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Age is just a number... By Joanne Giannini

Posted on March 15, 2011 at 12:39 PM

 Let’s set the stage for my “Cougar” transformation. There I was, 40 years old and my husband of 10 years had just cheated on me with a woman he met while we were on vacation together. We were on a cruise ship with a bunch of our friends and I had gone back to the cabin to sleep. He stayed out with everyone else and ended up meeting a tranny-looking she beast at the disco on the ship. First, put yourself in my place and imagine how you would feel: betrayed, unattractive, old, and every other negative feeling all rolled into one. So a few months after we are living apart, I take a much needed vacation to Cancun with my friend Robyn.

I was sitting there all depressed and feeling shitty about myself, getting totally liquored up at the beach bar on the free booze at our all-inclusive resort. To make matters worse, it is actually my wedding anniversary on this particular day. Next thing I know, a 26-year-old cutie from Louisiana named “Boo” (yes, Boo is really his name) is chatting me up. “Wow,” I think, “this guy is actually interested in ME.” Let’s fast forward to later that night, at which point we are doing the drunken bumper walk back to the room, systematically bouncing off one wall right into the other wall and back again. We get back to my room and I say to him, “You know, I’m much older than you,” to which he replies, “Age is just a number…” Now I know what you are all thinking and quite frankly that’s what I was thinking too, and really all I was looking for was a revenge of sorts against my cheating dickhead husband. But seriously, that ended up not being the case at all. A couple of hours later, he’s calling me, asking me if we want to go hang out with him and his friends and then the following day he wants to do something again. This guy basically tried his best for the whole vacation to make me happy in every way possible and even called me after we returned and asked me to come visit him. And for the first time in YEARS I felt, well, attractive. And young. And wanted. And happy. This was truly the turning point for me. Still, I though this younger guy thing was just a vacation type of thing.

About a year after my Cancun “Boo Boo,” I was at a local bar and there was this HOT guy who was obviously much too young for me standing near us. My friend misjudged her alcohol intake and was unable to drive home. We were trying to figure out how we could get her home and then get her back to her car in the early morning so she could get to work, since no one else in the group could drive a manual transmission, when Buddy (yep, that’s his name) heard our conversation and quickly took it as an opportunity to talk to me. He said he would be happy to drive her car and then I could drive him back here. She only lived about 10 minutes away, mind you. So, we drop off my friend and her car and I drive him back to the bar. He tells me, “I live in the building right behind the bar. Why don’t you come in for a few minutes and have a beer?” And that was the beginning of the Summer of Buddy! Now I tried to not get involved, but the thing was he was so damn adorable and good to me. This wasn’t just the quick fling I was expecting. Other than the fact he was 13 years younger, he was actually a great boyfriend. OK, maybe we weren’t having dinners at the Capital Grille, but I really enjoyed laying in bed watching horror films with him. Alas, I was certain he would wake up one day and regret being with someone so much older, so I broke it off. He insisted this was not going to be the case, telling me that he loved me and wasn’t going anywhere. Unfortunately, this was not a chance I was willing to take.

Next up is Jason, who is again 13 years younger. Just like with Buddy, I had never intended to get very involved and again, he ended up being really special. As an example, one night we went out and the combination of much alcohol and greasy late-night food did not agree with me whatsoever and I ended up puking the entire night. The next day I’m laying there a total train wreck. I tell him, “Don’t even look at me” and he reaches over, hugs me, kisses me on the forehead and tells me, “You are always beautiful to me.” Then he went out and got me Gatorade so I wouldn’t die of post-puke dehydration. As strange as it may seem, this guy was the real deal and truly understood how to make a woman feel special. Let me clue all you guys in: it’s not fancy dinners or expensive gifts, it’s your continual ACTIONS – the quick text message to say hi at lunchtime, the kiss on the forehead in the middle of the night, remembering how she likes her tea, etc. – that really wins a woman’s heart. I was certain he would wake up one day and regret being with someone so much older, so I broke it off. He too insisted this was not going to be the case, telling me that he loved me. And yet once again, this was not a chance I was willing to take.

I fully expected that when I returned back to the reality of middle-aged divorcee life I would only date guys maybe a few years younger and older than me, but basically the same age. But all the guys I’ve dated around my own age have been rather, shall we say, disappointing, and every young guy I have tried to fend off has insisted that “age is just a number” and been willing to dive into a relationship head first with no reservations. Strangely enough, I’ve had more problems truly connecting with guys around my own age than guys a decade (or more) younger.

Now again, it’s not that this was my plan. If fact, I’ve tried in every way possible NOT to date guys who are too young, assuming there could never be a long-term future. I have often wondered if the reason I can connect with younger guys so much better is exactly that: I have absolutely no vision of a long-term future with them, and hence I’m not afraid to actually be myself, with all my flaws and imperfections. It is like the unsuitable suitors get the “full-fat and flavor version” of me, rather than the “low-fat and less-filling version” the more suitable suitors get. I have also wondered if the younger generation of men is just, well, different, brought up in an era where it is acceptable for men to be more loving and giving in general.

So is age just a number? And is it really possible to have a true relationship with someone a decade (or more) younger? Log onto and let us know what you think. MEOW!

Categories: Joanne Giannini

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1 Comment

Reply "VINNY"
4:40 AM on December 13, 2011 
GREAT literature, JOANNE!!!!!! I'm AMAZED as to YOUR TALENT (among other SUCCESSFUL endeavors) of WRITING!!!! Ever thought of WRITING a BOOK about your TRUE STORY???? It would be an AWESOME INSPIRATION to all!!! BE WELL, BE GREAT!!! ----------VICTOR "VINNY" ARAUJO

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