A recent conversation at the lunch table made me stop and think about how things can affect your perspective. I was sitting near a group of single people who were busy talking about dating and how they thought that once you passed 35 it must be really tough. Point of interest, the people talking are all between 23 and 26 years of age.
I snorted and rolled my eyes and received a couple of comments that essentially said that my age and marital status made it difficult if not impossible for me to understand. So I said to those young whippersnappers that they had no clue about dating or what it means to be old. And received more snarky comments in response. For the moment I’ll let you guess what they were.
But the conversation stuck with me and I spent a few minutes thinking about it on the drive home. When I was in my early twenties I dated a woman who had just turned 40. At the time we began dating I didn’t know how old she was. I knew that she was older, but not by how much.
Truth is that we kind of fell into the whole thing. Blame it on a bottle of wine and some good music. All I know is that we shared this moment and I decided that if she was interested I’d see where things went.
It didn’t last very long at all. If you asked me how long I couldn’t tell you, which probably gives you a good indication of how serious it was.
She was a single mom who had a son who was half my age. They had a house not too far away from my place. Since it was summer he was gone a large part of the time, but on a few occasions he was home.
At the beginning I found it to be interesting and novel. But at the same time I was a little weirded out by things. To begin with I thought that 40 was really old, not to mention that she was 40 with a kid pushing Bar-Mitzvah age to boot.
When I look back on that time I shake my head because now I am almost as old as she was. But I don’t feel it. The mental image I have of myself is of me around 20. I know that I don’t like I did, but even so it is hard to think of myself as being anything else.
I rather imagine that she must have felt that way too. I remember asking her if she thought that the age difference was too big and she said no. Funny thing is that if I was single I am not sure that I could date someone who was 17 years younger than me. There is a lot of life experience that takes place between 22 and now.
If you had asked me about those differences than I don’t think that I could have answered the question. I mean, I am sure that I would have, but what the hell did I know about things like marriage and parenting. The answer is not a whole lot.
You may not have to visit the sun to know that it is hot, but there are somethings that you can’t really understand unless you experience them for yourself.
When my grandfather said that you can’t screw an old head on young shoulders he was right.