Foot in mouth (platonically speaking, of course, old chap)

My mother always told me (the first time I recall, I was eight years old!) that there are only three topics of interest in any kind of real conversation; “Sex, religion and politics!” Coming from my mom, I took that statement as a universal truth despite not really knowing anything about any of the three subjects. It was total gospel to me. I took it to heart.

I also grew up (my teenage formative years) with “Tell it like it is!” , “Be real!” and “Lay it on me, man!” as popular dictates of my culture. Despite my own tendency to embellish, exaggerate and occasionally mislead and manipulate, I came to admire the blunt, straight-forward approach in others. I even invested in it somewhat myself. I kept a side account of tact, diplomacy and well-crafted sentence structure but the truth ingredient was always the most important part said out loud…. (if anything had to be said at all).

I am sure you can imagine how many times that approach DID NOT SERVE ME WELL!

I am gonna tell you about one of them.

Sal and I were in our 50’s – already together over thirty years – and we were visiting Sal’s parents. Roz and Pete were well into their 70’s and had been together 50 plus years. They had, as they say, standing in the marriage longevity department. And there were things I wanted to know about getting old. And getting old together.

One night over gins and tonics (maybe the third round), I asked, “So, guys…..I am honestly NOT asking anything personal here. Seriously. Honest. I am just looking forward and want to know how my life will likely turn out……..”

Peter said instantly, “Your life will be fine. Don’t start….” (He had a sense of me….)

“Ha, ha. Seriously. Here’s the question… septuagenarians still have sex? I am not prying into your personal life, honest, I just wanna know about your cohort.”

“Our what!?”

“You know…the demographic group you belong to? You must know about how life is amongst your silver-haired peers, right? Seniors talk. You know…right?”

“We’re British. We do not talk about that sort of thing. Nor will we. Ever. Why do you want to know, anyway?”

“To see if there is a reason to live?”

Sal gasped. Her father looked stern. Her mother’s eyes bugged out. “Hey! I’m only kidding (I wasn’t). It is just a question. You guys are our role models in a few, very limited and rapidly diminishing ways. But I do not need personal stats here, Pete. I just wanna know if old people still couple.”

“Go ask some old people!”

Later that night when we were in bed, Sal asked, “How could you ask my parents that?”

“Well, I wanted to know. They are old. They must know. Sex is a normal, healthy aspect of life….so long as you are still living of course. I made it clear I was not prying into their personal lives but, rather, asking about their peers, their overall life experience. Can’t we even talk about sex, say, to parents? What about religion? Or even politics?”

“Oh, my God, no! We’re British. Mom and dad do not even know how each other votes! They do not believe in God. I think. I am not sure, actually. I don’t know. We can’t talk about that sort of thing. We talk about the weather, fer Gawd’s sake. Gardens. Maybe dogs. You know that!”

“Well, I did kinda notice that over the years and I have even cracked a few jokes about it but no one acknowledged the jokes. I kinda thought that they were still a bit leery of me.”

“Well, of course they are. That’s true. Who wouldn’t be? But I must admit, it has been thirty years. Mind you, I am still a bit leery of you myself. Look at tonight!”

“OK, fine. I’ll just talk dogs and weather while pouring G’s and T’s. But, between you and me, what’s your opinion on sex into your seventies?”

“Not a chance. You can kiss off your sixties, too, Bub. In fact, the jury is still out on the rest of your fifties!”

Merry Xmas, guys and gals. 2023 will be better. If we make it……

12 thoughts on “Foot in mouth (platonically speaking, of course, old chap)

  1. I once made the “life ending” error of joking about sex in front of my girlfriends parents…
    My girlfriend almost had a stroke and her father looked like he wanted to go a few rounds…the mother wasn’t impressed either.
    They continued their conversation as if I didnt exist while I nursed the “elbow to rib” excruciatingly painful jab my ninja gf had silenced me with…..


  2. I’m guilty of the same thing, as you well know! Call a spade a spade as my mother used to say! She was much more tactful than me. Merry Christmas to you two and the dogs!


  3. Well, never mind about the septuagenarians.. What about the octogenarians? It’s been so long since that I jog around the kitchen in flip flops just to remember what it sounded like. I haven’t given up, but I’m looking for someone like minded. Most that I’ve approached don’t want anything to do with an ‘old man’.


    • Yes. There was even a movie made titled, No Sex, Please, We’re British. I am thankful and grateful to all those who break the rule now and then. They also boil food too long. But one thing at a time, eh?


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