A few years ago I wrote a letter to Santa asking for my perfect man; I went into details describing his character, his career, his attitude, his manners, his looks, his star sign, his Chinese sign, his marital status, his hygiene standards, his beliefs, and his outlook on life. I had a long list of things that Santa should avoid but it did not cross my mind to ask for a man my age or a few years older; I thought it went without saying that younger guys were not an option. I used to wonder what some of my friends found in a guy who was 5, 7, or 10 years younger that they were. I used to wonder what a young guy had to say to someone who was carrying her schoolbag when he was sucking on his thumb. My heart went out to those ladies who had to bear the inquisitive eyes that followed them wherever they took their toy boy. I was so certain that I will never walk the famous mile in their shoes. I assured myself that I am bulletproof safe from that kind of disgusting despair. I knew that I will never be as lonely or as insane as they were. I surprised myself … I was wrong!
It all started when I noticed that 22 & 23 year old guys found me attractive; whether they were students in my classes or trainees in my workshops, I used to smile and gently push them out of my way. I felt flattered but I was always in control of my actions and emotions. Last year I made a slight exception – a year or two younger is not such a big deal, especially if he is well-traveled, well-exposed, and well set in his career. My toy-boy-alarm was in the making; just the thought of me settling for this type of public humiliation gave me immediate palpitations. Last January, a 24 year old writer developed a crush on me; he was young, cute, and, on top of it all, he had great brains. Instead of redirecting his route away from me, I caught myself red-handed flirting with him. A dreamy "I don't want to lose you" flew out of his mouth to slap me on the face. The harsh wake-up call startled me … what on earth was I doing? But then I ignored the voice of reason and enjoyed listening to his passionate compliments about how I made him feel and how much he wanted to be with me. He got attached and I sobered up; I vanished and he was hurt.
A few weeks later, I crossed paths with another writer – 7 years younger! This time my defenses were up and I would not allow myself to repeat my previous mistake. I turned this connection into an online intellectual friendship but I am still curious about the other side of the fence. I dedicated a special dark corner in my head where I buried all such thoughts and feelings – they just scared me. I am 32 but luckily, because I tend to be well-maintained, I do not look it – it was never about looks, was it? I am a single independent career-oriented girl who is starved for love and attention. I miss being in a relationship and I miss the little things that add a warming flavor to my spreadsheet of a life; the surprises, the love words, the excitement before a date, the dreamy reminiscence after a date, and the phone calls that are directly wired to my heart. I want to have a plan for the weekend and someone to look forward to talking to. I want to come out of my class to find a missed call or a text message from someone – not my mother, not my friends, and not work-related.
Is it that I do not meet enough men? Is it that I do not attract them? No! There are plenty of them around me but I just do not like them. I do not like their baggage; be it an ex wife, a current wife, kids, bad experiences, imbedded resentment for women, commitment phobia, independence-related selfishness, emotional stinginess, financial stinginess, lack of expressiveness, over-eagerness, hair loss, muscle loss, a spare tire around their waist, or a midlife crisis. Men who are my age, or a bit older, have given up on life or given in to life. They are either married, defeated, depressive, deformed, or plain ugly. The few who are eligible candidates do not want to be with me, my dozen professions, and my radical opinions. They do not want an equal and cannot accept a superior; they want a young girl whom they could control, boss around, guide, and manipulate in the name of love! They want a young mother for their kids and an inexperienced wife in their bed. Let's face it: at the age of 35, a guy can easily have a healthy relationship with someone who is 25, 26, 27 or 28 years old. I am developing a scary form of cannibalism; young hearts, fresh skin, and green minds attract me. I love the puppy-love look in their hope-filled eyes, the sweet compliments, the need to be with me and around me, the attention, the eagerness to please, the fear of loosing me, and the pride of showing me off to their friends.
I met my most recent prey by coincidence – ironically before one of my relationships episodes on TV. We talked before I started filming and the chemistry was there; the flow was so natural and interesting. After I was done, he told me that I sounded so intellectual and that I was great, then he asked me to wait for him until he was done with his segment. His words caressed the proud tigress in me and, at the same time, touched my maternal instinct. I was caught off guard! I was so confused. He is 26, obviously young, very successful, creative, witty, sarcastic, and funny. Two weeks later he took my number, and we went out on a …. emmmm …. meeting. To add a few years to his age, he wore masculine cologne, did not talk much, and smiled scarcely. I enjoyed his company and loved his wit. I did not mind his age or the different life he led; we were extreme opposites yet I missed him, enjoyed talking to him, gave him space in my mind, and looked forward to seeing him again. I felt that I lived in a glass house and I was under the illusion that people are throwing stones at me; when my producer asked me how he was, I said that he was too young!
The sad news is that just as much as I can see through the lonely over-eager older guys, younger guys can see through the false tough fa?ade that I so brilliantly set up for myself. I have become so trained on picking up the vibes of desperate hunters, and young guys can easily sense my cannibalism and need for affection. Old worn out bodies with heavy cynical heads turn me off, and young white-slate girls pose as viable competitors. The four players – older guys, me, younger guys, and young girls – formed an infamous hide and seek game. I have no living proof of the success or the continuity of any such toy boy relations. I do not like the way I see the future – I see a 45 year old hag hunting young mouthwatering kids and devouring their hopes, aspirations, and futures. This is topping the chart of my worst fears. I will save my thoughts, shut down my laptop, sleep, and when I wake up I want it to be over. I want to be stronger and in control again. I am so vulnerable; I have nightmares – toy boy nightmares.
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