Dear Hot 22-Year-Old Who Wants to Date Me:

When I got your email on a popular dating site, I was surprised. Not at your age, which I didn't know from your email. But that you could spell. And that you didn't call me "honey" or "babe" or "cutie" and that you wrote more than three words. You sounded intelligent, nice, normal. That doesn't happen too often on this dating site. You also threw in a compliment, telling me that I was "genuinely gorgeous" and that you liked my profile "almost as much as my pictures." Well, you got my attention. But you also said something that sent my high hopes crashing. You wrote, "I know I'm not in your age range ..."

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Oh-oh, what could this mean? Since I could only see a very small thumbnail photo with your email, I had no idea. So I clicked into your profile and searched around for your age.

There it was. Twenty-two.

Twenty-two!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You see, dear reader, I am a little over 40. I won't say how much over. Not even anonymously.

I wrote you back. I congratulated you on sending the best email I had gotten in weeks, if not months. How is that possible? I thought 22-year-olds wrote things like, "hi how r u? wld u like to chat im me hotbod448877."

I didn't know 22-year-olds could sound like Cary Grant, which you did, as we kept emailing, against my better judgment. I asked you if you always wrote older women. You said only if they "stood out in some way." Like I did. You continued to use correct punctuation and capitalize the beginnings of sentences.

I began to suspect this was a scam.

The truth is, I can't date a 22-year-old, much as it sounds sort of ... intriguing. And I don't know why, because a 40-something-year-old guy wouldn't hesitate for a second to take out a 22-year-old woman.

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But I just had my fillings replaced because they are older than you. Last year, I had an anal fissure. How would we discuss these things?

It's weird enough scouring my face for new wrinkles -- I can't imagine how depressing it would be scouring for them when my significant other has none. When, in fact, he still has baby fat. Give me some of that baby fat, bitch!

Dear young suitor, I get blood panels every year now. I get mammograms. And I get anxious about these things. How would I discuss my dense breast tissue and slightly off pap smears with you? Do you understand mortality yet? Do you caress your scrotum, looking for cancer?

And how would I tell you, my young paramour, that these days I can really, really, REALLY sweartofuckinggod only handle two glasses of wine? And that only a few times per month? Any chance you're a teetotaler? And don't even look at me if you've smoked a blunt, man, cause I will just topple over.

My dearest 22-year-old, I would never "tweet" you to let you know where I am. Also, you remember high school like it was yesterday. Because it was.

Perhaps I should not assume, my dear young friend, that you're not an old soul, and that you wouldn't love my fissures and wrinkles, and that you might want to stay home and cook rather than queue up at some live music venue in Williamsburg at 1 in the morning. Perhaps this is why you're emailing older women. And we'll probably die about the same time too, given that women live so much longer than men.

Oh, but those growing pains. So many things could happen to you in your 20s. You could change careers more than once. Do you have a career? You could want to move. Several times. Especially when your roommates become, like, totally annoying. You may decide you're gay. There's still a lot of time for that. There's that whole meeting your mom thing. She's probably younger than I am.

So, my little man, I leave you to hardier cougars than I. I'm sure someone will snap up your tight buns and chipmunk cheeks. But, alas, it shall not be me.

At least ... not this week.

Have you ever dated a much younger man? Should I?

 

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