Hey Nineteen…

What is it about men—and women—that makes some of us desire someone younger?

Food for thought, now isn’t it?

Whenever I hear the 1980s Steely Dan tune “Hey Nineteen” I think of this human dynamic and it is certainly not unique to the baby boomer. However, as boomers grow older this subject comes up from time to time in conversation. The established and aging business executive or the seemingly stable gent next door who divorces his wife of 35 years to marry a considerably younger woman.

When older women pursue younger men, we call them “Cougars…” implying in no uncertain terms it is an unacceptable form of behavior for a woman.

Yet—it’s acceptable from a man?

Someone please explain this lopsided thinking to me.   

When I see a middle-aged guy leave his wife for a younger business associate or someone he bumped into at the grocery store, I am inclined to ask, “I bet the sex is good, but what do you talk about afterward?” That, of course, always leads to the next question, “Man—how do you keep up with her?” You know he’s going to lie about his endurance—right? Unless he’s blessed with excessive amounts of testosterone and aggressive arterial blood flow to his extremities, he isn’t telling the truth. As nature generally goes the middle-aged guy is going to disappoint a younger lady when he’s lying there snoring and completely oblivious to her sexual needs amid the night.

Reminds of of that Eagle’s song, “Lyin’ Eyes” from the mid-1970s and some of the lyrics from this time-honored song.

So she tells him she must go out for the evening
To comfort an old friend who’s feelin’ down
But he knows where she’s goin’ as she’s leavin’
She is headed for the cheatin’ side of town

This is where men must be mindful of the needs of a younger partner because it can get dicey if you’re not attentive and on the ball.

Big old house gets lonely.

When young and older get together, each has to stay thoughtful of the differences and keep up to date on each needs. It’s important. It is also important for a woman to remember too. Men are more inclined to comfort that old friend.

Without regular care, feeding and watering – relationships expire…

It is interesting how men and women interact and what they expect of one another. It was the Baby Boom generation, and perhaps “The Greatest Generation” that began studying the differences between men and women. The informative book “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus” by John Grey, PhD does a good job of defining the genders and how different we are—and how to better understand one another. Although a whole lot of us have read that book, I suspect a lot of us did not believe it applied to us – right? In truth, men and women are very different in how we think and what we are emotionally. I believe women try very hard to understand men. However, I don’t think men believe it is their responsibility to understand women.

I am just as guilty of this as anyone else. I am a poor listener.

Time for an attitude adjustment.

I believe men and women would get along better were men inclined to really listen to and understand women.  This has been an issue for centuries between the sexes.  Sounds crazy, but  I don’t think some men have ever recovered from women getting the vote a century ago.  Guys, you know this is true.  There’s still that ridiculous glass ceiling in America where women can advance only so far, then level off at what men perceive is acceptable when, in fact, there’s a lot of room for improvement.

Young men who want older women—Cougars—understand the value of an older woman.  By the same token, younger women see the great assets of tying their lives to an older man.  Those who want older partners can looking forward to the wisdom and experience that goes with being with someone older.  Older people are more established.  They’ve made most of the mistakes younger people make and are on more stable ground emotionally and financially.  Older partners are a good gamble.  Tying your heart to a younger person also keeps you young at heart too.

Mixing up the ages can also have its hazards.  If you’re too far apart age wise, there comes the challenge of what to talk about and the sharing of mutual interests.  Sometimes, it’s just the sex that bonds and keeps you together.  That alone gives you both something to look forward to once the sun goes down—and even when it’s rising. If nothing else holds a relationship together, sex always does.

Food for thought in any case…

Hey Nineteen

Steely Dan 1980

Way back when in ’67
I was the dandy of Gamma Chi
Sweet things from Boston
So young and willing
Moved down to Scarsdale
Where the hell am I?

Hey, nineteen
No, we can’t dance together (We can’t dance together)
No, we can’t talk at all
Please take me along when you slide on down

Hey, nineteen
That’s ‘Retha Franklin
She don’t remember the Queen of Soul
It’s hard times befallen
The sole survivors
She thinks I’m crazy
But I’m just growin’ old

Hey, nineteen
No, we got nothin’ common
No, we can’t dance together
No, we can’t talk at all
Please take me along when you slide on down

The Cuervo…

2 thoughts on “Hey Nineteen…”

  1. I’m reminded of a scene in the 1989 movie, When Harry Met Sally in which Harry is out with a much younger woman. Attempting to make conversation, he asked her where she was when Kennedy was shot. The date replied, “Ted Kennedy was shot?” Out of the mouths of bimbos.


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