lundi, avril 16, 2007

The older woman

He's there when I stumble bleary eyed out of bed on Saturday checking my email before I race off to pick up my son at his dads for a morning of baseball. I turn on my computer, and almost immediately he sends me an instant message. I look at the screen with slight annoyance. I'm not ready to talk to my kids yet, let alone a younger guy infatuated by a woman he's never met.

Later that night, as I'm getting ready to close down the computer, he signs on again. We live very far away, and he's in the throes of ending his marriage, and somehow he stumbled upon my profile online. Sweetly, but with great lashings of common sense, I've tried to discourage him. Without being too hard on him-he's had a tough few years. From what I can tell (and I tend to believe about half of what guys tell me, particularly if they are busting on their former spouse) he really was in a bad situation.

Let me digress for a minute-If I'm currently involved with a guy you aren't likely to be hearing about him, unless I have something nice to say. If I throw something on the screen, it usually means that he's history, I'm trying to make him history (like the producer I still miss when the wind is in the west and the moon is full) or there's something I can't quite figure out, and it's bugging me.

But I play nice. Even guys who have been unswayed by my sultry charms (dream on, Liz) don't get trashed or named. After all, there's no accounting for taste...

Au fond, as the French would say-au fond, I still look in the mirror and see the slightly chubby student with the Indian skirts and hair in her face-and I think it's hilarious (though oh so flattering) that men find me attractive enough to long for even my virtual self.

So back to my friend. He asks me why he's attracted to older women (when did I become an "older woman?") I'm clueless, but I assure him that there's nothing wrong with it, it's not like having a fetish. He says when he looks at my profile he gets butterflies in his stomach. And what do I do? Fingers racing across the keyboard, I tell him that if he didn't drink too much caffeine, he would not have these feelings. He needs to have some warm milk before he goes to bed, and he will be able to sleep without dreaming of me.

He laughs. I can't cure him of thinking I'm funny-I can't make the feelings go away. He's sweet and humorous and kind. He deserves better than late night talks with a woman who lives hundreds of miles away.

And so do I, by the way.

How many times have I been wry and philosophical and mature, when I so wanted to put my guard down? How often have I fenced when I wanted to find a spot for two, a quiet place where I could lay down my arms? How many hours have I longed to be recognized for who I was, and am, and could be...through the eyes of someone who would know when to take charge, and when to give in?

So much for this woman of the world persona-if it doesn't come with an impeccable command of French idiom, someone who will take me to Cannes for the Film Festival, and the ability to get five hours of sleep and still look totally hot, I'm not buying it.

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