Yes. Silver does turn me on.
My children have been taking swimming lessons at the “Y”. Their teachers are perhaps seventeen years old – so close to men, but so youthful compared to me with the big four-oh breathing down my neck. I sit with the other parents on the benches hugging the walls sucking in chlorine-laden air and pondering the firm beautiful bodies of the teenagers. I examine my thoughts searching for any cougar tendencies or Mrs. Robinson fantasies and find none much to my relief. I consider that my appreciation is for the vision of a healthy young specimen who has been a kind and patient teacher to my offspring.
The children line up at the diving board and jump at one of the teachers in the deep end of the pool. This signals the end of swim lessons for the day. When we arrive home, my husband has supper on the table – chicken spaghetti. This year he will turn forty-seven. His hair which used to be dishwater blond is silver at his temples. Not gray; silver. Sometimes I watch him in the morning before he wakes up – the crow's feet next to his closed eyes, the dark stubble of beard not yet turned by time. I feel the stirrings of lust, and I am thankful.
The gratitude isn't because I'm lusting after my own husband. Lust at thirty-nine originates in gratitude to a man who still loves me after putting up with me for fourteen years, who fixed the washer last week, who raises his eyebrows lecherously at a body with stretch marks his kids caused, and who considers retirement planning with me worthy of his time.