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Confessions of A Romantic: A Valentine's Season Offering

by Susan Samuels Drake

Do you want to know about the rose petals or the glowing star first? On my 1959 wedding night, I was a virgin. So was my husband. One divorce and several experiments later, Ive found an extraordinary lover. At 61 (moi) and 67 (him), we act like kids. Years of prudishness, ignorance and lack of imagination have given way to loving creativity.
     We are very, very different in many ways. Yet, at a profoundly deep spot, we are connected it took five years to accept the abstract aspects when the practical particulars were often divisive. So keeping the romantic arena interesting and innovative preserves our tie.
     Before I reveal our fun stuff, heres what I think is at the crux of eldercourse:
  •  Respect and love for each other. My AAAthats, in Spanish, amigo, amor, amante (friend, love, lover) can be trusted to not knowingly hurt or frighten me. Hes also really good at surprising me.
  • Speak up if something doesnt feel good or pleaseotherwise I might get the proverbial headache.
  • Be cleanhave a lickable body.
  • Accept. My quiet, uncomplicated golfer is built like a high school guy. Arm and back muscles ripple in wonderful patterns repeated in miniature at his mouth and eyes. For some reason hes content with the five pounds I weigh more than he. 
    OK, now what makes me write in my journal over and over, I cant believe this time was even better than last.
  • The usual: compliments, candles, flowers, soft lights, and romantic music.
  • Read aloud to each other. We sit at opposite ends of a sofa so the listener can rub the readers feet. 
  • Fresh, scented rose petals rubbed over each other and scattered across the sheets in the heat of summertime (the sheet stains are our sweet reminder).
  • Outer-course as well as intercourse: leg-rubs under the dining table, a kiss in the aisle at the store; tongues, fingers, the stuff of pre-Pill petting daysalternatives to actually doing it.
  • Tiger Claws: lying face to face, scratch each others backs.
  • Sing or hum to each other.
  • Pillow Presents: a swath of gardenias, a note or cartoon, outrageous undies. AAA brought me a childs fuzzy, stuffed velour bat to remind me you want a man who is awake at night.
  • Wash each other with soap and appreciation in the shower or tub.
  • Candy. If you can pass a small Peppermint Pattie from your lips to your partners without using your hands or giggling, youre a better couple than we, Gunga Din. (Wasnt this the hormone-hyper with apples at Halloween in the 7th grade?)
  • Fantasies. We adopt a dialect and personality of someone we never would be in real life. On vacation, I arrived at the hot tub after my partner did. He caught me off-guard with, So youre staying here, too. Where re you from? He was from the moon, and we discussed how some of us could afford to live there and others only strive to. Forty-five minutes passed as we covered politics, religion, the economies of our home planets the usual pick-up patter.
  •  Paste glow stars (from the toy store) on your ceiling.
  •  Full-moon celebrations: We take turns kidnaping each other to a secret destination. Our only consistent thing is something from the local bakery. Maybe we walk at the beach or sit in the warm car on a hill overlooking town. On busy evenings, we find a minute to step into the moonlit yard, grateful for another month of loving, and offer a hug that needs no words.
  • Dance like Adam and Evewith or without fig leaves. Light or dark. One full moon I put on some music and turned out the lights, but I couldnt find my lover. Then, about three feet off the floor, floating from another room, came one of those glowing stars I mentioned earlier. Nearer and nearer. The logistics, of how hed tape it to his vital sign, sunk in and I laughed too hard to dance. He smothered my hysteria with a kiss and steered me around the dance floor without missing a beat. (OK, so the plastic star poked a bit; no one said fun is always painless.)
      Dont forget to bite your tongue. He/she has to put up with your double chin, sore shoulder or whatever. If youve read this far and youre still thinking, but, but... or complaining, dont bother trying to remember these suggestions.

      But if youre open-minded and full of heart, play on. And may you see a blushing smile next time you look in the mirror.

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