I met a couple recently. The age difference between them was so apparent that I first thought when they joined us at our table that she was his young intern. My guess was that she was a student, and had an inappropriate lover-teacher relationship with him. We started talking separation of powers and judicial activism. Yes, sadly. And I noticed that this woman was getting increasingly agitated to be left out of the conversation. I really didn't want to steer her in either as I know that if anyone in their early 20s has anything meaningful to say, they will surely butt in and say it loud. When she finally butted me she was indignant; she angrily announced she was his wife. And seriously demanded that I show her some damn respect. She could do judiciary talk if she wanted.
His wife! Suddenly the pieces fell together. They had just gotten married. Her jewelry-dress and glitzy gear was not the enthusiasm of an overly earnest employee, but things pulled out of the dowry suitcase.
One must feel sheepish to be married to someone more than ten years younger. Surely, society accords mature men that distinct privilege of marrying girls, and disparages them not as cradle snatchers. But what about their own conscience?
I started seeing this man in a new light. He was completely smitten by this woman. She shortly announced that she must have dessert, and the man obediently went over and got some. So fortunate he felt to be with this youthful creature, he was more than eager to suffer the cruel whims of her youth. A youth that made him feel statistically younger and gave him currency in society. So who cares about an ice-cream run?
Now here's the thing. When she was in fifth grade learning her multiplication tables, this man was probably experimenting with marijuana in college. As her life progressed through the hallways of schools, he traveled in subways to jobs in different cities. He was perhaps in his fifth job for gods sake while she was still sleeping with teddy bears.
I came full circle, and kind of realized that there was no point in being judgmental. Relationships, young and old, have their way of acquiring equilibrium. Couples have a way of compensating. Every relationship is unequal. It is inevitable that one partner will intellectually and spiritually (if slightly) dominate the other. The hope is that in some spheres they switch roles, and are compassionate. So what if there is a huge age gap between the two?
There are many pluses to an age gap. One brings experience and the other a fresh perspective. One can remember the Zia era. The other is a compulsive texter. With a couple like that the possibilities of kinkiness are endless. They can actually just BE who they are and its already kinky. Think Clinton and Lewinsky. Musharraf and Hadiqa.
However there is that one minute detail of being physical. You have to find the other person's body attractive. Does a 40 year old body appeal to a woman in her 20s?. Not all old men can look like Saif, a fine specimen amongst old men. So pudgy this guy was. How tyrannical must be the collision of her hard bones against his spongy flesh. An inbuilt airbag.
I kind of felt sorry for him more than I despised him for how society had given him the power. I was gearing myself up for an admission that he had now joined the gym and was working with a Nazi trainer.
Feminism speaking, its immaterial that the couple may find harmony and love. This is the project: Women barter their youth for security in a man who is financially viable. Can he amply support his family? And more retrogradely, does he come from a decent family? He must show promise, and buying prowess, and a crore rupee mortgage.
This man had recently been promoted to a prestigious post. The woman reminded us that her husband was flocked by many people who sought his favor. His promotion was clearly a source of pride for her. He admitted that after marriage he felt more compelled to work harder and maintain his position in society. No time for slacking now.
From rags to riches. Tramp to princess. Seriously why are we raising mental tramps? Its not that these women are not from affluent families. Many of them have been to college and even attained medical and law degrees. Then why are they putting their bets on financially viable men rather than hot men? I mean, isn't the idea to kiss a few dozen frogs and wake up by a swamp, and then go for a sausage and egg breakfast?
A 20 year student recently got engaged. Another student commented on how lucky she was. Lucky for what? Having found a solid paying customer for life? Now in cases where the age difference between the man and the women is a couple of years, there is perhaps a chance they will strike a genuine relationship even if arranged initially. More doubtful, perhaps where the younger woman is more insightful and mature for her age ( not devious and conniving in a survivalist sense), and the older man is cute and silly or a jock.
But seriously, uff, girls need to stop being such damsels in distress. Its heartbreaking, harlotting.