Bedtime stories
June 27, 2009 8:13 AM   Subscribe

Find me stories (books, movies, links, anecdotes) of how two ordinary, quiet, straight middle-aged people met, and learned to care for each other.

I like to fantasise before I go to sleep. I build the fantasies gradually up into romantic/sexual masturbatorial aid. Romance novels are crap for this because they have gorgeous young heroines with an uncanny ability to flirt and young Fabios eager to engage in rigorous and prolonged intercourse with them. They are not helpful in with my fantasy construction - I have to be able to imagine me in the story, and I am not gorgeous nor young nor can I flirt. However, I’ve worn out old memories & scenarios and need new vanilla-ish ones.

Good examples are from the first kiss thread excepting of course, that I’m a couple of decades (or more) past first kiss, so those precise scenarios won’t ring true for me. The guy helping out with the car and the hot chocolate here sounds like an ideal candidate, but I’d like a bit more padding to the story, like when & how does he approach their first night together sort of thing.

I’m introverted, so plain old fashioned dating is not a tranquil fantasy setting for me. Instead, how about enforced togetherness (snowed into a cabin, hostage situation, I don’t know, that’s why I’m asking) where I can impress with trivia, and active listening, but not be on dating display and he can snuggle with impunity (must cuddle to stay warm, needs to support my impressive gunshot wound, that sort of thing). My hero needn’t be a rich man or particularly fit, he mostly needs intelligence and kindness, and that will make him hot to me, and of course, it helps if he finds geeky, creative women sexy, even if they are over 40 and not girly-girly.

So stories please of ordinary, quiet, straight middle-aged couples meeting and lusting. Throwaway email:
posted by anonymous to Grab Bag (14 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

he mostly needs intelligence and kindness, and that will make him hot to me, and of course, it helps if he finds geeky, creative women sexy, even if they are over 40 and not girly-girly

Have you read the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon? In the first few books the characters are in their mid 20s, but later in the series they're middle-aged and still totally sexy.
posted by jschu at 8:23 AM on June 27, 2009

Trapped in a broken elevator?

Rafting/hiking/kayaking trip -- he's your guide; you get lost or there is bad weather

He works somewhere you have to make repeated trips to: he's an organic farmer that you buy stuff from at the farmer's market every week (ooh, you can have hot outdoor sex eventually)

He is your child's teacher; you have repeated conferences

Old standard: he's the UPS or FedEx guy who makes regular deliveries to your workplace

Another old standard: He's the construction guy who is fixing your roof/kitchen/adding a room/ etc.
posted by kestrel251 at 9:21 AM on June 27, 2009

The Goodbye Girl by Neil Simon (1977) — Ex-Broadway chorus dancer Paula McFadden lives with her eight year old precocious daughter, Lucy, and Paula's lover, actor Tony De Forrest. Paula has solely been playing "wife" and mother ever since she got married to Lucy's father. Paula comes home one day to find that Tony has left her. Not only will Paula have to start working again (as Tony was the household breadwinner), the only thing she knows being dancing, but she may have to look for another apartment.

Unknown to Paula, Tony, whose name was on the apartment lease, has sublet it to Elliot Garfield, an actor from out of town who has come to New York to appear as the lead in an off off Broadway production of Richard III. Paula will not give up the apartment without a fight - she figures possession is nine tenths of the law - but an equally tenacious Elliot figures the law is on his side and he does have a key. So pragmatic Paula figures the easiest thing to do is to share the apartment with Elliot.

Paula doesn't much like Elliot, solely because of what he represents to her, and thus Paula tries to make his life as miserable as she can there in hopes that he will leave. However Elliot and Lucy get along famously. As Paula and Elliot try to co-habitate, they each have their own professional problems, Paula's being that she is woefully out of shape to be a dancer, and Elliot's being that he doesn't see eye to eye with his Richard III director, who wants to take the production in a whole different and unconventional direction. As each tries to earn a living, they find that they are falling for each other. But Paula, a two time loser in love, is hesitant to get into a relationship with Elliot, who she sees will ultimately leave her like all the others have before.

Richard Dreyfuss won his Oscar for his performance as Elliot. One of my favorite all-time movies. Yes. I am a sap.
posted by netbros at 9:49 AM on June 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

Nothing new to add, but I think a few years ago TNT made a TV movie version of The Goodbye Girl with the female actress who plays Ray's wife in Everybody Loves Raymond. It was a decent movie.
posted by jstarlee at 10:35 AM on June 27, 2009

There are people who write stories about adult Hermione and older Snape.
posted by amtho at 11:46 AM on June 27, 2009

You might enjoy By Chance. There are two love relationships, one about a young but not glamourous couple, the other middle-aged. The young couple tell each other bedtime stories which sound rather like yours.
posted by paduasoy at 11:56 AM on June 27, 2009

Over-40 geeky creative woman here, who also finds intelligence, heart and kindness much hotter than conventional status indicators. Seconding netbros' recommendation of The Goodbye Girl. It's one of my all-time favorites too, sappy or not.
posted by velvet winter at 1:04 PM on June 27, 2009

Totally sappy, but I love it. This is a bit more emotionally charged than sexually charged... but it's still a great story. The Shadowlands.

There are people who write stories about adult Hermione and older Snape.
Ha! That's so wrong. Can we really call such a scenario "vanilla-ish"?
posted by purpletangerine at 1:04 PM on June 27, 2009

None of my ideas seem to match your criteria perfectly, but here are some thoughts:

Spending by Mary Gordon
. Both of the main characters are middle aged, and the woman is an artist who the man approaches, asking to be her patron. There is not a long gap between them meeting and them getting intimate (um, I think hours maybe?) so it may not meet your criteria so well in that regard, but in my opinion this is a great, very sexy, book that is not about sweet young things. It also explores a lot of issues about art, wealth and power so it is both high brow and hot. :) Ordinary and quiet might not be the best description of these two characters though...

Harry and Catherine by Frederick Busch. Okay, so they originally met when they were young (20s or 30s maybe) but most of the book is about them meeting again when they are older (I think 40s). Very much a grown up love story, and again an excellent book in its own right.

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
. Not the most central plot point, but two middle aged people do meet and fall in love. More sweet and sad than sexy though.

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith might be quite satisfying in terms of the relationship between the main character and the man she eventually marries, but I cannot remember whether they could actually be classified as middle aged or not...

The Last Chinese Chef by Nicole Mones. She is a recently widowed food writer who travels to China to do two things: 1) investigate whether her late husband fathered a child there and 2) interview a chef who is entering a cooking competition. In the course her writing about the chef, they begin to become romantically involved. A greatly enjoyable read with an engaging romance.
posted by pie_seven at 2:13 PM on June 27, 2009

Julia Spencer-Fleming's mysteries!

A former army helicopter pilot becomes an Episcopal priest and is given a congregation in a small town in upstate NY. She meets the local sheriff and sparks fly...but he's married! (Don't worry, things eventually work out. Sort of.) She's in her thirties, he's in his 40s or 50s, and they're neither of them especially gorgeous.

It takes a few books for things to really happen between them, but omg when it does!
posted by exceptinsects at 3:06 PM on June 27, 2009

You might like the relationship between Lisa Kudrow and Lyle Lovett in The Opposite of Sex. She's lonely and mourning the death of her brother, he's awkward and mourning the death of his wife. They get together in a motel on a road trip, awkwardly, and it's surprisingly hot. Kudrow's character is sort of unlikeable, but there's still something really charming about it.

Also, did you ever watch Six Feet Under? I thought the portrayal of the matriarch's sex and dating life was really great. No trapped-in-a-cabin type scenarios, but she dates all sorts of men throughout the series. I think she's supposed to be in her late 50s/early 60s.
posted by wholebroad at 3:39 PM on June 27, 2009

Try the movie Stanley and Iris... the novel is not exactly the same plot line and I think the movie might be more along the lines of what you are looking for.... very touching love story about two people from very different walks of life with great personal issues to overcome to connect.

Jane Fonda / Robert De Niro - I just watched it myself and although not a fan of traditional romance movies/novels you could not help but become pulled in. I thought it would have been early 80's but turns out the movie was released in 1990.
posted by Weaslegirl at 4:40 PM on June 27, 2009

I haven't read this (just heard of it), but Norman and Brenda sound like just what you are looking for.

Also, Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:03 PM on June 27, 2009

You might like "As Time Goes By." It's an older British TV series featuring a middle-aged Judi Dench gradually rekindling the grand romance of her youth. It's also quite funny, and has another romance as a side plot.
posted by dizziest at 11:56 AM on June 28, 2009

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