A Little More on that Damned “Age Thing”
Last week, I wrote about life changes (and resulting insecurities). The always thought-provoking KD Pierre said my post triggered his own thoughts, and he wrote this post, clearly indicating that it was not meant to compare or contrast, merely that my post set off his own thoughts. Well, of course, I read his post and now I feel like I want to bounce back off him with some further thoughts on this subject.
KD talked about friends who want to go back, who want to relive their pasts, their “glory days.” He mentioned Gloria Swanson in her classic “Sunset Boulevard” role, the fading movie star who dwells in her past and goes mad doing so. Here’s the deal with me: I don’t want to relive my youth. My youth sucked! A lot of you who have been with me for a long time know this. I went from a chubby, awkward child who was afraid of everything to a confused teenager who went from overweight to anorexic to a depressed but high-functioning adult with anger issues and eating disorders. Exactly what part of that would I want to revisit? Blech. As I mentioned in my book, decades of my life were spent existing. It was only when I finally got on the right meds that I began to live.
And y’all know what happened then. Erica Scott broke out of the closet and there was no stopping her. But I had a lot of ground to catch up on. A lot of lost time to make up for. And I wanted to experience everything.
In reading KD’s post, this statement jumped out at me:
Another positive I have in my life that I recommend to others is to have younger people around you as much as possible.
Interesting, I thought. Through most of my adult life, I have been drawn to people younger than I am. I’m not sure why, and I don’t think it matters. But of course, since some people really suck, this has been criticized. I remember someone sneering to me somewhere on FetLife or someplace like that, regarding my friendships with some of the younger spanking models, that my “envy of younger women was palpable.” Yeah, yeah. Do I want to be in my 20s again? Christ, no. Okay, I’d take 40s. But that’s beside the point. I’m also, for the most part, attracted to younger men. I play often with younger men. I’ve taken heat for this too.
Following are a few random past pictures of me with friends. In the first one, I’m buried in the pillow fight pile at a party. The second one is Alex Reynolds’ bridal shower. And the third one is me with the incomparable Sierra Salem at her birthday party. Yes, we are lying on the pavement.
What do all these pictures have in common? Every single other woman in them could be my kid. I’m not sure why they all wanted to hang out with me, but I’m glad they did.
Here is a possible explanation, not that I owe anyone one. You have to keep in mind that, regarding people my own age, I actually have very little in common with them, aside from an aging body. The larger percentage of people in my age group are married, or have been (often more than once). A lot of them have grown kids, and even grandkids. They have houses and mortgages (with all the accompanying taxes, repairs, and other grownup headaches). They’ve traveled the world (or at least part of it). And then there’s me. Never married, never lived with anyone, never had kids. Have lived in an apartment my entire adult life. And aside from Mexico, I’ve never left the United States. I don’t even own a passport. I just can’t relate to the life experiences of most of my peers. And let’s face it — with my unusual experiences, a lot of them can’t relate to me, either.
However, there is one major drawback to having young friends. They don’t get my references. They don’t know the music I knew, the TV shows I watched, the world events I lived through. My cultural literacy memories are not theirs. I recall years ago, being in an airport gift shop, traveling with a 20-something co-star for videos back East. There was a t-shirt with the Marx Brothers on it, and she asked me who they were. I said, “You’ve never heard of Groucho Marx?” She thought for a moment and then answered, “I’ve heard of Karl Marx…?” Oy vey. This kind of thing makes me feel ancient. Compare it to just recently, when I mentioned to a new friend (who is a mere five years younger) that I like the Marx Brothers, and he not only knew who they were, he started quoting their movies and calling me “Spanko, the unknown Marx Sister.” It’s comforting to have someone speak your language.
Recently on Twitter, someone tweeted, “Can you imagine being alive during the time The Beatles were writing and recording music??” Uh… He sounded so incredulous, I couldn’t help but comment, “Yeahhh… a lot of us are still around. It’s not like we were there for Beethoven composing his nine symphonies.” (sigh)
There are exceptions, of course. When I was 50 years old, I was approached by a man of 21 who wanted to play with me. I balked. I said I was too old for him and I’d feel ridiculous. He said, “You’re not too old — I’m an old soul.” We met, I was impressed by his poise, and yup, we played several times. I remember the first time he was at my place and I had an oldies station playing in the background. I was shocked when a song from the 1960s came on and he started singing along with it. “How the hell do you know this song?” I blurted. He really was an old soul. I still know him, and I still play with him when I see him at a party.
So, in short, generally speaking, I don’t comprehend the life references of many people my age. And younger people don’t comprehend mine. Is it any wonder that I refer to myself as a square peg in a round world? And question just where the hell I belong now?
As I mentioned on KD’s post, I don’t want to go back to the flower of my youth. It had way too goddamn many weeds in it. But, as many of you know, I’m also terrified of aging. Watching one’s mother rot for seven years from dementia will do that to a person. It’s terrifying to witness. If you’re lucky enough to remain healthy, have some money in the bank, have loved ones to be with, getting older doesn’t have to be a train wreck. But for many, it is, and there’s no sugar-coating that. That’s why I hate age jokes. My former top used to think it was so hilarious to say, “We’re gonna still be playing in our 80s! I’ll be pulling down your Depends!” I always responded with a disgusted, “Don’t say stuff like that,” and then he’d compound it by laughing and adding, “Don’t worry, I’d wipe your ass for you!” And I’d want to punch him in the nose. Not funny, jackass. Incontinence isn’t funny, and neither are diapers. And they sure AF aren’t sexy either — not when you have to wear them, because your body and mind have stripped you of your independence and your dignity.
What would be my ideal? If I had my druthers, I’d hang around indefinitely in the middle. Old enough to have gained wisdom and experience, to have outgrown a lot of the insecurities and doubts of youth (although we never fully outgrow some of them). But not so old that I don’t recognize my own body and face anymore. I really, really hate looking down at my arms and thinking, “When the fuck did I get my mother’s arms???” No, I don’t want my teenage skin anymore. But I could do without some of the weird shit I see going on with my skin these days.
And of course, to swing this back onto topic a little, there is always the niggling fear that we’re too old to spank. That no one wants to look at our butts or anything else anymore. I mean, I heard from a lovely woman on FetLife who just friended me, who lives in another country. She wrote that she would love to come to a U.S. party someday, but time is running out and she’s afraid she’s too old. She’s 52. (heavy sigh) So yeah. The fear is real. And it gets a little worse every year.
But of course, the clock continues to tick, and life stages continue to morph and change. I don’t want to go back. But I’m not sure who the hell I am and where I fit in now, going forward. Hence the rambles.
If you slogged through all this, thank you. If you relate, please feel free to chime in. Have a good weekend, y’all. Stay safe. ♥