Sunday, March 12, 2006

The magical year of 48

Since January (and as of this past Friday), three friends of mine - all 48 years old - have informed me of either their engagement or impending engagement to be married.

It's a first marriage for all three.

None of these people ever seemed anxious to get married; never exhibited any drive towards that end unless they were lucky enough to meet someone they really really wanted to marry. In other words, it was not something they learned from the knee that getting married was a goal everyone should have.

And without really looking for it, they all found love and the kind of love that led them to wanting to make a long term, format commitment.

Soon after I turned 40, several people that I knew started having kids - the oldest friend being 43 when she got pregnant for the first time. She had gotten married late in life and feared she would not be able to bear her own children. She didn't mind adopting but having her own was something important. Turns out she had two of her own.

It really bites that men can wait until they are 50 or older to father a child but women have to do it within a certain biological timeframe if they want their own. It doesn't matter whether or not you are ready to get married or want to get married by a certain age - that clock ticks away like it or not. I never liked it but live with it I must.

I love it when people do things in a very unconvential way and this latest news is no exception.

2 comments:

John P said...

Loved your piece on John Houseman. My friend used to see him strolling on the USC campus when he was in some kind of sitcom in the early 1980's. I'll bet he was really something in his hey-day. He was incredibly scary in "The Paper Chase" - I have some experience with that sort of stuff, and he was perfect for the role. And who can forget the television ads "we earn it!" I've wondered if he was gay, at least a movie I saw which had him and Orson Wells seemed to imply it....

I wouldn't worry Nancy about the fact that men can have children at 50. Yes, it's unfair, I know, but the thing is, we all die at a certain age, and you know, if you have a child at 50, not only will you be like two generations removed from the child's reality, but the chances of seeing grandchildren are remote at best. Everything is relative it seems.

I think that the best way to find someone is without really looking. It happened to me. I wouldn't be with my wife today if I had been looking at the time - it just happened. If I hadn't met her when I did, I'd probably be single today. It just happens. I think the trick is to be open to that possibility.

And you know, I was at a Beverly Hills party last night for a woman who was celebrating both her birthday and her divorce at 45.

I think the trick is to keep your mind young. I saw Goldie Hawn on television recently talking about the qualities of youthfulness, and she was talking about the sense of "wonder" that young people have, whereas older people have seen it all and lose it. I thought that was very astute.

So, for my part, I'm taking a big leap and moving to New York. How's that for taking risk and despite my age hoping to grasp that sense of wonder once more?

Nancy Kersey said...

Love your post, John. Congrats on moving to NYC! I love that city!

I don't think there is any issue with adopting a child late in life or having one. If the age is, say, 50 then the kid will be out of college when you are 72. Plenty of time for grandkids if that's important. The age difference wouldn't stop me.