I’m troubled today. Didn’t think I would be when I opened my eyes this morning, but when I signed in on my computer and saw zero messages …..
*sigh* I was honest about my real age again. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that people get so freaked out by it. I know 20 year olds begin talking to me because they think I’m in my 30s. I know that; I’ve heard it from them and I sure can see it. Or at least I did yesterday.
Met with an acquaintance in the afternoon for coffee and chat. We’re both writers, musicians, and performers, so we have more to talk about than we can generally get into conversation. Yes, it’s a guy. Maybe I’m naive for thinking he wanted to meet up just for fun and conversation. I suppose, even if it wasn’t in the conscious part of his brain, he was also contemplating sleeping with me. Cause he sure reacted that way. And his reaction has left me feeling…well, it’s left me feeling unsure how to feel.
All was going well: conversation was flowing, jokes were made and laughed at, thoughts exchanged. He wanted to go pick up a book so we headed off on a jaunt around town to do just that. On the way, more stories and laughter. I told some story – can’t even remember what it WAS right now – and the basic punch line was the startled reaction someone had to my age. Of course, he had to follow up with a ‘what IS your real age?’ and I confidently said ’49’ without skipping a beat.
He didn’t just skip a beat. He looked at me the way you might look at someone who just lost it and up and killed another person in front of you. He then burst out in hysterical laughter. And I mean hysterical; he couldn’t stop laughing for a good 2 minutes. He then asked me how old I thought he was. That was tough: he wears a full beard so most of his face is covered up. However, based on his stories and the feel I had, I guessed early to mid 30s. Nope. 22.
So now my paranoid little brain has come up with a reason for the hysterical laughter: He was laughing at himself for being attracted to woman who’s older than his own mother.
While a good portion of me can laugh right along with him (and AT him, as well), there’s a significant part of me that’s pouting and put out over it. Especially since once we returned for another coffee to the hostel where he was staying, he pretty much ignored me. Yes, the hostel bar room was beginning to fill up with the people staying there. But I’ve been around for a good long time now (49 years, remember) and there’s no excuse to invite someone to hang out and then only speak 10 words to them for the last 45 minutes because you’re too busy talking to other people.
I was blown off. For my age. Not because the tone of the conversation changed much after my startling revelation, but because HE got weird. This is the second time it’s happened to me in the last month. And I’m beginning to remember WHY I started taking an automatic 10 years off my age when someone asked.
In some respects, I can’t blame anyone who does this to me. I know it’s weird; I feel it’s weird. You don’t think I feel how weird it is? I do, all the time. And if I was the 22 year old and found I was talking to someone much older than I’d assumed, well, I’d probably freak a little, too. I may even terminate the relationship the same way it’s being done to me: by kindly ignoring me, no longer messaging me, no longer inviting me out. But I’m not the 22 year old in this, I’m the almost 50 year old woman who despite her looks has never even been asked to be married. More than that. I’m lonely. I don’t have many people in my life. A lot of that is due to my choices; I don’t care to spend much time with people who don’t care much about me. I’ve had my fill of surface friends, fair weather friends, and acquaintance friends. I know them, I’m friendly with them, and if I ever pick up on even the slightest inkling of a desire on their part to be more than superficial friends I’m usually willing to give it a try. But most aren’t.
The age thing is just becoming a problem in my life. I STILL don’t fit in anywhere. Older people tend to reject me because they think I’m younger than them. I don’t have kids or grandkids, I still like to party and have a good time, and I love a good club. Younger people, who I actually have more in common with because they also don’t have kids, like to party and go to clubs, reject me when they find out how old I actually am. If I try to get in with the older crowd, well, I won’t fit in because I’m not at their speed. If I try to fit in with the younger crowed, well, I don’t have the energy to go full blast like they do. I’m not at anyone’s speed, seemingly, other than my own. And if there are people out there who are similar to me, I’m not finding them. Anywhere. Because my life isn’t occasionally being mistaken for someone 15-20 years younger than I am, it’s being mistaken for someone 15-20 years younger ALL THE TIME.
I really, really thought that when I ‘grew up’ I’d fit in somewhere. Anywhere. But I don’t. I’m still a social freak, I’m still on the outside looking in without a clue as to how to find the door. And I so want to come in.