Will I Be Alone?

IMG_0018  Recently, I sat inside a restaurant by a window looking out on to the patio eating area outside. An old woman with an oxygen tank sat out there alone eating her lunch and reading the “Trader Joe’s” “Fearless Flyer”.  Her grey hair was cut in a stylish short bob, she wore a colorful sweater and cute sneakers. The cord for her oxygen tank was tucked discreetly under her shirt and dangling to the ground with the tank itself in the seat next to her in a black bag.

She made me wonder about my life at that age (I do hope I make it that long in good health). Will I be alone? Chances are, yes I will be alone. I don’t have biological children, my step-daughters are older than I am, the grandkids are in far off places and I haven’t gotten to know the great-grandchildren as well as I would have liked. They grow up and get busy and we get less mobile.

Finding a second love of my life seems doubtful in my 50’s or my 60’s if I’m lucky enough to keep my husband healthy for that long. So a grey haired single life will be in my future. I guess for some the grey haired single life is swinging, a New York Times Op-Ed article I read, Sex and the Single Senior by Ezekiel J. Emanuel talked about the huge uptick in STD’s in those ages 65 and older;

“Numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show rapid increases in S.T.D.’s among older people. Between 2007 and 2011, chlamydia infections among Americans 65 and over increased by 31 percent, and syphilis by 52 percent. Those numbers are similar to S.T.D. trends in the 20- to 24-year-old age group, where chlamydia increased by 35 percent and syphilis by 64 percent. Experts suggest there are four main factors contributing to the rise in S.T.D.’s among older Americans.”

The article also pointed out the similarities of retirement living to college campus living with lots of similarly aged people living in close proximity to one and other which was leading to the inevitable interaction of the sexes. This statistic about condom use was also interesting;

“But while they are having a lot of sex, seniors didn’t seem to get the safe sex memo, or when it came through they ignored it because they did not think it applied to them. They obviously don’t have to worry about pregnancy. And they grew up before the safe sex era. So seniors might think they have no reason to use condoms. According to the 2010 National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, among college-age Americans, condoms are used in about 40 percent of sexual encounters, but only in about 6 percent of sexual encounters among those 61 and older. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that older men who use Viagra and similar drugs are six times less likely to use condoms compared with men in their 20s.”

Apparently they need to begin handing out safe sex pamphlets with those Viagra prescriptions. Mr. Emanuel suggested Social Security begin sending out safe sex messages with the retirement checks.

All of this rings true, I know not long after (I mean in a matter of weeks) my grandmother passed away there were at least three women vying for my grandfathers affections. And it wasn’t long before he had a girlfriend he was traveling with and spending time time together cooking and golfing. He said he wasn’t in love, but he liked the company.

Maybe there won’t be a second love of my life, but chances are I could get laid in my old age, if trends hold true. But, “No Glove, No Love” will be the rule.

Do you worry about any particular part of growing older?

Pre-checked at Sea-Tac

alaska-airlines-plane   OK – I don’t know how I was pre-checked at Sea-Tac airport this weekend. But please, please let it happen to me again.

No shoe removal, no liquids out of my bag, didn’t have to take off my coat or my belt. It was freaking awesome!!!!

But I have no idea how I became “Pre-Checked”! It was like being the most beautiful girl in highschool or at least what I imagined that was like; gliding through life without a hassle.

I checked out the Sea-Tac airport website, it seems “Pre-Check” is available for frequent flyers of certain airlines. I love you Alaska Airlines!

Well, I sort of love you Alaska Airlines. Why no pre-check status on my flight home from Walla Walla? I don’t know what it is at that airport, but for some reason, I get screened more there than I do at Heathrow after a security scare. This time they did a chemical analysis of my hands; at least it was something new. I am guessing they get a little bored there and just like to practice.

I love to travel, visit new places, learn something new and just get out of the day-to-day monotony of my daily life. I get to travel a bit these next few weeks; some for work, some for fun and some for family events. This pre-check perk will certainly make the getting there part a bit more enjoyable; as it is, getting through the security at the airport is such a pain in the butt it almost makes you not want to travel at all.

Do you have a travel tip that you always use to make it easier to get from point A to point B?