Friday, March 15, 2013

Why I want to grow old together

If you ever want a good shock, stumble unexpectedly across a picture of yourself from six or seven years ago. Marvel at your smooth skin, the pleasing fullness of your features, and try to put your finger on what, exactly, was there that isn't there now. Or what wasn't that is. Convince yourself that you haven't changed, not really. Tell yourself that you will never get old. Now look again. Really look. What is it? What is it?

When I was young and imagined growing old, I always imagined I would have someone else growing old with me. -Will you still love me when I'm old? -I will still love you when you're old. -Will you still love me when I turn gray? -I will still love you when you turn gray. -What if I get fat? [longer pause] -I will still love you if you get fat. I imagined teasing, gifting nosehair trimmers at Christmas and laughing about it, holding hands on front porches in rocking chairs, side-by-side bathtubs on the goddamn beach. When you are in your twenties and getting old is pretty much the worst thing you can think of, growing old together is your life preserver. Getting old sucks, but growing old together is the stuff marriage proposals and pharmaceutical commercials are made of. In my twenties, this is the future I imagined. In my moments of doubt I would allow myself to wonder, What if he doesn't love me when I get old? What if he trades me in for a younger model? But never, not even in my wildest what-if scenarios, did I imagine that there wouldn't be a he at all. (Enough with the footprints, oh Lord, but can you please explain why there's only one bathtub on the goddamn beach?)

And perhaps that is what I am seeing reflected in those old pictures that look like me but also not like me. A quiet confidence, a belief that my life was on an ever-increasing upward trajectory, that things can only get better from here. The unknown was exciting. [A brief aside to tell you that I am trying really hard not to punctuate every line with a lyric from Les Mis right now. Then I was young and unafraaaaiiiiid... Yeah. I dreamed a dream.] 

But I am fine. Everything is fine. How are you? Are you fine or not fine, or good or maybe great? I miss blogging but I feel like I have nothing to say, and when I do try to write something it comes out like this, and quiet desperation is not exactly the "brand" I wish to convey. If I had something funny or fun or exciting to tell you I would, believe me. But don't give up on me yet, ok?            

14 comments:

  1. Oh my dear! I haven't given up on you at all - for anything blogging, growing old with someone. None of it.

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  2. Move to California!!! Tons of cute / semi-cute guys there willing to give you many chances!

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  3. Where in CA, Anon? I sure ain't finding 'em! :(

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  4. I feel exactly like you...

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  6. You know what? I think everyone worries about having to grow old without someone. Even those who are married. We never know what the future holds, and that person with whom you thought you'd spend the rest of your life could disappear out of your life before that happens, for many different reasons.

    Things can and will get better.

    And no one is giving up on you. You are too awesome for that :)

    (typo in first comment...had to delete)

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  7. I am an eternal optimist - I believe it will happen, one day, finally, for you. :)

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  8. I'm with you. I don't think it's a "quiet desperation" that comes across anymore when I communicate. It's loud and off putting. I spend most of my energy trying to temper it when I'm around people. Not a great way to make friends or the other thing.

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  9. I think whatever you write is always amazing :)

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  10. Not to be a downer, but even if you find someone, there are no guarantees in life. And aren't you like 32 or something? Trust me: Take pleasure in how you look now, because in ten years you are going to look back at your pictures now and wonder why you didn't realize how amazing you looked. And so you will ten years after that looking at yourself at 42, and so on . . .

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  11. I feel the same lately, especially about blogging. I'm choosing to blame it on the winter here in DC. When spring finally comes out for real, surely we'll feel a little more inspired to write ... happy ... things?

    Hang in there.

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  12. I agree with Miss Sassy Marmalade - winter is an evil force with such things. Once Spring truly arrives and then Summer perhaps things will look more positive. In the meantime, travel as much as possible, drink a lot of booze, and enjoy watching all the stupid TV you want without someone else in the room groaning about it. ;)
    - Breadispain

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  13. I second fashion survivor on all points. And you're still an interesting relevant writer whom I enjoy reading.

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  14. Growing old with someone is way over-rated... things begin to sag, teeth fall out, hair falls out, they snore louder, the list goes on and on, if it wasn't for the boyos i'd be living alone and enjoying the solitude, maybe i'm just getting old and cranky (crankier)... and you know the silly little phrase that love comes when you least expect it, i'd stop looking, it will take a concerted effort but i'm a firm believer that if you want something to much it never happens, once again you gots to just be...

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