second date instead of running away from her in a commitment-phobic frenzy. It almost sounded like a fairy tale.
“Younger men are definitely the way to go,” she said. “The last guy I dated who was my age complained about waking up every day with a new ache or pain and talked incessantly about getting hair plugs. The one before that had to take medication for high blood pressure and couldn’t get it up.”
I’d never dated a younger man before. All of the significant men in my life, starting with Pierre in Paris, had been at least a few years older. But now, a few years older meant getting dangerously close to AARP cards and early-bird buffet dinners.
“How old is Eliseo?” I asked her.
“Thirty-five,” she said, letting out a big happy sigh.
“That means Javier must be thirty-two,” I said, doing the arithmetic. Eliseo said he was six and Javier was three when they moved to Miami from the Dominican Republic. Oh no! He’s almost ten years younger. He’d never be interested in me.
When Lessie dropped me off at my apartment it was almost midnight. I took off my clothes and dropped into bed exhausted. I was too excited to fall asleep immediately. But eventually, when I did, I dreamt of being in Javier’s arms, both on and off the dance floor.
The Demise of Courtship,
The Era of Un-Dating
By Samantha Jacobs
A close friend, let’s call her Lisa, forty-two, met Kirk, thirty-nine, at a summer festival. He was tall, friendly, and shared his pretzel with her. They talked about politics, books, and music. He asked for her number and actually called three days later.
It all went downhill from there.
“We should get together sometime,” said Kirk toward the end of their first telephone conversation.
Lisa readily agreed, but Kirk was unable to respond with a suggestion for where they might meet, what they might do, or even a date for a possible rendezvous. Finally, after much hemming and hawing, Kirk arranged to meet Lisa at his favorite dive bar, where he bought her a fifty-cent tap beer and then asked her to go home with him.
Another friend, Mary, forty-one, had a post-first date experience that was also troubling. She went out to dinner with a divorced businessman in his forties, father of a ten-year-old boy, owner of a two-seater airplane and a Jaguar. Mary first heard from him a week after their date.
“He e-mailed me and asked me if we were ever going out again. An e-mail. Can you believe it? I wonder if he likes women?” Mary pondered.
Indeed one would assume that a successful entrepreneur who had previously taken the vows of matrimony, procreated, and made major consumer purchases could have done a little better than sending off a flaccid e-mail that suggested nothing. I seriously doubt that Donald Trump courts women via e-mail. But perhaps Lisa and Mary should count themselves fortunate, since a far more ominous dating situation faces the typical twenty- and thirty-something woman.
When a generation Y or X man and woman do get together these days, it seems to be a joint project, patchworked together with hints and obscure references to the future. A man's initial attempt to woo a woman typically starts with an amorphous statement, such as, “I might be at ABC bar tomorrow night.” Silence follows this statement and the prospect of spending time together is left floating in the telephone or computer cables until the woman responds with something more definitive, such as, “I will be at ABC bar tomorrow night. Should we meet?” But, alas, today’s typical bachelor is not ready to commit to anything more serious than a tee time. Thus, he is likely to respond, “Well, then again, I might not be there. But if I do show up, maybe we could have a drink, if we happen to run into each other.” Thus, a chance encounter (for it really would be a gross exaggeration to call it a date), is set.
What is going on here?
Sadly, we have entered the era of un-dating. Un-dating is characterized by