This Old Man

Posted on May 12, 2012

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This story is from Lauren, a 48-year-old lawyer from Chicago, as told to Raz:

After my divorce, it seemed that every one of my friends had someone “perfect for me” that they just needed to set me up with. The problem was, these bachelors were almost always at least 15 years my senior. “Get used to it,” one friend told me. “Age appropriate for a middle-aged woman is 10-20 years older.” So age appropriate for a middle-aged guy is someone his son should be dating? I just refused to accept it, and decided to take my chances on my own instead of being set up.

My first success was at a cocktail party when I struck up a conversation with Stephen, an art gallery owner who was witty, charming and (despite his baldness) pretty nice looking. When he called the next day to ask me out I was really excited. Before confirming our date, I called my friend who had hosted the party to get the scoop.  She assured me that Stephen was a good guy and worth dating.

“How old is he?” I asked.

“Mid-fifties, I think,” she said. A little old, but doable.

We went out the next night, and we really hit it off. He told me he was 53, though I thought he looked a little older. But when a guy has no hair, it’s hard to tell! We went on a couple more dates, and while I wasn’t completely smitten, I was having a nice time. A couple weeks later, he picked me up for dinner and announced that it was his birthday and a few of his friends were having an impromptu birthday dinner for him.

As we pulled up to the restaurant, he said, “By the way, I should probably tell you that I wasn’t entirely truthful about my age.”

“How old are you?” I had a really bad feeling.

“Today is my 65th birthday. Does that bother you?” Does that bother me? He could be my father! But most important, he lied to me about it, and probably would have continued to lie to me about it if this event hadn’t come up. I was fuming. But it was the man’s birthday, and I wasn’t about to attack him before walking into his party.  I swallowed my emotions, and said, “No, of course not.”

Dinner was miserable. And to add insult to injury, I was sitting next to a 45-year-old single man who was handsome and funny. I just kept thinking, “Why am I here with grandpa when I should be with him?”

The next day I sent Stephen an email saying that I no longer cared to date him. He responded angrily, telling me it was horrible that I didn’t have the decency to break up with him in person. Once again, I was pissed. He lies to me for weeks and I’m the horrible one? Frankly, I was a little surprised he even knew how to use email in his old age. With those skills, he will surely make some 25-year-old very happy.

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Posted in: Your Stories