I'm so excited to report that I've had an epiphany!
I've always thought it was weird when someone has a very definite "type" that they're interested in, but have noticed that I'm extremely predictable when it comes to the men I pick for dating, mating, and marriage. I know that I've mentioned my proclivities in this blog, but I only realized today that I've had a "type" since I was a teenager. We're always the last to know what's patently obvious to the rest of the world, right?
Desires change over time and, when I was a young teen, I had preferences that differ somewhat from my current choices. In a nutshell, I wouldn't look twice if they didn't have dark skin, hair, and eyes. No blond-haired or blue-eyed albinos were gonna get a piece of my action! I used to joke with my BFF that I was like the UN of dating because every ethnicity and nationality was equally represented. Of course, that's a little bit of an exaggeration!
I was busily watching mid-70s era Eric Clapton videos on youtube while my son napped this afternoon. Shocking, huh? Anyway, I was admiring his full head of hair, his face full of fuzz, and his skinny hips when it hit me - I've been attracted to this look since I was around 17-years old. I'm not saying that I felt all tingly in my girlie parts when looking at 65-year old men, but I'm also not saying that I didn't. In case you're interested, I did today!
But I realized why I like that "type" and it was a revelation to me. I was with a man who sported that exact look back in 1992 or so. We weren't exactly boyfriend-girlfriend in that it wasn't a societally appropriate relationship and I never considered bringing him to meet my parents, but he was absolutely taken with me and I thought he was just wonderful. Absolutely wonderful.
Over the years, I've often thought with disdain about the men who were with my under-aged self. As an adult, I find it repugnant that grown men would take advantage of such a young girl. Sure, I was hot to trot, but I was still a friggin' kid and they should have practiced a little self-control.
Interestingly, I've never lumped this particular man in with that group for some damn reason - and he was far & away the oldest to have me! Why do I give him a pass? I don't know. I guess because he loved me. And, oh, how he loved me. Even as a young girl, I could see that I was a feminized ideal to him. I was the Yoko to his John and he was so smitten. Just over the moon. He made me feel perfect and lovely, two things that I haven't felt very frequently. He cherished me and, though I loved him the best I could and I felt alive and free when I was with him, I could not stop myself from pushing him away.
Was it the 25-year age difference? Was it the knowledge that he didn't have and never wanted children? Was it that I feared my parents' certain negative response? I think it was all of those things and the fact that I actively sabotaged my own happiness for many, many years. In hindsight, I know that I could have been happy with him.
I've thought of him often over the years. . .wondering if he replaced me in his heart and yearning to see him just once more. Did he ever find someone more perfectly lovely than me? I hope he did, but on some selfish & childish level, I hope he didn't because I loved being that piece of feminine perfection for someone.
I can't listen to Cat Stevens sing Wild World without thinking of him. I can't see a specific print without thinking of him. I can't give a bearded man a hug & kiss without thinking of him for just a fleeting moment. And, I suppose in some weird way, I desire the men I desire because I never lost my desire and admiration for this particular man.
My husband and I have discussed this relationship a time or two and hubs is fairly disgusted by it all. Not that he's jealous (if you know my hubs you know that he's one of the most confident men on the planet), but that he thinks this man was a total freaking pervert. Yes, 25-years is a big freaking difference when one person in the relationship is only 17. Yes, it was illegal as it gets. Yes, I can understand that some people just won't understand.
But I maintain that if my husband knew my 17-year old self, he'd also find it impossible to resist my charms. Long dark hair straight down to my waist, only weighed around 115-pounds, teeny-tiny waist with nicely rounded hips, and a free & loose attitude toward sex. Damn, I think I just turned myself on by talking about myself!
Really though, hubs should probably send this man a Thank You note because he opened my eyes to the excitement that can only be found with significantly older lovers. Yeah, a 19-year old kid might bang you all night long, but a man knows how to take his time, how to get all cylinders firing, how to take direction, and how to satisfy intellectually. Perhaps that last bit only applies to me, but I can not get stimulated sexually if I'm intellectually strangled.
So there it is; that's my epiphany. My love of older and bewhiskered men is directly traceable to one man. Sometimes I find it crazy how your past shapes your present and your future.
Wherever he is now, I hope he has the same happiness that I experience. . .and I still kind of wonder if he ever fondly remembers me.