My cousin remarried -- just shy (by a month) of age 50 -- about three years ago. We live in different states and don't see each other, but thanks to Facebook, I feel connected and up-to-date on her life.
After she met her new love, it was broadcast on Facebook like a classic, modern love story -- cute pictures of them in restaurants, too-tanned on the beach, drinks under a tiki hut on a cruise, honky tonky-ing in denim at a country music gig, hearts in the sand, hearts and flowers and excess everywhere. She is blond, big-breasted and photogenic. Her husband is a dentist in a cool small town. He has very white teeth, plays in a band and the two of them have fun!
I emailed her to ask if she was interested in sharing her amazing love story for Valentine's Day. She was interested, but concerned about sharing her "life story." I reassured her that I didn't want her life story, just her after-50 love story. She responded, "I'm writing a book."
A couple of days later, i received her email, subject title "Love After 50." I was excited to read the details of her love relationship. Instead, this is what I read:
"I was a normal girl, went off to college at 18, got pregnant and had a baby by 19. You could call it abnormal, I guess, because everyone I knew was having abortions. I married a medical school student and had three more kids. My husband of 25 years told me I did not need a degree so I did not finish college. I didn't "need to" as my husband was going to be a surgeon. He was going to take care of me the rest of my life. Grow old together, you know -- the American dream.
All I had to do was get us to the point where he was making money. I was uneducated and had lots of kids underfoot, but that I did. And it was tough. Or so I thought, at the time. The rough roads were still ahead of me, I just didn't know it.
After residency, fellowships and everything else that comes with getting trained to serve the public and their medical needs, we moved to a cute little town across the state to raise our children and build a medical practice. Everything was just wonderfully great and fine except for the fact that my husband had a drug addiction problem. He hid it and he hid it well for a long time. But when that Tiger finally got loose and out of the bag, our pretty little world crumbled. This sort of thing does not sit kindly with the State Board of Medical Examiners. And thus resulted in him going to prison.
Oh yeah, My love story after 50. What I have realized is that finding love after 50 is hard. When you join two lives together that have already been independently in circuit for 50 years and you combine 100+ years into one household, it's hard. There are existing thought processes on how things are done. There's her money/his money bank accounts. If you're open to being real, there's sex history convos.
In the beginning it seemed like a great idea to be honest about everything, but fair warning, this will come back into your future arguments. There's children, ex-wives, ex-husbands, ex-girlfriends, ex-boyfriends ... (I think they refer to this as baggage). Not the children so much, but all those exes. Nothing is "new" except for him and you, and your love story after 50."
I got teary reading it and a little irritated. I wanted the happy stuff. Was she not happy? Were the hearts and flowers an exaggeration? I wrote back and told her I was confused. She wrote that she hadn't gotten to that part. I called her. She is the happiest she has ever been. She and her husband have a wonderful love and life. She doesn't have to work and he will take care of her for the rest of her life.
I waited a few days for the love story, but realized this is enough.