When does it work to date younger? Rosie Perez, of NBC's "Rise," reads Robin Grearson's essay, about negotiating a relationship with a big age gap.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Modern love. The podcast is supported by. Produced by the island, W B, Wbur, Boston. Oh, the from the New York Times and WB. You are Boston. This is modern. The stories of love loss and redemption. I'm your host magnetron puberty, the have you ever dated, someone significantly older or younger than you. Robin Grierson did and realize that age really can matter. She writes in her essay the accident, older woman is read by
Rosie Perez. She stars in the New NBC show rise to celebrate my fortieth birthday. I signed up for motorcycle rider course. I had to bring gloves and boot and while I suppose I could have borrowed these, to go shopping instead, when I walked into the gear store. I realise how far out of my element, I was. I had no idea how to buy motorcycle boots. What it is I needed how they should fit the salesman Jesse was explaining how various safety features of specialized clothing could keep me from dying, and I was thinking yeah, ok, but do these go over or under my pant legs, when we turned our attention to helmets, Jesse said to fit a helmet properly, You start by measuring the riders head was
making fun of me I mean it's not just small medium and large Jesse was about five foot. Seven with thick brown. I that just fell below his shoulders. I have a big head, I don't so. I probably need a loan He reached both hands around my head with a measuring tape. His face no expression eyes met mine directly, and I watched him as they travelled to the centre of my forehead. Later that day I gave my girlfriend the play I play in a fit of giggles. I swear he was flirting with me and he was like twenty four. If, Michael This is with guys like him. Then happy birthday to me it wasn't there are about, a dozen teenagers in a couple of guys, my age,
When long sleeves, long, pants, gloves and helmets. Late August heat. We meet lt it into one student mass. I passed the course. despite my atrocious figure eights the week before. Visiting my grandmother who confided over lunch, that I'd become her worst fear. a single eight year old woman with no prospects for marriage. Now, at least I was just a short written test away from being a single forty year old, motorcyclists with no prospects for marriage. Next weekend I was cleaning my house. I picked up the bag from the gear store when I reach in to fish out the receipt pulled out, Jesse's called with it smart salesman. I thought Until turning it over I've read that he printed on the back
call me with his personal number. I texted him He called immediately and asked me for a date not just the date he offered to cook for me Impressed by his confidence and directness, I said yes, we set a date for Thursday. An hour later. He texted to say he wanted to see me earlier. It was still cook on Thursday but he wanted to see me on Tuesday or Monday. Basically as soon as possible and by the way Well, my feelings about sex I'm only looking for a relationship. I said I get really attached his response. The sex, is good. I tend to get attached
during my follow up. Question might kill the date I anyway, how old are you twenty, but I'll be twenty one? Next month you. After telling him I was thirty nine I canceled, impossible for us in which our age difference was exactly the point. I still couldn't bring myself to say I was forty. Age is just a number. He argued the mod the younger man Later, as I was walking through traded Jos, trying to collect my groceries and thoughts, my phone pained with tax after tax. his protest? When something like this, I think you're beautiful, I deserve a chance. We only live once. Why be afraid, afraid I loved Little still, I said no and I
kept saying no four Some months them grandmother passed away. Suddenly she had been given Diagnosis of cancer and was gone within eight days, the last I, which I spent with her around the clock,. She and I were each other's only close family. and afterwards I I needed to escape all I wanted was for someone to take me for motorcycle ride. So I texted Jesse and ask: can we go for a ride. Two days later after Jesse such such a date. Instead, I found Self seated at an outdoor patio drinking a margarita. He was running late. He said.
I was in office, felt foolish. What if I didn't recognize him and then there he was standing in front of me, and I wondered how I ever said no even once. He folded his arms across his chest and said. Go ahead. Ask me anything What's the body language all about, I said laughing, body is not saying ask me anything. in one motion he picked up his chair for it next to mine based me help both my hands. Looked me in the eye and said: is this better The stories he told about himself were clearly designed to make him look promiscuous and experienced it up giving him the same impression. Unfortunately, what he asked, how many people I slept with, I said
Do you mean guys? I believe He thought the date was going extremely well after paying out check. Jesse walked me to. we were in a large, mostly empty parking lot around p m standing under a heart the efficient street light. There was ass. You ve, packed up you spaces away and someone inside was listening to music. I said I'd like the song. We were facing each other holding hands, we started to sway. He put. Hands. On my hips, I put my arms around his waist and just like that, we were dancing are the glare of a streetlight to music. Coming out of someone else's suv and- and I was still forty He was still twenty one and a half when he kissed me.
So I kissed him back. or it may have been the other way around. We saw each other a couple more times that we and made plans to go out for a drink Friday night. Saying yes to one day and then another was easy. I didn't look Four down the road or think about it too much, but the age thing Let us like a shadow on Friday evening. He called to say he was running a few minutes late I get what he actually said, was I'm waiting for my dad to get home, and then I can leave. explaining that he needed to tell his dad that he had to pick up his sister at the mall. probably just another ten minutes, he'd been key. Gee about where he lives, saying he was alternate. we crashing with friends staying Home sometimes, and spending a few,
weekends watching his Ex girlfriend's cat when she was out of town ISIS. Back did he lived at home full time but didn't work? to own up to it. I ought a glass of wine at the bar wishing it was a double shot of tequila. He arrived, demography jumped over the furniture to take his seat. He my body were his holding my hands and knees touching self who, in huge type by asked, Jesse laughed beside. You then he's surveyed the room, describing a girl's location and said not her enlisted his reasons. Why. she was seated to my left. Eye turned to bake and, as I did, he discreet pulled my hands nearly into his lap, as I too
back toward him. I caught two other girls staring at me Jesse and I kept flirting and playing games, but two women who look to be in their mid twenties were glaring at me fiercely. I never would have imagined that only two weeks after my grandmother passed away, I would be laughing so freely and now, with their beady eyes, these women were lecturing me for daring try she leaned in and whispered. Do you want me to ask them what their problem is? I whispered back? They just watch you for themselves There's a reason: they're single, he said It loud, I loved him for that, and I love spending time with him.
Even so, I sent that our time together was special precisely because it was destined to be fleeting. I prefer older women he had said to me more than once, and that I realize was part of the problem because the more he talked about liking, all the women, the moon, I became one not only in his eyes, but Mine too, which left me feeling cast in a role I didn't want to play. When I'm with my friends there is Much more of a young woman that made that I think Jesse could appreciate yes, age is just a number, but it's also a perspective, one that at twenty one means, knowing what you want and going for it. No matter, how many times you told no and one that at four
Well, forty one means understanding that desire is often less about straight lines in figure eights, the kind in this case I had no hope of mastering that's Rosie Perez reading Robin Grierson essay, the accidental older woman, here's Rosie, I went through a period where I only dated younger men and when I say younger, I mean like younger, like you know when the quail I didn't just robbed the cradle. I made it swaying and it was Until I hit my forties, I realize that. It doesn't matter how someone is when it comes to love, but it does matter when it comes.
To understanding who you are as a person- and I understood that I he did someone who was much more. Shore, then there were the full gentlemen that I younger gentleman that I was dating and that I was not going to chastise someone because they didn't grow up yet I thought that was really unfair of me and once I claim that I met, my husband will catch up with Robin after the break.
I love spelling my boyfriend and I often play spelling bee together by together I mean sitting next to each other playing individually and not cheating. Sometimes when I open up spelling bee- and I see, but you have completed a few words on your own, I feel a little betrayed in sorry. It may have happened again today. I have one friend who I will send screenshots from spelling bee of inappropriate words that I always get nervous that I sent it to my parents or something like that when my dad was like the first time together and I was putting out- I think I got it- see it J, a c k, P, o t jack. We hit the jackpot, panicked, yeah, Elrond nice, I'm same as earth's sky. The digital pulses editor for the New York Times. You can try spelling bee in all our games at n, one times dot com, slash games.
When Robin Grierson wrote this peace eight years ago, she wanted to correct the record around the idea of the cougar and this sort of archetype of an older woman as a sort of aggressor, and that felt really stale to me and not really realistic, a lot of my girlfriends and I were not really having that experience. It was sort of the opposite. We were getting a lot of people ass. SL on dates that were much younger than we were and just wanted to add my perspective to that conversation sure, after Robin and Jesse broke up, she moved across the country and they haven't state in touch, but she says she doesn't regret the relationship when you, asked me out. I was like no, absolutely not I'm never going out with you. That's that's crazy that that gap was too large for me and the gap was real and the more that sort of showed up in terms of things we haven't common or didn't, or the ways that we
that life he was sort of looking at the beginning of what he would make out of a career, and I was you know I owned a business and I had owned it for a few years and that was sort of may third So there is much different prospect, on life, and the more that I saw the gap show up the more. I felt old earth now robins living in LAS Vegas and working on a book she says. She's challenging herself through her writing and she's, not really trying to date. I've always been more comfortable alone. You know I think that might have something to do with being a writer and a reader just wanting to protect having enough time for yourself so I'll dating, and I love people for but I I Really comfortable being single and people listening to her peace. I hope they laugh.
Hope they laugh at the story because dating is hard, no matter who's doing it. You know if you're trying to go on a date and get to know someone new, it's it's not easy and I hope that they will take the first step towards something that they've been thinking about and give themselves permission in some way We tend to judge whether something is worth doing before we do it and we never know what we miss that way. So trust that party self, that wants to try things the after the Daniel Jones, editor of the modern love column for the New York Times.
I love spelling my boyfriend and I often play spelling bee together by together I mean sitting next to each other playing individually and not cheating. Sometimes when I open up spelling bee- and I see that you have completed a few words on your own, I feel a little betrayed. Sorry. It may have happened again today. I have one friend who I will send screenshots from spelling bee of inappropriate words that I always get nervous that I sent it to my parents or something like that when my dad was like the first time together and I was out- I think I got it- see it J, a c k, P, o g jack. We hit the jackpot, panicked, yeah, Elrond, nice, I'm same as earth's sky. The digital puzzles editor for the New York Times. You can try spelling bee in all our games at n, one times dot com, slash games here,
is Dan Jones, again, fair, number of essays the older woman and the younger man and versus the paradigm It has been sort of set in stone for so long that men and therefore These are free to date, women. twenties and turns On it's head and it just you know, you see these relationships more and more and more, and you see them working in this case. It didn't but you see them working more often than you did in the past and the stigma sort of falling away, more power to them. If you love the podcast, please leave us a review on apple podcasts. We love to hear from you and it helps people find the show,
Modern love is the production of the New York Times and W B you are fastings. Npr station were produced, directed and edited by Jessica, Albert Jumper, Roddy, Emory Seaports and End Caitlin, O Keefe, sound designed by Matt, read the idea for the modern love. Podcast was conceived by LISA Tobin, Iris Adler, our executive producer you'll Jones, is the editor of Potter, love for the New York Times and adviser to the show music. For the podcast courtesy of a p m, I see you next week.
Transcript generated on 2022-04-16.