Sometimes, you get a visual of something and it won’t let you be.
Two weeks ago, I watched a wonderful film, The Leisure Seeker that deals with a long term commitment, memory loss and growing older.
There are so many things that no one bothers to mention regarding the aging process.
Hearing loss, vision battles, and lost keys are kid stuff.
Incontinence, spotty memories of your children and major life accomplishments are an altogether different type of existence.
What drove me mad about this film was that it was full of sensuality which I’m not accustomed to seeing between old folks.
People always confuse sensuality/intimacy with sex.
Sex can be “performed” with anyone or by yourself.
If you’ve got the equipment, you can jump in the game with any willing accomplice.
Sensuality/true intimacy takes time.
With intimacy, it is imperative that you truly listen to a person. Your listening is not to cajole, prove the other one wrong or offer an ongoing assessment of your partner’s thinking.
It amazes me how simple it is to listen to one another.
In the initial dating stages, we can’t wait to hear and share our thinking.
Every attempt is made to find common ground and confirm that our decision to couple is the right one.
Fast forward years down the road and most of us actively avoid listening with the justification that I already know what he/she will think and say.
Mutual mind reading is now the common bond and the source of much conflict.
What this wonderful film provided for me was a bird’s eye view into what long term commitment complete with sensuality, really listening and constant emotional check-ins can do towards creating something substantial.
During the course of this movie, the protagonists take a road trip from Boston to Florida to visit Hemingway’s house.
The sojourn is a metaphor for their life together and all the things they’ve seen along the way and left behind as well.
It reminds me of folks who have enough history behind them to actually have a look back.
For many years, I ran around like a crazy person trying to make everyone the “one”.
Hungering for an old age that would include the oft-repeated and rarely interrogated phrase- “we’ve been married sixty years”, I longed to get hitched for life in my 20’s.
What no one will tell you about decades long setups is that nobody thinks sixty years-my God that’s a long time!
You strap on the headgear, get in the game and slug it out one day at a time.
And you begin with one event, one birthday, one Christmas, one accomplishment at a time.
So then, how does sensuality and intimacy play into all of this?
I know of no couple who allows for listening and sharing their dreams and goals on a consistent basis who doesn’t grow closer as a result.
It is impossible to share your innermost thoughts with someone and not move forward in some type of unison or cohesive fashion.
And that is what this film did repeatedly.
So how can we use this as a blueprint for living and aging well?
We can find us some old timers- ask some questions and shut our face holes as they hold court and offer advice through personal stories, friendships, conflict resolution and options other than chocking the hell out of folks when they piss you the hell off.
Here’s my solution: You decide you want to get hitched. You take the blood test-fill out a license and have a geezer meeting.
The day you make this decision you go online and register for a meeting with an older couple (preferably a happy one- gays ya’ll might as well get in on this too) and tell them all your business and let them tell you how stupid you’re being about x,y, and z or how you’re right on the money.
Or maybe, ya’ll are a total mismatch and should part ways while you wait for bachelor number three.
As I age and see more of life, I come back to the same conclusion- life is simple.
Human beings fuck it up and make it very difficult, stressful and unbearable.
How do we get people to understand and long for the simplicity that is life and leave the drama the fuck alone?!
Maybe anyone who is interested in the aging process as it pertains to love and relationships should be forced to watch this film and take copious notes.