When I meet a cute guy under thirty, my first thought is to check him out…for my nieces. So when an attractive, very likable 24 year old American who just moved to Antibes asks me out for a drink I figure he just wants the company and likes my sparkling personality. So I go. For my nieces.
He spent the past year or so at University in Paris and now works at a big tech company in Sophia Antipolis (the Silicon Valley of France). He’s smart, funny, open, interesting, interested, ambitious, and seems pretty worldly for a 24 year old American.
He passes the niece test with the only caveat being he might be a little young for the two of dating age (if he likes younger girls, he’ll have to wait for my niece Charlotte who is currently 11). I begin to think it might be fun to have someone my emotional age to hang out with (as long as nobody mistakes me for his mother).
Then he goes and shatters my whole scenario. He tells me he’s thinks I’m very attractive. I preen a little, figuring he means it in an attractive in a well-preserved antique sort of way. Then he tells me in so many words, that he’s ready willing and able if I am.
I’m floored. My first words in response are: Hammena hammena hammena… you’re kidding, right?
He isn’t. As it begins to sink in, I’m torn between terror and doing the happy dance.
We discuss it a bit, and I can certainly see he has some valid points as to why this is the greatest idea ever, but still…I’m totally unprepared in every sense of the word (meaning I haven’t shaved my legs in weeks). I honestly wasn’t expecting to have sex again in my lifetime. But now that he mentions it…
I need some time to stew on this (probably not a good idea at my age– wrinkles).
Here are some of the thoughts I’ve had so far:
- Quick, do it NOW before his vision returns!
- Quick, do it NOW before my ass falls.
- What if I break my hip when we’re doing it?
- Is there some kind of way we can do it without him seeing or touching my body, which would probably be disgusting to a 24 year old?Note to self: look into that whole Mormons doing it through a sheet thing.
- Hey, if he finds me attractive, maybe someone more age appropriate will. Yeah, right. Men my age all want 24 year olds.
- He probably just wants to use me for my air conditioning.
- What if he dumps me for an older woman?
- This must be one of those guys on the French Riviera who scams old women out of their life savings I’ve heard about. A Riviera grifter, as my friend Al calls it.
- I could use the exercise.
- I have a rule that I won’t get involved in a man who is younger than some of my bras. I check my underwear drawer and I’m pleased to say we’re okay on that front.
- Dude, how good must I look to have a 24 year old attracted to me? Like Demi Moore good…only better because she’s had plastic surgery and I’m a 100% natural…okay, 98%, my hair color is fake. More preening.
- If I do it, does that make me a terrible aunt?
- Good Lord, this is a bad Lifetime movie in the making. It would probably star Heather Locklear and Zac Efron.
- Good Lord, this is a bad Comedy Central movie in the making. It would probably star Betty White and Zach Galifianakis and involve a road trip.
- Does this fall into the category of a sweet May-December affair or statutory rape?
- If I don’t do it will it be just like the second helping of fried chicken I declined at the first grade class picnic, which I still regret to this day?
- This seems like it could only happen in France. (I know it’s not necessarily true, but bear with me here). If I were not to take advantage of this unique opportunity wouldn’t I be missing out on some of the rich experience of being here?
- This is kind of the equivalent of someone offering me an Hermes bag. I certainly never thought that owning one was within the realm of possibility. I’m not sure what I’d do with one if I had it. But hell, it’s a damn fine bag and I’d be a fool not to take it. Right? In fact now that I think about it, my life will be empty and meaningless without that bag.
- What if despite our best intentions one or both of us falls in love with the other? And what if when he publically humiliates me by cheating with several younger women I fall off the deep end and wind up getting excessive plastic surgery and ODing on whippets and Red Bull?
- It’s not like I haven’t been involved with younger men. In fact, I’ve been involved with a 24 year old before. When I was 30.
- I know it’s perfectly acceptable to be a cougar nowadays. Even hot. But it’s a fine line between being a cougar and being a dingo stealing someone’s baby.
- I mentally play a bunch of math games, with questions like “Where will we be when he’s my age?” (answer: he’ll be running a big successful company and traveling the world. I could well be dead).
I can’t help remembering a similar storyline playing out in The Graduate (on the other hand, it could be more like American Pie, and I’m the pie).
I re-watch The Graduate, feeling mildly queasy when I inadvertently muse that the last time I saw it was probably before he was born.
I realize now that Mrs. Robinson and I have virtually nothing in common. I feel much more like Benjamin in this scenario. I’d never have the balls to try to seduce a man young enough to be my … nephew. Nor am I some sexual predator brazenly luring young men into bed for my own personal satisfaction with no thought of the consequences.
But isn’t it something to aspire to?