If You Can’t Run, You’re Too Old to Chase Someone Who Can (And that Goes for Me Too)

On the same day, a barely-legal college student and a social-security-eligible old man hit on me. This happens more often than I’d like because I’m smiley, it’s hard to gauge my age, and some men play the why-not-hit-on-every-woman-I-see-until-one-says-yes numbers game. However, in the buffet of jailbait vs. geriatrics, I choose neither, and it is largely this: the thought of romancing someone I could have given birth to or someone who could have given birth to me is creepy.

Sure I’ve dated older (who hasn’t), and once a man seventeen years my senior. Okay, so he could have technically given birth to me, but I was late thirties and he was youthful, in great shape and undeniably cool, thus I ignored the math. Now, he’s almost seventy and if he wanted to start up again—Ew!—I’d run the other way because I still can and the gap seems too glaring. I’m in the middle. He’s at the end and things in that senior-citizen body are obviously falling apart, winding down or super scary.

Remember the episode of Sex and the City where Samantha psyched herself up to take a tumble with the 70ish billionaire because she was hot for his money, not him? She got him to turn off all the bedroom lights, but when he shuffled off to the bathroom naked, she saw his wrinkly butt and got up and ran.

In real life, Mr. Wrinkly Butt probably caught the next young thing (Hugh Hefner anyone?)  It’s what happened in the olden days too, when this chasing younger women monkey business first caught hold. Need-based single women sought the security of men with means and men with means sought firm, fertile almost child-like brides. (Shout out to both my maternal and paternal grandmothers.)

But when you’re done baby-making and can pay your own mortgage, etc, options abound, and like Samantha, I’ve also gone younger. Not cougar-younger, but up to six years, which I believe works because my felt-age swings slightly younger. One was French, a memorable trip I would highly recommend.

Although they had tons more energy than men my age (Yep, not going into details), the younger bucks inevitably seemed a little goofy. Not cereal-in-bed-or-playing-video-games-with-my-teenage-nephews-goofy, but directionless-and-not-intellectually-curious-enough goofy.

Still it was fun and lifted my spirits—like a series of B-vitamin shots or a tropical vacation—and I’d go there again.

Even though the word is that “fifty is the new thirty,” which sort of gives me a directive to hook up with a thirty-year old, instinct suggests that the deeper I dive into the guppy pool, the more the goofiness I’d net. The lack of shared generational goals, anchors, and musical tastes—to name a few—dull desire. And hey, wait, if I’m thirty, wouldn’t that make my thirty-year old boyfriend ten? Again, Ew!

May-December romances may work for some, but my magical number seems to be plus or minus six. Mature mind, young heart, medium-firm, and still running.

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