It’s a Sunday night. A bunch of our friends are over, we’ve just finished dinner, and we’re about to play a game of Rummikub with my two kids, when my twenty-four-year old boyfriend turns to me and says, “I think we should go to Coachella.”
“I’m too old to go to Coachella!” I laugh, mostly because I think he’s joking, but from the look on his face, he’s dead serious. It’s one of those moments between us that I dread, mostly because it is a glaring reminder of our seventeen-year age difference.
I play it cool though, and ask everyone in attendance what they think.
“You can totally go to Coachella,” is the general response.
I nod my head and smile politely but the fact remains I am way too old to go to Coachella, especially with him!
My boyfriend is a soccer specific strength and conditioning specialist from England. We met when he was working in the States for a brief stint and he ended up becoming a family friend. After my divorce we stayed in touch exchanging emails on a pretty regular basis. Our epistolary friendship was something stable in a world of post-divorce confusion, and we ended up becoming very close. Eventually, we started dating. It was long distance and sort of nerve-wracking mostly because no one took it seriously. I was just a number to his friends. He was just a fling to mine. But after a year of that, he found work in the United States, and we moved in together. It took another year for our friends and family to get used to the idea of ‘us’ but they did.
We’ve lived together for the past two and a half years now. He helps me raise my two kids, and together we’ve acquired two Saint Bernards and two cats. Our life is very normal. There are regular Sunday dinners for friends and family (he cooks). On Fridays we have date nights, either alone or with other couples. In between there’s work, homework, laundry, dishes, school lunches and lots of driving of children to various practices.
Since I look younger (or so I am told), and he looks older the age thing doesn’t really come up all that often when we are with people. In fact, people will make fun of the Dec./May thing without realizing that we are in fact one of those couples. When they learn of our age difference they’ll usually backpedal, they’ll say things like ‘It’s different with you guys’, ‘You look so young’ or ‘He’s an old soul’. I always imagine they are really thinking, “Jesus, she’s so old!” or worse, “Who knew Kristen was a cougar?” Continue reading