Rude Awakening

After my last short-lived relationship, I found myself single again and seeing a much younger guy. A friend tried to set me up with a friend of hers in his mid-50s. He invited me out to a cute little hipster BYOB Italian restaurant. I ended up revealing to him my predilection for younger men.

“I liked older women myself, when I was in my 20s,” he smiled.

He reminisced about being 22 and having an affair with a very hot woman in her 40s who was wealthy but also married. It was a total cougar porn stereotypical situation. The younger him would hook up with his neglected Mrs. Robinson in her mega-mansion while the workaholic husband was traipsing around the globe. Sometimes she would take HIM on trips..to the Dominican Republic…to Europe..he was living quite the gigolo life.

Their little affair actually went on for several years. The husband never found out or, if he did, didn’t care. Everything came to a grinding halt, though, when the wife got cancer.

Neither the young lover nor the husband could handle her illness, and they both bailed. My date was shame-faced about it, at least, but he chalked it up to “only being 26 years old — what did I know? I didn’t know how to deal with disease or death.”

The husband and wife divorced; the wife actually recovered from cancer and is now a good friend of my date’s.

“Why did you never end up together?” I asked him, then realized I was being a totally naive romantic. I knew the answer before he even said it.

“She was 20 years older than me. I wanted to move on..find someone to marry and have kids of my own.”

And how richly ironic — he got divorced himself, after 10 years, and here he was, alone and single and on a date with a COUGAR just like the one he abandoned 20 years ago. It struck me how funny life is.

I also thought, FUCK. That woman is ME. Or could be me. I imagined how awful it must have been for her, to be left by both her young lover and her husband in the middle of fighting a terminal illness. I guess it didn’t occur to me that even her husband, who was supposed to be the MATURE, more responsible one in her life, ALSO bailed. No..the lesson I took from this anecdote was, “I need to stop fucking around with younger guys.”

Copyright 2017. S. Wade