Friday, May 25, 2007

First, Best, Last

This isn't a maudlin' post, just an observation of the lucky. I’m a bit sorry I won’t grow old with the love of my life. Have someone to fart in bed with, dribble down my cardy with, hold hands with when we go to the shops – someone to help me change the doona cover . . . move furniture so that I can vaccum behind it . . . lean on to stop me going into tilt while I put my slippers on . . . fold the sheets . . . travel with . . . it must be nice to grow old with someone once the chickens have flown the coop – just you and the wife or hubby.

There I was, standing at Wendy’s waiting for my smoothie to be smoothed and this gorgeous elderley couple were pondering the menu board and deciding which icey delight they should sink their dentures into. They were so absorbing and absorbed, I couldn't stop looking at them. Impeccably dressed and groomed – he in a sort of Donegal tweed and beautifully trimmed white moustache, her in a pretty pink twin set with pearlised buttons and a fitted skirt in an almost identical tweed. Probably in their late 70’s and both had all the time in the world to consider the pro’s and con’s of a single or triple cone, fat or low fat, ice cream or sorbet, cup or cone, sprinkles or hundreds and thousands . . . so many decisions but they were unphased and worked through the lot! Bless their cotton socks.

I envy my inlaws as well. They’re in their mid 70’s and although poor, once-SpunkyArt is badgered a bit by his loving nemesis Betty, he’s a weatherbeaten Australian who slightly whistles through his false teeth when he talks. Once a sinewey Fitter and Turner for the Shell Corporatin, he could shimmy his way around that spaghetti junction of stainless steel tubing and bang away to the ponit of suffering industrial deafness . . . “what’s that . . .?”

He is very domesticated; cleans, cooks, marinades his BBQ meat, drives everywhere, plays tennis and a round of golf, babysits his younger grandson and keeps abreast the issues of the world. He has a hug that could break you in two which is amazing for such a slight and frail looking man – almost as if he just can’t believe he’s going to get the opportunity to do it again. She’s a short and fiesty bosomy type who can talk the leg of a chair and gets all her valuable information from New Idea and A Current Affair but she adores DrummerBoy and ClareBear as they are absolute angels compared to the ‘other lot’. These two finish each other’s sentences, know each other so well that they can almost predict what’s going to happen next. They’re in perfect sync and happy as larks.

My best friend is in her 26th year of marriage to her childhood sweetheart and whilst his shoulder length hippy hair is now a ring of closely cropped grey with a monk like hole in the top and she's looking a little thin and drawn they look at each other like they did in their teens. They even have pet names for each other, steal a quick kiss at work and hold hands when they’re bushwalking. If it wasn’t so genuine, you’d think it was saccharin but nope, they too have managed to preserve the longevity of their relationship despite being totally different personalities. He’s the only man she’s ever been with and and she wouldn't have it any other way.

As my kids get older and plan their long trips abroad and road trips with the band, or more serious relationships that will see them branch out on their own, the prospect of dwelling in an empty house is becoming very real. Well, I’ve had my first love, my best love . . . there’s always room for the last love . . . and of course there’s always Paris . . I remain cautiously optimistic and at worst, I might take in a ‘lodger’. Know what I mean?


Kate said...

One of my clearest goals in life is to remain boring and sedate, relationship-wise. I'd like to celebrate my 10th, and 20th, and 50th anniversaries with the same man, and someday be able to look back and say, "Phew! I'm so glad we got all of our drama out of the way early."

We'll see...

Because if that doesn't work, I'm heading back to Europe, where they're a lot more accepting of aging and the elderly than in the US, and finding me a young, strapping lad, and wearing a lot of outrageous colors.

Baino said...

Strapping lad eh! Sounds like an option for a merry widow like me!