My father is 88 years old. His biggest problem in the world is keeping his hometown girlfriend from meeting his traveling girlfriend.
“That either makes me a role model, or the biggest fool of all the old fools,” he said.
He often refers to himself as Lear — as in King Lear — but I don’t see any resemblence.
He’s a fucking hero to me.
Coming up on 90, he’s still ambulatory, his mind is sharp, and after a life-time of teaching, he managed to land on “financially comfortable.” Now that was a fucking miracle.
He’s the cock of the walk in the old folks home.
“Those ladies are falling all over him,” The Bear said, as we watched a pack of 80-90- something “chicks” push each other to be first to drop off cake, pie and other goodies after my mom passed… “and he is absolutely clueless.”
That was 5 years ago. After a respectful delay, he started spending more time with his new found female friends. Suddenly my weekend visits were not so important.
“I don’t know if I can make it,” he would say. “I’ve got happy hour then.”
Soon he discovered that a man in his position has a hard time sticking with just one female “friend.”
He asked for my advice. Fuck if I know. I’ve been married 32 years and never in my life had any chance at more than one woman at a time. Let’s ask The Boy — he might know. He’s pushing 30 now, and unlike the previous generations, he has never had an issue finding a girlfriend.
“Ok Grandpa, tell them this…” the Boy said with the confidence of one who has given this speech before. “When I’m with you, I’m with you 100-percent… There’s plenty of James F. to go around.”
Sounded like it could work. Doubt if dad tried it.
After taking a couple of difficult trips together, he managed to tell “hometown girl” that they were just “friends” and should not travel together. Several times a year he meets up with “travel girlfriend” to go to the Bahamas, or a cruise back East, or a conference…
We all hate the term “girlfriend.” These women have not been girls for almost four score and at least 3 generations ago. What is he going to do? Call them “my old ladies”? There are no words in English for these kinds of connections at these advanced ages.
So he is making up his own definitions:
“One is just a friend, and the other is a companion.”
The rest of the family doesn’t exactly know what that means, and we are not anxious to find out.
A big topic at the last family pow wow (sans grandpa) was how Sexually Transmitted Diseases are running rampant in “senior living” communitites (up 25 percent for people over 60).
After several bottles of wine and a half gallon of tequila, the question came up:
“Who’s gonna have ‘The Talk‘ with pop?”
There were no volunteers. They didn’t say shit about sex when we were kids — so apparently that’s how we are going to pay him back now.
As you sow, so shall you reap.
Good luck with the clap, dad. I hear there are no cures for herpes…
Even if it comes to that… whatever he has going with this small pride of women is more hero than fool to me.