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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Leave Them Kids Alone

TAB w/the adorbs yet evil Ralfie
The Amazing Bob is 16.5 years older than me. In turn, I’m 16.5 years younger than him. Neat trick, nicht wahr?

We met when I was 27 to his 44 years on this small blue Earth. Now, I didn’t know that he was that much older — I figured he was, at most, ten years ahead. My most awesome Honey Pie was a free spirited, long haired, trim and gorgeous hippy freak and totes didn’t look his age. By the time I cut him in half and counted his rings (about five days after meeting) I was rockin’ a crush, an obsession, that’d make Orpheus' passion for Eurydice look like puppy love.

TAB wondered, what would a kid want with an old dog like me? For my part, I couldn’t imagine a fabulous, suave, man-of-the-world wanting to rattle and canoodle with a snot nosed brat like me.

Romance happens.

My parents were, naturally, concerned about the gulf between our ages. Hells, TAB’s just six years younger than Vati. That inspired some serious discomfort in the old man.

Here’s the thing though — I was 27 not 15 and had already been through a ringer or six. I surely wasn’t a paragon of maturity BUT me and my lovely battle scars were doin’ OK. I was a sensible-ish, strong young bee and TAB was no Svengali.

Imagine though, if you will, TAB and I meeting when I was 15 and he 32. You know what? We may have been warm for each others forms and enjoyed slingin’ a little conversational hash but I’ll guaran-damn-tee you that it wouldn’t have gone beyond that. Warum? I may’ve looked mature at 15 but I was still a child. My crushes back then were on 17 year old boys who seemed SO much more mature and handsome than my fellow sophomores.

TAB at 32, recently back from Nam and in college, was dating his French teacher. Yep, we were just naturally all over that age and experience appropriateness business.

So, wut up with these dodgy sorts — you know, the wombats in their 20s and 30s who go after young teens? I’ve actually known two men like this. What these two sad miscreants had in common was extreme insecurity. I’m guessing they looked on their young targets as sweetly nonthreatening and nonjudgmental. Predator and prey. Priest and penitent. Employer and employee. Teacher and tenderfoot. Unequal. Unbalanced.

I surely hope Gordon’s young bride eventually embraced herself — became more than a subsidiary of her older beau and then husband. Maybe she did after the seventh or eighth bairn popped outta the chute.

The other King of Insecurity? I believe he ended up marrying a woman around his own age — a fellow engineer even. Possibly his dalliance with predatory behavior was anomalous. Hope.

Stats found on the National Center for Victims of Crime site:
Studies by David Finkelhor, Director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center, show that:
1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse
Over the course of their lifetime, 28% of U.S. youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized
Sadly unsurprising.

Another Brick in the Wall Part II — Pink Floyd

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