I broke up with my girlfriend at the absolute wrong time.
I hadn’t noticed a trend forming while we were dating, I guess I didn’t care to look, but during our relationship all other people our age (20 something) started to date much older people (50 something). It was a tendency that had been around for a while I guess, older men always seemed to lust after younger women, but then the cougar thing became popular and all of a sudden it was not only socially acceptable, it was encouraged. Young women no longer had to date jobless couch surfers, they could be courted with money and taste and really cool downtown apartments.
Two weeks after April and I broke up she called me. “Hey are you still looking for a job,” she asked immediately in a friendly tone that broke the ice and suggested “hey don’t over think this, we’re still friends.”
“Yeah I am, I found some little things, but they won’t last past the summer.”
“Well Bob is the VP of marketing for one of the big banks downtown and if you want I could ask him to get you an interview for an entry level type thing.”
“Oh he’s this guy I’m seeing. He’s…I like the term mature.”
“Oh, I didn’t know you wanted to go for an older man.”
“Honestly I didn’t either, but he just had such confidence when he came up to me, and he paid for all my drinks. I was thoroughly charmed, and it’s just been great ever since.”
“That sounds nice. Yeah, let him know I would be interested in a job.”
After I hung up I thought about it, and really my biggest problem with this dating development is that 20 somethings just don’t have the numbers. The baby boomers are a huge bulge in the population and there are enough of them to date everyone in my generation and still have a bunch of people left over to marry amongst themselves. But where does that leave me? I’m the only person my age left not dating a baby boomer.
I was at the mall a while back and a really cute girl dropped a shirt she was carrying to the cash registers. I grabbed it and gave her a tap on the shoulder.
“What,” she snapped back at me. “Are you going to buy that for me?”
“Oh, no you just dropped this.”
She kind of looked me up and down, but especially at my face. I think she wished there were more wrinkles.
“Give me that you pervert,” she said and continued to the cash register.
She probably wasn’t my type anyway.
“Nick,” someone said from behind me.
“April,” I said back when I turned and saw my ex-girlfriend with a white haired gentleman. He had a smile on his face that said “is this the young man you were telling me about”. But he just gave a crushing handshake and said “Hi I’m Bob. Nick was it?”
“Yeah, nice to meet you. You guys are getting some frames I see.”
“Bob has been showing me how to use a camera, like a real non-digital camera. It’s very interesting. He spent three years in Alaska taking pictures of the wolves, right Bob?”
“In my wilder days. What do you have there Nick, is that a DVD?”
“Yeah, I got a new copy of ‘Home Alone’ because I can’t find mine, and a thing of goldfish crackers.” I shuffled the items around in my hands. “Wilder days you know.”
“Here’s my card Nick, give me a call if you are still looking for a job,” Bob said.
“It was good to see you,” they both said, and gave me a pat on my back as they slowly walked away, asking each other what else they needed.
After a few months passed, I realized I really hate being lonely, and am not completely against dating older women. I met a nice 45 year old woman at Barnes and Noble the other day, we were both looking for books about aliens. She wanted more non-fiction type stuff while I was looking for something a bit scarier and fictionier. I used that word and she laughed and we sat at Starbucks and had a coffee, her treat. Later we went back to her house and made love until her son got home from his job. He’s a little younger than me, which is cool because we have a lot we can talk about during dinners. It’s going to be ok I think.