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Thursday, 14 September 2000

Mom Lives It Up

Written by  Cecily Stansbury

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My mother is going into her retirement years with a bang.

"Rage, rage against the dying of the light," said Dylan Thomas--

Nobody had to tell my mother.

She went on a cruise to Alaska and met a man.

Now they are an item.

The man is 29.

My mother is 59.

My mother is never one to let petty things like age stand in her way.

She has always had young friends.

She has always known how to have a good time.

Once she wanted me to spend a week in Greece with her.

When I mentioned bringing my eight-year-old along, she said:

But then we couldn't have fun.

(Okay so she doesn't get a 10 in the grandmother department.)

Fun for my mother is being free to stay up dancing all night,

see the sun rise

and then go out for breakfast on a boat.

My mother is still being told how good she looks.

She is nice looking but it's really her personality that gets people.

She is the kind of person who knows how to enjoy life --

to relax in a bathing suit even if she's not skinny,

to drive eight hours to see two fireworks celebrations on the fourth of July -- one in Vermont and the other in Manhattan.

To order out and when people praise the food - to brag about what a good orderer she is.

My mother takes an interest in people. She will become the confidante of the clerk at McDonald's; the toll booth attendant will know her by name.

And she does not discriminate between the crossing guard and the CEO of IBM.

All are equally fascinating.

What's been most interesting about my mother and her beau are the reactions of others:

When I tell people that she's dating a young guy,

They invariably reply: She must be rich.


She must have a great body.


She must be gorgeous.

Sophia Loren she's not.

When I tell her this, she says: but I do have a good body (although zaftig describes her more than toned.)

The key to my mother's magnetism is this: My mother has always felt beautiful. And people are drawn to her because of that.

So it's no surprise to me that a younger man is attracted to her.

Still, others are perplexed.

In Getting The Love You Want, psychologist Harville Hendrix explains that according to "Bio-logic," we select mates who will enhance the survival of the species. Men seek beauty - a sign that a woman is in the peak of her childbearing years. Women, on the other hand, favor mates who can dominate - the chairman of the board or the rugged firefighter.

My mother's case negates this theory.

Here we have two people who like each other simply for the pleasure of each other's company.

Let's face it: My mother is unfazed by boundaries and borders.

She just keeps crossing them. And she never looks back.

Last modified on Tuesday, 19 April 2011 20:16
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Cecily Stansbury

Cecily Stansbury is a writer and critic

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