Saturday, December 23, 2006

Young at Heart

This was going to be the post where I would expose Joe Rago (WSJ, The Blog Mob) as the precocious, pompous, myopic pinhead that he is. Instead, I’ll let him use his own eloquence (and associated self-portrait?) to paint a rather complete image of the Wall Street Journal’s assistant editorial features editor. It wasn’t too hard find, but I’ll spare you the legwork – just go here. The icing on this cake? His degree is not even in journalism. He was a history major! Ok, ok, Mike, let it go…

On to more pressing issues.

As my profile indicates, I am a 44 year-old graduating senior at California State University, Sacramento – affectionately known as Sac State. Not in the same league as Dartmouth, Rago’s alma mater (I promise, that’s the last time!), but a decent school all the same. I have only nine units to complete before I make my way back into the world of professional journalism. Where that leads me I can only begin to guess.

Although the storied journey that my life is thus far has had it’s share of trials and tribulations, these experiences, though inspirational and miraculous in many respects, are not all that uncommon. I know of a great many who have overcome adversity comparable to my own. Recently, however, an unfamiliar twist has introduced a degree of trepidation, controversy and perhaps even a little bit of fear into what has been a pretty stable existence for the past two years.

Because I have a habit of repetitively reinventing of myself, continuity has not been my forte. Build, destroy, repeat. That was my life. Now, there is some permanence, some big things are coming down the road and I have the freedom to exploit them. It is as if I am just about to graduate college, which, of course, I am. It’s like I have my whole life in front of me. True enough. But, although in many respects I feel like one, I’m not a kid. My classmates – my peers – however, are.

And I’m single. I have been for quite a long time. It was how I wanted it. Now? Not so much. And oddly enough, I have been attracting more attention than usual from the fairer sex. At least it seems that way. Some are pretty young. So how young is too young? Ten years younger? Fifteen years? How about 20? Try 21. Yup, she’s 23 years-old. Pretty, ambitious, smart, outgoing and 21 years younger than me. To put that into perspective, she’s one year older than my eldest son. We went out on a date. It was nice – and it was over, but I’m not so sure it was because of the difference in our ages.

Once I got past the novelty and the weirdness, it was much the same as any other date. It helps that I have only known her as an adult. If I had known her since I was, say, 34 and she was 13… well, I don’t think there would have been a date. Our history however (I’ve known her for a few months) has always been on an adult level. Furthermore, there are a number of other things that we share regarding our respective positions in life. It is true of a great many women I associate with, and a number of them are substantially younger than I.

When I started reading and commenting on others’ blogs, I remember one of the first really deep issues I weighed in on was this very question – posed from the woman’s perspective. She wondered what ramifications, moral and otherwise, would she face if she dated a much older gentleman. Although I pointed out some of the hypothetical concerns I would have if I found myself in such a position (prophetic, I know!), I didn’t see it as absurd or even necessarily remotely insane.

Although this particular date ended in what appears to be just a friendship, dates with other young women are likely to come along. So here’s the question:

As adults (only, please), would you or have you dated someone much younger or older than yourself?

23 comments:

colleen said...

I did. My 2nd husband is 10 years younger. I wouldn't likely go to 20's difference though. I think it would be too hard to have anything in common. Michele sent me.

BarBarA said...

Mike, I did a post on the same subject not long ago because I was involved with a man 13 years younger than me. I will try to find it and send you the comments in an email - naturally there were a variety of opinions.

Bottom line - it all depends on the two individual people...but with that said, someone that is only in their early 20's is still developing and figuring out "who they are" because that's a process that takes time and experience, you can't really hurry it.

For me personally, I am attracted more to younger men and them to me which is fine and fun for casual dating, but for the long term I would not want a serious relationship because I don't want to be with an older guy who can't keep up with me - OR WORSE YET feel like an old woman next to my young man.

Yet, true love transcends age so follow your heart.

Thumper said...

I don't know what I would do...Ive been married for 25 years and I think it's sticking. But my sister married a guy 22 years older than her, and she's very happy. It could have been creepy if anyone had stopped to think he was old enough to be her father, but we let it go :)

And hey...I went to Casa Roble High, not far from where you are now!(You're thrilled, I'm sure...)

Here via Michele's!

Prego said...

Two things.

Lucky.

&

Bastard.


p

here via michele tonight

Anonymous said...

uuuuuu..how romantic hee! hee!..I can just see you and the lovely lady...and all the other lucky lovely ladies to come your way..hee!hee!

and really..I don't see age as a factor...and..um'..okay..since me'Hubz stepped out for awhile..I'll indulge myself with a bit of daydreaming hee! hee!..SHHHH...


I'd probably date a guy up to 10 years younger...and way up older...as long as these men ( one at a time don't worry...I may pick out a favorite though..) are honorable...and respectable and fun to be with and engaging and personable and would treat me like a princess or queen or royalty something...and....

oh' gawd!..my chicken is burning!!!!


Luxie

Leah said...

here via Michele

stay happy...age does not matter....

Happy Holidays

Terri said...

I've always been attracted to older men...more mature, stable, experienced. But I truly feel age is simply a number. When it comes to an enjoyable relationship, I don't think age difference is a priority.

kate said...

7 years younger was my biggest difference. I dated a guy 6 years older when I was in high school... that was weird... he was a cop and we actually went to Studio 54 in NYC for our first date (it was a fix up date by a friend of mine that was dating his friend and they went with us) It really was fun and exciting but it didnt feel REAL.

My 70 year old dad is dating a 46 year old woman. (2 years now) they seem happier than ever. I guess it depends on the people and the goal. If you are looking for a mate then you may be looking in the wrong place... If you are looking for company and who knows... then go for it! Hey... If I were you I would feel my way through and be thrilled that you are getting attention! It must feel great!!!! I can only imagine! lol

cheers and Merry Christmas!

craziequeen said...

My step-dad is 11 years younger than my mum, and my sister's ex-husband was 11 years older than her.

I've not made a habit of it, but I have briefly dated men much older than me.

But have been happy with MB (3yrs older than me) for over 20yrs. :-)

Merry Christmas, Mike :-)

cq
Michele etc etc [wink]

David said...

no - i like to stay near my own age.


you are graduating? Congrats that is great!

Catherine said...

I have very little experience of this as my husband is also my first boyfriend. He is four years older than me. That was quite enough when he was 24 and I was 20. And now, there are health issues which make even a 4 year gap seem bigger in some ways. My parents were nine years apart in age - they both died quite young, so health issues and ageing didn't really come up. Honestly, I'm not sure. I have a friend who is around 40 dating a man who is around 60 I think, and again, there is a big difference in health and fitness.
Here from Michele's

sage said...

Congratulations on your upcoming graduation. Sack state--that could have too meaning, the football team has one heck of a defense, or the co-eds are easy...

As I haven't heard anything about football from UC-Sac, I'm assuming the latter... Just kidding, I'm married to someone nearly 14 years younger.

carli said...

I am jealous of people who are much younger, and don't really associate with many people who are much older, so I would say no.

And in fairness to Mr. Rago, many, many journalists do not major in journalism in college. In fact, there are journalists in high places who say that you shouldn't major in journalism in college, though I'm sure it's fine.

Catherine said...

You're right about Carli's blog, it's darned funny! Michele sent me back again (but I checked out Carli's blog first, on your recommendation)

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Interesting question Mike...
Yes! I have dated two people who were youger than me...As a woman, dating a younger man, this was looked on with some raised eyebrows at the time (I am up there in years and this was a long time ago....I personally did not find a huge gap in what we had in common, at all...He was 9 and a half years younger....
Later....I dated someone who was almost twenty years younger...the problems we faced were not so much about the age difference though there were some....but more about personal issues....
I just had a discussion today with someone about a mutual friend---a woman who's husband left her after over twenty years of marriage, for a "younger" woman...! (Bastard!!!) I was shocked because I had not known there were problems in this marriage...Here's the thing though: The gentleman I was discussing this with (who felt very badly for the woman, btw) said how it is easier for an older man to hook up with a younger woman than for an older woman--in this case this woman is almost 60---to connect with a younger man. The chances and opportinity's at least in this city seem to be not favorable at all for this situation...This wondeerful bright interesting talented woman who looks a lot younger than her years is considered kind of 'over-the-hill'...I must say I absolutely HATE that! (lol) Seriously though...it seems terribly unfair to me....Younger women want an oldrer man---successful, with money, etc....but a younger man wanting to be with an older woman...well, a lot of the time only if she is successful and has money is it even considered...I'm sorry to say. But in the end, it is all so individual, you know?
So personal...the needs of each person, so very individual and personal...

I went off here I know....sorry about that...it just ticked off this concersation today...

I think you should enjoy whatever you can and not worry about the age difference as long as it doesn't seem to be a problem...!
Good Luck, my dear Mike...and have fun!

AND, A Very Merry Christmas To You!

Biker Betty said...

My marriage is coming up on 27 years. So when I was 20 years old, I was only comfortable with a few years younger and about 6 years older. My husband is 4 years older.

If I had to date now, and thank God I don't, I'd probably say no more then 5 years younger and about 8 years older. Of course, it would depend on the person I'm dating. Like others have said, it all depends on the "chemestry" of the two dating.

Mike, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year :)

David said...

Blessed Christmas Mike.
I am thanking God for a great country and good people who care and love and give, like no where else on earth!

Lee Ann said...

Merry Christmas!
Have a safe and joyful holiday!
Love,
Lee Ann

Star said...

Hard to say for sure, as I have been married for 34 years. I would think tht if I truly wanted to date someone, age wuld not be a determining factor in he decision. Although I don 't think I would have much in common with someone who had that much less life experience than I did. But you never know. If someone was interested, and interesting I would probably go for it. michele sent me.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Joe Ragu's quite the spaghetti-head, isn't he?

Anyway, as for dating younger... yes, but I couldn't continue to. He was 21 and I was 38 and it was WAY too much of a diff. He still calls, which is flattering, but what do we have to talk about? He points to Demi/Ashton, but I just can't go there.

I stick to no one younger than 35.

However, I'm currently not bothering with dating at all. Life is too full and exciting enough without a guy.

Merry Christmas, my friend!

Dak-Ind said...

greetings from michele and merry christmas...

first, congratulations on impending graduation...

age difference, who cares? my first husband was 12 years older than i. i was 6 when he graduated from high school. my current husband is 6 years younger than me. he wasnt alive when mt st helens blew. in between my spouses, i dated a fellow who is just 2 years younger than my mother. i adored him. you can have things in common and a deep caring relationship with someone who isnt your age, who isnt your background, who isnt even your religion.

my feelings on homosexuality are the same in this respect... if you can find someone to truly love who is good to you and makes you happy, who cares if they are male female black white brown yellow old young or anything else...

Becky68 said...

I have a lifelong experience about this last, my Grandfather on my mother's side was 13 years older than my Grandmother & they had a wonderful relationship, my father was 9 years older than my mother & theirs was not so great, my oldest child's father was 8 years older than I & we lasted 18 months (it didn't help that he was an alcoholic & had drug problems that I was too young to know about until about half way through the 18 months) My ex husband was 5 years younger than I & it made probems in some ways & was great in others. I really think, in light of all I've observed that it has more to do with the people than their chronologic ages.

Pearl said...

I haven't but my parents are over a decade apart. Age is one dynamic and if you allow for life experience difference as well as overlap, I don't see why two adult ages shouldn't be compatible.

Mid-twenties woman and mid-forties man, both are in their prime of attractiveness.