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Monday, February 11, 2008

The Wonder Years

65+=seniors...wonder years? Hardly...from the eyes of the young ones. What does old adulthood bring with itself? Poor physical health, disabilities, cognitive decline, retirement, empty nests, loneliness, loss of spouses and friends, and a nearing of death. Along with these grim realities, old adults also face a change in socialization, possess more wisdom that is assumed to be correlated with aging, and may be able to engage in leisure activities that they never had the time for in the past.

Coupling...can you imagine these older adults trying to find a "romantic" partner during this age? But many of them do. They do not actively set out on a search but with spouses gone, children on a quest for an independent life, and employment as a part of history, these adults need to find another meaning to life, someone to live for, someone to live with, someone to die beside.

I recently saw "Life in a Metro" where a couple reunites after 4o years and engage in physical intimacy. I heard some groans, some moans, and some exclamations of surprise amongst the audience. Some people vehemently protested the act and exclaimed that this was something not acceptable..the physical act as well as the emotional bonding. Not acceptable? Why? Don't these adults have emotions? Dont they want companionship? Dont they need to feel loved? Some people in the audience yelled, "Oh so cute. This is so sweet". Sweet? Are you sure? Would you "allow" your parent to do the same if the situation arose? Or is it sweet because you want to appear openminded?

Can you know how your life will be when you are 65? You can dream about it, hypothesize about it, and try to work towards that path. But can you know for sure? Likewise, you dont really know what those people are going through. So why pass judgments on who should do what and what is not acceptable when you are not at that stage and not in that situation? Let's just let people live their lives according to their realities and let's focus on creating our own.

20 Words of Wisdom:

Solitaire said...

Hey everyone, I am going to start reposting some of my very old blogs because I think my current audience will appreciate them and have some very good comments to make.

Neetal said...

Very thought provoking. Unfortunately, most of us give in to start defining our judgments based on either the fundamentals of religion or by the standards rubriced by the the society. Everybody, wants appear good looking, its more of a pretty face with handsome morals, type of expectations.

Luckily , I need not to look anywhere else, just look around my BIG family to learn to be more accommodating (however, nothing of such sort have explicitly happened!(yet)) A life at 65 or 70 by yourself is horrifying. The void by your life partner who left you alone along with the fear of facing death is not easy. Honestly, if you ask me I will have reservation in the beginning.. because I too will be getting the glares for being part of that famiy ... but with time I will learn to accept it. You just have learn to stand for yourself and your family!

Its very hard to be self-less, because its easy to think about ownself FIRST. After all we are not all saints !

Its so uncanny, I was thinking about something along those yesterday night... however, a totally different aspect of it.

But loved you post =) Have a good ahead!

c e e d y said...

i know an old wealthy old man in bombay.....he has girlfriends for emotional and physical reasons, as his wife has died 25 yrs back....

he enjoys life as he says he did what was needed of him - settle his big family....earn....get them a life.....

sadly the family has abandoned him out of shame....but i admire the person as he is happy with himself and in a way setting a path that life is worth living every moment till the end

vEENs said...

Sneha, I might not be comfy with this thing.. coz if my dad did this after my mom's death.. I will feel that he was insulting her memories.. or was not faithful enuf really. and vice-versa.

But I did like the old couple doing what they did in the movie also... At that age, I m sure.. i did be crying coz i m going to die; well if u could find smeone like them..
it would be fun! And now I feel they should do what they want; I would not want to judge them.

we need guys NOW in our lives.. i dnt think it would be any different at that age.. and the wisdom? r u joking? i wud be the same :)

vEENs said...

Sneha and ya go on post them here.. waise one at a time ok.. pata chala.. u post all of them together ;)

have a good time!

waise what happened to V day party? kaisa tha?

KP! said...

well written.........:)

Pri said...

ohh uve voiced exactly my thoughts...
well i suggest u watch 'uttarayan'...its a marathi movie which speaks predominanlty on this topic...and obviously raised a controversy much bigger than LIAM...
when will the society start minding its own business...really?? sigh!

Solitaire said...

@ Neetal, youngsters these days do not think about their parents when eloping, about how they will face the society's so called glares. But when it comes to the parents trying to make a decision for themselves, the children try to interfere. How fair is that?

@ Ceedy, it is really awkward. I am sure that if someone is widowed at a young age, the parents will try to get them remarried. But when the parents want to remarry, it is a matter of shame for the children?

vitruvian said...

Hey...
firstly...its cool ur my namesake!!
secondly thanks for the birthday wishes and belated ones to ur as well...
we r both aquarians as well..

about the post..
You are correct in saying that we do not know where time will take us, so we should refrain from commenting on peoples personal choices, irrespective of their age.
A fact that we should remember when we think harshly about late life romance, especially when it comes to our own parents(if ever) is that-

We may have done plenty of things in our childhood and youth which embarrassed and probably shamed our parents, BUT they NEVER gave up on us, instead they went ahead to assure us that nomatter what they would be proud of us!
Shouldn't we do the same??

cheers!

Lena said...

arent we hypocrites? when we want to be with someone we love (for some lets say emotional and physical reasons) and our parents dont like it, then they are ouк enemies #1. Once the same happens to them and we feel uncomfortable we might play any kind of dirty acts to make them stop seeing that other person. What I mean is who are we to decide on their happiness, these people have given to us all they could and they deserve being happy no matter what age.
And society... we are the society, unless we change our minds and way of thinking, society will be the same.

:: Clouds :: said...

True.

Last year,my mama-dadu(grand uncle) married again for emotional reasons. He stays in out of India,alone,as his sons are working.

And I'm glad all of us supported him. He is happier and healthier now.

:)

The Keeper of the Keys said...

is this one of your old posts?

c e e d y said...

i am not sure if you are asking a question or posing a proposal...

but why should it be shame for the kids....most of them dont even look after their old parents..parents get the settled...and then it their life right - how they want to live it.....should it be a personal choice to live the way one wants to no matter what age you are

Deepti said...

Tagged!!! Check my blog for rules :)

Cosmic Joy said...

Well .. 65+ years is definitely not the wonder years. One is old, health certainly fails, and one gets closer to death .. all this in addition to all the grim realities you outlined.

As for coupling at that age .. it all depends on the social situation of each individual .. no different from someone who is 25. For the 25 year olds too have judgements passed on them if they step outside the norms established by their social circles.

And I do agree with whoever said "one has to walk in the other person's shoes to be able to see their viewpoint".

Solitaire said...

@ Veens, Vday party is on the weekend! I am glad my post got you thinking!

@ KP, thank you!

@ Pri, it will but its going to take a much longer time.

@ Vitruvian, my blog is an aquarian. Not me. I am a Capricornian. :)
I think when people talk about parents not having given up on them, they say that was their duty to do so but they very conveniently forget about their own duties when they become adults.

Solitaire said...

@ Lena, yes true! We are the society. The only thing that I can see changing is the movies these days. People are beginning to accept them but if the same situation occurs in true life, all hell breaks loose!

@ Clouds, kudos to your family for being supportive.

@ The keeper, yes it is! Am reposting some old ones which I think are worth reading for the sake of being an advocate.

Solitaire said...

@ Ceedy, I am merely pointing out the hypocrisy.

@ Deepti, thanks!!

@ Cosmic, the drawback is that people believe that coupling has to be over and done with in the 20's and anything after that is blasphemy!

Sulz said...

How do i answer the personal tag

Mez said...

U bring out such touchy topics na.I remmeb readin this before.U know it all toh mein ab kya add karoon.Wish I had one pt to disagree wid..lol