A Boomer Love Letter

I know I’m a pain in the @$$ to my sweet husband. I’m ridden with angst and existential questions, and I can’t always keep them to myself.

But I did make his breakfast this morning, a scramble of eggbeaters, mushrooms, organic spinach and shallots, and sun-dried tomatoes. So it evens out.

Bill is happily retired, but my hair’s on fire. He’s thrilled with my brain-and-heart-bashing efforts to start a new business. I write and teach, and I drive all over hell and back and spend money and blabber about all the cool stuff I’m learning and the people I’m meeting. I mean, he’s lucky, right? To have such a vibrant, interesting wife.

But still, sometimes I can see he’s humoring me with my worrying and contemplating and all. And then I’m also shallow. I was growing my hair longer because I thought it would hide my neck (see Nora Ephron) but ultimately I had to accept that I am too lazy to care and anyway I’m always squawking about being okay with your age and all, but this was a turning point, because I’m never going to try it again. So I gave all my curlers and hair products away, again.

He just watched and waited. He loves my hair short. Is it too Stepford of me to say I’m grateful for that? Good thing his eyesight isn’t that great anymore. In fact, living in a 55+ community is good that way. We all think we look better than we do. Nobody notices my neck.

He acts like I’m the prize, but I think he is. Bill plays tennis three times a week. He’s six three, down to two-twenty since he started working on his cholesterol. Legs up to here, olive skin, and a devious brain. He’s endlessly interesting and evolving. Feels like we’ve been together all our lives, but we’ve both been married before – twice. Sometimes we get our marriages mixed up. I’ll say, “Didn’t we go to Santa Fe that one winter?” and he’ll say, “Must’ve been a different husband.” You’d think that’d be embarrassing but we’re over it. Another good thing about being older.

This week we celebrated our fifteenth anniversary, which means I’m moving into the pole position – married to him longer than either of his two exes. He says with his first wife he was spoiled and entitled; with his second he tried to make amends by being a doormat, but she wiped her feet on him. So now, forged and tempered by heartache and loss, he’s perfect for me.

He lost his wedding ring a few years ago. It fell into the guts of his recliner. We rolled that chair all over the living room trying to get the ring to shake out, and we could hear it, but no good. Short of getting a chain saw. We figured when the chair wore out, we’d do just that, but the years passed and we forgot which of the two identical chairs it was in. Then we gave the chairs to my son.

The other day Danny texted me. He had the ring. I got a box, and on our anniversary dinner, I gave the ring to Bill and asked him to marry me again.

He said no.

Just kidding.

Comments

  1. says

    Very cute. You’re most fortunate to find a man with whom you feel so connected – this time around. I enjoy my marriage and my husband who’s a very good friend. If anything were to happen to our union I can’t fathom finding another person who would be able to tolerate my eccentricity, let alone, thrive with it.

    I didn’t realize you’re forging a business; I thought you were writing and publishing. Very cool mid-life direction.

  2. says

    Oh my gosh Lynne, you’re living my life, the only difference is that we’ve been married 25 years. Same hair thing, He has same two ex’s. all the worry, learing and reaching are same for me me. This was a wonderful article that enabled me me to smile at myself and accept that I am not the only obsessed 50+ woman in the world. Thank you.

    • says

      Bette, there’s one other: Kathy Pooler, above. Between the three of us, we could power a small city! But how cool to know you and I have so much in common. That is a joy and a comfort. Have a productive week, my friend!

  3. says

    Ha,ha – Lynne, I LOVE your love letter to Bill! He is very lucky to have such a beautiful, vibrant, interesting and funny wife. I’m happy you had such a lovely anniversary celebration, because I think you are perfect for each other. As one who “spoiled, tempered and forged” him, I am glad to know that you are reaping the rewards :) You two were made for and complete each other.
    Preparing to celebrate our 24th(!) anniversary in June, my Bill and I are doing the same – after all this time, he still delights and surprises me! Building from what was good and learning and growing from what wasn’t allows us “experienced” spouses to be much more relaxed and understanding with each other.
    My love to you both, and may you continue discovering new reasons to feel lucky-in-love!

  4. says

    I think her hair cut looks great – short n sassy! I’ll never forget having my ponytail chopped off at age 23. Never let it grow long again. My cut is so simple – some days I forget to comb it and no one notices the difference.
    Your Bill sounds like a real keeper. Loved this story!

  5. says

    I like your husband, and I like you too – first time I’ve been to your blog and I’m so glad to have found you! I bet he’s going to love getting that ring on your anniversary.

  6. penwoman says

    Lynne, I can so relate to this. My life has been similar to yours, including former marriages, and happily married now (20 years in October), plus the fact that I just cut my hair short, don’t blow-dry it, and am stopping coloring it after many years and much expense. Maybe it’s a right of passage of some sort that leads us to embrace what is natural as we age. Or maybe it’s just a giving-in to what is real. Whatever the reason, it sure feels good. Excellent article!

    • says

      Amanda, i love the similarities in our lives. And yes, being older can be so freeing if we finally accept that we CAN MAKE OUR OWN RULES.

      I don’t get manicures anymore. Isn’t that shocking?!

  7. says

    Aw, Lynne, this is just splendid! What a loving bunch of things to say about getting older, marriage, and our acceptance of the inevitable. I love that you and Bill have both finally found that “special someone” in each other. And that your son found the missing ring!

  8. says

    I love your husband even though we’ve never met. Of course I’ve always loved you so it’s okay. Your story made me happy and smiling. You’re a great writer and person. Your stories open us to thoughtful wondering and possibilities.

  9. says

    I know what you mean about the existential angst – if a ring falls in the recliner and nobody hears it…
    What a great testimony to married life as we get older – thanks!
    (Rolled over here from Life In the Boomer Lane, BTW.)

  10. Kathy Shattuck says

    Lynne, you crack me up! (in a good way) Your “dead on, dead pan” humor is great. I love this piece, the sincerity of it….and it felt free, to me, to hear these comments of yours that accompany your marriage.

    I’ve never remarried, only because I knew these men were one in a million, and working at finding that one, just wore me out thinking about it. I think too much as it is!

    I know life isn’t all bliss…that will never happen, but to be able to have a partner such as yours, who can share your life with a sense of peace, is simply a miracle. I wish you all the – more – happiness life can give you.
    xo
    Kathy

  11. Sue says

    I agree with a previous comment…. this is my favorite blog to date. Sounds like you have a great marriage and you haven’t lost yourself in the process. Sounds like your husband can finally be his real self as well. Lucky you! Bravo.

    • says

      Thing is, Sue, I keep trying to lose myself in the process, since that’s how I was raised, but Bill won’t let me. It’s so frustrating. I have no one to blame, dammit.

  12. says

    Renee… thanks for turning me on to this! Love your breezy nonchalence & humor, Lynne, as well as the heartfelt feelings beneath — very, very sweet! Okay — gotta share MY wedding ring story: Larry & I were in Antigua, Guatemala and on the way to the airport when for some reason I looked on his finger and saw his wedding ring was missing. He thought he had taken off the ring and left it on the nightstand, but because we were traveling with our nervous nellie “have to get to the airport 4 hours ahead” friends … we didn’t turn back for the ring, even though we were only 20 minutes away from the hotel. Larry called and tried in his broken Spanish to get them to send it (they said they’d found it) but it never came. I was kinda pissed off because I didn’t think he’d made enough effort to find it — but whatever, it’s just a ring… TWO years later, he returned to Guatemala, stayed at the same hotel on his way out of the country and happened to ask about the ring — and the guy turned around, went into the office and came out with it! It’s amazing how the second (or third) marriage just doesn’t have the same crazy baggage, isn’t it??! AND I’m moving into pole position (love that phrase) in our 16th year, too … whoppeee!

  13. says

    Sweet! I love it! And can so relate … though I still color my hair … lol! But the rest of it resonates so over the top! This third marriage of mine is so much more relaxed and easy going …. and yet the love is so vastly different in positive ways … aren’t we lucky?

    Happy Friday!

  14. says

    I love this.
    But, God,, I don’t dare let my partner Sara read that piece. She hates to wear her ring. Wouldn’t want her to get the idea of losing it to the depths of her recliner.
    Hope you have a great weekend.
    Hugs,
    Kathy

  15. says

    What a wonderful story, Lynne. You are very blessed in your marriage, I think.
    As for the hair, yeah, me too and the creams for rubbing into the neck too. I stopped colouring my hair years ago, and while I do buy those creams to help me look younger, I never really make it a priority, so they languish forgotten in the cupboard.
    But it may make you feel free, not to be thinking about that stuff. I turned 65 a couple of weeks ago. Yesterday two people told me I was looking great. And lots of people tell me other women pay good money to have the hair colour I have. So, you see, what you see in the mirror is not what other people see! Good luck with not buying more curlers!

    Carol

    • says

      Carol, you and I have the same haircut. I can’t wait for summer, at which time I don’t think I’ll even use the blow dryer once! Ahhhh, time: the greatest luxury of all.

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