In this week’s Dearly Beloved, the advice column from author Michael Arceneaux, our dear reader keeps it succinct: he doesn’t want to die alone and worries he is running out of time. Many of us tell ourselves that it’s never too late, but how deep do our doubts about that go? How do we best handle them?
If you want Michael’s advice, just email him at email@example.com with your question. Just be sure to include SPECIFICS, and don’t forget to start your letter with Dearly Beloved!
It’s a thing.
What do you do when you’ve been brought up by repressed parents, and you get to 56, still reasonable looking, but panicking because life partners seem to be thin on the ground? And I’m running out of time now.
I love that you described yourself as “still reasonable looking.” When I hit my mid 50s, I will probably use a different turn of phrase like “eternal zaddy” or “consistent country crock thot,” but we see each other in more ways than one all the same. I, too, know what it’s like to be raised by repression and I have also shared your panic over never finding a partner. It’s something I’ve worried about even before I wanted to admit the whole truth to myself, and it has stayed with me long after I did. Moreover, I’ve wrestled with the worries that I may have started too late, and thus, it may one day prove to be too late for me. It’s not something I often care to admit aloud, so kudos to you for even being brave enough to share that concern with me on such a platform.
However, as frustrating a response as this may be because it probably sounds schmaltzy, you have to believe that it’s never too late to find anything you want in life — particularly companionship. I’m not sure where you are trying to meet men — bars, Facebook, divorce courts, etc. — but if you’re gay, “still reasonable looking,” and actively pursuing a partner, either change your strategy or go even harder with your current methods. Hell, try both just for good measure.
I know 56 is older, but there’s still a lot of life left to live and share with another. As far as your repressed parents, again, I get it, but that is the past. You cannot help how you grew up or how it impacted facets of your life. All you can do now is deal with the circumstances and continue to try and rise above them. I don’t say this to be harsh, but you are 56: whatever your parents did, it has to be let go of for you to move forward and get what’s for you.
The Golden Girls has long taught us that our later years can still be lit, as long as you have geriatric sex, sarcasm, and cheesecake. You may not have all of that right now, but you have to keep trying. What other options do you have? Well, you could sit life out, but from the sound of your short but sweet note, you know giving up isn’t a real option. It sounds like you just need convincing to keep going.
To that end: go, ho, go. I believe in you.