Whilst I empathise with my fellow 40something single friends and would be ecstatic to see them transition to some loved-up coupledom, I love that they are able to provide fodder that broadens my knowledge, feeds my blog and gives me that ‘there but for the grace of God…’ shudder. There are two rules about my use of their stories in this blog:
- We wait for the tears to dry before ANYTHING gets written down
- We measure the impact of the experience on the Veuve-ometer. Any dalliance where the recovery strategy requires more than a half dozen bottles of Veuve Cliquot is too deep a wound to ever be shared with my blog readers.
Once such experience has now translated into the now-immutable dating law of ‘always keep it to adjoining decades’ As a 40s chick, dating someone in their 30s is perfectly acceptable, in fact encouraged, but when she dabbled with a guy whose age began with a 2, here’s what we learned:
One – There’s weirdness about invention and extinction of stuff.
You will remember a time prior to the mobile phone, in fact even a time before land lines were hooked up to voicemail. They can no more imagine that than a time before Kardashians roamed the earth.
You probably had brush with death dealt by a street directory becoming an unintended projectile straight from the parcel shelf upon some unanticipated braking. The closest navigational aid-driven near-death experience they have had was that dreadful period when Apple’s IOS upgrade trashed google maps.
Your first musical capture device was the pizza sized LP record whereas they can’t recall a time where a song was anything but a file.
If you kept clothes from your teenage years, they would now term them vintage. Vintage is great when it involves wine, impressive when it applies to your boho wardrobe items, but you don’t want to be FROM there.
This is not to say you are not super obsessed with everything that’s new and good – from knowing all the quirkiest questions to ask Siri through to knowing the coolest hashtags, but one day, you will speak out loud of something that no longer exists and there will be a weird awkward silence.
Two – they will go to music festivals
We’ve come a long from the Big Day Out baby. Music festivals draw in today’s 20somethings like moth to a flame and have become multi-day, fashion and music extravaganzas. The only thing that you are likely to relate to is the fashion.
If the music festival on the tip of your tongue is the Port Fairy Folk festival, then even the biggest Paris Hilton-esque sunglassies and the flowiest Nicole Richie dress CANNOT SAVE YOU.
The only person in the world in your age bracket who can pull it off is Kate Moss and that’s only because of her ageless, rock-star girlfriend, <alleged> drug-dabbling cred. Even if you think you have these attributes, you can’t go there unless you actually look like this
Three – you will have vastly different perspectives on major milestone years.
The year 2000, after we established that we weren’t wiped off the map by the y2k bug, had milestones for everyone. Our heroine, some 12 years after attaining legal drinking age and after persisting with the drinking of red wine with a patience more robust than the tabloids with a Jessica Simpson pregnancy, she ditched it on the grounds of its unfailing hangover-inducing properties. Upon some unrelated conversation about red wine and why she no longer drank it, she remarked the stuff hadn’t touched her lips since Sydney hosted the 2000 Olympics. Ah, he said, the year I got my learners permit and drove my family up to Sydney to see Cathy Freeman run.
Four – they sext. You don’t.
It’s a fairly safe bet that Black Caviar is never going to return to racing. (and if you think there is a mare-out-to-pasture subtext there then you’re right) Its an ever surer bet that if you indulge with a 20something with any degree of duration, you will receive a picture in your message inbox demonstrating some degree of swordsmanship on the part of your beau. lt will occur when you are discretely checking your message inbox in a key meeting and represents potential to cause untold damage to your level of concentration
There are three golden rules around this.
- you will show it to your besties
- you must not respond in kind
- you must delete it or engage in some mindless back and forth message chit chat in order to send it off the current screen into that special archive place where it is not likely to make an unwelcome appearance when you are demonstrating to your dad how cool an iphone is.
There is no shortage of examples where a 10plus age gap works and translates into a glorious life long partnership. This was not one of them, but became embedded in our shared bestie folkore as the ‘adjoining decades only’ rule, the only tangible reminder of the relationship being the sword pic that is dusted off whenever someone needs a chuckle.
If you are taking your online dating a little more seriously than this blog, check out this website for fabulously simple online dating advice.