What's it about?
First Love is about Edith and Harold, a woman and man in their sixties who fall in love for the first time in their lives after meeting on a park bench.
*Lovely sidenote: First Love playwright Charles Mee has found his first love as an older man. "I have found it now, finally," says Mee, who turns 80 this year. "I've been married for 15 years, so we're living happily ever after."
Older people are simply people who happen to be older, a natural consequence of having not gotten around to dying yet, which all of us will do, eventually. If you're lucky in this life, you'll live long enough to become old, and if you're luckier, you'll get to experience falling in love before you die. Now, when most people think of falling in love and especially of falling in love for the first time, they tend to associate it with youth. But in reality, love is about the most ageless thing there is. Surely there are people who live the majority of their lives never having fallen in love, only to discover it towards the end of their lives. This was the case for Edith and Harold.
While the both of them had been married previously, and been involved in countless relationships with other people over the course of their lives, they had never truly experienced romantic love. And so when they did meet each other, it was very much like love at first sight, or lust at first sight, I guess you could say. The point is that these two had an instant connection, and they weren't about to throw it away.
I was kind of amazed with how blatantly, brutally open they were with each other. I couldn't imagine a younger couple being so unfiltered. Harold revealed his sexual kink for all things buttocks, specifically for rubbing his buttocks against another person's buttocks. Edith was unfazed by this admission, even offering up her own sexual attraction to feet. Perhaps in their youth, Harold and Edith hadn't been able to vocalize such desires or erotic fixations due to fear or shame. But at this point in their lives, knowing they were finally in love, no insecurities or potential embarrassment was standing in their way. And this sheer honesty seemed to work for them.
Not that there weren't problems. Just like in relationships between young people, Edith and Harold fought. They were only human. The first argument came about during a discussion on Harold moving in with Edith. He was reluctant to make such a move, mainly because he had concerns it wouldn't feel like his space. He also wanted his children to feel like they could show up unannounced whenever they wanted. That was what made a place home, he said - the fact that you were always welcome. Edith, on the other hand, appreciated a phone call as a heads-up.
By far Edith and Harold's biggest fight came after they had consummated their relationship, like RIGHT after. Edith felt even more attached to Harold and brought up the idea of the two of them getting married. Comically, Harold stiffened, but pretty soon there wasn't much that I could find funny in the situation. After a few ridiculous excuses about him not being good at marriage, Harold, on the spot, fabricated some story about being in love with someone else and left Edith in tears. But he didn't leave her for long. He showed up at her door a moment later, and the two emotionally embraced each other like it would be the last time in their lives. They weren't perfect people. And after Harold's awful display, I had major reservations about him as a suitable match for Edith. But you can't choose love - it kind of decides for you. I wasn't sure that Edith and Harold would make it, but I hoped that they would.
*Public Service Announcement*
Older people :
- have sex
- and they have fetishes
- they curse
- and drink
- and lie
- and have insecurities
- and hurt others
- and make people happy
- and yes, they can fall in love, even for the first time
It's funny - young people are young for such a small percentage of their lives, and yet, in America, at least, everything seems to cater to the young and ostracize and infantilize our elderly people. So let's all agree to stop patronizing people who are guilty of nothing other than having lived longer than we have. We've all done this to some degree, I think, even with the best of intentions. Senior citizens were once the age we are now, even if it's hard to fathom, and they are worthy of happiness and respect just like younger people are. Got it? Good.
Editor's Note (Cheyanne): Are 'young people' really that immature? That we now think of ourselves as incapable of open honesty or have we really ruined our rep that bad with our slang words and fake online personas? We seem to judge the young and look at the old like talking dinosaurs. Is there an unspoken middle age that's "just right" for us?
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