Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ciara Says... Age Is One Crazy, Confusing Number.

[AverageNation™ Week continues as Ciara talks about the gender double-standards of jailbait.]

The beauty of working retail – if there is any – is the people that you encounter on a daily basis. That’s code for “all the fine men or women you get to gawk at”. It’s almost high school-like, pulling other female co-workers to the side, just to say “look at dude with the red/blue/green/black shirt on. He is FOINE!”

Two weeks ago, I found myself stopping mid-fold when this guy walked past me into the men’s department. I could almost feel my hand twitch, he was so damn cute. When he walked past me again, with a v-neck sweater in his hand, I worked up the nerve to tell him that he made a right color choice. He smiled, slightly laughed and straight asked me whether I would make commission off of saying that. For two minutes, we talked and exchanged numbers. I was super giddy for the rest of theday.

So when I got home, he called me. Perfect timing. After chopping it up about that shirt – tantalizing conversation that was – and other things, he asked me how old I was. Without hesitation … “22”. He laughs. I’m trying to figure out what’s so funny. Was it the way I said it? What? Then he said “you like ‘em young huh?”

He told me that he was 17.

At that moment, my heart stopped. R. Kelly started playing in my mind. I heard the cell doors lock behind me. I felt so damn dirty, like Prince “Darling Nikki” dirty. All I could say was “Really?!”He could’ve fooled me twice. He thought I was like 18, 19. Usually I would take that as a compliment but that day wasn’t one of those days.

I just wanted to laugh about it and just move on.

But then we started talking and I found out so much about him. He told me about his life, I told him about mine. I felt something budding right there. However, when he asked me whether we could go out, the hazy daze went away and I told him no. But it kind of hurt saying that.

When I was 16, I used to be one of those girls that thought it was cute to mess with a 19-, 20- or 21-year-old guy. The ultimate status symbol in high school, you could brag around to your equally naïve friends that you had some “grown man” shook. Now that I’m 22, I grimace at the sight of seeing dudes my age popping game to a group of high school girls. Frankly, it makes me want to protect them like little kittens in a rainstorm. I hate it.

So you can understand why I feel so dirty, right? While I cut it off with dude before things got too crazy, I still feel like I broke some really deep and entrenched social code by even entertaining the idea of taking it somewhere with him. Yeah, it’s one thing to think that he’s attractive but it’s a whole other thing to wonder whether you could pull off something like that. For about ten seconds – that’s a long time, trust – I thought that it could work. How sick am I?

Sick enough to sometimes think about it. Eww, Ciara. Eww.

Question: Ever contemplate a “jailbait” relationship? Were you ever in one? Why are these relationships judge differently if a woman is the older?

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