If Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number, Go Date an Eighty Year Old

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Sometime in the ‘80s, the hair metal band Winger had a hit with a song called ’17.’  In the song, Kip Winger, the dashing vocalist for whom the band was named, meets a teenage girl and, after questioning the ethics for a verse or so, engages in a passionate relationship with her.  It’s a song about how love and Kip Winger’s horniness know no bounds, and cannot be tamed by silly things like laws or morals.  Back in the ‘80s, when Kip was young, it was acceptable for him to sing about sleeping with a 17-year-old.  People didn’t really have a problem with it.  However, when I saw Winger in concert about five years ago and a bloated, 40-year-old Kip Winger belted out his affection for the 17-year-old, suddenly things didn’t seem so kosher.  Hearing the song from the modern incarnation of Winger and watching the crowd of middle aged men pumping their fists and singing along…it was more than a little creepy.

I wish I had a time machine, so I could go back to the ‘80s and consult Kip when he was writing the song:  “You have to think long term, Kip.  How about tweaking these lyrics a bit.  Maybe, instead of seventeen, you can say ‘she’s only seventy.’  Then the song will become more acceptable as you and your fan base get older.  Really, it’s better to be laughed at now and applauded later than the other way around.  Think about the future of Winger, Kip!”

But enough about Winger.  Let’s talk about me.

On Christmas Eve, I met a girl at a club and we exchanged numbers.  Later, I asked her out on a date via text message (if she didn’t respond, it obviously would’ve mean something terrible happened and she had died).  As luck would have it, she was alive and said yes.  Things were peachy.  But since the nightclub was dark and I was a little intoxicated at the time, it was hard to say with much accuracy what she looked like.  Nor did I remember anything about her, other than that she was Korean and worked at a language exchange program.  Other than that, she could’ve been Kim Jong Un in drag for all I knew.

I texted again and asked her what time would be good.  She responded with: “Six o’clock will be good.  My classes at University will be done then.”

“University?” I thought, beginning to feel a bit queasy.  How old was this girl?  Seeing that she was still in college, she had to be about 21.  I sighed.  In my head, I considered the age difference.  It was pretty tough to deny its significance.  “Wow,” I said to myself.  “When I was a teenager, she wasn’t having her first period, she was writing her first period.”

Still, I would go through with the date.  There I stood in Bupyeong Station, waiting for her.  She texted me and said she’d be late – not just a little late, mind you, but an hour and a half late.  I walked around, trying to fill the time.  At a store in the underground shopping mall, I bought a pink ear hoodie for my little niece.  I wandered around.  By the turnstiles, I ran into Mike (of Stupid Ugly Foreigner).

“I’m waiting for a couple North Koreans,” he said.  “I’m giving them English lessons.  What are you doing here?”

His was a good, morally strong reason to be there.  He was giving free English lessons to two people who had fled the North.  I lowered my head and spoke honestly, “I have a date with a college girl.”

“Does she know how old you are?” he asked.  I glared at him.

Truth be told, I have never, in my life, dated someone my own age or older than me.  They’ve always been younger.  The last three women I’ve spent time with here in Korea have all been under 24.  It’s not that I specifically want younger women…that’s just sort of how things work out.  Recently, though, after my pseudo-relationship-from-hell that ended in August (she was 23), I’ve started to believe that age really does matter and that things have been working out so poorly because I’m trying to connect with women who at such a different place in their lives than I am.  Yeah, we have fun and get along great, but there’s not a whole lot we have in common.  For example, it would be nice to date a girl who could relate to the pain and frustration one feels when the VHS tape unwinds inside the VCR halfway through the movie.

Finally my date arrived.  The first thing that struck me was that she had braces.  I started feeling guilty and hoping we wouldn’t run into anyone I knew.  The braces were such a symbol of youth, I felt really sleazy  – it would be like setting up a date with an older person and having her show up using a walker.  I had planned on having dinner and then going out for coffee.  I asked her where she wanted to go.

“Let’s go to bar,” she said.

“Um, ok,” I said.  “Do you want dinner?  Are you hungry?”

“Yes,” she said, “we will eat French fry.  And drink beer.”

That’s exactly what we ended up doing.  We sat in a bar, ate French fries for dinner, and drank a pitcher of beer.  She was very nice and friendly; it turned out she attended one of the best schools in Korea (Seoul National) and was studying biochemistry.  Dipping a fry in ketchup, she asked me how old I am.

“I’m an old man,” I said.  “I’m 33.”

“33!” she shouted.  “Very old!”  She took her hands and covered her face like she was embarrassed or going to cry.

“Yeah,” I said.  “I know.”

She put her hands back down.  “It is okay.”

“In Korean age I’m 34.”

“34!  33 is international age?”

“Yes,” I said.  I looked at the ear hoodie I’d gotten for my niece and wondered if my date could fit in it.  After we finished the fries and the beer we decided to call it a night.  I decided to meet up with C-Batz and some other friends instead of going home.  We drank and drank into the night, and by two in the morning I was alone in the bar, sitting on a bar stool and drinking whisky by myself.

“I don’t wanna be Kip Winger,” I slurred to myself.  Lighting a cigarette, I sent the girl a text.  I said she was very nice, but that the age difference was too much and it would be better not to have another date.

“I think so too,” she immediately texted back.  “Thanks for fun date.”

A great sense of relief came over me.  In a flash, I was so happy to be 33 and alone.  It felt good to finally say, for once, “I’m sorry but I’m too old.”

The subway had closed and I was stranded.  I got a room at a love motel by myself, and slept like a grandpa.

*

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48 thoughts on “If Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number, Go Date an Eighty Year Old

  1. Nice post. I enjoyed reading it. It should be required reading for all those dirty old men who see a young girl as simply something to gawk at-even if they don’t plan on having sex with her; and some of them would if they could. The whole idea is frightening. These very men sometimes have young daughters and wives at home.

    • Hey! Well, I’m in no position to be the moral police, but I do not support dirty old men. I just recently saw the movie “Trust,” and if you haven’t seen it, I would recommend it. Very sad and creepy story about a teenage girl who meets a much older man online. It’ll really make you disgusted with men!

      Not that that’s a good thing…anyways, thanks for the comment, wiz!

  2. Your line about VHS tapes made me chuckle out loud. I’m almost 36, and I don’t have super vivid recollections of the VCR unraveling, I must say; however, the same has happened with my cassettes, so I can relate there, and it really is a bitch. I, too, am a teacher, and when I mention cassette tapes to kids, I now have to explain to make sure everyone has “background knowledge.”

    p.s. I’ve been reading your posts for a good month now, since you were on the main WordPress site, and you are a good writer. Keep it up!

    • Hi Michelle!

      Yes, the unraveling cassette tape was also a nightmare. Especially because you had to take a pencil and wind the thing back up, then fastforward and rewind it a bunch of time to try and smooth the tape out so it would play right. It was a real bummer when the tape was too far gone and couldn’t be saved. I think I remember that happening to my Fresh Prince “Homebase” tape.

      Thanks for the compliment. Appreciate it! : )

  3. I bumped into someone I went to high-school with a while back. He was talking about how he’s really only interested in dating girls about 15-20 years younger than he. Now, when two people fall in love and there’s a sizable age difference, I say great. But this age difference was his policy.

    I mentioned the experience/compatibility element and he dismissed it with a kind of “That’s what everybody says/there’s not a difference” bit that was clearly rehearsed. There was no awareness that that made him looked sad, not cool. That it spoke to his view of women as trophies to win, and a stunning emotional immaturity.

    • Yeah, any time a person has a “policy” like that, it’s bad news. My only policy is to try and date women who are interested in me…without me paying them.

      Your old schoolmate sounds like, um, well good luck to him. Hopefully he finds love or catches something, preferably the latter.

  4. When I was 17, a guy was hitting on me at a Cake concert, he asked me my name, and I tell him. He says “Sheena, like Sheena Easton?” I tell that’s where the name came from. He goes “Oh so you were born in….” I tell him 84…He actually like disappeared. He was there one second and then there was a crowd. Perhaps he was a ghost or perhaps he moved away that quick. Either way my friend and I repeated Disco Stu from the Simpsons “Not today disco lady” and laughed…awesome.

    • Sheena Easton! That’s excellent. I met a girl named Shannon recently, and I said, “Oh, like the Henry Gross song.” She had no idea what I was talking about and I felt ancient.

      I like that this story took place at a Cake concert, by the way. Take care, Sheena E!

  5. Exodus

    i wanted to say something about Winger, but you said it all and you said it well, which left me only this to say: i totally relate to “the pain and frustration one feels when the VHS tape unwinds inside the VCR halfway through the movie” and i’m 24.5; you just haven’t exchanged numbers with the right one, that’s all. we just have to keep looking. i still haven’t found anyone who can relate to Lucky Luke and Asterix.

  6. I very rarely read blogs – too busy writing my own. I have to say… I completely look forward too seeing your latest musings in the mass hell that is my inbox. Thanks for your quirky perspective and hilarity!
    ~ michele

  7. “Wow,” I said to myself. “When I was a teenager, she wasn’t having her first period, she was writing her first period.”

    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!! yes…10 minutes later i am still laughing! this is exactly why i try not to drink more than 4 beers at a bar. i too had a similar situation like this…and when i met up with the guy i was like “wait…theres no way i gave my number to this guy.” this blog has made my day. you are right my friend. age DOES make somewhat of a difference. blog on!

    • Haha – that’s my favorite line, so it’s cool you liked it. Janet H, you go get yourself a good guy or two and have a glorious time. Your comment made my day. Blog on yourself! : )

    • In Korea, you are one the day you are born…so Korean age is one year older than international age (actually, it could be two depending on how close you’re born to the lunar new year, but that’s complicated). So my Korean age is 34. Sigh.

  8. Hey ! Hey ! 33 isn’t old ! Are you kidding ? But I guess in Korea, it is old, huh !

    aaargh. You’re making me nervous, If age can make you feel that way, and you’re a guy, I dread the time when I’m 33 and still single. ~.~

    • Renx! You’re alive!

      You are right – 33 isn’t that old. And I look young. That’s all that matters. In Korea, though, if a woman is 33 and not married, they act like there’s something horribly wrong with her.

      I doubt you’ll still be single at 33. I think you’ll be preggers with your fourth kid! Yay, the future!

      • Yikes ! preggers with 4th kid and 33 years old ! I’m not sure if I prefer that than 33 and still single. I can’t imagine that image of me , looking harassed with 3 young kids clinging to my legs, and another one on the way. * shudders * ‘

        However,

        if I';m 33 and still single, I will also think there’s something really, really horribly wrong with me. And I’m not korean. I just turned 21, still unattached, and already, I feel there’s something wrong with me. LOL

      • You’ll be fine, Renx. Single is in. Wait for it to go out of style, and then get yourself a boyfriend. There’s nothing to panic about. I’m sure you could snag a guy without much trouble if you chose to. Remind yourself that being single is your choice. Eventually someone will come to serenade you outside your window, and when that happens, you can open it wide. Especially if he’s singing Michael Jackson.

  9. 33 isn’t too bad but I agree age is important. I can’t imagine where I would be at 33, somewhere good I hope. I was just having this conversation with an older man who stated he couldn’t see himself dating a woman 15-20 years younger than him because he would feel paternal. A couple of years younger is cool but when you start talking decades, that’s a generation gap.

    • Yeah, I don’t have a problem with the idea of dating someone younger (obviously); it really just comes down to the person. In other words, it would be super to meet a 23 year old who acted like a 33 year old. Actually, I’m pretty immature…maybe we could meet in the middle…at 26.

      Thanks for the comment, Goodbye Navi!

  10. Haha, I didn’t know you ended up going to a bar for fries and beer. Was it Goose? It was probably Goose.

    Also, you know that “17” is a song that will be on the soundtrack of High School Seniors. The only question is if we keep the gender roles or flip it.

    • Big Woodstock.

      Maybe after the show is a big hit, we can convince Kip Winger to re-record as “70.” I think he’d go for that. In fact, I wouldn’t be against casting him as one of the teachers. It would be a good career move for him, I think. Regardless of whether or not anyone actually watches the show.

    • It really does, doesn’t it! What you doing Wednesday? Let’s go do beer and french fries. I’ll meet you 9 pm. Sweet! See you there! I’ll be the guy wearing the jeans and winter coat!

    • Gee, I think I’m writing myself to be too much of an angel. Bear in mind, I knew she was a college kid and went out with her anyways without telling her before hand that I was a lot older. And if we’d gotten on better, who knows…I probably would’ve pursued something. So I’m no saint. I just play one in this blog from time to time. : )

  11. Hey, I’m 22 but I know the pains of rewounding a casette tape and I used to watch movies in VHS all the time. And what’s up with braces. I have braces now because I got it late in life..when I could pay for it myself, so I think, it’s not always a symbol of youth. haha.

    Really laughing hard at this comment: Single is in. Wait for it to go out of style, and then get yourself a boyfriend.
    But I’m like Renx wondering if there might be something wrong with me too.

    Anyways, 33 isn’t that old. For a guy at least. When I reach that age and still unattached, I will.. kidnap-date Matthew Goode wherever he is. I’m sure by that time, he’ll be like 40 something. ;)

    • What on earth could be wrong with you, Jishi? That’s crazy talk. Stop it, now, crazy Jishi! And besides, you just wrote about how guys at work have crushes on you. Way to be humble, heartbreaker! : )

      Kidnapping is not a bad option. It would be a good story to tell the grandkids. But Matthew Goode? Not a fan. Maybe kidnap Sam Roberts instead, I like him better.

      I, in turn, will be kidnapping…well, I’m desperate. I’ll kidnap the first girl who agrees to it.

      • Lol, I’m not a heartbreaker :D Didn’t you see the last part of that entry? haha

        I know Sam Roberts is cool because he’s in a band but I’d still go for Matthew Goode. ;)

        That’s not kidnapping if they agree to it. That’s eloping. hahaha

      • Whoops! I thought Matthew Goode was a Canadian rock star…just Googled him and now know who he is. That’s why I said something about Sam Roberts. You can totally pull Matthew Goode, Jishi. In fact, I think you’re out of his league. : D

  12. Karin Babin

    Just a thought here as I see a theme with your girl woes. Have you ever thought of meeting a grown up woman at say, a non-bar type establishment? On your next bar foray try to stay sober until midnight (it’s relatively easy, just drink not alcohol). And then look around, and see if there is anyone you would even consider a date with. But think longer term than if she’s hot or cute or can dance or how well she holds her liquor. Because unless you go back to a bar to eat fries and drink, she needs to have a little more to offer, right? If you keep meeting a different version of the same… ahem, “woman”, then it may have something to do with your choice of pick up venue. I know drunk chicks seem less intimidating initially, but it’s not working out so well for you I fear. Unless you secretly like the awkward, nothing in common, going no where but at least I have a date to fill my evening dates. In which case, carry on warrior!

    • I have a bit of a disclaimer here. I was thinking after I posted this and I felt hypocritical enough that I came back. I’m 36, my husband is 26, and we are a pretty good match! We have been together for almost 3 years, married for almost 1. Mind you I’m a free spirited lunatic with endless energy and he’s an old man on the inside, so our biological ages are balanced by our internal… what ever would be internal? We met across the street, and I hated him. He hated me too. Then one day we had a couple of drinks and hung out and didn’t hate each other any more. What a love story! My mom was also 18 years younger than my dad and he was the absolute love of her life. They met when she was 18, but nothing developed for years. And my 19 year old son is dating a 24 year old, and we joke she’s the perfect age for my husband. So there you have it. Notice though, none of these relationships started drunk in a bar where the youngins collect. Also, my comments are too long. Sorry. I will refrain from using so many words from here on out!

      • Haha – no problem Karin! You’re absolutely right about trying to meet someone someplace that isn’t a bar. I think you, my friend, are on to something there. Actually, I’m fairly content with being single now. I like having my writing time and being able to watch whatever weird movies I want to and obsess over sports in an uninhibited way.

        I had no idea you are such a cougar! Sounds like you compliment each other well. Although, if you didn’t meet in a bar, it’s hard to imagine things will work out long term (sarcasm there). Peace, Karin!

  13. Great blog! Those age dilemmas… , My ex-boyfriend was 2 yrs younger than me, and his friends were much younger than him, so at parties I had to put up with some people born in the 90’s, haha. Myself, I was born in 1981 and was probably ancient to them. Especially when one guy, who happened to love Judas Priest, put on an old vinyl record and I said “Well, I remember when it came out actually! I listened to the song ****** everyday!”, and he looked at me in amazement and asked me for the first time “How old ARE you?”, haha.

    • Haha – stupid young people! I’m actually going to see Judas Priest here in Korea next month. I’m pumped. British Steel, baby! Great album. Maybe I will meet someone special at the concert. Preferably not Rob Halford.

      Thanks for the comment, rock star. : )

  14. *Sigh*
    This has actually made my day. I have just caught my breath from laughing and have way too much to say, so I will just leave with this: Thank you for another effortlessly great post x

    • You’re the best, Felicia. I can’t make head or tails out of your blog. haha. I thought about making that bath bomb but I don’t know what the heck it is. Can I drink it? I didn’t think so, so I scrapped the idea. : )

      Thanks so much for the kind words. Love ya!

      • LOL. This made me giggle.
        Ahh I’m sorry it’s so confusing! I will try harder to make it more easier to follow :) But I wouldn’t drink a bath bomb if I was you (I don’t think you can actually) It feels pretty epic in a bath however :D

        And you’re more than welcome :) x

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