Way back many years ago Charlie Chaplin married Oona O’Neill, daughter of playwright Eugene. Charlie was 54 and she was a mere 18. Her old man disowned her. But, she and Charlie were married right up to his death 35-years later.
Bogey was 25-years older than Betty Bacall. That’s a whole generation. Canadian PM Pierre Trudeau was 30-years older than wife Margaret. Margaret may have been a bit of a pea-brain, but she was a looker with and without her pants on (referencing that notorious Studio 54 photo) and was able to provide her geezer with another generation of Trudeaus, or better or for worse depending on your politics.
And so it goes. We can all cite all sorts of notables and familiar folk in which there is a great age discrepancy, and yet the relationships often work. Trudeau’s didn’t but that is not necessarily the norm. Many such marriages and/or bondings work out just fine. By the way, it works both ways. There are a number of instances in which the female partner is much older than the male, as in the Case of Garson Kanin and Ruth Gordon.
Now, closer-to-home (and this may indicate my bias in regards to age discrepancies or geezers taking up with younger partners. My own wife is 13-years younger than I am. My 2nd wife was 12 years younger. In neither case has the difference in age been a factor, and in the case of the break up of my #2 alliance, age had nothing to do with it.
Periodically there will be a film or TV reference that is greeted with a “Huh? Before my time.” And I will confess that I may be brilliant in my music lore of the ‘50s through the early ‘80s, Wendy is much more attuned with current stuff. I will hear something, suggest I like it and be greeted with, “You know that, don’t you? It’s Smashing Pumpkins (or some such)” Well, no, I don’t. But if you want to know about Roxy Music or the Velvet Underground or that Clyde McPhatter was lead singer of the Drifters before Ben E. King, then I’m your man.
I like to fool myself in thinking I offer some maturity, wisdom, dignity and aplomb (not to mention – ahem – ‘staying power’) to the nuptial mix. Anyway, it works, as it has with many other couples. What woman wants a callow punk who has just cleared up his zits as opposed to a Cary Grant? Oh, I’d be the CG figure, by the way. In my fantasies. A young reporter once said to CG: “I’d really like to be Cary Grant.” To which Grant responded, “So would I, son, so would I.”
An added bonus for us is that most of our friends are her age or even younger, and that tends to keep me much more current. Frankly, and not to be unkind, I find my contemporaries kind of, well, old in their thinking. There is also statistical evidence that indicates being married to a younger spouse can lead to greater longevity. Works for me.
This little screed comes about because of the interesting tale of Canadian Senator Rod Zimmer (age 69) and his wife of a year, one Maygan Sensenberger (age 23). She’s not only 23, but she is a looker by anybody’s standards.
Anyway, one day last week Ms. Sensenberger went apeshit on a commercial airplane and reportedly got into a heated row with the senator and allegedly threatened to cut his throat.
“Silly old bastard,” was the gist of commentary arising from the situation. “He should have known better; she’s in it for the money, the bimbo; no fool like an old fool,” and all the other bits of nastiness people could muster. Actually not as many men as women were excessively critical which could be seen as meaning there was a little envy therein as in “Wisht I had me onea them.”
Anyway, family rallied to the situation and according to some of her friends and family she and the senator had been keeping company for a while before their marriage and that she loved the old coot very much and was very happy with him, and just got a bit loaded on a plane and went off the rails a bit. It happens.
Judicial results are pending, but according to scuttlebutt she’s not planning to leave, nor is he planning to give her the boot.
Good on them.
Chronology doesn’t necessarily count for everything. Maybe there’s also love involved. I like to think so.