“Would u be interested in some lovin’ or a boy toy?”
This was the one-liner message I received from “Zach,” a 24-year-old trainer from OKCupid.
Intrigued by the experience of my Platonic Booty Call pal India, I had posted a profile on this free online dating web site. I did not check the “casual sex” box, but I did imply that I was recently divorced and looking for adventure.
As you might imagine, I was deluged with cyber-suitors.
Zach was one of the first men who wrote me. In his profile photo, he flaunted a tanned, ripped torso and sported a backwards baseball cap. His profile was brief, ending with an invitation to contact him if “you are chill.”
I felt amused and flattered, being propositioned by a man half my age, especially since I don’t consider myself chill, and in fact, am not even sure what chill is. I felt excited, yes, but also a little icky, and in need of a loofah.
Zach and I messaged back and forth. I tap-danced around his question until he wrote:
“I don’t see why you should pass up on my offer. Haha.”
And then it occurred to me: maybe there wasn’t any reason to pass up on it. I had recently been told, by a college boyfriend — if you’re reading this, Boo Radley, you know who you are — that I should date men in their 30s or 40s because I was youthful.
Maybe he was right. Where had dating men my age or older gotten me, other than divorced?
“Remember I’m not no old 43 year old guy with wrinkly skin, I’m young and filled with energy,” wrote Zach.
I smiled until it dawned on me: what if he thinks my skin is wrinkly? And since when is 43 old?
“I don’t know if I can go through with it,” I told my friend Beth.
“Yes, you can!” she said, with the enthusiasm of a long-time married middle-aged lady hoping to live vicariously.
“I don’t know if I can go through with it,” I told my friend Vivica.
“Yes, you can,” she said. “You don’t have to do it on the first date. Just go out for lunch first.”
Two dates? I suspected this dalliance had a shorter shelf life than that.
But still. Having spent a decade keeping my head above the raging waters of divorces, a custody battle, and an out-of-control son, I wanted to seize the day. I’m 50, for God’s sake. If not now, when?
Zach and I took our conversation to text messaging. I had posted head shot photos on OKCupid, so Zach asked me to send him body shots. I said no. He asked me if I had any on my Instagram.
I told him I didn’t have Instagram. He was stunned. Already our age difference was showing.
He told me he wanted to partake in whipped cream and chocolate sauce, but not for dessert, and how did I feel about that?
Great! I wrote, although in truth, I wasn’t crazy about the calorie intake and I was well beyond the whipped-cream-and-chocolate-sauce stage.
He told me he had enough stamina to “do the sundown to sunrise thing.”
U mean literally not going to sleep?! For twelve hours? At all?
Can you hear the exhaustion in my text voice?
Haha. Lets just do it till we cant no more.
I started to get squirrely. My kids were out of town but I didn’t want to have Zach to my house, or have him know where I lived. So I told him we’d need to meet at a hotel.
How much would the hotel cost? I wasnt really planning on spending money on a hotel, he wrote.
My treat, I said.
What was I doing?! Hotel trysts were not in my budget either.
He texted me later that night and asked me what I was doing.
I was so not doing anything. I was tired from a full day of work. I told him I was going to curl up with my friend Net Flix.
If you don’t mind I’d love to come over and watch netflix, drink and have some fun with u later tonight. I can bring some beer, he wrote.
I begged off.
Later that night I went back on OKCupid and looked at the photos on Zach’s profile page. I had been so transfixed by his torso that I hadn’t really taken a good look at his face. He looked young. I mean, really young. Younger than twenty-four.
What if he lied about his age? I thought. What if he were actually a high school kid? And how would I find out? Card him?
And even if he was telling the truth, he was still only eight years older than Luca. Eight years! And 26 years younger than me. Twenty-six years!
I texted him a couple days later and told him that while I was wildly flattered, I just couldn’t be with someone young enough to be my son.
Hey. If you ever change your mind and want an on-call hook up just let me know and don’t be shy about it, he wrote.
I will! I said.
Although I won’t. Some fantasies are best never brought to life.