On July 1st you receive an email from your ex in Toronto – the one you left behind when you moved back to the West Coast – letting you know that he’s met someone and in a few months he will be a father.
The news throws you – not because you aren’t happy for him – you are (he will be a kick-ass dad) – but because this is his dream. The dream he wanted for the two of you. The dream that you couldn’t deliver on for him.
Clutching your smartphone, you break down in tears in the garden section of Capital Iron, while your Mom strokes your back and asks you what’s wrong.
You haven’t lived in Toronto in nearly three years, however you cry because in this moment it feels like the life that you used to have there really is over. Although the future is exciting and exhilarating, it’s also kind of fucking scary.
The future is happening right now.
Although you feel slightly untethered, you decide to slap on some make-up, put on that new dress and go to a Canada Day BBQ that you’ve been invited to.
At the BBQ is where you meet him. You notice him right away because he has what some people might call “swagger.” He’s tall and athletic looking with a strawberry blonde Macklemore haircut. Acne scars faintly dot his chin.
You hear him talking to some other people about Toronto, at which point you join in on the conversation. It turns out that he used to live there, on the same street as you – just a few houses down from the gorgeous brownstone that you used to share with your ex. What are the odds? This must be kismet.
You’re on your third hot dog of the evening. He’s eating ribs. When you notice him scrambling with his hands full to pick up another beer, you politely offer assistance.
“Would you like me to hold your bone?” you ask.
“Yes, please” he replies.
You talk some more. You laugh. He comes with your friends to watch the fireworks from a cliff overlooking the ocean.
It’s only later that you learn that he’s six years younger than you and went to junior high school with your baby sister.
A few nights later you go for drinks at a chic wine bar. He insists on ordering a nice bottle of wine to share and picking up the cheque. You’re impressed.
You laugh. You kiss. You have sex. You wake up wrapped in his sinewy tanned arms and think,
“I could get used to this”
By midsummer you’ll change your mind and you will no longer be dating. However, before that happens you’ll learn a few things along the way.
Dating someone younger often means that their exes are young too. When you stumble across a photo of his ex-girlfriend on Facebook, you discover that she looks like a younger, firmer, more proportional Kim Kardashian. It gets worse when he tells you that they broke up six months ago – right before her 19th birthday. Now, you know you look good for a 30-something, however when you don’t hear from him for a few days you start to wonder if maybe he finally noticed the fine creases on the corner of your eyes and promptly got freaked out.
Then of course you tell yourself, “What the fuck, Simone? I mean, what the fuck? You’re awesome.”
This is a huge red flag that you decide to ignore in favour of enjoying his abs for just a little bit longer.
When it comes to sex, he’s all youthful energy minus the finesse. However, somehow this is exciting because it means you can teach him a few things in the bedroom. However, you have to want to learn to be a good student.
Two minutes into one of these “lessons,” you ask him how he’s doing.
He replies, “Oh. I came a few minutes ago. That’s why the girl always has to come first. Sorry, totes Awk.”
(Awk for him, maybe?)
It’s not just the sex he abbreviates. He abbreviates everything to the point where it feels like you’re talking to a text message or living inside an Entourage script.
You start to question your dating choices when he suggests that you fill a couple of water bottles with booze and head over to the local recreation centre to go swimming while you get drunk in the pool. When you imagine getting drunk within the overheated, chlorine fume filled confines of the same building where you took childhood swimming lessons, you can’t imagine anything worse.
“I’m 33. There’s no way I’m doing that” you tell him.
Your friends start to question your dating choices when, after a night out at a local cocktail bar, he texts you and suggests that meet him at the 24hr McDonald’s up the street – the one frequented by teen meth heads and vagrants.
“What the fuck Simone? I mean what the fuck?” they tell you. “You can’t go there. You’re too awesome for that and you’re wearing Miu Miu.”
When he breaks things off with you, he does it without letting you know. After a month of dating, one day he just stops returning your texts. You’ve heard your 20-something friends complain about similar break-up tactics.
“Is this a 20-something guy thing? I mean, what the fuck? Why is he still liking all my Instagram photos?” you ask your friend.
However, eventually you come to conclusion that this isn’t a 20-something guy thing, but merely a lame-guy thing. Have you been dating a lame guy?
I mean, what the fuck, Simone.
However, you just laugh because as the rest of the summer unfolds you realize that this story started and finished exactly as it should have.