Around 4:00 this afternoon, I headed outside to enjoy a beverage while I graded some papers. I had just started grading an outline when I heard a voice say, “Are you enjoying your conference so far?”
I looked up to see a rather attractive older man talking to me.
“My conference? Yeah, I’m enjoying it quite a bit!”
And I figured that would be that. So I wasn’t prepared for this:
“Do you mind if I join you?”
Well, good manners dictate that most of the time, “Yes” is the appropriate answer to that question, so I said, “Sure!” And the rather attractive older man sat on the other side of my small table and we began to chat while he drank his beer.
And we chatted.
And we chatted while he drank another beer and ate a $5 cheeseburger and I picked at $10 nachos.
We talked about the state of literature and how important media studies is and young adult literature and teaching and growing up military and 1980s teen movies and his college students and my high school students and his sons and video games.
And when I looked at my phone, long after the sun had set, it was 8:00.
It was 8:00 and I was cold and needed to get some work done before going to bed, so I said, “I didn’t mean to monopolize your evening, and I really enjoyed talking to you, but I need to go.” And he said, “Yeah, I was just going to work but I enjoyed talking to you too.”
And then he didn’t say anything, and I was socially awkward and just said, “Well have a great day tomorrow!” and I left.
Now, one part of me is a little disappointed, because this rather attractive older man wasn’t wearing a wedding band, and I really liked talking to him, and it would have been nice to exchange emails and continue our conversation.
Because it was one of the best conversations I’ve had in a long, long time.
But I’m choosing instead to be grateful for a fascinating, stimulating conversation with a rather attractive older man, and while I got over my aversion to baldness several years ago, maybe it’s time to get over my aversion to oldness as well. Because if most nights I could have conversations like the one I had tonight, I don’t think I’d care if the guy was 50.
But I might care if he was 55.