Somehow, incredibly, even when the New York Times publishes a piece about the dating world that actually makes some sense, they still manage to somehow make sure that it's utterly insane. In this case, Joyce Wadler's meditation on the catch-22 of dating in the over-60 set, in which an imaginary, vodka-swilling dybbuk taunts her about romantic prospects. Huh.
It seems — and this lines up with everything I've ever heard anecdotally — that the problem with dating as an older person, is that the other people available to your are... old! And gross! How sexually unexciting, and what a sad reflection on one's own increasing age! Or, as Wadler (via her imagined age-ist demon with which she argues throughout the piece) puts it:
"You know those cute little butts even screenwriters who lay on the couch all day have in their 40s? You ain’t gonna be seeing that moving across the skid-free tiles. And their necks? If you think chicken necks are limited to women, wait till you get a load of one of these old kockers. You zone it to give it a bite, the skin will be so loose you won’t be able to breathe."
So, that sounds pretty bleak. Is there any upshot, then, to dating someone age-appropriate in your twilight years? Should you just throw around your money and experience to lure someone young, desperate and sexy into your sexual clutches? No, you should not, says Wadler. You should find someone your own age, if for no other reason than the ability to reminisce over Rocky and Bullwinkle and vintage Twilight Zone episodes. Which, fair enough. When I'm old and gray, I'll likely want nothing more than a partner with whom I can remember the 90's. Always, forever, remember the 90's.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.