I was at a fashion week event (she is a client of the firm) looking (I thought) the perfect combination of funky and chic in a suit with my spinster t-shirt, when a beautifully smoothed face, tall, tan member of the opposite sex approached me and asked me if spinster was an industry term.
Oh my god, he wasn’t even old enough to know what a spinster was.
I laughed and tried to explain the joke to him, but he seemed really embarrassed and I immediately felt bad for him.
Friends who I was with quickly changed the topic and soon he was talking to the much younger, much more attractive women in my social circle.
Except, soon he was back at my side, asking me questions. I was so confused. We talked. About work and New York and travel and the show and why he was there and why I was there, and then he had to use the restroom and I pointed him in the right direction and he was gone.
Immediately, my colleague was on me, with an “Oh my god.” She was doing a good job holding back her laughter. “He really liked you.”
I smiled and shook my head.
The woman she was with tried to look over my shoulder. “Who?”
I looked back to see if he was still in the room. He wasn't. “Oh, he's gone. But, yeah, no.” I had to let her in on the joke. “He was maybe 20. It might actually have been illegal for me to be standing that close to him.”
We all laughed.
But what is really so funny.
Besides that it was awkward as fuck for anyone watching (probably more my fault than his). What is wrong with a 20-something finding a 30 (almost 40) something attractive?
The thing is, men (I should probably put that in quotes) who I can recall flirting with me recently have all been much younger: there was the maybe 21 year-old caterer at the Union League who tripped over himself and others to bring me vegetarian options; the almost 30 something (I hoped) my guy friends kept calling Junior who wanted nothing more than for me to sit on his lap while we watched West Virginia football (you could see his triceps muscles through his jacket), and the what-is-he-doing-at-an-80s-cover-band-show-when-he-wasn't-even-alive-during-that-decade guy who gave me his phone number folded up into a napkin rose. We danced to True Colors. His name was James. His number is still on my refrigerator.
And now this guy: who, when surrounded by models and younger women with much tighter clothing on, wanted to know how I was doing. Guys my age, guys I’m attracted to, would all have been trying to chat up the models or the really cute girls with the really nice breasts. So why shouldn’t I behave comparably — spend my evenings talking to guys with all their own hair and very defined ab muscles under their plaid shirts.
I always assumed the reason I did so well in my 20s was because I was hotter then; now I’m wondering if it is just because 20-something guys just get me.