I went out to another punk show this weekend, it’s something I do pretty often, nothing completely new. My friend Dom saw a friend he hadn’t seen in years and introduced me. She was real sweet but very honest. I’ve been friends with Dom for almost a year now, but she asked something no one has had the guts to ask me -
“How old are you?”
Dom is probably one of my best friends, he’s sweet, caring, punk as hell, and a great time to be around.
I guess I should also mention he is 42.
We as a society put so much weight on age that we limit who we socialize with just because of how others will see us. In the grand scheme of things, how much does that really matter?
Women my age are taught to be “afraid” of older men, that they are predisposed to prey on us or have an ulterior motive. Though we hear about these cases all the time, not everyone is out to get us.
When young women do spend time with older men, it’s some weird cradle-robbing experience, a “sugar baby” looking for their spending money, or just textbook “daddy issues.” However, we have a lot more in common than you would think.
We love beer, women, and music. We get lunch together and look to each other for advice. We get mistaken for daughter and father, and chuckle.
Yes, this might be the same generation that calls us out for being “crybabies,” but most of them are still working on growing up just like we are. Age is truly a number in a platonic sense - the best middle-aged people are those who have no clue what they are doing with their lives.
In the real world, we have to interact with people of all walks of life on a daily basis. Our coworkers might be much older than us, but that should not create a force field between our friendships.
Even one of the greatest mentors I have at this college is an old Santa-Claus doppelganger. His advice has been curated for decades compared to my college friends who know just as much as I do. Older friends are goldmines for wisdom and companionship if you take a moment to reach out to them.
We should not feel embarrassed about our unconventional friendships. We have a lot of cool things to teach them, like new drinking games and slang, and they have a lot of stories we can learn from.