So… I’m finally a part of the institution that embodies wet t-shirt competitions as the indicator that it is indeed Spring Break and guess what? I am also part of the institution that frowns on women my age carrying on with such shenanigans. Sigh. (I’m convinced I’d win if I did it though; shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh). Ha-ha.
So instead, I am being “respectable” – working hard and catching up with friends – and wearing a bra while doing either 😉 So, the other evening I was having an absolutely hilarious time with one of my school mates and our conversation wove this way and that; truly testing our ability to both multi-task (it is no small feat eating, drinking and laughing) and think critically (the timing with which one does the afore-mentioned is crucial). One such conversation has lingered on the rim of my consciousness since that evening; so in true Fury-fashion… let’s address this.
We were speaking about the nuances of dating as an older woman and the “do’s and don’ts” that are now attached to same. We had a very lively time figuring out if there needed to be rules and if so, what the fuck they were! Now, this may sound funny; but the truth is, it was and still is a very important issue. Here’s some of why – when we are younger, most of our out-of-school-education is geared towards our roles and behaviors as they relate to our sex. We are told and taught how to speak, to dress, to walk, to behave… all in the pursuit of what may/should be the ultimate prize or achievement – snagging a member of the opposite sex. As young men or women, consciously or subliminally, we are all groomed for that pursuit.
But my friend and I were discussing what happens when you move past the young man or woman phase; more specifically, the fact that no one has those conversations with you anymore. So, over my beers and her much-doctored lemonade, we laughed our way through wondering if the conversations are no longer forthcoming because, (1) everyone assumes what you were taught back then worked, so you are successfully “boo’d” up; or (2) if for some (embarrassing) reason you’re not, hopefully you still remember what you had been taught; so you’ll know how to re-implement it; or, the one we appreciated the least, (3) after a “certain age”, everyone figures your ass should just give up the dating game altogether! Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
So, we had a blast! And, even as I still snicker at the memory, I must take a few moments to address the reality of this. You see, there are no instructions that are handed out to adult-daters; it’s almost as if after a certain stage in life, one becomes exempt from the consideration for inclusion into some areas – almost as if the hot spots’ velvet ropes are sprayed with an over-forty repellent. Ha! So, we discussed this, because for some, this is a real and concerning issue (for me… not so much!). Trying to figure out what is now deemed “acceptable” behavior or determining that after a “certain age” there are indeed no rules that govern you can be tricky. For some, the reality of still dreaming of, yearning for and actively pursuing love may cause embarrassment.
Now, yall know by now that all my ass needs is a soap-box, right?! Like I said a couple nights ago and state emphatically here – “I wish someone would be bold enough to tell me that anything is exempt from me; or outside of my reach!” I wish!!!! Truly. I consider my right to love, companionship, partnership and lovership the same way I consider breathing, eating, shitting, working, playing, mothering and studying – mine to do when, if and however I damn well choose to do so! AND, I happen to consider myself a much better “catch” now than I ever deluded myself that I was back then!
But, let me step down from the podium a bit and acknowledge this – dating after a “certain age” can be daunting – but for me, not for the same reasons as may be for others. I find it a bit tiresome at times because my confidence in myself, my femininity and my sexuality can be perceived as aggressive and non-submissive. I have found that the battles I have fought – lost and won, the scars I have inherited, the aches I have survived, have all lent themselves to a surety of what I don’t want, while gloriously magnifying the certainty of what I can handle. Dating at a “certain age” for me means I am free to indulge if I please and content and confident to sit it out if I choose.
I think that what a lot of women (and men) of a “certain age” struggle and fight against is that erroneous feeling that after a “certain age” they are no longer viable and therefore cannot compete. To that I say a few things: (1) only eggs and sperm should be judged for their viability; (2) those younger may be able to give you a run for your money with regard to stamina; but what the fuck good is stamina when they are sadly lacking in skill? (3) when it comes to love, there are no rules, no criteria, no guidelines, no boundaries… unless you impose them on yourselves; and the fourth and maybe most important of all is a fabulous quote I read that says, “Youth is wasted on the young…” ha-ha.
Listen, there are absolutely some things that I used to do that I don’t do anymore; but, I will never confuse that with, “can’t do anymore”. Yes, there are things that both age and wisdom have taught me to do differently and I daresay, better; so, I am absofuckinglutely appreciative of that. This stage in life has shaped my reality to include and exclude some behaviors and people that are different than back then; but that makes sense… I am different than back then. But when it comes to love and to loving? Well, there will never be an age or a stage that will ever exclude me from being brave enough, confident enough, knowledgeable enough, worthy enough, deserving enough, right enough, sexy enough or simply perfect for someone enough!
So, for anyone worried that they are at that “certain age” and afraid to go get whatever they want, I say, “enough!”