Friday, May 29, 2009

Am I a jerk?

So, here is the situation. I have a friend, well he is one of Kyle's best friends really and I have a dilemma. He is this great guy, super nice, interesting, kind, I like hanging out with him and I like how he is an important part of Kyle's life. But he often dates younger women. He is 31, maybe 6 months or more older than me and he sometimes dates 21 year old girls. When I told him I should harass him for this (trying to be light hearted about something I am REALLY serious about) because it's wrong, I asked him why he dates them and he said, "Well, because I can." And since he is not a lecherous person I do not think he means this in a pejorative manner, just that he can. You know when I say it there it seems there is no way for it not to be pejorative.

Anyhow so Kyle just says that it has to do with his friend's interests aligning more with someone who is younger, but frankly I find that to be a terrible reason. Which personally leads to my having to ask Kyle if he were single and “could” if he would date 21 year olds? Now while his answer is no and I believe him and I know even when he was 21 he was always interested in women a little bit older than him that makes it believable, BUT he is also just a smarter man than one who would say something insanely stupid like, 'Well if I could' because that would be really a bad idea. But I digress.

So his friend asks us on this double date tonight and I think it is with this girl that he had not too long ago started seeing, this girl who is our ages, but when I ask Kyle says no, it's some new girl. To which I respond, "How old is she?" Because I should be able just to go out with friends and meet their dates regardless, but if it is some girl 10 years younger I am so disturbed by it. And I know this is a personal problem - but I also view it as a social problem.

Personal part: Most of my friends know this but why remember it? I was 21 and had this crush on this guy at work. I drove him home once and my crush increased. The next week he asked me to dinner. So I drove out to meet him (Hollywood/Los Feliz area) and we went to Melrose where there was this amazing restaurant. Serious some of the best food I had ever had to that point. And then we walked around and anyway, it was a lot of fun. Then he asked me to come upstairs to his apartment, I said it was too late, but he said we should play a game of chess. We had talked about chess at some point at dinner. Anyhow I thought, 'Wow, he is so smart and interesting. He is 31 and so great and cool, why on earth would he choose to go out with me?' Oh right. I was 21 and he could. But I went upstairs and he had the chess board set up in his kitchen and I thought, 'Wow, he is serious about chess.' Then I went into the restroom. I came out and the bed (it was an old building with single apartments and Murphy beds) was down and lights low. And I asked about chess and he kissed me. This seemed like a good idea at the time. But it got out of control and I wanted it to stop. So I said so, but he didn't believe me. To spare the next part of details perhaps it is good to note that I was a virgin, I didn't just have sex and I realized none of this mattered to him. And I know I said no and I know I said please stop and I know and I know and I know. See he wasn't trying to rape me, but he did not understand that I was really saying no. Which seems impossible. And I thought it was my fault, what an idiot I was for coming up to his apartment. Finally I was able to push him off of me and quickly gather myself and get out. He insisted on following me out to my car (it was a shady neighborhood at best) and he kept saying he was sorry and that he thought we were having a good time. He kept saying he was sorry and was confused. I turned to him when I got to my car and said, "But I kept saying no!" And he responded, "But I thought you were kidding." No, I was just lucky that he wasn't REALLY a rapist. But that is what it would have been.

So when a young girl, of 21, even one who does have sex with boyfriends or whatever kind of hook ups, a 31 year old man should not see this as an opportunity. That means there is something wrong. It is demeaning to the girl. Gives her a false view of relationships and trust. And having worked with enough young women with low self esteem - myself included - who knew their value had more to do with their ability to be cute - and I imagine with many girls "sexy" that they are being taken advantage of. And it isn't like these are real relationships with true long lasting commitments or the prospect of. (Oh here, I have slipped into the social aspect) I simply think it isn't right. And that may be judgmental, but it is how I feel. Yeah, yeah I know there are exceptions to the rule - but there is a reason there is a rule. You know what I mean, not a REAL rule, just something about right and wrong.

So what do I do? I joke that I won't go out on a double date with a girl who has to be "born on today's date in 1988" to go into a bar with us (or you know fits closely into that) because it makes me sad. I have nothing against 21 or 22 year old women and I think that it is an age of maturity and I don't doubt them as grownups, or most of them anyways, I mean I was married at 22 - as were many of my friends - but I just don't see it as the same.

Sure my interests were similar to the 31 year old attempted-date rapist, but not enough.

So, am I jerk?

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About Me

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Portland, OR, United States
I am a daughter, sister, friend, wife, counselor and colleague. I am a work in progress. There may be some pieces out of place and things might be messy, but it's okay. I would rather accept that I am still unfinished than think that this is it. You can find my comments on faith and spirituality on my blog: And my comments and anecdotes on life at:

Books That Matter. Well, some of the many that matter.

  • Magical Shrinking: Stumbling Through Bipolar Disorder, Chris Wells
  • Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen
  • An Abudance of Katherines, John Green
  • Dave Pelzer
  • Franny & Zooey, J.D. Salinger
  • I Was Told There'd Be Cake, Sloane Crosley
  • The Cloister Walk, Kathleen Norris
  • The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are, Daniel J. Siegel