News flash: Older people can love

Yesterday, while driving down the highway, I got my socks blown off by this billboard advertising fireplaces. So blown off, in fact, that I immediately pulled over and took a photograph:

Good lord! Older people can love! They can get naked, and wrap each other up in a passionate embrace, and share a torrid kiss in front of a crackling fire.

But I don’t think they do that in the US. It must be a Portuguese thing. Because I’ve never, but never seen a billboard advertising naked, passionate retirees in the US.

While I stood there in the rain with my camera, a man who was working in the nearby tile yard came up and asked what I was doing. I said, “Taking a photograph of this billboard.” He looked at me strangely and asked, “Why?”

I said, “I’m an American. We don’t have billboards like this. We like to think that we’re all young and will never get old.”

He just shook his head and went back to work. I’m not sure which he thought was more bizarre: a person getting excited over older people in an ad, or the idea of Americans not having such advertisements.

Let’s take a closer look:

Now, to be just a little cynical, I have to acknowledge that retirees are a formidable economic force in the south of Portugal, and this billboard is no doubt targeting those buyers. Perhaps I’d see ads featuring the over-60 demographic in retirement communities in Florida. But naked and kissing? I’m thinking not.

Really — it’s beautiful. And so is a culture that values passion and love, regardless of gray or silver hair.

About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
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3 Responses to News flash: Older people can love

  1. mol says:

    In Europe older people can not only love but they can have sex/make love, too!
    That billboard reminded me strongly of a German film by Andreas Dresen from about an year ago. I’m not sure how it’d be called in English but the direct translation would be Cloud 9.

    I’m sorry to say that the film left me disappointed as the story was nothing special. The only notable was the age of the protagonists, which is quite ironic as I think they were trying to show how age doesn’t matter that much… Still, judging by your post, I think it still counts as a YAY moment for Europe. ;-))

    Ah, I found a review in English in The New York Times, the title is indeed translated Cloud 9, if you are interested.

  2. oregon expat says:

    Definitely a yay moment for Europe, I agree. Though I’d add that in the US, there are plenty of films featuring an older male being sexy and passionate…they’re just being sexy and passionate with women two decades younger.

  3. MJ Valente says:

    The subject of older people’s love and sex reminds me that wonderful (but, oh, so sad) movie “Away from Her” with Julie Christie and Gordon Pinsent. A Canadian movie, not an American one (of course).

    In many ways Canadians are much closer to European values and social attitudes than Americans.

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