Hope Springs eternal when really you might as well just give up!

“Never particularly prepossessing…the unflattering lines of my face have deepened and my smile has become a grimace.  I avoid mirrors…” (A quote from a soon-to-be-famous writer, whom I’ll review shortly).

ANYWAY – wouldn’t you think that going to see a movie like ‘Hope Springs’ would cheer anyone up?

It’s about a middle aged married couple who love one another but have lost the romance of those early years (never mind the sex, which they haven’t had since Nixon was a boy).  Not to spoil it, it’s well acted (well of course, Meryl Streep is the lead) and kinda nice – and it ends well!  BUT..

Seeing two childhood sweethearts ambling hand in hand into their sunset years makes me feel a bit crappy.  I can’t really complain, all my sweethearts have been voluntarily relinquished – but now I’m gettin’ older, I’m starting to think that sex and romance and male on female intimacy is a thing of the past, for me.  That, and I can just see the underside of my chin.  And I got into the bath the other day and the bits of me that rose like the Himalayas from the swirling mists weren’t the celebrated rosaceous bosoms.

So, you know, suppose that’s it?  Suppose the twin supports of my existence (the kids, I mean, and they’re not actually twins) fly the nest, and there I am, for the rest of my life, ALL BY MYSELF!  I’d rather be all by myself than with just about any of the men I’ve dated so far.  I’ve got lots of plans that mainly involve me.  And yet, I still LIKE sex, and cuddles, and all that.  But I’m starting to turn into the female equivalent of one of those guys you see on internet dating sites –  ‘Please pick me!’ under a photo of a voluptuous, extravagantly time-worn, fish-eyed man snapping himself in the bathroom mirror.  It doesn’t matter how desperate you are, you just don’t want him.

One of those guys once wrote to me, introducing himself and wondering if I’d like to get to know him better. I explained that although he was obviously a charming individual, I was otherwise occupied at the moment (drinking tea) and that I thought his profile might get the interest it deserved if his photo didn’t show him leaning back in his cluttered garage with his t-shirt rucked up clutching a tinny and scowling.

‘I’m doing very well thank you!’ was his huffed response.  Well, I’m not!  I’m feeling sorry for myself!  What I’ve got, is ‘husband envy’.  I envy people who’ve got a man who’s unquestionably, forever, theirs. (I guess a distant second is having a self that’s unquestionably, forever, mine???).

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33 comments

  1. Nothing, other than yourself, is ever unquestioningly, forever yours. Be that a husband, a friend, a possession, anything. To be happy with someone else, you have to be happy with yourself. The someone else then becomes a great addition but not a necessity. There is also no such thing as the “perfect marriage” no matter what anything looks like from the outside.
    Having a self that is unquestioningly, forever yours is the most important thing. Enjoy it 🙂 Many out there have not yet found themselves!

    • I see where you’re coming from and I agree, there isn’t such a thing as a perfect relationship – still I’d be lying if I said ‘myself’ was enough. It just isn’t. It’s pretty good, in its way, but I need intimacy.

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  2. I saw that movie a couple weeks ago. Left me a bit sad and asking, “Is this it?” But I suppose we never know what’s hiding behind the corner. If we get to the point of not caring, then I guess we’re officially old.

    • Yeah, isn’t it funny, it left me a bit sad too. Whereas The Best Marigold Hotel left me feeling really upbeat. Do we ever get to the point of not caring? I wonder.

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      • I, too, loved the movie The Best Marigold Hotel. You’re right–much more upbeat. The cast may have been older than in Hope Springs, but I still left the movie feeling younger.

  3. I hear you, Rose! Sometimes I have a pang when I see friends who have been married forever and who hold one another’s hearts and histories. It’s then that I can feel really alone. Loved your description of the fish-eyed, desperate men. I’m back to dating again, and know exactly who you’re talking about 🙂 I think the hard thing at this stage is that we know who we are and we’re not really prepared to make the kinds of accommodations we might have when we were younger.

    • I think that’s exactly the problem! The older you get, the more accommodation you have to make, too, because when it comes down to it, it’s a trade off between looks/youth and looks/status, or something like that. There are other factors but as the guy from Mt Isa said, if you don’t have the looks, come to Mt Isa and pick up a guy without the status (OR the looks).

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  4. Amazing as always. Humor and pain. They go together like really old couples trying to flop around and have sex! An amusing diversion, a bit crampy, and actually a little sad (compared to the days of yesteryear). Ah yes, well, i have my MAN. My commitment, but not A ring. I would actually like one of THOSE some day (i think). Still pondering … Maybe it’s simply because i’ve never had one of THOSE rings before. Maybe it’s because HE hasn’t asked, and if feel MIFFED! If he asked, i’d probably faint and think he wanted my MILLIONS! 😉

    The first few boys who asked me (and there were just a few) were slightly drunken, druggy types. Cute, but probably useless and dangerous as time would pass.

    But, my friend, there is a remedy for the sad sacking … really, give a reputable online site a try?! E-Harmony found me a really fine fella (even with his marriage trepidations). …’t’will never lift unless i DEMAND satisfaction … which i can’t bring myself to do. Not my style. xx

    • I know about online sites, I found the DE on one. The trouble is, at least 80% of the guys, I wouldn’t date if they were the last guy on earth (no slur on them, it’s just they’re so not my type I just couldn’t), and the other 20% are either too young or not interested. Come to think of it, 20% may be running it a bit high – make that 10%? But..you give me hope (some). If Mel has found her guy, maybe even I can (and maybe I can’t – maybe I’ve run through all the eligible ones and exhausted my market potential).

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      • Oh Rose, don’t say THAT! There’s always a market for fun, smart women. Come to the U.S. and you can hang out with your spinster pal Mel. Could be worse. We could have loads of dogs and complain about men.

        Well, friends are very comforting … but there is something kind of special about a man who “fits”.

        Here’s the deal: I didn’t think i wanted a man EVER, i never thought i’d get married EVER. … i don’t know what that means.

        A HA .. it means, “it’s who you love”. Just find a really lovable man that “fits” and isn’t against Viagra … working on that … I may get a ring before D agrees to V.

      • Yeah but you’re NOT a spinster. You have the delicious D (even without his V). When I was a kid I used to think, if I’m not married by the time I’m 29, I’ll have to kill myself! totally stupid! As it happens I got married at 22, out of sheer fright. It’ll all come out in the wash, as I like to say..

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    • Yea, well … Don is lovely. He really is. I wouldn’t have done onlines sites if it hadn’t been for my sudden NEED to fulfill 21 years off Sex! Plus, i wanted to test the waters without going to a pub! Plus, it’s really hard to meet people in a busy, crowded city without being really “odd” at the grocery, or in a coffee shop. Most people think you’re insane if you try to start a conversation with them. Just TOO many people. I don’t go to church, and i probably wouldn’t want a church person anyway. (Whatever that means). Single, i did that too long. I don’t like it. I have loads of hobbies, but i feel comforted by having Don as my best friend … we have our own language. It’s pretty fun. I’m not trying to make you feel bad … i’m trying to tell you, if I can have Don, you can have a Don. I don’t think i would DIE if i didn’t have Don, but i would truly have lost something amazing .. make that someone amazing. The other thing is, i’ve had SHIT luck with men my whole life. I put myself into solitude and told myself “i LIKED it”. Bullshit. So, you and I and everyone else deserves a good man, and they are there. And, also, old age isn’t a number. The “number” is a number, but the physiology of old age is (a) a body that is aging, (b) wrinkles; (c) things growing where they shouldn’t (d) things falling off where they shouldn’t (or at least didn’t used to). … to name a few.

      Pfff. Age is just a number. One is a number, as is two! There are many. xx

  5. I kind of gave up on the notion of ambling into the sunset a while ago. I’m still too addicted to the idea of possibilities, arrangements and accommodations to be wholly convinced. Yet 😉

  6. Yeah, I’ve had moments in my life where ‘I just needed intimacy’. Nine years between my first and second marriage saw me very lonely, and in desperate need (I was 33 when we separated). Then ‘only months’ between my second husband, and my now partner. Funny though, this one (K) means more to me than either husband. He’s real, and that’s a plus. He’s surly, at times. He’s childish, at times. He’s cute, at times. He’s always a good friend. He ‘looks after me’, all of the time.
    Times change, and with them people too. Don’t give up; you may have to wait a while however; I believe a ‘friend’ will surface in time… Don’t hold your breath though..!

    • I hear you, it’s good that it worked out for you. But to be completely honest, I feel I’m losing what market value I ever had. Sometimes my male friends have met one or other of my older female friends, and they’ve said something like ‘she’s sweet..but, oh no – I’d never date her!’ and I think that’s because my female friends have passed the point where they’re attractive to anyone (as many males have also). When you pass that point, either you date someone out of desperation, or you just don’t.

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    • Or, you could say, the grass is actually inedible (taking the grazing analogy) where you are, so you have to move – but then the grass turns out to be inedible in the next paddock as well.

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      • Hmm, you could say that. But that’d be saying single life is inedible. And to me, single life is perfectly delicious.

        It’s kind of like everything else I guess: love it, change it, or accept it. No use living in limbo. And also, I question people who deem a person ‘forever theirs.’ This is my fundamental peeve with marriage. If that’s what ‘love’ is – possession, ownership and eternal comfort – then I don’t want it. Granted, I’ve not been single for two years. Though, if my relationship was at all akin to the above mentioned, I’d’ve run away long ago. And last 4.8 cents, age is just a number!

      • Nope, gotta disagree. Age is more than a number. Age is..age. Wrinkles. Organ failure. Dementia. I kinda like the idea of ‘forever yours’. I’ve had the long lectures from the ex about possession and how awful it is to think another person is ‘yours’ – but I don’t buy it. When you are theirs and they are yours, it’s all good, barring scary possessiveness, which is something else. I think in true love, you have to be willing to give your whole self and feel safe to do that.

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  7. It seems that I’ve wandered into this party late. I loved the post. I didn’t care for Meryl at all when she just got started but have fallen in love with this wonderful actress these past few years. But let’s not count out Tommy Lee either, shall we? 😉 No Richard Burton, Peter O’Toole, Anthony Hopkins, Tom Hanks, Gregory Peck, or whatever one of the Great Great’s you care to throw in there, but an outstanding character actor nonetheless. I think he hit an exceptionally High White Note in “No Country for Old Men.” I watched the clip you provided and am now convinced that I want to see this film.

    Now enough of this actor/actress and film falderol. Let’s get to your theme.

    I too am of the age that I hold small chance of sex/romance, but have always been of the type that “never says never.” I have learned from experience that just when I think something is never destined to be (good AND bad) that is just the moment it is most likely to pop up.

    I have been “all by myself” for10 years now, and I must say that although I am glad that the most recent romantic interest in my life was an unwise choice from the beginning but she was loved completely nonetheless. I am glad to be free from that destructive relationship and have long moments of missing her and the companionship and tenderness (both sexual and non).

    I need intimacy as well, and get terribly lonely at times. It is during those times when I feel the most despondent and as though I have reached the end of possibilities for future involvement. I miss the whole schmear. Coffee at the cafe, sitting close watching T.V., going shopping for all manner of goods, talking about the days events and the thoughts and feelings of my beloved, walks and drives in the country, movies and concerts, etc etc etc. And yes I miss the moments of sexual intimacy. And not just for the sex (which even at my advancing age is still important) but also for the sharing and giving and taking of pleasure and love……..

    YUCK! How maudlin is this?? I best stop before they revoke my license to carry testicles. 😀

    If anybody ever gets to the point of not caring, and I know from experience that many do, then I’d just as soon not know you. I’ve tried to not care, but it just don’t work. I’m kind of the mindset of Seb (above) but still get awful moments of despondency from time to time.

    HEY! I think I’m becoming addicted to your site. Deal with it.

    • I thought he was pretty good in that too. Thanks for the addiction comment, I can say truthfully that it’s one addiction I wish lots of people like yourself had! Love and all that..yes. You do veer between ‘stuff it’ and wanting it anyway. Likewise my last ex was pretty damaging. I think it’s important to be honest, somewhere (even on a blog). There are all these platitudes around about finding romance and the joys of singleness and so on – there’s some truth to them but there’s also truth to the fact that once you lose your looks, you stand very little chance of finding anybody prepared to overlook that. But – some! If I tell the truth about how I feel, maybe other people will feel that they can say what’s real as well, rather than feeling ashamed by it or embarrassed. Failure needs to be flaunted so that people feel ok about it?

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