New York Magazine recently sat in on a meeting at the new Cosmo under Joanna Cole. In the most interesting bit, a senior editor, Anna Davies, declares that “No girl who is 22, 23 years olf should be sleeping with a 23-year-old! She needs a fortysomething-year-old vice-president from Morgan Stanley. Who will at least teach her how to have interesting, good sex.” We found this interesting considering… considering Cosmo. Anyway, we decided to ask ourselves… is it true? Should we all just be dating older men who love capitalism??
Jennifer: So, New York Magazine sent a writer to sit in on Joanna Cole’s – the new Cosmo editor’s – staff meeting. One of the Senior Editors remarked “no girl who is 22, 23 years old should be sleeping with a 23-year-old! She needs a fortysomething-year-old vice-president from Morgan Stanley. Who will at least teach her how to have interesting, good sex.” So. How do we feel about that?
Ashley: That’s your setup?
Jennifer: I set up the exposition for you, buddy.
Ashley: Saying “how do you feel about X” is not “beginning the discussion.”
Jennifer: Fine. My initial impulse is to say, “Of course! She’s right! This justifies all my dating choices.”
Ashley: My initial impulse is to say, “I am ambivalent about this like I am about everything having to do with Cosmo.”
Jennifer: Well, look. Most of my more successful relationships have been with… exactly the kind of guy she is describing. I have not dated someone in their 20’s since college. But! I don’t think that is because we were doing it like they do it in Berlin. I think that is because I am a very, very boring person with borderline geriatric interests and my idea of a good night is a really nice meal and a Cary Grant movie Maybe some Sinatra? At Cafe Carlyle? Frankly, it shocks me that I’ve managed to stick to the 30-40 range, because those guys are only JUST getting into Sinatra. So, what I’m saying is, I think you should be proud of me for not dating actual geriatrics so I can get a martini at the Oak Room while someone does a tribute to Eartha Kitt. This didn’t go where I expected it to go.
Ashley: No, it really didn’t.
Jennifer: Okay! But I think that works for me because my interests are very dull, and I just don’t have the party-all-night streak that many men in their 20’s seem to.
Ashley: Not to flatter you too much, but I think after 22/23, smart people should feel free to date much older. Not just for sex reasons.
Jennifer: BREAKING: TCM JUST FOLLOWED ME ON TWITTER.
Ashley: …Turner Classic Movies?
Jennifer: YES! I’M ONE STEP CLOSER TO BECOMING FRIENDS WITH ROBERT OSBORNE!
Ashley: That’s prescient of them.
Jennifer: So, this is why. This is why I can only date older men. I agree with you, incidentally. I kind of feel you should date based upon your common interests?
Ashley: That’s certainly part of it. I’m reminded of being at a bar once and this guy coming up to talk to me and a friend of mine. She and I were talking about Plato or something people who recently graduated talked about and he followed along for a few minutes and then sighed to show his exasperation and declared, “Talking about stuff like this… just makes me want to fuck.” Right around then was when I decided I should probably skew older, romantically.
Jennifer: Yes. At the same time, I hear some of the people I’ve dated – 90% of whom have been terrific – describe what they were like in their 20’s and I think “oh, wow, you sound like you were a nightmare person. I am so glad I did not meet you then.”
Ashley: I mean, we were insufferable in our late teens/early 20s, too.
Jennifer: True. Maybe no one should date anyone in their 20’s, or be in their 20’s themselves. Maybe as soon as you graduate from college you should be strapped into a wheelchair, handed a catheter and some Frank Sinatra LPs and told to behave accordingly.
Ashley: I like the idea of no one being in their 20s. I think we should just put muzzles on 17 year olds, take their internet away and send them off to monasteries to read On The Nature of Things over and over again in Latin until they come out with some healthy shame and dignity. And self-loathing, obviously. That being said, I’m kind of leery of the idea that “middle aged bankers” are the Cerberus at the gates to “good, interesting sex.”
Jennifer: You don’t think they teach you to do it like they do in Berlin? In my experience they’re mostly tired because they have to be up in three hours. So, I guess if the way they do it in Berlin is “really, really sleep-deprived” that’s something.
Ashley: I kind of agree with the sentiment that 23-year-olds should probably be out broadening their horizons instead of having sloppy 5-minute missionary after too many Tequila Sunrises. Wait, what do 23-year-olds drink? Vodka-cranberry? Vodka cran.
Jennifer: We were never 23, were we?
Ashley: You know, I think some people are 23 at 20. And 20 at 17. And so forth.
Jennifer: Right. I’m 112. My tenuous grip on sanity is loosening.
Ashley: Every day.
Jennifer: Remember when J Pierpont Morgan pulled us out of that recession? Why doesn’t he do that now? Wait! I have a theory about why we date older men that has nothing to do with daddy issues!
Ashley: GO ON.
Jennifer: We were weird kids, and probably our peer group did not really understand us terribly well. However, adults LOVE weird kids. We came to see older people as natural allies. And probably that sense has carried with us into adulthood.
Ashley: Huh. That weird, flimsy, near-baseless pop psychology you just spouted seems… crazy enough to work.
Ashley: Only problem is–don’t all children think adults are cooler and more interesting than other children?
Jennifer: No, a lot of kids have friends their own age. Instead of mixing martinis for their parents’ friends and joking about how they are a scotch drinker, themselves. At nine.
Ashley: I think even my imaginary friends were older. At the same time, there’s probably plenty of 23-year-olds who are having a good time with plenty of other 23-year-olds. In clubs. Dancing on bars. Drinking what I am now certain is vodka cran.
Jennifer: I hear that’s very good for UTIs. That’s the kind of thinking that makes us unwelcome in clubs, isn’t it?
Jennifer: Good thing our boyfriends are slowly going deaf and can’t hear so well.
Ashley: Alternatively, you could have stuck a finger in your mouth and cooed “I looooove vodka.” But you didn’t.
Jennifer: When he goes deaf, I hope he’ll still be able to “hear” Sinatra with his feet. Like that kid in Mr. Holland’s Opus!
Ashley: Maybe we’re just unfit for love and happiness, Jen. Maybe that’s the answer.
Jennifer: You are the witness to my life, buddy. Let’s go have a sctoch.