Me and Bud, We Go Way Back

I am a fan of Calvin Trillin. Now, there are those who might go so far as to say that I’m obsessed with the man, but they would be people who neither know me nor my ability to obsess all that well. I would guess that they would also be people who have never read any of his work (or were just sadly incapable of appreciating it), especially The Tummy Trilogy, one of my favorite books. Well, technically, it’s three books, each as brilliant and funny as the next, all together in one convenient binding, but you get the idea.
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An Essay on Why I Stopped Dating Younger Men

Recently, the Universe reminded me: “Daniel, there is a reason you resolved not to date younger men anymore, remember?”

This summer, my Reason was named Morgan. Before that, the Reason was called Lonny, Al, Moses (yes really), Greg, Brian, Jay, etc. Different blooming young roses by different names, but ultimately, they all smelled as stinky.

Here’s my problem: I’m 28-years-old, but am often taken for 25 or younger, so I tend to attract the younger set. What usually happens with these younger “men” is we’ll have some really good dates — everything seems romantic and nice, no red flags — and then all of a sudden, the guy gets weird and goes incommunicado for no apparent reason.

Then, he has to be asked what’s wrong and he comes out with “I’m confused” or “I don’t think I’m ready for a relationship.” He then suggests we continue to “hang out” as “friends.”

In this galling situation, I always want to say this — and I did, in an email to Morgan, which was really less an email to Morgan than an epistolary essay directed at all younger men I’ve ever dated:

Hello Morgan,

Hello?! Who said anything about a “relationship” anyway? I just wanted to have dinner sometimes, see some movies, maybe have some making out and steamy sex, and see what comes of it, if anything.

I am not ovulating and ready to chain myself to a husband so I can have a baby.

And trust me, I’m in no rush to shack up in an apartment with somebody — I’ve already done that. I’m especially not interested in moving in with any men in their early 20s who are just getting started out in life, who have no money and no idea who they are, what sort of career they’re going to have or where they’ll be living long term. I’m too young to play the Daddy.

All I want is some fun right now. But for some reason, boys think that if you spend time together more than once or twice, it must be “a relationship,” which is for some reason something horrid and foreboding in their minds. God forbid you should make any kind of meaningful emotional connection to another human being. I have trouble understanding the thinking there… I was just very different in my early 20s from the other guys I meet who are that age.

Anyway, this concludes my rant. It’s less directed at you specifically than at all gay men I’ve ever dated in their early 20s. I’m just feeling very opinionated this morning. 🙂

And I’m glad you enjoyed hanging out with me and my friends, but I’m less and less a subscriber to the idea that if you date a man and it doesn’t work out, you should therefore turn him into a “buddy” and just pretend like you’ve never kissed or slept together.

That shit is fucked up, yo. Straight people don’t do that, so why should I? You and I should just hang out with people our own ages who we have more in common with. That said, it was very nice meeting you and I wish you well.