Quality Older Men?
When you’re in college, pretty much all the people you meet and go out with are at the same place as you in life. You’re all between 18 and let’s say 23/24, so the age gap can never be that major. You’re all students striving towards something more in life. You’re still chained down to your parents in many respects, and most of the time, you’re completely broke. These are all kind of give-ins when you meet someone at your college or at a popular club in your campus’s area.
Then, you graduate and the game changes. My friends and I have suddenly found ourselves feeling like the babies in every bar or club we step into. Every guy who strolls up to us with beer in hand is a good five to 10 years older, something we aren’t used to at all. We stand around wondering, “Where are all the young 20-something’s? What’s with all these 30-year-old’s?”
More importantly, are these older men boyfriend-worthy? We would love to believe that because they are older they are therefore wiser men, happy to treat their girlfriends right in every respect. They have likely had their share of girlfriends and know what is important in a relationship. The years they have on us mean they’ve had time to get the promiscuous-ness and recklessness out of their systems, and are well on their way to having quality careers. Plus, they should be more likely to settle down soon, which is a plus for a woman looking for a very long-term relationship.
But additional years on the calendar is not synonymous with a quality man. Why are these 30-year-olds frequenting bars and clubs in the first place? If all of the above is true, then there is no reason these slightly older men should be single. If they have their careers in order and treat women well, why are they prowling for early-20-something’s instead of getting down on one knee? It doesn’t seem possible. These men must be horrible boyfriends, have some sort of dark past, have a major character flaw, or be some kind of deadbeat. Slightly older quality women would have otherwise scooped them up by now.
Or, maybe they want to be promiscuous so long as they can easily pick up girls within an appropriate age-range. Maybe the thought process is, “Damn, every 28-year-old woman I meet is tapping her biological watch and humming ‘Single Ladies.’ Screw that, I’ll go for younger girls. They’re not ready for that yet.” This all seems just as likely but also disqualifies the man as quality: Running away from emotional attachment and any semblance of responsibility isn’t a trait young 20-something women find appealing either, you know.
My message to you, older men: Grow up. Act as old as the early-20-something you have your eye on, because she’s more mature than you are. Figure out what you want in life instead of running away from adulthood. Maybe then you’ll deserve a quality woman, be she your age or 10 years your minor.
A Twenty Something on Nostalgia
(Who isn’t nostalgic for 90’s neon?)
Recently, I have been thinking a lot about nostalgia, and how we twenty somethings seem to LOVE it. We delight in anything and everything 80’s and 90’s. Reminiscing on childhood pop culture has become first date fodder, drinking games, viral videos, and road trip playlists. What’s the deal? Do we want to keep one toe in the kiddie pool as long as we can? Maybe that makes growing up a little more bearable.
Last night I saw the new and “improved” Muppet movie. I enjoyed every minute of the film, but I was keenly aware that while this was a new adventure for the Muppets, it was fueled by a series of hints at nostalgia and references to prior Muppet escapades and jokes. Could we really not have appreciated The Muppets without all the throwbacks? From the dial-up functioning “80’s Robot” who served only TAB, to Kermit’s inability to conjure a celebrity host whose fame had long since petered out with permed hair, it all felt like a Muppet resuscitation rather than a revival.
A couple months ago, I received an email from Urban Outfitters (no rants, I promise) that was advertising all the pop culture nostalgia they had for sale. The subject line was “Back in the Day,” and it asked me if I wanted to “Shop Throwbacks.” Nothing they promoted was original, vintage, or even old and crusty. These were brand new “vintage inspired” products that were supposed to make us go gaga. Of course it caused me to let out a few mental “oohs,” “ahhs,” and even some “omg, I forgot about that.” However, I didn’t want to buy any of it. But why did I love looking at it, and taking a moment to remember Pac-Man, sliding utility bracelets, and a Kelly Kapowski tee?
I brought the topic to a very wise thirty something Gen-Xer, inquiring if she felt that his was a specifically Gen Y/Millenial obsession or a general twenty-something characteristic. After a long discussion, whilst sitting in the Crate and Barrel showroom (how Gen X), we decided it was a little bit of both. After considering the issue, she explained that her generation had a hard time with nostalgia in their twenties. She clarified that in her twenties, openly liking Belinda Carlisle was considered embarrassing…not cool. Everything they purchased in their twenties needed to be current to be considered acceptable and cool in any circle; vintage was just considered to be “old.” However, as her generation entered their thirties, the coolness factor of their nostalgic youth increased. Contrary to today, contemporary twenty-something girls have no problem rocking old school Britney at any time of the day.
In the midst of our generational conversation set in the yuppiest of settings, it dawned on me why twenty somethings gravitate towards youthful nostalgia. We’re at an interesting age where the distance between childhood and the scarring teen years are far enough away to have perspective, yet still close enough for us to remember how it felt and relate on some level. We covet the television programs, musical acts, and fashion of that time because all the growing up junk has made us lose the ability to recall them at the drop of a hat, but once reminded, we remember every character, episode, lyric, and hypercolored t shirt.
Four years ago, my best friend and I bought tickets the Spice Girls reunion tour because we thought it would be silly and fun. I had vague memories of Spice World, and could maybe hum a tune or two. When we got to the show, I realized that I knew every damn word to their entire catalogue. I was shocked; where the hell had that information been stored all these years? Something else struck me that night; the high volume Staples Center wasn’t filled with little girls, but rather former tweens of yesteryear (late 90’s) going apeshit over some former famous women creeping on middle age.
I wonder when this wave of nostalgia will pass. Perhaps it will be gone when we feel absolutely ready to let childhood go, or the distance from that time in our lives becomes too great. Maybe that doesn’t happen until you have children of your own, or maybe it never goes away at all. The only think I do know is I am probably going to still be singing N’Sync at the top of my lungs in the car with my girlfriends on the way to the bar for a few more years. Oh, and I am still not ready to accept that Lance Bass is, in fact, gay.
its a bitter sweet life
It’s sometimes tempting when your stuck to think and wonder…what if? What if I could go back to my twenties with what I know now…what could I accomplish? How much wasted time could I save? Could I have avoided this mess all together and done things differently?
The bitter sweet beauty of life is it keeps things interesting and throws you circumstance first, THEN teaches you the lesson so inevitable your greatest mistakes become your greatest triumphs.
Still I can’t help but wonder. Will I think the same way about my 30s when I’m 50?
Plight of the Thirty-Something (it continues...)
Hello, I recently started following your blog and in interest of full disclosure, found out about it through meinmyplace! (gorgeous by the way). But reading some of your articles made me think about my own life trajectory. I am an early 30’s bread baker in Seattle; I love my job and love the people that I work with.
Recently a friend of mine asked me if i wanted to go on a trip with her through Europe. I immediately said yes, but looking through my finances realized that I could not do it. With school loan repayments and rent and other bills, I just feel like I can’t take the time away and just forget those things. Another part of me feels like I should just take the trip, its a once in a lifetime opportunity.
So here is the question, do I throw caution into the wind and take the trip or should I act like a responsible adult and try and save my money for a later trip?
john in seattle
Well John, if this isn’t going to set you back ten years financially, then I say go! Travelling is something I don’t make enough of a priority, and I hate that about myself. I justify and excuse my way out of trips all the time, in favor of staying minimally in debt. As a result, I bitterly flip through acquaintances photos on Facebook on the reg wishing I would just man up and take that trip to Italy.
But you know what? FUCK THAT.
You aren’t getting any younger. Take advantage of your unattached status and make some memories that no amount of savings or student loan payments will buy. Break out of yourself, shake things up, and make 2013 your god damn bitch!
Well here goes...
Welcome to my blog! My intent is to post a little bit of this and a little bit of that. For starters, a little bit about me! I find myself at a point in my life where sometimes you just need a cocktail. Do you ever find yourself in a situation where you could do one of three things - cry horrible ugly tears, scream and/or punch someone in the face, or just shake your head, bemused and order a cocktail? Well recently, in my thirty something years, I’ve experienced all of those reactions (minus the punching someone in the face, I’m not an animal - though I wish I could sometimes). It’s the latter that I now try to employ. Sometimes you just have to laugh and think “Seriously?!?”.
So what has brought me to contemplate all these reactions? Well as the title suggests, I’m a thirty something, happily married woman who quit her job in her chosen field (environmental science) on the premise of being closer to home to start a family but discovered instead she suffers from infertility and now has no babies and no career…*sigh* - “Glass of wine please!”
Rest assured all of that is not going to be the focus of my blog, I don’t want to be downer after all. Instead I hope to share some of my musings and random thoughts that may occur from time to time. Likely, these will be laced with sarcasm and hopefully a little wit.
I do hope you continue to follow, comment, discuss, agree, gripe, laugh, cry…whatever. And perhaps you may enjoy a cocktail while you read!
Mickey Mouse: life saver. No, seriously!
Pathetic [puh-thet-ik] adj. causing or evoking pity, sympathetic sadness, sorrow, etc.; pitiful
That’s what I half-jokingly think to myself every time I use the word “fartlek” and snort with childish laughter, trying to describe to my friend/walking buddy what type of running workout I did that morning. Why can’t I just grow up and use the word without evoking my nose to crinkle and suck in air, making that horribly unattractive noise that could call a pig a mile away? At this point her two-year-old twins, sitting quietly in their tandem stroller, lazily diminishing their brightly colored suckers, are more mature than I am.
Why can’t I? Because it’s too hilarious! Pathetic or not, since I’ve began my running venture about 6 months ago, I’ve learned that I’ve needed to find the few things in life that keep the air nice and light… as I suck it in through my mouth and nose with every punishing step my Asics take each morning. One of those being the word “fartlek”. To each their own, right? Right.
So anyway, I’m Robin. 35 years old and a running boob. Er, I mean noob. When I was younger, I learned to hate running. I think it was because we were made to do it. Running in P.E., running as a punishment in sports, running to keep away from a younger (yet bigger) brother trying to kick your butt. Oh, just me? Well, then. But it wasn’t just running’s fault, I hated all forms of exercise. You name the exercise, I will spit in it’s general direction (I’d say “fart”, but we already know what that word does to me). And with that in mind, it’s not hard to imagine that I started gaining weight… lots of it. After two children and about a million gallons of Blue Bell Ice Cream, I was not in good shape. Fat, would be a good word to use. How fat? Well, I don’t feel comfortable getting into a specific number, so let’s paint a picture: you know what silly putty looks like when you try to stuff it into a foreign container not meant to hold it? It oozes out and makes a shape so awful it needs it’s own new name: globultangular. That’s what it looked like when I sat in a regular-sized chair.
However, one day I was sitting at the computer and looking at… well, I don’t quite remember. I have no clue how I actually came upon it but I ended up at a Walt Disney World site. As a small side note, I am a huge Disney fan! I love every and all things Disney. If I could run away and become the lady in the mouse suit (yes, most of those characters in the costumes are ladies) that sits on top of the parade float and bobs her mousey head up and down and throws her animated waves around to the crowd like candy, oh you betcha I would. But, Mickey Mouse wannabe is not in the stars for me, so moving on…Looking around the site, I saw that Disney hosts their own Marathons and races. I had no idea! Running through the magical parks as Cinderella and Prince Charming cheer you on? Yes, please! So, I decided right then and there that I would do what it took to get to race in those Disney parks. I started that following Monday, running only a very (and I mean very) short distance, but I’ve made progress. In leaps and bounds, if I may say so myself.
So far, a two-mile race, 5K and 10K: Down.
I think all that extra oxygen while running has done funny things with my brain because I’ve signed myself up for a full marathon in May. I’m still working towards that goal of a Disney Marathon, but that’s miles and money that’s just out of arm’s reach at the moment.
That’s ok for now because I just want to enjoy this life’s ride and see where it takes me.