After yesterday’s post about being honest with my readers, I’ve decided to come clean about another subject: my growing reputation as a Don Juan. The truth is that, unlike my online persona, I’m exceedingly dull and unadventurous. I inherit this from my father. Although he was a loving and caring man, his attitudes towards women and sex were straight out of “Leave it to Beaver.” (not an intentional joke) About the only “birds and bees” advice he ever gave me was to “never hurt a woman.” He actually sat me down and said:

“Neil, you should never hurt a woman.”

If I could bring my father back to life, my first question would be:

“Dad, what the hell are you talking about? What do you mean? Do you mean hurt physically? Or emotionally? Can you be any more vague?”

My grandmother considered herself prim and proper. And my father was a bit of a mama’s boy, so he grew up with her attitudes.

My grandfather was not like my father, or anyone else in my family. He went dancing every weekend at “Roseland” in Manhattan — without my grandmother. We think he had affairs. Even when he was seventy years old, he was incredibly built and had beautiful curly hair. I’m convinced that after my grandmother passed away, he had sex with every widowed Jewish woman over sixty-five in the tri-state area. When he was done, he moved to Miami to begin again. Half of my family refused to speak to him when he married some flashy woman from Miami Beach.

I always liked him. He wasn’t very smart, like my grandmother, but he was way more interesting. He would take me to Jewish delis for pastrami sandwiches, and he would always bring over jelly donuts. He would sneak into Broadway shows during intermission, so he saw every top musical’s second act. He flirted with every waitress.

After my father died, I met many of his co-workers from Queens General Hospital. I was surprised to hear all these stories about my father flirting with all the nurses. Was he just prim and proper at home, and completely different at work? Maybe he was influenced by his father more than he let on.

I think my grandfather would love blogging, especially with all the hot women online.

My memories of my grandfather came up after I read this on a post at Alexandra’s blog:

I woke up this morning to a news story that sexually transmitted diseases are on a rapid rise among the elderly, and for some reason that made me happy! I mean, not that they are catching STDs, but that they are still out there hugging, squeezing, well, a lot more than that, if they are getting STD’s! I hate that we live in a society that so isolates them from the rest of society, treats them as if they still don’t have needs, longings physical and otherwise, and so very much to pass on.

This was my comment:

I don’t know why it is so surprising to hear this news. Our vision of a senior is very outdated. Mick Jagger is a senior. Soon, all of the kids dancing around at Woodstock will be seniors. And since we are living longer, (and with drugs like Viagra to help), why shouldn’t there be activity? The fact that we are “shocked” just shows how we still stereotype senior citizens as sitting around playing gin rummy.

Two weeks ago, I wrote about how the FAT are stereotyped as the OTHER. Many of us fear getting fat. But if there’s one thing we fear even more, it is getting OLD. Just like we see the FAT as the OTHER — and that’s why we don’t women over size 4 in magazines — we consider the elderly the OTHER as well, especially in a youth-oriented society.  We see OTHERS as a group, rather than individuals.  And this group frequently becomes a metaphor for something we fear:

Fat = lazy.

Old = decay.

Many of want to separate the elderly into being an OTHER. That’s why it is shocking to some that seniors are doing “it” with other seniors. What’s the big deal? I hope to be doing it when I’m eighty.

Most of the comments on Alexandra’s post were very supportive of older people finding love and comfort. But, even there, it felt that some were uncomfortable talking about the elderly and sex. Why do think of young people as f**king, but the elderly “finding comfort in each others’ arms?”  Do people immediately lose their mojo when they get Social Security?  And why do we still think of seniors as “nice old ladies” or “wise old men?” It almost seems condescending.  In my family, the relatives who were assholes at 30 are now assholes at 80. Only nice young ladies become nice old ladies. Are we so afraid of getting old that we push the elderly into some sort of one-dimensional world? While someone who’s lived many years has more life experience and deserves respect for that, I would think that a senior wants to be thought of a living, complex being with urges and desires.

In fact, I would be glad to hear that my mother, who is currently touring Spain and Portugal, found some hunky retired matador, and is f**king him every night.

Of course, Mom, assuming he is Jewish.

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: A Night Without a Phone Call