Dear E. Jean: I can’t even be in the same room with my girlfriend without getting an erection. These past two years with her have been the best of my life. She’s tall, beautiful (on a scale of one to 10, she’s a 12, on a bad day), experienced, intelligent, and wealthy; she drives a fast car; and she makes my guy friends envious. My female friends are intimidated, and when she and I are in bed, I feel like a rock star.
We’re totally loyal to each other, I could never fall out of love with her, and I want us to spend the rest of our lives together, but there’s one catch: I’m a less-than-bottom-level banker with no money and the worst apartment in New York. She’s almost too refined, too funny, too intelligent, too established. Plus, there’s this: I’m 26, and she’s 51.
I’m constantly beaten up by my female friends, who say I should break up with her and date girls my age. That would be like going from Cristal to moonshine. However, children aren’t possible, we wouldn’t be able to grow old together, and these are becoming awkward undercurrents in our all-star relationship. So what the heck do I do? Let the good times roll? Or face that stupid thing called “reality”? —Happiest Guy in NYC
Mr. Happy, You Knave: Yes, hour by hour, week by week, yellow crow’s-feet will creep around the fading eyes and make them horrible. The hair will lose its brightness, the mouth will droop, as the mouths of old people do. There will be the wrinkled throat, the blue-veined hands, and the twisted body—and this, my man, is what’s in store for you as you crawl toward 50.
As for your young gal of 51? She’s obviously a member of the Genetic Marvels Corporation: Miss Julie Christie, President; Miss Tina Turner, Vice President; Miss Rita Moreno, Chief Information Officer; Miss Jane Fonda, Head of Product Development; and Miss Raquel Welch, Director of HR (the Marvels all shot past 70 at about 220 miles per hour). Going on the evidence presented in your letter, I can almost guarantee that at 75 or 80 your girl will still be just sexy as hell. After that, it gets a little chancy. Your jowls may droop, and you’ll have to consider surgery.
In other words, let the good times roll, my dear fellow! (And, yes, that was Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray I was riffing on in the opening paragraph.)
This letter is from the E. Jean archive.