Baggage Allowance

I had to think about whether this was an age related post or not. I usually date men who are older than me. Not by choice, but I tend to liken to relating to somebody who can hold a conversation or can show some interest than what is playing on the screen at the time or who else is in the room. Then for the past several weeks of 2012 Winter, I have had younger men propose to me for some time for a drink, to which I laughed off with close friends, till they asked, “why not?” “Take it as a compliment”- what, that I look young for them?, a private nuisance of my own, that I am fully aware women spend millions on the beauty industry to reverse aging, and here I am on a one-woman mission hide my youthful appearance to be taken seriously. No. They couldn’t possibly be serious? I had thought about it for a few nights, and I’m in a position where I have no desire to rush down the aisle, or to be tied down in desperation to not be alone. I am merely enjoying my own company and anything extra should be the cherry to enjoy things together. “It doesn’t have to be anything serious” as they were saying…

After an exchange of details, and few messages, it becomes very clear in a alarmingly manner, how one moment it is all niceties  and then these young chaps, seem to dump their problems onto you, or it feels the tap has been turned on fully to me, sharing their needs and how they have miserably gone wrong before. Gosh if that isn’t a turnoff for any possible date, what would be? I am a listener its been told, a very good one.

I wanted first drinks to be jolly, fun and light hearted, not have the night turn into a Dear Deidre evening and the chance of some young man downing his sorrows with his head on the cocktail table next to me. I could imagine neighboring city types glancing over wondering who brought in the sobbing child into this establishment, with my face going red.

Thing is I can read in to their problems. Not only what they were sharing with me, but in the way they were acting, the usual not replying and their way of speaking, revealed more than a Jerry Springer show to me. I understood them. They had been hurt by some young crush or long relationship during their years of term time trying to prepare themselves for adult life. Now where was that degree and course about how to handle What To Do When Life Sucks?

Nothing can prepare you for breakups, what to do with the items your ex has left at your place, or how you will be welling when you find your ex’s tee-shirt in the laundry from when you had that perfect summer together. No. Nothing can get you ready, mind or heart. Your friends can support you. A rebound will comfort your ego for 24hours. But nothing can erase the memories or closeness you shared. My friends frequently ask how I do it so easily. Well, not that I am proud of the “Ice Queen” moniker, I simply learn to accept things as they are. This applies to everything in life. Of course I have great expectation and aspirations, dreams and goals. But I also know when to accept, adapt to move on. You have to. Else you will wake up from a tear soaked pillow realising that the world hasn’t stopped and that life does go on. Time is that funny thing and saying it to a younger person, will not help, as what time have they possibly earned at such a young age? It not as straight forward as 4days and 2 hours to get over that ex. No, along with it, does come the lump in the throat and sharp pain in the chest, but you then have the experience, when you look at it in daylight, realising that it weren’t meant to be. That these pains you feel, is what makes you.

Baggage is what you gain and pick up. Bags of experience. But what you mustn’t do, is take them into your new person’s home. Yes you may bring them in from the cold into the warm and new hallway, but perhaps try putting them down a bit. You may feel your shoulders a bit lighter and you’re freer to move about a bit and explore new thoughts and feelings. Its that coaxing, without pressure, as some people feel the need to hold securely what they knew, how familiar things were, at the same time, you just have to be patient, everyone has a rucksack, some may have an extra holdall, or packed long term, but eventually, they will accumulate, you cannot hold more than your two arms carry. So whoever you find next, to reassure you, to make you feel safe and most of all, happy, you will slowly find no reason to not let go. 

I’ve seen horribly helplessly from the side where I am passing over the new cube of tissues to my male friends, how females have broken up with them repeatedly for not remembering what she likes on the menu. Thing is it happens on both sides, when they bring up, that their exes knew what they liked. Ouch.

But does baggage allowance dependent on the age of the aircraft carrier? You’d think that the older you are, the more bags you pick up. Some baggage includes children’s school bags and some even nappy satchels. Some may be some high maintenance LV travel trunks or legal divorce briefcases. Baggage is baggage. Yet from comparison of the recent younger men’s 18-30’s flight, not that they were young as that, but you get the metaphor, it seems that with age, you prefer to travel light, you prefer to make the most of each trip, only carrying what essentials you need. You become less materialistic, and valuing what is important in life, which folds as neatly and flat as a subway map into your blazer pocket.

I now ask, would I still go out with these younger men? Is it really all that it cracks up to be? Are they really as fun as I had been promised? I’m obviously not vouching for all younger men in the population. But a handful in such short space of time, surely not. All having some sort of need to offload to me.  If so, could they perhaps check it in in the cloakroom on the way in? Maybe I shouldn’t be as patient and understanding to listen to them pour their hearts. Oh gosh, i just thought of something as I think type this. Maybe its not them, but what they have experienced could be their previous partners weren’t able to listen to their needs.  Hmm. As I reflect this new discovery of thought, the reverse for them to be with an older woman. What would I offer? Someone who knows what they want in life, who is much calmer (than them it seems), who has her own income, is decisive and I guess overall, just knows herself and is happy in her own skin.

Everyone has baggage. I just have to decide whether I am in for the longer haul of checking in larger luggage items, helping and understanding, or whether its a quick stopover and less security checks of what is actually inside the case. The fact I care, but at the same time understand its one of life’s learning curves, surely I am patient enough to be a friend than ban any dodgy looking cases. As 2013 has started great catching up with many friends, I just ask for a smoother flight and no distractions, stresses or turbulence  So along with others, bring your baggage, but make sure you remember pick it back up and next time to pack much much less like a weekend size bag or man bag for the first meet. Remember first dates, no removal boxes…  you’re not moving in.


– xx –