Clara Meadmore was a quite a dish in her younger days. Certainly there were a few young men - and probably a few young women – who’d have liked to hook up with her.
Well, tough tittie for them. Clara is still a virgin at the age of 105 and doesn’t feel like she’s missed anything. A BBC news story on her 105th birthday, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/cornwall/7663662.stm>Celibacy the Key to Long Life
says that when she was younger sex meant marriage and she never wanted to marry.
“I have just never been interested in sex. I imagine there is a lot of hassle involved and I have always been busy doing other things.”
You go, Clara!
No, I mean it. In giving the finger to getting the finger (or anything else) Clara showed a lot of personal style. It’s all about authenticity, and in bucking the tiresome mandate of marriage and kids and all socio-sexual expectations, Clara showed some balls – and having them is more important than seeing them. Just because I write a lot about sex and relationships doesn’t mean I think everyone needs to be getting it on 24/7….or ever…it’s all about doing things your own way.
And I’m sure she’s onto something with the “better things to do” motif. I often think that if I wasn’t besieged by hormones I could have been a gazillionaire and had my own cartoon, arts foundation and ape preserve by now. In the time we spend jockeying for, having and recovering from sex and relationships we could have found life on other planets. And had sex with it.
On the other hand, the subhead of the BBC story says that Clara attributes her long life span to celibacy. If that’s the case, and I have to leave the earth little earlier for all the amazing times I’ve had, well, I have three words to say: I’ll get packing. In fact, it’s kind of fun to consider this idea and rate various escapades: ‘Yep, that was worth a day…oh, that was worth 6 months!…oh, I want some time back for that one...” You should try it. But only alone or with your friends. If you play this game with your partner and you assign vastly different time values or accidentally say “Remember that time we did it in the airplane bathroom?” and it turns out is wasn’t them, well Bob Eubanks isn’t going to be there to help you. As ever, play wisely.
(Speaking of, I hope it’s obvious that when I say there is sex that’s worth dying a little younger for I’m not implying there’s sex that’s worth risking your life for – this is by no means and endorsement of unsafe sex. This should be apparent, but in 17 years as a writer I’ve discovered that I can say, “Flowers are pretty!” and there will be one reader who interprets that as “Hail, Satan!” so I thought I better clarify).
I certainly do appreciate Clara’s spunk (insert own spunk funny here). Her story, however, has also made me reflect that I’ve had some experiences that were worth an awful lot, (even losing years, though, as Denis Leary famously said about smoking, they’re the years on the end so who cares?) Hopefully they won’t come to mind when someone at this year’s Thanksgiving celebration says ‘So, what are you thankful for this year?”