Another friend, the artist Immi Storrs, confided to me that more than age itself, it was the lack of men straining their trapezius muscles to get a better view of her that hit her the hardest. “My 40th and 50th birthdays weren’t such a big deal to me,” she said. “What was really upsetting and clear evidence of entering a new stage of my life was when men stopped looking at me altogether.”
Around the time I started grappling with a loss of epidermal elasticity, I did find other means of professional fulfillment, first with a career in TV, including cohosting the Food Network’s Dining Around and HBO’s Entertainment News, and later as a proprietor of two home decor boutiques. Then, an unlikely salve walked into my life: a charming, handsome, much younger man.
As lovely and immediate as our attraction was, it was not without obstacles. I was incredibly self-conscious about the two-decade age difference. At one point I even told him, “Look, we’re having a fabulous time, but there’s going to come a moment when we will need to part ways and for you to be with someone closer to your age.” He thought I was ridiculous. The years between us had never been a big deal for him.
Ten years later, we are still together and happily married. And while I can go on my merry way down the street without much notice, he gets checked out all the time. I get a kick out of that.