So there’s this thing about T.E.
OK, that’s a silly thing to say – there are several things about T.E. and you guys already know a bunch of them, like that he’s in London and that there’s this big time difference and that we never expected our silly, online flirtations to go anywhere over a year ago, and…
But there’s this thing about him that you guys don't know. It’s kind of a significant thing, or a big thing (but not a big thing) or a tricky thing. It’s definitely a thing – that much I know. And I mostly figured I wouldn’t say it, but there are other things that I sometimes want to vent about here with you guys that I can’t when you don’t know about the thing so I’ve decided to tell you about the thing.
So here’s the thing:
T.E. is younger. A bit younger. Quite a bit younger.
He’s kind of a whole person younger.
Another way to put it would be this: he’s half my age. One could also say it this way: I’m twice his age. You could do it mathematically: my age divided by two equals his age. But no matter how you slice it the bottom line is this: Call me Cougar, people, because I’m in love with a twenty year old, and I haven’t been twenty in twenty years.
When he first told me his age I think I blacked out for a few minutes - there might have been a quick aneurism. He assures me that my reaction was very suave, and mostly consisted of saying “NINETEEN??????” over and over in ever-escalating volume and pitch. A proud moment for me. After that I know that I tried to figure out if there was any way I could go forward and not feel insane, and the answer was, of course, no. But I went forward anyway, because what the hell? We’re just fooling around, nobody even knows about him and in two weeks this will just be the crazy thing I did that one time on the internet. Doesn’t everybody need a crazy internet thing story? So mine is the fling with the hot, sweet, sexy, brilliant, funny, twenty year old English guy. It could be MUCH worse than that! So I went forward. Short term. Temporarily. No big deal.
For over a year.
After he came to the U.S. and we spent an amazing four days together it became absurdly obvious to me that I’d been kidding myself about this being a fling – it had been three months of flinging and we were no less anxious to be around each other than we’d been in the first place. Officially we were still just hanging out or fooling around or whatever but I knew in my heart of hearts that I was smitten and it was going to be at least impossible to walk away clean. But even still I was embarrassed enough by my Cougarising to keep him a deep, dark secret – only her majesty The Queen knew he was even coming here.
And then words starting with “L” got said by both parties (that's right -- I said "Lasagna" and he said "La Crosse". It was magical) and we were well and officially screwed. And through all of this he had the nerve to stay twenty years my junior. But even though I’ll say with all honesty that I wish he were older, or I were younger (except no, I don’t want to be younger, I just wish he were older) it couldn’t change my level of smitten or how we just kept moving forward more and more. To the point where I just had to tell my people that there was a guy (“Hooray! Femtastic FINALLY has a guy!”). And that the guy lived in London (“Ooh! How cosmopolitan!”). And that the guy was twenty (“....”)
It’s been just over 15 months. He’s spent a total of 12 weeks here with me. He’s met my family; my friends, and they all think he’s lovely. They like that he cares for me, and about me. That he makes me laugh, and makes me blush. They like that he likes me, and he loves me, and though I’m sure they ALSO wish he were older… well, he isn’t. And there’s nothing to be done about that.
So that’s the thing. You guys can make it as big or little as you want. There was a time when I would have thought it the biggest thing in the world. Now the big stuff to me is the lovely and the caring and the laughing and the loving. That he can be so amazing and fantastic to me and for me at the age of twenty just makes him that much more impressive. That I get to be the focus of his attention at the age of forty?... Just makes me lucky.