Friday, July 10, 2009

Age gaps

Some old business before I get into a new update - here's a photo of the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Park, where I played my cricket game. This stainless steel artwork is 140 feet high, 120 feet in diameter, and weighs 700,000 pounds. As Marty McFly might say, that's a lot of DeLoreans. The empty pool surrounding the base was filled with skateboarders and cyclists taking advantage of the smooth surface that is normally underwater.


On Wednesday I ran a bunch of errands during the day, including setting up another job interview for July 16 - I have two scheduled for that day, both PR agencies in NYC. One of them is a smaller agency near Grand Central Station, and the other one is a Top 5 agency a few blocks from my last job at Agent K. I'm also still waiting to hear from the agency in Cranford, NJ, but from a purely logistical standpoint, I'd much rather work in the city than have to drive through rush-hour traffic every day.

In the afternoon, Polina came over to my place after spending the previous night at her friend Laura's house in nearby North Haledon - Laura was part of our first Firefly marathon last month ("Firefly marathon" - June 10, 2009). We drove into the city to meet with Lori at my monthly Women's Poly Meetup Group, which includes my friends Barbara and Sylwia, who have been mentioned before ("Midsummer update" - June 23, 2009). We had nine women total at the meeting, a record high for this group, including a new woman also named Michelle, who is of Japanese descent. She was kind to take this photo of the rest of us - Barbara had to leave early, and Lori didn't want to be in the photo since she's not technically part of the group yet.

My Women's Poly Group

From left starting at the top, the women pictured are Adele, Polina, then myself, Sylwia, Oxy and Tamara. Lori actually knew Tamara as a friend and was pleased to reacquaint with her.

One topic of discussion, not surprisingly since Polina and I were there as a couple for the first time, was talking about age gaps between partners. Adele and Lori both have older male partners with age gaps similar to the one between me and Polina, and a few others were struggling with smaller, but still significant age gaps between themselves and younger men.

Although I constantly crack wise about the age gap between me and Polina, I've never considered it a serious obstacle to our relationship. Obviously, my personal history makes me unlike most women of my biological age, and it's not entirely in jest that I celebrate my 5th birthday next Wednesday. There is no doubt I skew very young in my appearance, my demeanor and my outlook on life. Polina, for reasons of her own, skews older than her tender age, so from an outsider's perspective our age gap seems unremarkable. In fact, many of the women last night commented that we seemed a lot closer in age than we actually are. Perhaps part of that has to do with the way we are slowly finding our feet as a couple. At least we have the advantage that no one will ever mistake me for being her mom.

On the rare occasions I think about our age gap, I consider the reasons that many people make age an issue in relationships. The most practical and objective one would be having children - a couple who are both in early childbearing years are probably going to be more successful at conceiving and raising a child together. Then the more subjective reasons have to do with social stigmas, inequities in education/income/career development, and generational attitudinal differences. Finally, there is the inevitable issue of not having the chance to grow old together, barring an early departure (morbid, I know, but it's true).

For Polina and I, believe it or not, we have talked about children, and natural childbirth is probably not in either of our futures, together or separately. Obviously social stigmas aren't much concern to transgender polyamorous pansexuals - what's one more log on the fire that social conservatives want to light under us? As for the inequities mentioned, her exceptional intelligence and my careful separation of my work and my private life keep those in check, while generational differences are something we have both always thrived on, even before we ever met one another. With the circles she travels in, Polina tends to have older friends (she has two older sisters), while mine tend to be younger than me (e.g. Pearl and Amy from my old life, and practically every close friend I have today).

As for the issue of mortality, I simply turn to one of my three core tenets - live for today, live in the moment. We don't know what tomorrow will bring. If we are happy today, that is enough. It would be a shame and a waste to spoil a chance at love today because we worry about what the situation will be decades from now. As I've said before, I'm not looking for the one "perfect" love that may or may not cross my path. Love is too precious to me to turn away because it doesn't meet some arbitrary standard or requirements. If two people feel that connection and spark between them, it should not be ignored. If there is no room in your life for more love, then you must be a very lucky person.