A friend of mine is dating a married man. He is nice enough--somewhat portly, curly salt and pepper hair (though it's more salt than pepper to be completely honest) and he has a sweet smile and a way of trying to fit in with a crowd of people, some of whom are more than twenty years younger than him--which is rather endearing. He looks a little like Suhel Seth, I thought, when I first saw him, wondering what this friend of mine--the youngest of our crowd, saw in him. It's not like age-wise she's the youngest, because the crowd includes some 19-year-olds as well, but she's just so young, and I thought, until then, so naive, she's the last person you'd think would be seeing someone so much older.
He was pretty charming though and then someone asked him about Sri Ram School. "What about Sri Ram?" I asked. "Oh, I'm thinking of getting my kids admission there," he replied. Kids? Okay, I knew he had children, I just thought maybe they were in the toddler stage, not realising that they were old enough to be getting into school and such. I smiled, gave him a few good school names, all the while watching his fingers intertwine with my friends'. "Do you like him eM?" asked my friend, grinning. "Sure," I said, smiling, because I did. I did like him, it's just that he was married with kids and this is not the sort of situtation I'd imagine myself in at twenty-three. At thirty sure, we can discuss kids and school and all, but just then with the rest of talking about the GreatIndian Rock festival and sitting around talking about career options and all, the situation was.. shall we say.. a little odd.
That's not the only thing that was wierd though. I was amazed at my own sense of tolerance, at all of us, accepting this man and treating him as our equal. Where had my sense of moral righteousness gone? Theoretically, I would be totally against dating a married man, especially if there were children involved, but here I was making conversation, teasing and being teased, just as if it was any old boyfriend that I was being introduced to, y'know? My friend got even younger around him--her voice was high and childish, her eyes danced around the rest of us, looking for our approval. "We should go to TC tomorrow," she said, and turned to him, "Let's go to TC, no?" We all agreed, great plan and all and at twelve they took off because it was their anniversary.
But really, who am I to sit in judgement of anyone? They seem happy, even if this may be harmful in the long run, he seems to adore her. Never mind that by the time she is his age, he will be in his dotage, never mind his daughters and his wife, to be able to get that kind of devotion at our age, when all the boys we know are fucking around or making statements like, "I can't commit right now" or "I need space" or even "I need to figure things out", generally mindfucking, maybe older men are the way to go.
I think it takes great courage on his part as well, to be able to blend in so well with a group of twenty-somethings he obviously can't relate to. Okay, so maybe it's a second childhood, midlife crisis kinda thing, but she was so happy and it's not as black-and-white as it seems here in writing about it. It's a lot more complicated than that, so I think I'm just going to be there for her, just offer support if she needs it and not be so damn judgemental.
We're not perfect people, but we all do strive for happiness.