On Letting Go, Pt. V: Youth

Your Illusion of Perpetual Youth

Labels are dangerous. Labels create opposites. Labels promote fear. One of those labels is Young because it means, especially for most of us…Not Old. They also marginalize our abilities to act upon the dictates of our own choices, because with labels come rules.

There was a time when the youth culture of the Sixties swept the world and shook it to its very roots.

The Old Guard took solace in their established place. Acceptance of their parents’ way of life and values was something they never questioned. They already knew they were dead before they were born.

But somewhere along the line, the Post-Neo War Babies fell in love with their own propaganda about youth culture, and became completely self-centered and materialistic, as if that somehow replaced what they had once believed.

They are certainly not Flower Children anymore…they’re not even children at all.

Most of their children are now having children.

One of the features of Existentialism is the angst Man experiences trying to accept his own mortality in a godless universe. Although we are allegedly the apex of the primate tribes, we are almost paralyzed by the fear of our impending death, although some of us more so than others. Chimps understand death and even conduct what bears a resemblance to funerals, but exhibit no signs of such preoccupations.

So much for evolutionary advancement of the species.

Our culture worships youth and sequesters the elderly. Out of sight, out of mind. We are so neurotic about anything even remotely sexual that few children in this country ever witness childbirth, and unless you are very wealthy or have Asian children, eventually you will be shipped off to “Gomer Gardens” where the elderly are farmed like vegetables at the expense of their insurance benefits to die alone.

We are not taught to embrace the cycle of life.

Between those two defining moments we are just doing the St. Vitus Dance in denial of the inevitable.

Most of those whom I consider my peers are now struggling with that angst over Mortality, and their own aging process. Death walks on their shadow.

In the last three years, my father, my mother, and my younger brother have died and a number of my peers have likewise slipped the mortal coil, although most of them did so either by virtue of too many indiscretions or by their own hands.

Long ago I became desensitized to sudden, violent and/or tragic death. I was a medic…it comes with the territory, but slow “natural causes” as a part of the aging process is somehow harder for me to accept…perhaps it’s just the suspense, or maybe it’s because it’s happening to me.

I recently found myself asking “Am I too old to be doing this anymore?” about any number of aspects of my life. Because I have always lived a vigorous life almost in defiance of the aging process, with little regard for Danger, the thought never crossed my mind until recently when it became clear that I had to learn to moderate some of my behaviors.

All things considered I am a very lucky guy that way, but somehow as regards anything from Polyamory to (and I love this phrase…thank-you, Mrs. Fever) “Monogamish Polyfuckery” or any other form of the pursuit of happiness, I hope no one ever comes to believe they are too old.

My beautiful and captivating spouse (who is herself almost a generation and a half younger than me) monitors several web sites seeking playmates or even potential triads or quads for companionship in our pursuit of mutual interests.

As time has passed, (we are both over forty) we have found ourselves setting the bottom end of the age range a little higher every few years. It is simply a matter of having some semblance of a common frame of reference.

This does not however preclude the occasional person who is naturally drawn toward someone much older than themselves…God Bless every single fucking one of you, wherever you are….

In a brief but wonderful period of my life, I was a teenager exposed to mature women who were not afraid to express their desires. My willingness to fulfill those desires may have been the product of “sex goggles” owing to my unbridled teenage horniness, but looking back on it, maybe it was just money in the Kharma Bank.

Interestingly enough, despite the fact that the phenomenon of older men with younger women has a much longer public history in our culture than “Cougars” and their “Cubs” it seems that although there is still a considerable stigma attached to them as well, our society seems to be more accepting of their relatively recent arrival into the spotlight. The rest of us are still simply labeled as “Dirty Old Men” or “Lecherous Perverts” or the like…we don’t even have a user-friendly description.

By all means, if anyone knows of a “kinder, gentler” term for men involved in May-December romances, please let me know.

Of course if you stop and think about it, an older woman and a younger man just makes more sense…it’s a matter of simple mathematics. After all, twenty five will always go into fifty more times than the other way around.

Nonetheless, Suki frequently finds that more and more often, the people who respond to our personals are so pathetically unattractive as to range from mildly humorous to downright depressing.

Neither of us are so shallow as to not be able to recognize “Inner Beauty” but let’s face it…although Beauty may be only skin deep, Ugly seems to go clear through to the bone. That also includes physically attractive people who are so shallow and narcissistic that if the pics don’t hint at it, more than a few lines of conversation will absoluteley confirm it.

It is one thing to be preoccupied with physical appearance and quite another to use your eyes, your ears, and your gut instincts to tell you if there is any “Chemistry” there, even in regarding rather plain or somewhat homely people. Personality and humor seem to become more important factors as time goes on.

But I think we all reach a point where we may find ourselves questioning whether we would even want to fuck anybody that would consider fucking us. That spectre of the Aging Process keeps haunting us.

There is a great deal to be said about the wisdom of acceptance of who we are as we are right now. After all, we’ve earned those crow’s feet, scars, stretch marks and the effects of gravity or whatever physical imperfections that hint at our chronological age, and hopefully we had a pretty good time “Reelin’ in the Years” while we were doing it.

Ruminating about the past is a sure way to make yourself miserable about either regrets or wishing you could go back to some long-gone point in time. Dreading the future is no better.

If you are really concerned about how much time you have left, then start living today as if it were your last, but never stop acting like you will live forever.

You are never too old to do that, and if you can view the others around you with enough loving kindness to accept them in the same way that you hope they will find to accept you, then you will be far too busy living in the here and now to worry about much of anything.

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

06/27/2015

 

 

9 Responses to “On Letting Go, Pt. V: Youth”

  1. Many of my thoughts are mirrored here, Chazz. Thank you for your honesty. Since I am over 50 I have been on the receiving end of being treated as if I don’t even exist. The attitudes of this world are so wrong and no matter the age we are ALL vital human beings.

  2. You made some real, deeply thoughtful and some pretty funny points. One thing though, “Older Men” is a romantic title that I’ve heard all of my life as a distinguished term. Perhaps being a man, puts that fact in your blind spot? I cracked up at your perspective on ugly though. Ugly is relative but when relative ugly meets reality ugly, you’ve got problems having a sexual meeting. All I have to say about this is I am with you but the reality for women’s youth in relation to sexual appeal in this society was summed up in John Stewart’s “Brave New Girl”commentary about Bruce Jenner now known as Caitlyn. Funny but true The part that stung was when he said Congratulations on coming out at 65. You have a couple years before you’re completely invisible…ouch. That’s why we have to have our own inner dials and standards of worth. I have to go oil mine now. : )

  3. I am reading an excellent book right now, which was introduced to me by our dear blogger friend Jayne, called The Fourth Turning. It examines the cycles of life as well as the cyclical identities of generations, and the importance of “youth” (actual and perceived) varies in its interpretation but is a constant. I was reminded of several passages from the book as I read your post.

    As for the perpetual youth-is-beauty myth that infects our society like a terminal disease: All I can say is, “Turn off the television.” It is abhorrent the way 30-yr-olds are pimping anti-wrinkle cream even though the models/actresses/talking-heads don’t have a single laugh line. I got stuck watching a talent show episode at the behest of my spouse, and every.single.commercial that was targeted to women (cosmetics, shampoo, skin care) sent the very UN-SUBTLE message that if you’re not young, you’re not only not pretty – you’re absolutely worthless. I was sick to my stomach after 10 minutes. Yet people *voluntarily* subject themselves to that level of appearance-is-everything misogyny every.single.DAY.

    Ahem.

    Tangent.

    Anywhoo…

    The idea of accepting yourself at your present age sent me looking fir this quote from the book I mentioned:

    By definition, each phase of life imparts an entirely new social role to those who enter it. We appeal to this role and image every time we say to someone “Act your age.”

    Perhaps if more people *owned* their experience and allowed themselves to *mature* over time instead of constantly obsessing about NOT looking/seeming/acting their age, we would have more respect for the seasons of life – and the lives of those in not-young seasons – which would make our society a much more pleasant place to reside.

    And, for the record, I have more wrinkles than my mother and I embrace them. The fullness of my life is evident in the lines on my face, and I am blessed to have had such a vast array of experiences.

    • It takes a certain amount of wisdom to know acceptance of what is and still, as Dylan Thomas said “not go quietly into that dark, still night”.
      There are many stereotypes about what we are supposed to be and how we are supposed to act at a certain age.
      If one is still considering wearing a thong over Depends…they probably got it wrong, but short of that, we should be able to do whatever we do until we don’t enjoy it anymore.
      I once heard someone say “she has a face unwrinkled by a single rational thought…”.
      I always look forward to you insightful words and comments.
      Thanks.
      Namasté
      नमस्ते
      Chazz Vincent

      • There are rites of passage at all stages of life, and long life is a privilege. I choose to embrace the aging process. Growing older is a gift. And the key word is *growing*.

        Doing what pleases you because you know who you are and what you want… That’s sexy, at any age.

        Pretending to be something you’re not? *That* is a total turn-off.

        Be who you want to be. Just don’t act as though you’re something you are not.

        In most cases, stereotypes are self-fulfilling prophetic caricatures of certain truths. However, every generation behaves differently at different ages and stages, often building a new subset of roles and responsibilities, based on the times in which they live. Middle aged people, for example, looked and behaved and held dear a very different set of values during WWII than they do today.

        Food for thought.

        And if you’re concerned about stereotypes… Just because you *identify* with your generation does not mean you *like* them. I don’t particularly care for mine, but I understand them, and while I don’t “fit” I can definitely relate.

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