As time marched on, my older man, Marco, and I began attending more and more events together. Having a rebuttal to the dreaded “dad” insinuation—as in people thinking he was my father—was always off the cuff, except when it came to his work. Much to my surprise, he told his colleagues the truth—that I was his girlfriend and we lived together. In his opinion, this ruined a work friendship or two and possibly gave him a bit of a reputation. He didn’t have to do that for me, but it was important to him and, frankly, he “didn’t care” at the time. His work was the one place he felt it was best to be honest.
We attended a final summer work picnic together that was extremely awkward. The wives of Marco’s co-workers sneered at me with disgust. All of them knew our age difference; Marco was touted as a “playboy” having a “midlife crisis.” To them, I was a little girl and he was a disgusting old man taking advantage of me. They couldn’t imagine having sex with an older man when they were my age; they couldn’t put their societal judgment aside for a moment and just look at the situation with an open mind. Despite it being my decision to pursue Marco, they just refused to try understanding.
Not only did they not understand it, they did not want me anywhere near their husbands. One wife specifically pulled me to the side and let me know quite frankly that I wasn’t welcome at this type of work event, or any work event her husband attended, adding that it made everyone uncomfortable and she was watching me to make sure I didn’t get close to or try to steal her husband. Marco was furious, but the man this woman was referring to was actually Marco’s boss. So, I gladly bowed out from attending such events due to this; it was much easier this way for everyone involved. Marco wanted me to attend more work events just to “stick a thumb in their eye,” as he put it, but it’s just not my style.
What I didn’t know then was that this stigma never really goes away. It has followed me through all of my dating life. It takes me back to that awkward cookout with my ex, Brian, the looks of disgust from my friends, and the “This must be your dear ol’ dad” comments at restaurants.
This stigma of being the younger lover overwhelms both sides of the divide in such a significant way—the older folks dislike it socially and can’t understand it, yet most of the older men secretly yearn for a younger, attractive, sexually open lover. The younger folks don’t get it either and find it gross, like sleeping with your own parent, which, again, they can’t comprehend, probably because they just don’t want to. Then there’s us, the younger lovers in a May-December relationship. We don’t really fit in anywhere, except superficially.
As I’ve said all along, this has caused a lot of trouble when making friends—until I met Victor. Victor didn’t really care that I even had a boyfriend, or that he was older. Victor and I shared a love of music; we both played the same instrument and enjoyed a lot of the same interests. He was a handsome guy, 12 years older than me, and he was just looking for someone to jam with to some new sheet music he’d ordered. Thanks to the Internet and my lonely nights at home while Marco was away on business, Victor found me. After chatting for a few weeks, I had worked up the courage to meet Victor in person late one evening. I invited him into Marco’s home one weekend while Marco was away.