February 11, 2007

Ageism and Love

Adam called last night and in a paternalistic tone said, “I want to talk to you about Peter.” At first I thought I was telepathic, and had somehow communicated my desire over the nearly twelve hundred-mile distance between Woodbury, New Jersey and Juno Beach, Florida.

“H-m-m-m-m, 'telepathetic' is more like it, Isaac.”

However, Adam had read my Wednesday journal entry on the Internet. At first our talk was a replay of my conversation with my alter ego as recorded in that Journal entry, and there’s no need to repeat it. Never the less, Adam threatened to fly down and haul me back to the algid northern states to cool me down. It has been in the mid teens at night and upper twenties during the day in Woodbury, New Jersey lately, compared to WPB highs in the low to mid seventies and lows between sixty-one and sixty-six.

“Grandpa, I think you are demonstrating symptoms of chronic brain syndrome, or dementia.”

“I am not!”

“How else do you explain yourself?"

“Just because I’m old doesn’t mean that I don’t have feelings toward others, and that my sexual body parts have gone dormant, atrophied, and fallen off.”

“Of course not! But, there’s such a thing as maturity. That should have something to do with the behavior of an octogenarian.”

“What behavior? I have done nothing. I have not acted on my feelings, and I don’t intend to. Unlike Jimmy Carter, I don’t feel as though I have sinned in my heart. I feel that the verb, to sin, requires an inappropriate act or set of actions. The act(s) being absent, one has not sinned. In fact, feelings of love toward others, however inappropriate can motivate one to right actions. It is a choice we all make, and astronaut Lisa Nowack simply made the wrong choices. Of course, her situation may not have been “simple” to her, complicated, as it must have been with familial expectations, the presence of husband and two daughters, the apparent desired lover, Ofelein, and the other woman. I wonder how much of her apparent murderous breakdown was precipitated by the fact that, as difficult as her life must have been, she always came out on top, achieving everything she always wanted. Under such circumstances, it might be possible to internalize the idea that one is capable of achieving all goals through hard work and perseverance. After all, isn’t that part of our American belief system, certainly part of the Republican credo. I hear it often enough, the idea that there is no excuse for failure in the United States, that anything is possible if one is willing to go after success. That is part of the reasoning behind, removing special opportunities for blacks, Latinos, women, and placing LGBT people in a second class of citizenship. After all, evangelicals know that lesbians and gay men, bisexuals and transgendered people just have to click their ruby “slippered” heels together, pray to God to make them straight, and, “POOF”, instantaneously they are back in Kansas.

“How does that follow,” you say?

It follows because according to evangelical thought, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people make a choice concerning their sexuality - it is not God given – though in actuality, science seems to be demonstrating that it is. However, the rest of the Christian world knows the evangelical position on science as well – that real science is best regarded as immoral, so invent shoddy unscientific theory and place it in opposition to the actual hard work of scientific theoreticians. Ah, well, I seem to have gone off on a tangent.

Be that as it may, I have pursued no inappropriate behavior, and that is what I said to Adam on the telephone last evening. I may be befuddled, and confused by my feelings, but I am behaving in a way that suits my advanced age, though I must say that my feelings demonstrate the fact that senior citizens are perfectly capable of sexual lust, no matter what the popular ideas are that are circulated within the sick and unrealistic culture in which we live.

“Ageist is the word you’re looking for, Isaac.”

“Ageist doesn’t begin to carry the sense of resentment I feel toward our popular notions about anyone over the age of 30, much less those of us who are actually achieving advanced years.”

“You’re over reacting now.”

“No, I’m not. But I shall have to contain and live with my feelings, as painful as they may be!”

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're so right, ageist doesn't cut it. As a Dyke of 53, I'm not quiet near your wisdom, but I can tell you I have to count when in the company of younger women. My gawwd, I'm glad to hear things will still move me in a "healthy" physical way when I've run up more years. Our best friends are in a relationship, one is 61 and the other is 39 (her own mother is 61) yet they are perfectly matched and in love. Such worries though when the young man is your best friend. Best of luck. Renae....

3:49 PM  
Blogger Isaac said...

61 to 39, and a perfect match - "swonderful!" However, I think, I shall stick to the idea that I must not disclose my physical feelings for the young man, who is young enough to be my grandson. I do thank you for your comments, Renae. You've helped me to understand what must be done.

10:50 AM  

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