Last month we learned that Mick Jagger, at the age of 73, is about to become a father for the eighth time.
And we heard a collective “eeeeuuuuwwww” across cyberspace.
Say we forget that the baby-mama is younger than four of Jagger’s other children. Say we just focus on Daddy’s age here.
(Clearly he’s not going to have a child with someone his own age. And it’s a good guess this wasn’t a planned event. And love…? Maybe not here.)
What if we think about people Jagger’s age falling in love? Or even people a decade or two younger? Does that also elicit a collective “eeeeuuuwwww”?
It very well may.
In this age when every sexual and gender permutation is celebrated, perhaps the last taboo is love in the sunset years.
At my day job in an assisted living facility, I see romance happening all the time. Widows and widowers in their eighties and nineties holding hands, and sometimes more than that.
The urge to have a life-partner never seems to subside. Or maybe the urge for just a harmless bit of flirtation.
Once upon a time a few publishing houses tried to publish books aimed at a population older than your average romance hero and heroine. “Second Chance at Love” was a line published for a very brief time by Berkeley. The line folded fairly quickly, and those heroes and heroines were in…gasp…their forties most of the time. Too old? Nobody wants to think about people the age of their parents falling in love, never mind actually having sex.
But as the Baby Boom generation reaches those exalted numbers, is it possible this will change?
According to statistics published on Romance Writers of America’s website, the average age of romance readers is between thirty-four and fifty. And I’d venture a guess that aside from characters such as Stephanie Plum’s Grandma Mazur, “dirty old ladies” who provide a bit of levity, nobody that age wants to hear about Granny (or Gramps) having a hot time.
Recently Huffington Post highlighted photos by Jade Beall, a photographer based in Tuscon, Arizona--portraits of a couple who have been together for over 20 years. In the photos, Gerry (75) and Darwin (70) are shown in all their naked glory, quite happily embracing and with their love for each other clearly evident from their facial expressions.
Not rock stars trying to hang on to their youths by cavorting with people young enough to be their grandchildren, but just regular people living their lives, pretty much the way our we want our heroes and heroines to do.
Will this catch on, do you suppose? Will the romance genre change to acommodate the Boomers? With young adult and new adult novels the hottest new trend in romance, is there room in the romance community for people to have a second or even third chance to fall in love?