Ask Aunt Chelsea, March 21, 2013
Dear Aunt Chelsea:
I’m a guy in his early 20s who’s always had the tendency to hang around with a relatively older crowd. The problem is, my romantic desires often take the same course — and the older ladies never seem to believe that I’m not just another bar-hopping, party-crazed youngster. Case in point: I thought I found the spark with a lovely 28-year-old on New Year’s Eve — but when I tried to get together for a drink the next week, she shut me down and told me that since she was so “old,” that kind of meet-up just “wasn’t her scene anymore.” Well, it’s not really my “scene” either! I just thought it would make for a nice evening! And these situations — initial moments of passion, followed by a complete reversal on her part — have happened numerous times ever since I became legal.
So I ask you, as both a source of general wisdom and a clearly more experienced woman, how I might change these outcomes for the better. How can I get the older ladies to see me as the mature guy I am — someone worth spending time with, rather than as just another quick hookup in their moments of inebriation?
Mark Twain, who long ago left the weird and wonderful world he never tired of tweaking, famously (and quite accurately) said, “Youth is wasted on the young.” Oh, to have your problems, honey.
As for advice, this “more experienced woman” (a badge of honor I wear with pride) is at a loss as to where she should begin. Hmm…perhaps I should point out that a 28-year-old hardly qualifies as your “Mrs. Robinson.” Perhaps I should explain who Mrs. Robinson is. No, I think my time would be better spent praising you for your mature outlook on today’s casual fling dating scene, rather than recapping the narrative of a minor work in the Mike Nichols canon (sorry folks, it’s no “Silkwood”). “Crazed,” you’re on the right side of history for wanting more out of life than a quick buzz and a quick…well, you know. But there is something to be said for the fact that you’re only young once. I don’t know who said that. It wasn’t Mark Twain — but as quotes go, it’s a doozie.
Say, did you notice how Aunt Chelsea has been waffling like a 28-year-old cougar? First she’s congratulating you on your restraint, then she’s telling you to seize the day. Why, it’s just the sort of mixed signals that prompted you to write me in the first place. Bottom line, my dear, you’re not “Crazed.” You’re just hanging out with the wrong crowd. It’s time to either circle the wagons (hang out with those within a year or two of your own age) or expand your horizons (start hitting on gals of the “Graduate”-era Anne Bancroft ilk).
Oh, my! Look at that. I’ve found a practical use for that overhyped Nichols vehicle. I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks. Now take what you’ve learned here and apply it to the gentlemanly art of cougar taming. Let me know how it goes, hon!