Man Out of Time

I have always thought that I was born at the wrong time; either too early, or too late, all depending on what day it is. As a kid, I was a bit mature for my age, which is a nice way of saying: “precocious brat.” I tended to gravitate toward children older than me, maybe because I felt like I had more in common with them, or maybe it was something else.

I started reading at the age of two, which is no big deal now, but in the early Seventies… How I came to start reading at that age is easily explained: I sat in front of the TV every morning watching Captain Kangaroo, Sesame Street, The Electric Company, and Mister Rodgers’ Neighborhood, and then I watched reruns of the latter three shows in the afternoon. So, basically it was by osmosis that I picked up this skill. In fact, that’s pretty much the way I learn things today. That is when I can be bothered to learn. Some lessons I will never learn. But that’s another story.

Some people thought I was smart, but I really wasn’t. Still ain’t. If anything, I was clever: I learned to read so that I could look through the TV Guide in order to find out when my favorite shows were on; as if I didn’t already know. To this day, I read too much, or too little, or the wrong things. I have gotten back into comic books in the last few years, if that tells you anything.

As with any conversation, the subtext is always about sex. Or the lack thereof. But I’m not going there. For first, comes dating; I’m a bit old fashioned that way, but I am willing to try new things, if you think you have a better way.

I have always wanted to be with someone close to my own age–give or take. It seems that most of the time it’s more give than take on my part, but that too is another story. When I was younger, I kind of fancied older women, which I am sure has Freudian implications that I am lothe to hear. But in the Eighties, the term “Cougar” hadn’t been invented, and if it had, I’m not sure what I would have made of it. I will come back to this subject in a bit.

When I actually found someone that was actually willing to go out with me, they were always younger. Not “jailbait” mind you, but younger nonetheless. I had almost nil in common with them, yet I was dating someone, and that’s a start. I guess when you aren’t the best looking guy around you have to make do. I wasn’t proud of myself.

A lot of people stop evolving at some point in their lives. It’s as if they are stuck in time. If high school or college was the best it will ever get, what’s the point in carrying on? I was into alternitive music when it was called “college rock,” and independant movies when they were known as “art house films.” I still enjoy a lot of the entertainment from my childhood, yet I am constantly on the search for the latest and greatest. I always want to keep moving forward.

There have been a few times in my life when opportunities to be with older women have arisen. I’ll let you define “be,” and hope that you ignore “arisen.”

My friends set me up on a blind date, which is the first and last time I allowed that to occur. I got to meet her the night before, and all went well. I thought she was great. She was a teacher, which is wonderful. (Cue Van Halen) She seemed nice, friendly, and funny, which are all excellent traits, in my book. But the date went pear shaped early, and never recovered. Let’s just say there faults on both sides.

Some time after that, I was visiting the same friends, and another friend of theirs happened to be their when I arrived. I don’t think it was a set up. Unless it was. If so, it had nothing to do with dating. At some point, this woman started hitting on me, and by “hitting on me” I mean suggesting we get out of there. *wink, wink* Part of me regrets my polite decline, but a few years later, I became friends with her daughter, and things might have gotten awkward.

Then again, she could have told her daughter, “I taught this guy everything he knows. You can thank me later.”

That brings us to the spring of ’92. Don’t worry, this won’t last much longer; which is what I would have said to any woman prior to this point, had the opportunity arisen, and subsequently fallen.

Long story short, (Too late, I know.) I was at convenience store putting air into a tire that had a slow leak, and hoping that I could make it to the tire shop before they closed. There was a woman pumping gas into her Oldsmobile Cutlass, and she noticed I had an air gauge, for I am my father’s son, and asked if I would check the air in her tires: Not an euphemism. I said that I would, because I am Southern Gentleman; schedule be damned.

I didn’t try to guess her age; I know better. Let’s just say she had fifteen years on me. At least. Her car was this unnatural shade of green that all the rage at the time; I blame the fashion industry. She was wearing floral print pants that were a cross between Laura Ashley and Fingerhut, or whichever mail order catalog it was that kept clogging up the mailbox.

As I was checking her tires, she told me her husband used to do this, but since the divorce… I thought, “Is she hitting on me?” I have no radar when it comes to these matters. Then again, no one had ever hit on me out of the blue before. Or had they? Hard to say. Anyway, I had just started dating someone. A woman. A younger woman.


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