# of pages revised: 15
# of days left to complete 2nd draft: 69
Here is a short-short story published in Literary Juice Magazine
Remember the other day when I said I had a dream about goats and lambs? Freud might have said this symbolizes my struggle between sexual desire and innocence. I might say it symbolizes my love of goat cheese and farmyard animals. But a friend of mine emailed the other day to say that, in his opinion, this dream means I should date older guys because an older man will help me with my “unanswered questions about life.”
Really? Because my grandpa is eighty-eight years old and one of the smartest men I know, and he still has a lot of unanswered questions about life. So I don’t know about all that.
* * *
A long time ago Nate declared it his mission to find me a boyfriend, or, at least, someone to date. His method of finding this person, which does not yet seem to be panning out, is craigslist. I am heavily skeptical, but then again, I’ve found multiple jobs, two bikes and one apartment off craigslist, so who am I to judge?
The other day I was sitting at my computer writing, and Nate was sitting at his computer browsing through craigslist. “What’s your age ceiling?” he asked me. “How old is too old?”
“Ummm…I don’t know. Thirty-seven?”
“Thirty-seven?” he said. “What’s wrong with thirty-seven-year-olds?”
“Wait a minute,” I turned to him in alarm. “How old are you?”
Turns out Nate is turning thirty-seven in December. Whoops.
* * *
I tried to explain my reasoning a few nights ago at dinner. My mom was visiting, and earlier she had been bemoaning the fact that she doesn’t have any grandkids, so my single-status was on everyone’s brains. Or, maybe it was just mine.
“I don’t see why age matters at all,” Nikki declared.
“It’s not so much about age,” I said. “It’s about being on the same wavelength and being in the same place in life.”
I tried to explain that in many ways, I’m quite immature. I’ve never been married or had kids. Currently all my stuff is stored in my mom’s basement while I work part-time and try to figure out what the heck I’m doing with my life. Let’s not even mention the fact that I still wear clothes from Forever 21 and feel more comfortable playing drunk drunk ball than I do cooking a chicken, which is something I associate with being an adult woman. In fact, I might even get offended if you referred to me as an adult woman. That makes me sound like some sort of big-hipped soccer mom with lipstick on her teeth. I still think of myself as a girl.
All this is to say that, in general, I’m probably more on the wavelength of someone in their late twenties or early thirties than someone in their late thirties or early forties.
But then the other night I couldn’t sleep due to a massive sinus headache, and while I was laying there in bed, I started thinking, well, am I being too narrow-minded about age? What does it mean, really, to be on the same wavelength as someone? Does it have to do with your specific experiences, or does it have to do with how you think about life in general?
And the thing is, I’ve been on dates with divorced guys and dates with guys who had kids. Why is the age thing such a big deal? Maybe it has more to do with me than with them. I’m scared of my own age, so maybe I’m worried that dating a forty-year-old would make me feel old.
The other day I said to Nate, “I’m not into that daddy stuff. I think older men with way younger girls is gross. It’s like they want someone to look up to them.”
Maybe that’s the thing. I don’t want someone who thinks they have all answers, like my friend suggested. I want someone who will help me ponder the questions.
“It’s not that I’m opposed to dating a forty-year-old,” I told Nate. “I just feel like the likelihood that me and a forty-year-old would be on the same wavelength is very slim. He would be the exception and not the rule.”
“Well isn’t that what you’re looking for?” Nate asked.
Damn. He got me there. OK, I guess I’ll raise my ceiling to thirty-nine. Forty is still just too scary.