10 June 2012
My boss told me he was feeling tired, because he’d finished off last night with an eighteen year old. I looked at him askance. He’s a nice guy and good looking in an understated sort of way, but an eighteen year old? He’s forty for heaven’s sake.
What is it about men and younger women? Is it about ego and the desire to show off their intact virility and attractiveness while their middle-aged wives live vicariously by enviously looking at photos of Madonna and Jesus in Hello magazine? Or is it biological instinct, which forever impels them to seek out young nubile girls to mate with? Of course it could be sheer bloody-mindedness and an inability to admit they’re getting old, like the other half of the population.
Either way, middle-aged men continue to ogle younger girls and middle-aged women continue to buy gossip magazines where they can devour pictures and stories of the best type of age gap romances like Demi and Ashton. Not that that one ended so well but how many women wouldn’t have traded places with Demi for a while? I’d certainly put some serious thought into it if I had the chance.
Traditionally society has disapproved less of pairings between older men and younger women than the other way around, but things are changing thank goodness and now we celebrate older women taking toy boys. And why shouldn’t we? Older women look great these days, thanks to the gym, a healthy lifestyle, anti-aging products and the occasional helping hand from cosmetic procedures. Witness the popularity of TV programme Cougar Town, which celebrates all these things.
In men’s defence, why is it OK – and even glamorous – for women to take toy boys as lovers, while we frown at and ridicule men who want to go out with younger women? We’ve even built a whole vernacular around the phenomenon – cradle snatcher, jailbait and lech to name a few. And if there’s an imbalance in financial position words such as sugar daddy, trophy wife, sugar baby and gold-digger are thrown around. Anna Nicole Smith had two of these labels, and probably much worse.
There has even been a rule created around the May to September romance. This tongue in cheek guideline, called the ‘Standard Creepiness Rule’, states that the youngest acceptable dating age limit for a partner is half the age of the older partner, plus 7 years. The age range of acceptable dating partners increases as the older partners ages, so that a romance between a 50 year old and a 30 year old would be ‘creepy’ according to this rule. Ironically, once the 50 year old reaches 55, it would be OK to date the person, who would then be 35.
Many men of course push the limits of the Standard Creepiness Rule or like Hugh Hefner, ignore it altogether. Most men only dream of being lucky enough to do so.
For my part, I’ve always taken the view that love comes in all forms, shapes, sizes and ages. If two people are happy what does chronology matter?
Back to my boss, who really did look exhausted, but in that mellow, satisfied way of a man who’s had what he wants and would like to repeat the experience.
There was a pause in the conversation as he looked at me looking at him askance. His face split into a wide grin. “Yep, the 18 year old was great,” he said. “Eighteen really is the best age for a malt whisky.”
Your boss is a creep. I make it a point not to write such redundant drivel as that, but come on, it’s true. I’m forty five and ‘young’ for me would be like, forty. Girls in their thirties still have posters of Anthony Bourdain on their walls for chrissakes.
Thanks for your comment Cayman, but the problem wasn’t the boss, it was me. Jumping to conclusions about the 18 year old. It was whisky, not a woman.
I have to admit, I was actually pissed when I read this post the first time. Never made it to the end, and I am sorry about that. I still think your boss is a creep though. Whiskey isn’t ready for ‘settlement’ until it turns 20.
Thanks for taking the time to go back and re-read the blog Cayman. I definitely don’t know enough about whiskey and the fun part of all this is connecting with people who care enough to reply to these blogs, but also educate me at the same time.
You had me going there!
Feeling wrongly accused I was ready to leap to my own defense and that of men in general. Ready to challenge your sweeping generalisations with the assertion that perhaps not all men are as shallow as your initial comments suggest. Is it not possible that we may be looking for acknowledgement and reassurance that we are ok – to know that they are lovable? I believe in most cases it is. And I also believe that this desire transends age and gender.
Fortunately I read on.
You’re right, “If two people are happy what does chronology matter?”
As Hafiz says in the opening line of his poem: With That Moon Language
“Admit something: Everyone you see, you say to them, ‘Love me.’ ”
Thats all we want isn’t it?
BTW here is the rest of the poem if you’re really interested.
That’s beautiful. Sigh. Wish I could write like that…
Thanks Eric. The poem expresses it beautifully, and yes, that is all we want.
If my boss said ‘he’d finished off last night with an eighteen year old’ I’d jump to the same conclusion. What a mean boss leading you on like that. 🙂
Everything else, so true and insightful. Can’t wait to read your book when it comes out.
Thanks for your reply Jess – glad I’m not the only one who jumps to conclusions. Is it a woman thing?
Actually I thinks its a guy thing too.
So good that a man will admit that – thanks Eric.
hey nice peice
Many thanks for reading – appreciate your comment.
“because he’d finished off last night with an eighteen year old.”
Oh, the volumes that could be written about the tact, couth, and sociological stigma of one statement.
Men want to feel young — desireable, healthy, athletic — and I’m sure it’s no different for women. Some men are able to stay active, eat well, exercise, and keep themselves sharp both physically and mentally, and are entirely comfortable internally with how they appear externally.
Some feel like crud and want to “show off,” lumping young women in with their glut of material possessions. Their intentions are transparent, and their scent taints the rosey goodness of us nice, doggie-lovin’ fellas!
Great post, and clever twist there at the end!
Thanks for your beautifully written comment AM. There should definitely be more nice, doggie-lovin’ fellas around!
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