By Abigail Trafford
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Extra info for As Time Goes By: Boomerang Marriages, Serial Spouses, Throwback Couples, and Other Romantic Adventures in an Age of Longevity
In the rain, they slosh through the mud in their school uniforms and hats. She can still feel the rainwater around her ankles. Mary is part of the Fault Line Generation, a cohort of men and women born in the 1940s, with one foot rooted in the more traditional 1950s, the 0465002801-Trafford:Layout 1 14 11/18/08 9:39 AM Page 14 As Time Goes By other foot thrust into the turbulence of the 1960s. Her social imprinting begins with Sputnik in 1957, a symbol of the technological revolution that cracked the complacency of the postwar years.
She’s eager to soar. They talk and struggle for two years to overcome their differences. Belinda thinks about the old adage from Margaret Mead: a woman needs three husbands—one for youthful sex, one for raising children, one to be a joyful companion of old age. “I was not going to get the joyful companion of old age,” she says. They try to adjust their clashing visions of a future life. “We had better talks than we ever had,” she says. They become closer in their relationship even as they draw farther apart in their destinies.
But in the new construct of marriage, there are many variations on the theme of a long married life. Adult children—those in their 20s and 30s—need to prepare for the imperatives of longevity, she says. “This is our generation’s life work—to help people figure this out and get involved much earlier in life. ” As Belinda and her “wasband” carve out a different pathway in these later years, they—like many older couples—are showing the young how to manage the long haul. “What a gift to the next generation,” she says.
As Time Goes By: Boomerang Marriages, Serial Spouses, Throwback Couples, and Other Romantic Adventures in an Age of Longevity by Abigail Trafford