In most areas of life, my talents are modest. I'm not a particularly great athlete, chess player, or flutist. I can't whistle.
One thing that at The Plunge that we're quite excellent at, however, is pissing people off.
Latest example? In our piece The 10 Dumbest Reasons to Get Married, we wrote the following:
"Dumb Reason #5. She's hot. This doesn't mean you need to marry ugly. It means that physical attraction is a necessary, but not sufficient, criteria for marriage. You need to really, really, really need to know this girl before you pledge the rest of your life. Sex appeal isn't forever. With apologies to Helen Mirren, no one's hot at 60."
Bring on the hate mail!
Angry reader comment 1:
WRONG! Lots of hot women over sixty! Goldie Hawn & Sally Field, to name just two that you'd know - the rest you just can't tell our age, we don't want to look that old and we don't if we can help it! Check out Sophia - she's over 70!
Angry reader comment 2:
"Nobody's hot at 60!" Nonsense! We've been married 39 years, and my wife is 61. I still get turned on by my wife's hot legs or body. She doesn't wear miniskirts or plunging necklines any more. But she sure as hell could.
Angry(?) reader comment 3:
For all us 60 year old men, Helen Mirren is NOT hot. You young guys better get over the age thing though, because before you know it you'll be 50/60.
Most 60 year old women go into "grandma" mode, wearing sweatshirts and baggy stretch pants to cover their 50 (or more) extra pounds, possibly to compete with hubbies extra 50 pounds around the middle.
My wife is a size 2, fit, trim and wears very fashionable clothes. I think she still looks better HOT.
Firs thing's first. To the gentleman married 39 years who still gets turned on by his wife's legs: that's awesome. It's literally the coolest thing we've read this holiday season. Congrats and you're a role model for the rest of us. At the risk of using a word that's NSFW, this warms the cockles.
To everyone else... The last thing we need is to get on the AARP's shit-list. So maybe we should clarify. We are not saying that women suddenly become trolls at age 60. Women can look great at all ages. (Well, that's not really true. Name me the last smokin' hot 94-year-old you saw. Just send me a picture: firstname.lastname@example.org.) But we agree with the overall point--women can (and do) look hot in their 60s and beyond. And it's certainly true that as the woman ages, so does the man, which keeps physical attraction (hopefully!) at a nice equilibrium. We know plenty of attractive women in their 60s--classy, gorgeous, and still flashing enough wattage to light up a room.
Now. Can we get back to Planet Earth for a second?
This is our original point: you shouldn't get married for looks alone. Being sexy isn't enough. Even if she stays just as sexy for decades and decades (wanna place a bet?), your sexual appetite, unless you're the protagonist of Love in the Time of Cholera, will wane. That's part of life. It's not a good thing or a bad thing. It just is.
And because of the minor, infinitesimal possibility that she will no longer look like a Victoria's Secret model at age 67, you need to make damn sure that looks aren't the only thing or the main thing or even a Top 3 thing.
In the reader emails above--especially the second--we suspect that in addition to raw physical attraction, in addition to Baby Boomer Lust, there's a rich bounty of mutual respect, compatibility, humor, shared values, all that kinda junk.
That's the junk that should form the bedrock of your relationship: not that she has a great rack. (Although that never hurts.)
You, dear angry readers, are not the problem. You're the choir to which we're preaching. The problem is the mob of 18-year-olds who are getting laid for the first time and they think the girl's hot so they rush to buy her a ring. Yep. Even in this day and age, that still happens. So it's our right--actually, our duty--to give these teenage horndogs something to chew on.
And that something is visions of 60 and 70-something women.
For more on compatibility issues, check out our quiz Is She The One?