Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Nevermind the gap

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine wrote as her facebook status: "How absurd and delicious it is to be in love with somebody younger than yourself. Everybody should try it :)"

First, I was envious.  She is truly in a great relationship, and she deserves every bit of happiness she has (it hasn't come easy).  But I want some of that. 

And then I was amused.  It's kind of unlike her to post something like that.  Lots of my friends are mushy about their significant others on facebook, but she's not usually one of them.  It caught me by surprise. I giggled.

When those emotions had passed, I realized she wasn't telling me something I didn't already know. Ask any of my high school or college friends -- I have always had a bit of a weakness for younger men.  And that's putting it mildly.  I sometimes joke that my college degree says I majored in "mass communication," but in reality, it should probably read "bulls**t and freshman boys." I was the master of pulling off a last minute paper or article, and the majority of my college crushes (and there were plenty of them) were freshmen.

I'm not sure what was (and still is?) appealing about younger men. I've always sort of thought it had something to do with my lack of experience in relationships.  I guess I figure if they're younger than I am, they might be closer to the same level of experience.  Although if I want to truly find someone on the same plane as I am, I would end up in jail because there are teenagers with more romantic history than I have.  Sad but true. 

I've often joked that I'm never getting married. Instead, I'm going to go through my career and save enough money so I can retire somewhere with minor league or independent league baseball. Then I'll be like Annie in "Bull Durham."  Sort of.  I probably wouldn't offer all the "services" she does, but I think I would definitely enjoy the company of young ballplayer.

So I guess that means I'm a cougar in training?  I doubt it.  I felt like a pedo crushing on Matt Saracen in "Friday Night Lights" (even though I know Zach Gilford, the actor who plays him, is of legal age).  Besides, people throw out that "cougar" term like it's a bad thing, but I don't think it has to be.  What's wrong with an older woman and a younger man being together?  Demi and Ashton have shown it works quite well.  I don't hear people making (as many) cracks about Hugh Hefner (84) and his newest bride (24).

Seriously though, I'm all for loving whoever you love, whether that person is older, younger, opposite sex, same sex, different religion, etc.  We don't get to choose who we fall for. If it were that easy, there wouldn't be so many broken hearts (and subsequently not as many great songs).  It would also eliminate the surprise in life that I think comes with finding love.  Obviously, I don't have first-hand experience in this, but many of the love stories I've witnessed have happened completely when the two people least expected it.  The cynic in me rolls her eyes, but the romantic in me (she's still there somewhere!) swoons.

All that said, I'm glad my friend is so "absurd"ly in love with her younger man. We should all get to feel that way someday.

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