Age does not protect you from love, but love to some extent protects you from age — Jeanne Moreau
Those who read the comments to yesterday’s post noted certain elbow-to-the-rib pokes by my offspring and friends, who have always delighted in pointing out the fact that when my husband and I married, I was 44 and he was 24.
The double standard still exists, my friends. A man picking up a trophy wife is considered studly, while a middle-aged single mom lawyer taking on a young man and his three children under the age of five is just…nuts? (Well, that’s a point we may have to argue. Later.)
That was the spring I was cast as Ouiser in Steel Magnolias, and when my fellow thespians got wind of the match, our director delightedly christened E “The Cabana Boy.” It went downhill from there.
Although E remembers with great pride, the moment when my daughter’s college friends heard the news and cheered, “Go, your mom!”
Age wasn’t something that mattered, when we met on the Internet through a science fiction RPG. We’d both grown up addicted to Star Trek–of course, mine was Captain Kirk, his was The Next Generation. We’d both been responsible for raising our siblings, with single dads too occupied to pay attention much. We both loved kids. We even had the same favorite flavors of pie and pudding. Our similiarities were uncanny, actually.
He acted older than his age most of the time, probably because he’d had to be a parent in his birth family. Coming off my association with all these children, I never have acted my age, so we met when we were each about the theoretical age of 34. Perfect.
We married on stage at the end of Steel Magnolias, when I had nine bridesmaids, just like Shelby in the show, and E’s best “man” was his lesbian friend Peg. The newspaper covered it for their June wedding tab. K wore the last dress I’ve ever seen her in. Maybe the last one she’ll ever wear. It was wild, wacky and suited us just fine.
Past the seven-year itch now, we have come a long way. I’ve taken down many personal walls that I kept for years, and have kids to devote myself to again. He’s gotten through school and teaches now, surrounded all day by computer geeks like himself, in isolinear chip heaven. Aware of each other’s shortcomings, we face them cheerfully (mostly) every day. He puts up with the growing impingement of my fibromyalgia during the winter months, and I’ve invested in stock for his ADD medications. We’re both challenged with all our children’s issues, but we work through them, one day at a time.
The ribbing continues about trading him in for the latest Cabana Boy, and I do point them out every so often, just to keep his ego in line. I’m not really looking. I mean, I’ve got this one trained just right! What do you think I am, nuts? (Oh yeah… you do.)