Listen, I'm a little worried that I might be a bit of a perv. The issue -- the problem -- is that I have a thing for MILFs, which is to say: women my own age. (If you want to know what the acronym "MILF" stands for, ask your teenage son. I'm pretty sure he's streamed a few instructional videos illustrating the concept.) I understand that guys my age are supposed to want to date oh let's say 25- to 30-year-olds. Because a relationship that's based on multiplication (my age = 2 X her age) works so much better than one based on subtraction: her age = my age - 1 to maybe 5. Those square-root guys are actually pervs.
Essays on this subject tend to wax poetic over the confidence and allure of older women as against the presumed greater physical attractiveness of younger women. In my experience people don't get more confident or alluring as they get older; they just forget what areas they lack and perhaps should lack confidence in. (Head-smack: "Oh, man, I totally forgot I dress like an 80-year-old drag queen!") I can't, however, bond with someone who doesn't remember the Reagan era except as the time she started eating solid food. (It was in fact when our country began the hellish downward spiral that will result in our inevitable and torturous destitution, doom and destruction. Have a nice day!) Did your parents play Rubber Soul for you as a toddler? Cool. Did you instead listen to Sandinista -- never mind Nevermind -- in your crib? You make me feel very very old, and that, my friend, is what my kids are for. Who, incidentally, you're the same age as.
So, yeah, I'd rather date a woman who remembers seeing Star Wars in a theater, preferably one who, like me, freakin' hated it. (Seriously, spaceships making noise in vacuum? What the crapping crap is that?) Sociological research tells us that people generally like and are excited by people like them with whom they have a common background; sociological research also tells us that sociological research largely consists of the quantification of the incredibly bleedin' obvious. (Please contact me if you funded these studies. I'd like US$100,000 to demonstrate that guys often leave the toilet seat up; for another US$10,000, I'll throw in a study proving that people think kittens are awful cute, unless they don't like cats.) Having lived through the same stuff means you don't have to explain when you refer to, just e.g., Patty Hearst; the enduring and inexplicable popularity of Billy Joel; or Bill Clinton's "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" speech. (For my younger readers... oh, wait, I have no younger readers.) It costs you less, in energy and time.
That common-background thing also frees you to get down to the really important conversations:
At my age, some discussions you need not have, mostly the only ones that fascinated you in college; mind-body duality anyone? (No, I thought not.) Some conversations you've had so often that you can just call them out by number: "37!" (Where is our relationship going?) "75!" (I saw you looking at the pool guy!) "14!" (No, seriously, don't shave your pubes with my Trac II.) Everything else? That's the stuff worth talking about.
I'm going to take off the final veil, and pretend that we've been sitting around my living room, drinking a beer or two, maybe doing a few bong hits, possibly a gram or two of coke, and certainly no more than two tabs of E apiece. (Alcohol is a gateway drug, the use of which often leads to harder drugs, addiction, death and marriage. Stay in school, nonexistent kids.) The real reason for dating MILFs? Is that they're hotter. No matter how sensitive and evolved a guy is or pretends to be, guys don't just keep coming back to that; we buy property, clear land, build a house and live on that. I simply find women my age more sensual, sexier -- and you know what? More physically attractive. Madonna? Or Lady Gaga? I'm going to have to state my preference for the Material Girl over Pokerface. Julianna Margulies? Or Megan Fox? Now and forever, the one who wasn't in Transformers; Margulies's eponymous 40 something character in The Good Wife, Alicia Florrick, is in my opinion the sexiest -- in that hot-for-repressed-teacher kind of way -- character on television. I said it before: perverse, right?
So, okay, I'll cut myself some slack: if women my own age are hotter, then (and we're using guy-logic here) maybe my preference for women my own age isn't quite so... tawdry, deviant and shameful. Maybe the world won't think me a perv. Well, unless that one picture somehow makes it to the Web; I promise you now, my fellow Americans, that I did not have sexual relations with those goats and dwarves, and I could have sworn I was wearing pants when the bomb squad shot that photo.