December 5, 2012
On the prowl on November 30, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
When I was in my teens, twenties, and thirties, I always dated men quite a bit older than myself (10-20 yrs). Now that I am “older,” I am not attracted to men my age or older. I am attracted to men mostly in their 30’s (sometimes younger). The problem is, even though I feel like their equal agewise, I realize that through their eyes I am probably “old.” If I care about them a lot, I will end up spending money on them (because I enjoy it, and men spent money on me when I was the young one), but what is happening is I am being used. I kind of know it all along, but I enjoy them and care about them and I think I try to believe they are not really using me…although they are. This really hurts me. I am starting to hate myself for not being younger. It is so frustrating when you feel a certain age inside but you’re actually 20 years older than that and no one really understands. I get a lot of flack from my grown children. (They are only a few years younger than the men I seem to choose, and they are horrified at my behavior.) So here I am again, being used and I have to face it and move on, my children are again outraged and embarrassed by me, and for the life of me I cannot feel turned on thinking of a man my age, much less older than I. It’s like I never changed inside since my late twenties. I still feel the same way. I do look good for the age I am, thank God. In fact I probably look 8 or 9 years younger than I am. (The problem is, the men I choose are more like 20 years younger than I am.) Do you think this will pass, or, if it doesn’t, that there are some men who will not use me and will actually feel about me like I do about them? I doubt it, but I thought I’d ask. Also, do you think my kids are justified in coming down so hard on me? They are both married and have families of their own. I put up with their rebelliousness when they were teens, but now it seems they want to parent me. ( They are really stricter on me than I ever was on them.) Is there something wrong with me? Or should I just go get some plastic surgery and a fake ID and move away so no one knows what I’m doing? I’m not ready for the rocking chair yet. Thanks for listening.
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: the knife is not the answer.
Nor, in your case, is the rocking chair.
The operative metonymy here, I think, is: the fountain of youth. The key here is not strictly that you’re drawn to younger men (I love that Leo, and the RA on Felicity, and I’m not ashamed!), but rather that you “cannot feel turned on thinking of a man [your] age, much less older.” Why? ‘Cause they’re … old? …Like you? Do you see your reflection in them? I know you say you “look good for your age,” but/so again, I ask you: when you date these guys, do you see your “real” age looking back? And when you, in your dotage, dote on younger men, does it make you feel like Girlfriend’s still got it?
June 28, 2011
The “looks” theme generated quite a few responses, including one from an earnest Swedish boy — “Are Americans that obsessed with looks?”– who somehow thought that all my columns, every week, and all my letters, were all about this theme. I took a moment away from “House of Style” to gently set him straight.
Next, here’s a pic of the Bride of Wildenstein (thanks, Kathleen and Linda). Breakup Girl is unable to write a joke about it at this time because she is hiding under her chair.
And speaking of plastic surgery, remember Mole Boy (as in, one of last week’s letter writers, not as in, “Mulder, do you mean to tell me that this young man with no eyes has learned to survive by burrowing underground and eating only insects?”)? He evidently felt some sort of cosmic/cosmetological link to Sunkissed, the young woman wondering if a face lift would boost her prospects with boys, and here is what he wrote about it. Everyone who’s ever wondered “what’s missing?” (from your face, your weekend, your soul) should read carefully; everyone else (like, both of you), should enjoy the lovely ride.
Dear Breakup Girl,
It’s Writer Boy / Nothing Like The Sun again. We can stick with Writer Boy. [This repeat-writer is a man of many aliases. — BG] I was so pleased that you did several questions on the looks issue. I actually was a little worried about asking the mole question because I knew it raised some serious self-image issues, but the answer in one case is not necessarily the same in another. A haircut that makes you feel fabulous is a healthy self-image adjustment, but not so much for massive plastic surgery in most cases. Anyway, seeing everything in a larger context was very cool.
Oddly enough, I was more struck by Sunkissed’s issue than your admittedly spot-on advice about my own (If you had advised the other way, I guess it would have been “spot-off”, hehe.) Suddenly I remembered what it was like to be me at 15 and discovered that in the past decade I’ve already made the most important self-adjustment I could make–transforming from shy, neurotic Antisocial Boy into Very-Much-OK-With-Himself Boy. [More aliases! — BG]
So, I have a shout-out snippet of advice of my own, for Sunkissed (and anyone else who’s recently been Dumped or Slumped for that matter). Dancing is my personal prescription panacea for relationship woes.) I’m cribbing a little from your notes to her, but consider my plagiarism a mildly devious form of flattery.
Take heart. At 15, you have had more boyfriends than I had had girlfriends by age 21. In fact, Writer Boy remained un-kissed until he had notched off two decades on his belt and just begun his third. But that same Writer Boy is now mostly happy, well-adjusted, and can find no bigger relationship problem in his life than a silly mole (which I am pleased to say I am keeping!).
June 22, 2011
Cutting class on June 22, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
Okay, here I go. I am 15 years old and in high school the past few years I have only had one boyfriend. All my friends tell me that I am pretty and that I should have a lot of boyfriends but not to worry about it. Well, I am and I am begining to think that it is the way I look so I am thinking about getting plastic surgery to change the way I look so maybe I could get a boyfriend. I have been told from a few boys that they think I am pretty and nice but they would never go out with me. I have no clue why that is the way they feel. I would love it if you could help me with this little problem.
Hey, can anyone help me find a photograph of Jocelyne Wildenstein on the web? Breakup Girl’s supercomputer was unable to locate one. NYers, at least, will know whom I mean. Seeing a photo of her may be just what I need to scare Sunkissed straight.
March 19, 2009
I ask you, have times become so tough that this is what we have come to?
Q. How does a 45-year-old woman compete for a job with a 25-year-old in today’s fiercely competitive market?
A. With employment enhancement packages — including new boobs and body!
Aaaaand we quote, from an actual! press! release! received here at BG HQ promoting a “Job Fighter Package,” in which a Park Avenue plastic surgeon helps “men and women gain the edge on their competition with their new, cosmetically enhanced looks.” (Specifically, as we’re sure you noted, of their “boobs and body.”)
The release also plays bizarro matchmaker with industry and body part:
Are you trying to land a job in the finance industry? The eyes speak volumes about you — get an eye lift.
Looking for a job as an Executive Administrative Assistant? Consider a boob job and a butt lift to ensure you won’t be forgotten after the interview.
Eager to get back into the real estate game? Go for a face lift to get that fresh faced, polished look.
Hoping to get into PR? Just … don’t.