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Experience has always seemed more alluring than innocence

It's J's birthday next week.

This is a good thing. Good for her because it means I might wash the dishes that night (1). And good news for me because it means for six months I can be the younger man again. I like being the younger man. Mostly because it means I get to hang around with an older woman.

Without wanting to reveal some grand psychosexual predilection here, if I'm honest experience has always seemed more alluring to me than innocence. Watching The Graduate I could never fathom why Dustin Hoffman would have wanted to end up with Katharine Ross when he could have Anne Bancroft (2).

Clearly this is not always the case. And I know one shouldn't be proscriptive. The human heart is a frankly quite bizarre piece of machinery that can twist us all into weird emotional shapes. So I guess if I think about it then, yes, 20-year-old women can marry 70-something men for reasons other than money. And Hugh Hefner types can marry Crystal Harris types for something other than sex.

What those other things might be, though, I'm not sure. If there's 30, 40, even 50 years difference in taste and life experience between you, for example, what have you got to talk about? Maybe my own lack of comprehension arises because I can't imagine conversations that don't revolve around pop music and movies. That's what J and I have talked about for the past 30 years. Does Crystal nod along indulgently when Hugh brings out his old jazz records? And wouldn't Hugh risk tinnitus if Crystal started playing her latest Rihanna download or the new Les Mis soundtrack (3)?

Theoretically I understand you can have conversations about other stuff. It's just not something J and I have ever managed, apart from moaning about work I suppose. What has changed over the years, I guess, is that I now think what I think is as valid as what she thinks. When we first met she seemed so much more grown-up than me. I was slightly in awe of her. Now I reckon we're both probably equally childish, even though we're pretending to be adults. Actually, I'm beginning to think there is no such thing as adults. Yes, we grow upwards but do we ever actually grow up?

In that case maybe it doesn't matter how many years difference there is between partners. Certainly neither of us can pretend we know more about life than the other. Obviously I know more about movies than she does though.

FOOTNOTES

[1] Only joking. I wash the dishes, ooh, at least once a month.

[2] For the moment we'll set aside the fact her character was married to someone else.

[3] Clearly I have no idea as to their actual musical tastes, but I'm guessing Crystal isn't a black metal chick.

Twitter: @TeddyJamieson

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