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Surprise #6: Paradigm shift

When you consider the only currently available alternative to aging is, well, being dead, getting older suddenly looks much more appealing. But there are times when what seems like a simple, gradual process that you have plenty of time to get used to suddenly throws up a mile marker that startles you.  This one happened to me last summer.

Like many (many many many) people, there is a Starbucks near where I work. Like man (many many many) people, I stop in there frequently. There's a young guy who works there, a graduate student in architecture. Based on my interactions with him there, and more so at the library where he helped us out over a semester with some of our architecture collections, I knew he was intelligent, quick-witted, reliable, nice, funny. Last summer he joined this group that bikes across the US, stopping to help work on affordable housing projects at various places along the way. His colleagues at Starbucks put up a flier about it so people could donate, with a link to his blog, where I learned more about him: that he was an Americorps volunteer, worked with Habitat for Humanity, has a lovely philosophy about making people's lives better, likes to draw, and a number of other very appealing things, all of which summed up to his being a genuinely remarkable young man.

Oh, and did I mention he's also very cute? Shaggy brown hair, nice eyes, sweet smile, etc.

Now, for the last several many decades (exactly how many, modesty prohibits me from disclosing), all of this would immediately have spawned the thought, "Wow, I would love to go out with this guy."

This time? The very first thought that crossed my mind was, "Wow, how amazing would it be to have a son like that? I would be so proud..."

This was quite a shock, let me tell you. I mean, I knew I'd reached the point where my boss is younger than I am, but I had no idea I had crossed the Rubicon from having men in the world that were too old to date, to having men in the world that were too young to date. And it came upon me so unexpectedly and so fully-formed -- it wasn't like I had some sort of internal debate about it, it was just a done deal.

The aftershocks still haven't quite settled out in my mind nearly a year later. Even writing it down makes me feel rather odd. So I think a cup of tea and some chocolate is in order.  And perhaps some voting on English men :)

Comments

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veritas03
Jun. 15th, 2012 04:31 am (UTC)
I've had this experience. *sighs* I know exactly what you mean.
Thanks for the link to the voting. That was fun. :)
delphipsmith
Jun. 15th, 2012 10:58 am (UTC)
I thought about requiring anyone who follows the link to vote for Alan Rickman, but then I thought, "Can there be anyone out there who wouldn't just naturally do that??"
veritas03
Jun. 15th, 2012 12:56 pm (UTC)
Well, much as I enjoyed American Gods...

But no - no way Neil Gaiman beats Alan Rickman. Ever.
delphipsmith
Jun. 16th, 2012 04:18 am (UTC)
Indeed...
lijahlover
Jun. 15th, 2012 05:27 am (UTC)
We we are getting older LOL!
delphipsmith
Jun. 15th, 2012 10:58 am (UTC)
Shhhhhh!! That's supposed to be a SEKRIT...
talesofsnape
Jun. 15th, 2012 07:50 am (UTC)
Damn! I missed the vote. And how did a Scots/American get in there anyway?

I think my realisation on that count was a two-stage thing. First there was the guilt over liking Spike in Buffy (at least until JM's year book piccies came out and I discovered he was actually older than I was). Then when my attention shifted to HP I just had immediate 'Ewwwww' thoughts when there was squeeing over Draco. Just 'Eugh!'
delphipsmith
Jun. 15th, 2012 11:00 am (UTC)
First there was the guilt over liking Spike in Buffy - Meh, he's a vampire, he's like over 100 years old LOL!

when my attention shifted to HP I just had immediate 'Ewwwww' thoughts when there was squeeing over Draco. Maybe that should have been my first clue, that none of the younger generation in HP did anything for me. The men, now, that's a different story LOL! Oh wait -- I forgot about Oliver Wood and his accent ::swoooooon::
talesofsnape
Jun. 15th, 2012 08:34 pm (UTC)
Hee! Oliver Wood's accent is more or less what I grew up listening to so rather than swoonsome thoughts, it induces more thoughts of home.
noeon
Jun. 15th, 2012 11:53 am (UTC)
This time? The very first thought that crossed my mind was, "Wow, how amazing would it be to have a son like that? I would be so proud..."


*spikes your tea with hooch*

It is weird, isn't it? And it's all relative. Relative to the people around us but also relative to our own ideas of age and aging. And it affects our self-perception in so many weird ways.
delphipsmith
Jun. 16th, 2012 04:18 am (UTC)
More tea, plz?
nursedarry
Jun. 15th, 2012 01:36 pm (UTC)
but I had no idea I had crossed the Rubicon from having men in the world that were too old to date, to having men in the world that were too young to date

Sorry...I don't understand...
delphipsmith
Jun. 16th, 2012 04:20 am (UTC)
Ahahahaaaa. Of course you wouldn't. Of course they're too busy shagging each other to notice YOU ;)
shyfoxling
Jun. 15th, 2012 06:58 pm (UTC)
There are boys in my sphere too young to date. But as I am (controversial word here) childfree, my thought merely shifted from "Gee, he's cute, wonder if he'd appreciate my advances" to "Gee, he's cute but he's far too young for that," without the bit about wanting such a lad to be my own child.

Not sure where my line is. Depends on the kid (oy! "the kid") of course, but even 18 seems awfully young to me in many cases, now. There could be exceptions but I think generally the line would hover around 23-24 these days (10 years younger than me).

My "too old" line is probably not that much older than me... 40 still sounds kind of old to date at this point.
delphipsmith
Jun. 16th, 2012 04:23 am (UTC)
I'm child-free as well (is it controversial? it's pretty common among my acquaintances), unless you count various nieces and nephews. Mr Psmith and I opted for exotic pets and travel instead, heh heh. As for age -- my "too old" is/has been a pretty high number. I've always liked older guys; they generally know what they're doing ;)
shyfoxling
Jun. 30th, 2012 04:17 am (UTC)
I'm child-free as well (is it controversial? it's pretty common among my acquaintances)

Some don't like it because they feel it is insulting to those who choose to have children.
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