Age ain’t nothing but a number? Please. Even Aaliyah had to retract that one. Peace All, I just wanted to discuss this with you for a moment. Granted, age is not necessarily an indicator of maturity in adults, but it sometimes is. I mention this because I came across a guy via Craigslist: Black but half Egyptian, gorgeous, funny, tall, very reasonably employed, but also 23. Yes, TWENTY-THREE. So how young is too young? How old is too old for that matter? What do you all think?
I meditated on this a little bit. First I was struck by the double standard whereby it is perfectly acceptable for a man in his forties to have a wife in her twenties, but a forty-year-old woman is thought of as a cradle-robbing cougar trying to get her groove back if she takes a man in his twenties as her husband. There is also this assumption that in the case of the woman being older, she will not be able to satisfy the man (mentally, physically, emotionally – however you’d like to interpret it) despite her best efforts, ie Demi and Ashton. Yup, I'm going there, all pop culture on you. I don’t quite see the same "inability to satisfy" assumption with the older man scenario, unless the man is much, much older like Anna Nicole Smith’s-husband-old. Of course there was some eyebrow raising with Tom and Katie, but the majority of the attention was brought to their union by the popular belief that Tom is a raving loon trying to force Katie into a cult or some such thing. Absent the religious factor, I don’t think a whole lot would’ve been said about their relationship. That’s not fair - is it? We all know that men and women mature differently, and your average man in his twenties isn’t mentally, emotionally, or, let’s be real now, financially prepared to marry anyone. It can be argued that reason for this lies in the fact that men in our society are not expected or required to be mature at this age, where a man in his twenties in another society might be expected to be married already and running a farm or engaged in some other enterprise to support his family. Whatever the reason, it brings to mind a lesson I’ve learned: equality does not necessarily mean sameness. A woman may want to be afforded the same amount of respect and autonomy in society as a man, but that doesn’t mean she wishes to be treated like a man. If I understand this to be true, then I have to rethink the aforementioned age double standard.
All of these thoughts made my situation even more confusing though, so to make the decision about whether or not to get involved with this guy, Young Buck as he shall be called, I stuck with one of my original rules for this process: to be open to whatever comes. With that, I gave Young Buck a shot. We seemed to have a connection via email and text, strong enough that I felt comfy actually speaking with him on the phone, which is not something I really don’t enjoy doing even with friends and family. Email me; text me; let’s meet up. Don’t call me trying to chit-chat. I've felt this way ever since I was a little kid, yet I really enjoyed speaking with this person. He was as direct as I am, and before you knew it we were having some more serious religious conversations and discussions about other aspects of our lifestyles. There was a kind of refreshing quality to this honesty. No one was rude, but we were each blunt and set aside all of the tip-toeing people do as they try to get to know each other. I liked it.
We agreed to meet briefly so that we could talk, and I’ll say I was a little impressed. He was not at all like a 23 year old in phone conversations or in person, but I could still feel comfortable using casual slang with him because we share a culture. I was getting good vibes from him. I started really thinking hard about the possibility of going forward, which up until then I hadn’t really thought too seriously about. I was feeling him a little bit. Still, twenty-three just seemed very young to handle the type of relationship I have in mind, and I remained apprehensive. Also, for all I've said about cultural understanding, it really doesn’t trump personal understanding. From what I could tell, he did not seem to get my humor at all. Now I know I’m not funny. Duh. I have no problem laughing right by myself, but if we don’t even find similar types of things funny… not all that good. Honestly, I don’t know that he properly understood everything I was saying. At one point we were texting, and he said, “what do you mean? You use too many words.” I didn’t quite know how to respond. I can’t modify my entire way of speaking so that my mate can grasp the meaning of basic phrases. There was also a kind of indecisiveness about him which I attributed to his youth but may well have been him just not being into me as much as I thought, though some of his actions said otherwise. So I was on the fence about Young Buck, more off than on. I was really attracted to him, but I couldn’t put my finger on why, and this made me nervous. At one point it crossed my mind that his character was very much like a combination of different aspects of my last three exes’ characters. That shoulda sent me screaming in the other direction, but alas it did not folks. Feel free to shake your head. What can I say?! Dude was mad sexy.
The day after we met though, I caught a flat tire as we were texting intermittently (no, I don’t text and drive), and I told him I had to call someone to fix it. He called me immediately, found out where I was, put it in his GPS, and drove out from another county just to come change my tire. Then he followed me to the gas station to make sure the air pressure in the spare was correct, hugged me, told me to text him to let him know I’d arrived home safely, and just rode off into the sunset despite my offers to buy him dinner. Major turn on. I confess that a man’s ability to fix things is incredibly sexy to me. It’s not important, but I really like it. Just like that Young Buck was not simply confirmed to the list of candidates, he shot up near the top of the list. In the end though, the more we conversed, the more our characters seemed too different. Age didn’t really have a lot to do with it; I think we are both just looking for something else. We could’ve had fun for a short while, but that’s all it would’ve been. Since I’m not trying to have a bunch of random male...friends (lol), I’ve distanced myself, and that’s that.
And so the lesson here is…Well, I’ve taken a great many things from the experience. What if anything you take from it is up to you.