Getting married for the first time at this age is a little weird. At a time when most people our age are looking at colleges with their kids, Robby and I are looking at wedding venues. While our peers are preparing for empty nests, trying to figure out what to do after their kids leave, we’re trying to figure out what gifts to register for. While most folks in their 50s are dealing with the trials and tribulations of teenagers, we’re just getting our heads around the concept of having in-laws.
Friends like Sharon Hodor Greenthal, who’s my age, writes a blog called Empty House, Full Mind www.emptyhousefullmind.com. In it, she talks about getting older too – with someone she’s been married to for 26 years. The good news about growing older with Robby is that we’re already old.
Our lives and priorities may look very different, but we all have one thing in common: we’re all middle aged. And that’s weird too. When you’ve been single for as long as Robby and I have, it’s easy to forget about age. You’re too busy working, and living, and dating, and moving at warp speed, until you stop and look at yourself in the mirror. Then it hits you.
Your hair is a little thinner, your middle is a little thicker; what was tight is a little looser, what was firm is a little softer. Your teenage hormones have lost their rage, and your college six-pack has become a keg. You hit fifty and your body changes right before your eyes. Oh, and your eyes go too. I can’t see shit anymore. But maybe that’s a good thing – at least now I won’t be able to scrutinize my wrinkles as hard as I used to.
There are more aches and pains. You either have high cholesterol or low T. You may play as hard and run as fast, but you pay for it the next morning. You learn to love Aleve, and ice packs become your new best friends. Your memory isn’t what it used to be either. I’d go into more detail on this, but I just forgot what I was going to say.
Getting married at this age is sometimes tough too. Like when I’m the dressing room at a bridal salon surrounded by girls half my age. They’re young, perky, and I’m as old as their mother. I look at them and think, you have your whole life ahead of you, and I’ve already lived half of mine. You’re probably going to get pregnant in a few months, and I’m about five minutes away from menopause. These young brides and I may be walking down the same aisle, but our path and pace couldn’t be more different. They found the man of their dreams in their 20s, I found mine at 50. They partnered early, I bonded a little later. They have youthful exuberance, but I have the kind of confidence that can only come with age. When it comes to finding love though, age really is just a number.
There’s something weird about getting married at midlife – weird, but wonderful. And Robby and I are embracing it, and each other, with the kind of open arms that can still hit the hell out of a tennis ball. Yes, we may be a little creaky and kvetchy, but that’s okay because we’re in this together. We have a long life ahead of us, filled with romance, adventure, and visits to the pharmacy to get our prescription Lipitor filled – and get a scoop of ice cream too while we’re at it.