She wasn’t beautiful, but she was attractive. She had a smile and a contagious laugh that made her seem beautiful. You know how some sunny personalities change a person’s physical appearance and the way a person appears to you? She looked beautiful to me.

I had just turned 20 and she was a 28 year-old divorcee.  I had just finished my final year of college and was preparing to move to a new job in the icy northern Arctic. I was dropping her off at her apartment after a farewell party and she invited me up for a beer. It was clear that more than beer was in the offing. It felt more like “Summer of 42” than “The Graduate”. There was an age difference… not huge but it felt pretty substantial. Because she had already been married, it made her seem older still. I felt a bit awkward… still I wanted to say yes. Every male-like urge from my waist down implored, “SAY YES”!

But I resisted politely and said I was tired and need to get ready for my move. As I drove away, I banged my fist on the steering wheel and mentally kicked myself. It was a bittersweet moment and the closest I’ve come to an April/November romance.

Cover of "Summer of '42"

(Our age difference was more like this than with The Graduate’s Mrs. Robinson)

I wanted to call this blog post BEAUTY AND THE BEAST…but it didn’t work because in this story, BEAUTY IS THE BEAST…isn’t she? Well, I’m not sure.

One of last week’s biggest Canadian news stories was that of a 69 year-old senator (I’ll call him NOAH…you know, biblically OLD and worn) travelling with his 23 year-old blonde bombshell wife (we’ll call her EVE, Garden of Eden fresh and pert). My math skills are a bit rusty most of the time but even for me some pretty simple multiplication here puts Noah at roughly 3 times the age of Eve. Could I be any more green with envy?

During the flight, Eve — who must have been under the influence of some poorly preserved Oysters Rockefeller she ate in First Class — lost her cool and made threats to slit the throat of her beloved. Upon landing, the police were called in to remove the unruly child bride after she also apparently threatened to “bring the plane down”.

(Noah “Mr. Robinson” with his Arm Candy Eve…)

This whole “age” affair wouldn’t and shouldn’t be news at all if it wasn’t for the trauma in the skies. Two consenting adults of legal age are entitled to do whatever they wish sans my or your judgment. But throw some 5 mile-high histrionics into the mix and it then becomes fair muckraking game.

As a heavily “hormonated” man I really really want to be NOAH. My imagination runs WILD when I can put myself in the Senator’s shoes and envision hot, sexy, sultry nights shared on a bearskin rug by the fireplace. Visions of  the warm, rippling illumination of the flames reflecting off her taut, creamy bosom, her feathery smooth limbs, flowing silky blonde hair curling gently over her satiny tanned shoulders makes every potential “Hef”, experience his very own hot flash. But then reality bites…

Having a 23 year old wifelet when you’re 69 is a bit like having a piece of gooey sweet chocolate cake when you’re a diabetic. You know you likely shouldn’t indulge but it tastes and feels sooo good for the first few bites as the sugar high settles in. Inevitably a few moments later the post-prandial crash comes as sure as night follows day. The Senator’s taste of 23 year old sweet cake turned to bitter lemonade between the earth and stars of this Air Canada flight.

I’ve told you previously about my Walter Mitty daydream life. NOAH is living out out his dream world in the real world. I can only wonder if when he sleeps at night Noah conversely fantasizes about carnal relations with a special someone his own era or older. Does he secretly pine for the touch of a “Pamper”‘ed octogenarian? Is he aroused at the thoughts of slipping his bony fingers under her blouse and caressing the slack sacks of skin that once were firm, succulent mammaries? Just asking?

Should I feel sad or angry about April/November love? Is there a victim here and if so, who is it? A lonely old codger lecher or a gold-digging sweety with Daddy issues? I think I know what would drive a 69 year-old guy to desire and lust after a 23 year-old sweetheart. I don’t really understand the motivating feelings that attract a 23 year-old to a wrinkled-up senior in anything other than an agreeably saccharine grandfatherly sort of way. Perhaps the hard billfold in his pants quickened the pace of her breathing.

Mistakes and failures are a part of life. A marriage that could optimistically last no more than 12 to 15 years, seems, on the surface like an error of judgment. This kiddy/elder partnership will come to a premature ending whether by divorce or by widowhood. But, in life, if we can have a decade of true and full happiness, maybe this is a mistake only in appearance. Just perhaps.

A marriage in Canada today between two partners of a comparable age has an almost 50% chance of calling it to an end. Are these ALL mistakes that shouldn’t have occurred? Are they somehow more legitimate than the above scenario?

LUST_OR_LOVE

It seems so simple to to be Judge and Jury. A 69 year-old man and 23 year-old woman… no thinking required, this is a no brainer, right?  They are stark, lustily, hormonally mad…raving mad and crazy. We could say, “this is so obviously right”. Or, “WTF, are they absolutely crazy?” When I was younger, the world appeared black and white.  Today it’s all 50 shades of Grey!

Put yourself in their shoes…I walked away hesitantly from my chance…what would you do?

What if she was your Daughter or Sister? What if he was your Dad or Grandpa?

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