The dating age.

Say gurl.
Say gurl.

I work part-time at a shoe store in the mall. It’s not my dream job, but it provides cash, plus I get to meet all kinds of different people.

About ¼ of the customers I meet are hot guys. When a hottie comes into the store, I think, “Yes! A hot guy!” And then I remind myself that I’m selling shoes and stick to the script, “Can I get a size for you?” Insert obligatory comment about being on my knees here.

Working in retail at 29 is a harsh reality at times — I’ve pushed aside my degree, work odd hours, and most of my coworkers are 19.

At the risk of sounding like a pervert, one of my coworkers caught my eye. He works in the stockroom, has this silky blond hair, and a nickname I still haven’t figured out.

He reminded me of a guy I dated in high school, whom had a punk-rock flair. Enter: my lifelong crush on Something Corporate’s Andrew McMahon.

I knew my coworker had to be young, but I just wasn’t sure how young. That is, until a customer asked him how old he was and he replied coolly, “20.”

Twenty. My heart nearly stopped. At 20, I barely knew who I was, had just lost my virginity, and made terrible decisions.

At 29, I have a crush on a guy nearly 10 years younger than me. I felt slightly guilty for the fantasy I’d drawn up during the shifts we worked together: that he’d throw me up against the rolling racks in the stockroom and really go at it (while on the clock, of course).

Afterward, we’d smoke from his vaporizer pen, because that’s what all the cool kids do.

At times, the words coming out of his mouth form themselves into sentences I want to hear: “Let’s get naked.”

I felt like Stifler’s mom, complete with Al Bundy’s job, and minus the botox.

I’d be lying if I said I’m not attracted to youth — in some way, we all are. Photoshop or not, I’d still pull out my best moves on Justin Bieber.

Although sexing a 20-year-old is totally legal, women are taught to date older. It’s men that can date younger without the stigma (hi, Edwin Edwards).

Nonetheless, I’ve kept my clothes on. In reality, I don’t know how I’d feel sexually attacking someone 10 years younger than me. Plus, I’ve never been a fan of mixing business and pleasure.

I’m not sure what’s brought on my cougar mentality, whether it’s the fact that I haven’t had sex in awhile, that my latest dating attempt went to shit, or that this 20-year-old is just sexy.

When I finally mustered up the courage to tell my coworker about my crush, he was “chill” on the subject.

“But I’m, like, way older than you,” I said.

“So,” he said. “It happens.”


  1. Marcia

    Can we agree that it’s super annoying for an otherwise hot guy to date a girl 10 yrs his junior? Bravo for turning the tables!

    Huge fan of the blog!

    1. thebitterlemon

      Hey Marcia, YES, we can agree on that! When I see a guy my age, or a little older, with a 20-year-old… I’m like, “Hey, I’m hitting the gym and trying to look cute, too!!!” It feels like the dating pool is getting smaller and smaller. Thanks for stopping by!! -H

  2. some alphabet soup

    Welcome to the feeling of being an A&F manager, except with much less of an age gap (in my day) & the keys to the store so that the stockroom fantasy (or back office one) can actually happen 😉 But hey I was like 22/23, he was a year younger & he only worked their because I hired him so we could hangout. But he was HOT! & we were together for long periods of time mostlh just flirting. Work crushes in retail enviroments are like shoppers coming in 3 mins before closing & wrecking the place…they’re just bound to happen.

  3. Katie

    Oh man, im kinda going thru this right now with a 23 yr old (i’ll be 30 next month *gasp*). I think part of the problem for me is that i still think of myself as being 23 and therefore don’t see it as odd until i stop & think about it…like i dont feel this old. Most of my friends are embracing this age thing but im just not there. Also just ended a 3 yr relationship so maybe im having a mild crisis lol. P.S. my young friend also has silky blonde hair…totes irresistable

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