Just finished watching the excellent series on WGBH, As time goes by. It’s about a couple who met up during the war, were separated for years, and meet again in their old age, finding out they are still in love with each other. It’s lovely.

It’s so appealing, the thought of reconnecting with someone who knew and loved you passionately in your youth. It’s like linking with your memories, holding them close, while starting anew with someone familiar, friendly, willing to accept your aged self with all the lumps and bumps.

When you are married or have a long term relationship, you have a deck of memories stored up of your loved one- times when you were so attracted you were radiant together. I know this because my ex and I glowed so well we were an instant target for thieves when we moved to the UK.

It’s harder to create the mythical deck when you meet someone later in life and don’t remember them young and unwrinkled and with ideas and life still forming. By the time we meet at this age, we have already lived so much, seen so much, or not. The gaps in experience and philosophy are broader. So, often, are we!

I’m an independent creature, given to wanting to do things my way, please. Sometimes I can seem over- independent, but that’s usually because, like a cell seeking to merge with another, the bumps in my cell membrane don’t match up with theirs. I can try, but the merging is eventually impossible. The bumps like values, politics, emotional availability, beliefs, love of coffee…

In this context, the fantasy of linking up with someone I knew intimately before is a welcome one. I think about my past loves, wonder what it would be like. I suspect such a merger would be incendiary, with all the passion of youth combined with the wisdom of age. And then, it might be comfortable. Or the differences would start to appear, shattering the illusion.

In any case, it’s a friendly fantasy. And meanwhile I practice bumping cell membranes against others, hoping to connect, as time goes by.

 

2 thoughts on “As time goes by…

  1. Strange reading this as I dreamed about an old love last night! It is certainly a dance and a challenge to merge cells with another. As you wish for yourself, so do I wish for you.

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  2. I love those romance stories where couples reconnect after many years apart.

    Recently, I received a Facebook friend request from a man I knew as a teenaged sweetheart many years ago. I messaged him, asking to confirm it was indeed him and to post a photograph before I would accept (people who don’t post profile pics annoy me). After a few weeks, he wrote back, updated his profile pic and stated that he “hasn’t aged well”. I commiserated with him that it has been many years – for both of us.

    After eight years of being an independent, single parent the thought of coupling with someone else, having to share an abode or schedule just doesn’t appeal to me. Maybe once the “kids” have moved out. IF they ever move out…

    Thanks,

    T

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