Here I am writing something I thought I’d never write and experiencing something I thought I’d never experience. Not in a million years. So what’s my dilemma? Well, I’m 11 years older than my little sister and for years it felt like more of a mother-daughter relationship, but lately, it’s feeling a little more sister-sister. I guess I’m still stuck in the days where I was driving her around in my first car. She was toting cute little “Powder Puff Girl” backpacks, while I was wearing hideous light blue eye shadow and getting ready to kiss high school goodbye. While I was spending four hours unsuccessfully straightening my hair, she was doing color by numbers and learning how to cut a straight line in kindergarten.
When we got a little bit older, the gap was still very, very clear. I’d meet her cute little teenage boyfriends, while she’d meet my college age or professional job boyfriends. It was obvious that her potentials were way too young for me and mine were too old for her. It was crystal clear obvious. Now though, we’re feeling slightly neck-to-neck in certain areas of life. We like the same music. We have a similar style. However, we are especially neck-to-neck in the dating arena.
Let me explain. She’s now 20, and I’m now 31. Yes, I’m the homeowner around here, and I still act like I’m her second mom, but she’s growing into this adult thing as well. When she first moved here, I introduced her to a couple of my potential men at different times: One of which has several years on me and another which has only a couple on me. She was talking to guys in the 19/20-year old range. Still no problem, right? We were so clearly in our age ranges. Mine were way too old for her and hers were way too young for me. Now? EVERY single cute guy we meet is suddenly that smack dab in the middle age. You see where this is going? Yep.
“Okay…..he seems interested in one of us, but with him being like 26….I don’t know which?” I’ll say.
“Well, I think he talks to you a little more than me,” she’ll say.
“But, but….he may see me as a little too old for him. But then again, I’m not even sure he knows how old I really am. Furthermore, you two were laughing together a lot,” I’ll add.
“Well, I mean….he’s such a great guy that it wouldn’t really matter who he went for, right?” we’ll agree.
It’s here. The days where we find ourselves crushing on some of the same guys, in the most awkward of situations.
“He seems better for you and _________ maybe seems a little better for me,” she’ll suggest.
“I don’t know! When I saw y’all two laughing together, I kind of felt like an out of place bystander,” I’ll insist.
“No, you’re wrong about that. He asked you a lot more questions than he did me,” she’ll say.
*Two hours later*
“So, you seriously think it’s me he’s interested in?” I’ll ask.
“Oh for sure. I mean….I think so. Then again, I don’t really know,” she’ll answer.
Long gone are the days of you date 20-year olds, and I date 30-year olds. A majority of the time, the decade gap has completely blurred into nothingness, and it’s a weird, weird time for me. It wouldn’t be so weird if we didn’t have close to the same exact taste in men (most of the time). This wouldn’t be so confusing if I hadn’t been known to attract younger guys, and she didn’t have a maturity which can attract older guys. Talk about insanity.
Now, I’m not saying any of these potentials are going to turn into anything for either of us. We all know by now I have a better chance of my tongue reaching my elbow than landing on something that actually works. I just have to vent here. The fact that there’s even a question of who wants to date who has made me realize how crazy this life really is. Little sister isn’t so young anymore, so I guess that makes me kind of old, but not too old to still be in the running for some of the guys at weird in between ages.
She’ll joke that she’s the new model, while I’ll joke that I’m like a fine wine. Or maybe we’re not really joking. Maybe we’re serious sometimes. Ohhhh sisterhood at its finest. I’m about to have her do my hair, so I’m sure we can set aside this whole awkward age thing for the rest of the night……..or the next hour.
Holly Marie Tong is an award-winning journalist and the author of Chick Flicks Lie. She’s the oldest youngest person she knows, and she apparently no longer dates men her own age.