ll never know that, he’ll be out climbing a 14’er.
So I guess that’s why people are looking up their high school sweethearts. Back then we were perfect (some of us didn’t know it!) The boy we loved was sweet and scrawny and sincere. The girl he loved was a ripe peach, innocent and luscious and guileless. The sex the two had was inexperienced, frequent, and oh so grand. Maybe, thirty or forty years later, when we call that guy on the phone, or send him a Facebook message, that’s how he remembers us. And we don’t see his bald head and his paunch; he has David Cassidy feathered hair and his SUV is somehow reminiscent of that cherry red Camaro.
Or maybe I’m just jealous; I never had a high school sweetheart. I was the geeky kid who didn’t know what to do with her hormones. I can’t call up the guy who took advantage of me while I was drunk and throwing up at a party –although I’m sure he grew into a swell gentleman.
Being single at this age is a challenge, an adventure, sometimes a gift. I took a lover on my Bahama vacation and “got my groove back”. No strings attached, and what a lovely time! I spent some time exploring celibacy, then had four booty-call men on speed-dial. I haven’t found the perfect solution yet.
What I do know is that it isn’t good to rush things. When people just get together with the first interested party, how can that be authentic? Reconnecting with the ex from way back when, well, maybe that works out. Nothing is ever what it seems. The lady I know who brags the loudest on Facebook about her husband confessed to me last summer that she had been messaging online with someone and wanted to sleep with him. Nothing is perfect.
I do think that we were all meant for love, but maybe it’s not always what we think it should be. Until then, I’ll look around, and count my blessings that I’m not in a hurry.