I was out with my parents last weekend, dining in one of the finest barbeque establishments on the Hudson River when my mother let out a low curse. I turned around to see what she was looking at. It was a woman somewhere in her late forties to early fifties kissing a boy (A BOY!) on the mouth. And stroking his hair and giggling with him like she was in her teens again. Now don’t get the wrong idea when I say boy. He was legal and of drinking age, but he couldn’t have been much more than twenty-two. And yet he was there, swapping spit with someone who could be his mother. I consider myself a feminist, one of those women who thinks she can do everything without a man, but for some reason watching these two play kissy face made my stomach churn. I know men do it all the time. And I’m not cool with that either. I don’t like that 38 year old Bradley Cooper is dating a twenty year old (she looks 16!) model. Or that 42 year old Jeremy Renner had a baby with his twenty-two year old girlfriend. There are tons of women closer to their age or who at least can rent a car with no problem that they can date. Women that they probably have more in common with. Women that are far more interesting than those girls. Even I at 28 would be too old for those men in their forties, but society doesn’t seem to make a big deal about it. Even I didn’t have much of a reaction when I learned of those huge age differences, but I had a reaction, a physical reaction when I saw that kid making out with that women.
I hate myself a little for writing this. She wasn’t even hot, or remarkable in any way. She was frumpy. She wore an oversized tee shirt and a pair of neon green Crocs. She was overweight. Her skin sagged. Her boyfriend seem to be her physical opposite. He was tall and thin, and brown and muscular. He wore a tight shirt to show his muscles. Maybe it would have been a little more palatable to me if the woman, looked like Brooke Shields or Cindy Crawford, if she looked like the image of the word cougar. But she looked like somebody’s over tired mother.
My father who is usually oblivious to what my mother and I are paying attention to saw what we were looking at.
He said, “The boy probably needs a place to stay. He gives her some. She pays his bills.”
My mother, always the cynic said, “I know. I wish your brothers would find some older women. Maybe I could finally get them out of my house.”
I too wondered how that younger guy got to be with that older woman. I wondered how they met. I wonder if he was really attracted to her.
He must have been.
I just don’t think it’s possible to fake those kinds of sweet long looks, or the gentle way he held her hand while they were eating dinner. There are all types of swindlers out there. There are men who will break your heart without even a second thought, but when I looked at them, even though it made me feel uncomfortable I felt like they were in love. And it dawned on me that I shouldn’t judge. Because that was the kind of stuff that romance novels are made of.
Here are some things that might make you want to reconsider your May-December relationship.
1. They didn’t grow up watching the same TV shows as you. (How do you NOT know PETE AND PETE? You’ve NEVER seen ALL IN THE FAMILY???)
2. They have cool new sayings that you totally won’t get. (That chick is ratchet. Doesn’t she know she’s just his jump off?)
3. You have to buy their alcohol because legally they’re not allow to. (Whomp whomp)
4. People mistake you for their mother or father. ALL THE TIME.
5. You could have changed their diapers. Or might have to change their diapers soon. (Eww. EWWW.)
And what do you think about the much older woman younger man thing? Please share your thoughts.