A wide (and wrinkly) age gap

While it’s true that “age ain’t nothin’ but a number” (apologies to Aaliyah, her memory deserves better) there is something to be said for shared experiences. Husband number three was much older than I. MUCH older.

Husband number three was much older than I. MUCH older.

It wasn’t so much a trophy wife situation, as the only contest you would have won my crazy ass in would be one in bizarro world where last place is first place and also killer whales are the best huggers. It also wasn’t a poor little wacky girl looking for a father figure situation–even though the time I was nude on camera partially coincided with the marriage. I had a father figure, but I just called him my father, and goodness knows my rebellious self did not desire more than one of those. No, husband number three and I were just two messed up people who messed up found each other in this messed up world. The fact that we were born in different decades didn’t seem to matter. Until it did.

While it’s true that “age ain’t nothin’ but a number” (apologies to Aaliyah, her memory deserves better) there is something to be said for shared experiences. His war was Vietnam, while mine was fought in the Gulf. His space program landed on the Moon, while mine shuttled people to an international space station like an airplane to the stars. He remembered the early days of rock and roll, while I was a baby that was birthed alongside punk (our moms were high school friends–the punk’s mom, obviously, was the slutty one). This guy remembered a time before television and I was hard pressed to remember a time before color television, let alone listening to programs on the radio and, gasp, imagining junk! In other words, our metaphorical peas did not dwell in the same pod.

I’m not hating on older people here. They are super cool. And, please, I’ll be forty this year which makes me “older people” to more than half of the world and the same age as Husband Number Three when we married. What I’m trying to say is that while my grandparents have the best stories about the old days, I don’t necessarily want to rub my body on them horizontally and nakedly. This is great because I really don’t think they’d be into that. In other words: it’s a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to marry it.

There are a myriad of reasons that our holy union didn’t work out–some of them much bigger than a lack of common ground–but, when we settled down together at the end of the day there was a sadness. We had few things to draw on, to make even the smallest talk. We sat in silence most of the time after the “How was work today?” “Fine.” “How was yours?” “Naked.” was all said and done. And me, as you may have guessed, I’m a talker. I was unhappy. After a short time, like a Journey song, we went our separate ways.

I guess all of this baggage is why I had such an uncomfortable feeling when I read that Doug Hutchison, the actor who played played Horace Goodspeed, the leader of the Dharma Initiative on “Lost”, and self-professed 51-year-old, announced that he had married his 16-year-old girlfriend.

Hutchison’s new wife, just last year a competitor in Miss Teen Washington USA, is, by the way, an aspiring pop star (no!). And looks, in the official wedding photo, quite a bit older than her sixteen years. In fact, the picture feels a little Speidi-esque (Spencer Pratt + Heidi Montag — if you don’t already know, please don’t Google them because I’d hate to be responsible for something like that).

“We’re aware that our vast age difference is extremely controversial,” the couple said through their spokeswoman. “But we’re very much in love and want to get the message out there that true love can be ageless.”

I think that the statement leading with “extremely controversial”, rather than “very much in love” says a lot about the marriage, but I am far from an expert on such matters, except in what I’ve gained from years of experience. I smell “wouldn’t we make a wacky reality show?” more than “soulmates, foreverty ever.” But, the age gap thing turned out pretty well for Winona Ryder and Dennis Quaid (“Great Balls of Fire!” was a documentary, right?) so maybe things will work out.

Take it from me, despite the deliciousness of extreme controversy, these two will find themselves alone, eventually. Eventually they’ll be post-hotsexwitha16yearold, Family Guy will be a rerun, they won’t be tired enough to sleep, and they are going to have to talk. Marriage is hard enough without having to explain to someone that CDs used to be a lot bigger. And made of plastic. I just hope he’s got some good stories about the old days and she’s got Google handy, because the past can be confusing, even to those of us who were there.

Now get off my lawn!

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The Checkout Girl

The Checkout Girl is Jennifer Lemons. She’s a storyteller, comedian, and musician. If you don’t see her sitting behind her laptop, check the streets of Richmond for a dark-haired girl with a big smile running very, very slowly.

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