Everyone has their sore spots. Some people don’t like swearing. Other people think that hunting is bad. For me, it drives me crazy when I see an older man with a younger woman – and here, I’m talking about “older older” and “younger younger,” like anything more than a fifteen-year split.
Mentally, I get it – two people are in love, what difference should it make? As long as they are consenting adults, it should be OK, right? Besides, like I’m one to talk. I’m in the kind of relationship that some people might find problematic: I am smart and my husband is less smart. Just kidding, he’s a doctor. Still, I’m smarter. But really, as someone who is in an interracial relationship, I should totally understand this.
I do however know exactly what started this whole “seeing an older man with a younger woman gives me the heebie jeebies” thing too. It’s because of my daughter. She tends to bring up a lot of different “feelings” inside of me, and that’s putting it mildly.
A while ago, she started borrowing some of my movies. (I have a rather large collection of DVDs.) I’m obsessed with relationship flicks. So, she started borrowing some of my movies, in particular ones starring Ryan Gosling. I have a few of those – Drive, Blue Valentine, The Notebook(obviously), Crazy Stupid Love, Lars And The Real Girl, Half Nelson. I’ll stop there before you think I’m crazier than you already do.
“You’re not crazy,” you say. Thanks. “And your daughter wanting to borrow those movies is not so bad. Lots of women have crushes on Ryan Gosling.” I know, but then she told me that she likes Justin Timberlake. And then it was Zach Galifianakis. (Really?) And then Liam Neeson. The guys just kept getting older and older and older.
So I asked her, “Would you actually DATE an older man?”
To which she replied, “Yeah, probably. I think older guys are sexy.”
[Gasp] Sexy? Since when did she start thinking ANYONE was sexy?
“How old is ‘older’?” I choked, a little unsure I wanted to hear the answer.
“Thirty-ish would be good.”
“Thirty-what? Are you kidding me?” Protective mom alert. All systems go. I was starting to melt down. “But you aren’t even eighteen. You can’t date a man that old. He’d be like a ‘man.’ You are still a girl…or a young woman…a really YOUNG woman.”
“Would you rather I dated a woman that old? Because I might do that too. Or do you have problem with lesbians as well?”
“You know I don’t. I just think that dating someone who is so much older than you might not be the best idea.”
“You know, Mom. You think you are so open-minded, but you really aren’t.” Shaking her head in disappointment – like SHE was the parent – she sashayed up to her room.
So there I was on the losing end of an argument with her – again. But that is nothing new – I always seem to come up short where she is concerned, or I end up sounding like a bumbling idiot.
Anyway, after our little chat, I decided to settle down and think the issue over some more. Was I being too narrow-minded? Would I be this freaked out if one of my sons was dating an older woman? I didn’t know. No. Yes. Why do any of them have to date anybody? Why do they have to grow up at all? And will they eventually move away and never speak to me again? There I was, sobbing into my shirt.
All kidding aside, I do wonder about this older man/younger woman thing. It’s seems to be everywhere these days….
Take Silver Linings Playbook, for example. I don’t know how old the characters in the movie are supposed to be, but in real life Jennifer Lawrence is 22 and Bradley Cooper is 38.
Then there’s Beyonce. She’s 31 and Jay Z is 43.
Megan Fox – 26, and her husband Brian Austin Green – 39.
George Clooney – 51, Stacey Keibler – 33.
Jason Statham – 45, and his girlfriend Rosie Huntington-Whiteley – 25.
A good friend of ours – 44, and all the women he goes after – 25 or younger.
But why? I guess it’s like any other attraction. There are no real explanations. You either feel it or you don’t. It’s like why do I think the meat guy at the supermarket is attractive? He just is.
There is the case of Hugh Hefner though. Now, I’ll admit, for an eighty-six-year-old man, he looks pretty good. You can’t tell me however that all these little twenty-something bunnies are in love with him, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with his money.
But I know what you are thinking – that there are bigger problems in this world. Who really gives a crap? Am I that insecure about getting older that I’d really let something so trivial get to me? I should just let it go already. Besides, my mother-in-law and father-in-law are thirteen years apart and I don’t think anything of it with them. True, I don’t.
So, if my daughter ever brings home an older man, and he’s a nice guy and he’s good to her, I’ll just shut my mouth and tell her that I am happy for them.
Yes, I’m going to need to get over myself. When my daughter brings home Hal or Stan or whatever the heck his name is, and he is closer in age to me than he is to her – or (gulp) he IS my age – or (double gulp) he is OLDER than me, I’ll just smile.
If he needs Depends Undergarments though, and he asks her to pick some up for him at the drug store, I’m NOT going to go along for the ride. I’m telling you (and her) right now – I have my limits.