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.