The grace of a younger spouse

I get it now.  I am embarrassed to say it, but I get it: The cliché of older men marrying younger women. 

I was flipping through Facebook and various other sites late last evening, bored out of my mind.  I randomly began, as so many do, typing in names of people I knew 15, 20, 30 years ago.  The ones I knew in college, many were older than I was by 3-5 years.  They are now in their early 50’s.  Most look like it too.  Men with thinning hair or bald heads, chins that have become one with necks.  Wrinkles.  On even the most fit, there are age spots and the fine sag to skin nothing can change, that makes the thin seem stringy.  Most of the women dye their hair.  I don’t blame them. 

We are not yet old, but certainly no longer young.  I saw some of those men and thought, if I had married so-and-so, that’s what they would look like to me now.  I looked over at Husband and smiled.  I did not intentionally marry someone so much younger than myself.  Even the few years between us seemed a bit odd at first.  When we were married people were surprised, often saying they thought I looked the younger.  Maybe they were just being diplomatic, but we didn’t think it showed either.

Being with someone younger makes me younger.  I am not so obsessed with the things I might be otherwise, and had the luck to have children late.  Husband has always been an attractive man, and is aging well.  He has a good sense of humor, and can be spontaneous.  I do not want to rush into old age, and he helps slow the clock for me. The pert young chippies on the treadmills can hunt their sugar daddies.  Let them be dragged into old age at light speed.  I found my best friend when I least expected it, and he just happened to be younger.  It has proven to be a terrific experience all around.

The bifocal prescription had to go up a few notches last week, but the eye MD told me after the exam that I had surprisingly “young eyes”, not a lot of wear and still very healthy.  She knows better than to be diplomatic, so it was good news.  I do not feel my age most days.  In my own mind I am usually around 35-40.  I am sometimes surprised when I look in the mirror, and know I need to get fit, but still do not feel like AARP should be filling my mailbox with solicitations.  The “girls” still hold up pretty well, the teeth are good, and while I have lost a little strength, am still able to do what I choose with my body.  It is more motivation to get fit, really, despite the fear of not being able to do everything as quickly or as well as I might like in the gym. 

 I’ll revisit the photos on the net in another 10 years.  I may look stringy then, but I’ll still have kids in the house and a younger spouse.  I’ll still have the grace of youth all around me to help me stay young too.  I expect many of those I look up will be grandparents (some already are), and will have very different lives.  I’ll take mine as it is, and like it just fine.  This foolish comparison was a good 10 year anniversary present.  Now to find that box of hair dye I put in the bathroom closet. . .





I don’t think the group Yaz (Alison Moyet) was being ironic when the lyrics to “winter kills” were being written (as in “that comedian just killed tonight”).  Nor do I think they were referencing the terrific work of Richard Condon.  It’s not an obscure Shakespeare reference either. I’m not sure why that particular piece of music comes to mind right now, but for the fact that we are in that part of the winter that seems to be dragging on a bit too long; the air in the house is too stale and dry.  There seems to be no end to the run on days of too cold to do much out and about, and the general malaise that has set in does not seem to lift.  I don’t know how people in Norway or Finland do it.  Live so high on the map, under the influence of cold.  I’m not one for heat as I have said before, but I get my fill of extreme cold as well.

I sat in the car with the engine off after dropping the wee one at school.   I sat in the driveway, looking at the garden space.  I sighed at all the work that needs to be done once the ground has thawed.  Once spring begins to creep back in.  I visited my grandmother’s grave a few days ago.  They have not properly filled in the site, what soil was laid down has sunk and more needs to be added.  But the ground is so hard right now.  I wonder when they will get to it.  I also wonder when they will set the marker.  I wish I could just plant a hardy rose bush there instead.

I did not master canning the past two years, and I wonder what I will do with the fruits of our garden labors this year.  I would like to do as my great grandmother did; have rows of green beans and bacon pieces, tomatoes, and pickles of every type in Ball jars on cool basement shelves.  The priceless leavings of summer to act as a palliative to winter blues.

We seem to have spent this winter in a 30×30 mile bubble zone, free from precipitation of every kind while all around us winter raged.   It has gotten so strange Husband joked that we must be in a weather experimental control zone.  What small amount of snow we had quickly disappeared. The wee ones lament the lack of snowmen, forts, and sledding they remembered from last year.

The cold drives people inside and life is dormant on the other side of the window.  The few squirrels and birds that do pass by find nothing to feed them and move on.  The chill in the house was impossible to shake today, and no warm bath or cup of tea could keep it out of the air or off exposed flesh.  The wind shook the trees and howled.  The house held its breath, but could not keep the cold out completely. I read the national weather service forecast for the week, and it may get into the high 40’s in a few days.  One must hope.  I can’t shake the cloudy sky in my head right now, and all I hear is “winter kills” playing in a far off room.  Spring will come, and the sun will warm everything it touches.  Soon, soon I tell myself.  Soon.