Perfect truth here: I’m a wee bit on the sloshed side at the moment. But that’s nothing new. Also, I’m old as balls. But not so old that I wouldn’t still enjoy naturally living, breathing parents. I know, I’m a lucky gal that way: booze and parents. One thing though: apparently if your parents were kooky when you were young, they don’t cease to be kooky or cease to give out the weirdest life advice no matter how old you get. You’re old, they’re older. They’ll still treat you like a drunk 5 year old with a pea stuck up her nose.
So among the things my mom says, and I’ve heard other people parrot this, is “When you get old, the looks don’t matter”. Then they say “Monkeys were invented by the Devil, don’t look them in the eye” which is mostly not true but makes a good point since staring wild animals directly in the eyes in generally a bad idea. She also vehemently believes that I shouldn’t have too much sex or my box will fall out. Or something like that. I really haven’t asked her what she thinks might happen if I had “too much sex” since she often says “or too much fun” in the same sentence, so I’m pretty sure she just doesn’t like fun in general. Yeah. Can’t have people having too much fun in the middle of all these taxes. They might mistake life as something jolly.
As I said, I’m fucking ancient by drunk standards. The liquor keeps my skin fairly taut with all the water retention so it’s sometimes hard to tell, but trust me when I say The Golden Girls was a peer drama. I feel therefore that I have some authority on this idea of attractiveness not mattering thing. Also the sex thing. I have had it. My cookie jar is still in place. But more on that clam chowder some other time. “When you get old, the looks don’t matter”; true or false?
Erm, faaaaals-ish? Sorta true? Look, I didn’t claim this was going to be a simple thing, did I? Right, so it’s kinda not true but it really depends on both the person and how you interpret things. Which is pretty much how life works anyway. Start with this: you remember when you were 10 and I don’t even know what godawful boy band was The Thing all you whippersnappers listened to. NKOTB? The Beatles? Something that had kids about 5-10 years older than you singing in it. Or you got the hots for Little Timmy on TV. Then about five years later you hit puberty and started questioning your crushes. Maybe they got married, or they got into drugs… life happens, you know. Point is, one day you looked at the pile of cassette tapes (just go with this. You can pretend we’re talking about CDs too) on the floor and the poster of George Michael and it dawned on you you didn’t really know why you had those things anymore. You hadn’t listened to the music in months. Where did the fervor go? And you flipped through your Teen People and though “Oh My Gee Willikers this was 5 years ago fuck I’m old! Also, these kids look soooo young”. See, right there. That’s what happened. Time passed, you grew, nay DEVELOPED, and your attractions adjusted. Your biology told you that if you wanted to mate with one of these people, it should probably be someone who was genitally developed enough to be larger in size than a particularly cute newt and would be roughly around your age so bonding for companionship could be made more easily. Those baby faces ceased to attract you. God willing. Or whatever you pray to. Or don’t. I’m not judging. Point is, you were not attracted to kids, because you were not a kid anymore. Similarly, when you get around 35, you stop being AAAAASSSS attracted to 18 year olds (I’m giving y’all some leeway here cuz man, teenagers sure are hairy and tall these days, but the mechanics of this are pretty sound) because they look like fetuses to you and you’re really looking for a bond. Also, if ya got yer wits about ya, you’ll probably consider how totally unprepared teenagers are for most realities of life so your primary reaction should be to protect and guide, not to shag silly.
Around this time, when you’re past your 30s and going into 40s, you’ll start fretting over on one hand wanting a solid meaningful relationship and on the other hand wanting to bang that hunky piece of meat cuz you’re getting older and you’re eventually gonna die. I’m not advocating calling people pieces of meat. But the word might pop into your head. Blame the media. Seriously, I should learn to stop using it. Ok, so you want to bang that extremely aesthetically pleasing 20-something young man/woman. This is what people commonly call having an age-related crisis. You’ll have several during your life. Also by this point your parents start giving you that “When you get older the looks don’t matter”-speech, if they haven’t already. And they’re fucking lying. They wouldn’t fuck someone who they didn’t find attractive. But they just don’t find the same physical features attractive anymore. They went past that. And now you and your kind look like fetuses to them. It’s not that you stop being attracted to attractive people, it’s just that your frame of reference as to who’s viable enough to be compatible changes and you’ll have learned a thing or two about personality traits that will make or break a relationshag for you. You also get more lenient towards personality failings, cuz pooky my love, you can’t change people. So by the time you get to your 50s and 60s, you’ll be all ready to take on someone with consistently hairy ears and drinking habit as long as the drinking habit is contained within family gatherings and week days. But you still wouldn’t fuck someone you didn’t find attractive. If you’re a lady like myself, by the time you get to your 70s and 80s, the dating scene is slim pickings. Guys die earlier. It’s kinda like the first day of school every year; you get new classmates and you have to pick which one you find attractive out of a pool of 5. That, only it’s a pool of 5 in your state.
Add to all of this people being wildly different in their romantic and sexual attractions. Some people don’t get the old wet spot for a fine booty. They just want to cuddle everyone. Some people have massive amounts of money so whatever they want they just buy and can remain floating in a wonderful bubble of self-deception that they’ve never grown older. “All that pouch and bald are just tricks of light. See? I can totally cover them up with a wad of cash! Why would I want companionship when I can just talk to my money? Money never grows old!”. And then you have people that were always more attracted to what the other person says than what their booty looks like. Booty is a nice word, isn’t it?
So is “looks don’t matter when you get older” true? Depends on your perspective and how you interpret it. It’s just as true as “how are you going to love someone if you don’t even love yourself”, that is, condensing life into slogans rarely works. The context of it matters. Words change their meaning depending on the person and their situation. Just don’t take slogans at face value, they will fucking let you down. (FYI: you CAN and do love people even if you don’t love yourself, but you WILL put the burden of your self-acceptance and well-being entirely on the person you love and fucking wear them out. No bueno. Don’t do that. It’s a dick move.)