Saturday, 18 December 2010


What is it about younger men? Even at the grand old age of 24 I have noticed that my girlfriends and I are starting to realise the dawn of age. You might be guffawing this statement but problems of late have just sunk in and are somehow all age related. For example, that period of time just after you finish Uni becomes the point to make decisions that determines the future of the relationships we formed over the past few years. Oh the pressure… and I hate to say it but a possible future, i.e marriage, becomes one of the deciding elements of whether you stay together or break up in order to see what else is out there. In the end, it all boils down to marriage and babies (the norm). I mean one of my friends was dumped on the basis that her boyfriend couldn’t marry someone who wasn’t his best friend… honestly! The average age that women marry in Britain is 28.2!! Bloody hell where does time fly? I failed on the beef wellington last night, flushing eighty pounds down the drain – how the hell am I supposed to turn into the nurturing home maker in just 4 years if I a) think it’s acceptable to spend sixty pounds on one meal and b) cock it up? For some reason, these very mature issues seem to be creeping up on us like lady gaga on heat and due to this pressure, some relationships are forced to be re-asessed and in panic, take a turn for the worse.

The movie ’17 again’ presents the exact trial and tribulation of this somewhat surprising issue that us youngsters have to deal with. However, I am very aware that any movie with Zac Efron tends to alter any of my logical perspective….he’s just so good looking and yes I’m completely ashamed of fancying such a perfect specimen of all stereotypical hotties.

Anyway my point is, Zac Efron is quite a few people’s guilty pleasure because movies like High School Musical take us all back to our innocent school years where we were pressure free youths being swept away by complete heart throbs like Zac. Oh the days where one look was enough to send us girls into fits of giggles. Nowadays we assume that a look from a guy is either derived from some perverted attraction – mainly a rude assumption that we are some piece of meat hanging in the butchers. Yes I know it’s a bit cynical but there you have it…

So how do we get that romance? The flutter in your stomach or magnetic attraction that bloody Kristen Stewart and R Patz have. I wish I had a vampire boyfriend – everything would be so much easier.

As much as we’d like to, we can’t teleport back in time and experience our youthful flings like Katie Perry did in her video for ‘Teenage Dream’… first of all I can’t fit into my skin tight jeans anymore and would never be able to spend a night in that flea ridden love shack. But… I’ve noticed that women are turning to a fake sense of reality which is much more practical…drooling over younger men- I mean just looking of course, maybe a little fantasy here and there. Well you can hardly blame a girl if bands like One Direction are flaunting their curly locks and chiseled features on Saturday night dominating shows like the X factor! And not just TV, movies as well! – does Jacob Black really not own a shirt?

The problem with younger men is that they are also a reality, gracing the streets with toned chests and stomachs, full of vibrancy instead of beer. What’s more, they are far more attentive than the usual grunting boys we usually hang around that have been and gone around the block eventually admitting that they’d rather spend a night playing on a PS3 than wining and dining the surrounding women. The other night whilst we were hanging out, just the boys and I, one of them had the audacity to say out loud, ‘we really need to start hanging out with girls’. I mean really? I don’t even count as a girl anymore? I’m also in that category where it’s ok if I get hit full force in a playfight because I’m like a bloke and it’s ok if I walk home on my own at night at 3am because I don’t count. God!

However, the chivalry lost in my guy mates has recently been restored in younger men. They are full to the brim with trendy bars and clubs and have that amount of stamina that is enough to wear me out just thinking about it. When you chat to a younger guy, they have that blue eyed, optimism that one tends to miss when entering the swing of life and are forced to grow up. I went out for a meeting with a group of mixed ages and to my pleasant surprise the younger men at the party were sitting there attentively, hanging onto every word. Whilst I was wallowing in the attention I caught the eye of my other, older guy friend who was sitting there grinning at my smitten behaviour and shook his head in shame. I quickly composed myself in embarrassment and tried to act demure again but it was a little too late. But what’s the harm in losing yourself for one night just to feel the same excitement of life that they feel?

I recently befriended a 19 year old boy who had impeccable manners and seemed extremely chivalrous and mature for a teenager. He was also meltingly handsome… so dismissing the fact that he had just come out of school, I let him take me out. To my surprise I was excited for once with my dull 9-5 life. Where was he going to take me? I hardly knew him, why was I being so reckless? It really took me back to my freedom days, wind in my hair, thirst for lots of fruity cocktails and a shameful amount of flirting! We reached a pub in the West End and the sight let alone the smell sent me crashing down to earth like a bat out of hell. It was one of those pubs that was packed of tourists and smelt like vomit, however, I tried not to be snobby so I entered the pub/dungeon with a smile. The night could still be fun, like when Serena Van de Woodson goes on a Dan Humphrey date… At least Dan Humphrey paid for drinks! Being young, usually means ‘strapped for cash’ but I didn’t know I would be buying all the drinks! I then had to listen to him drone on and on about how his work colleagues made jokes because he was young, something that only a 19 year old young man would find insulting – to most it is a compliment! Then came supper at….not a restaurant but a cafĂ©. Apparently we had to go there because they had the best paninis. He also invited his friend because his friend would buy him some food because he felt too guilty taking money off me. So I listened to ‘banter’ about ski season and Mamilanji for the rest of our so-called date. What I really wanted to do was to curl up in my worn out slippers watching a documentary. Suddenly it was more of an effort than the beef wellington.

So how can we be satisfied with our lot? Is the grass always greener on the other side? After a certain age are we always going to yearn for the butterflies, the blushing, the faint fuzzy feeling we used to get in our teens? My concluded theory is that the only reason we had those feelings when we interacted with those boyfriends we went out with in our youth was because the certainty that we would be treated with a gratifying demeanour was always wavering. Will he or will he not text or call me? Is he going to show up at the agreed time? Is he having it off with the girl next door who’s got bigger boobs than me? Now that we’ve grown up a little, priorities change and just because the hoody has been replaced by a suit doesn’t mean you can’t achieve some sort of a warm, happy glow from a relationship. Just because he doesn’t know the hip bars and his idea of a Saturday night is playing on his new Fifa game to release his inner boy, he might do things that can be easily looked over and quite frankly, they shouldn’t: like buying the Sex and the City DVD even though he thinks Carrie Bradshaw is a succubus, making you breakfast with a kiss when you look, smell and feel like crap, picking you up from the airport at 3am because he knows you think Easy Bus smells like death, telling you you’re skinny when you’ve put on a stone…..much better than a stupid sugary drink in a trendy bar.

Emily Chang

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