Saturday, January 27, 2007

Age limits and dating...good idea or bad idea?

Should there be an age limit on guys (or girls, if that's your preference) with dating potential? Should we have a "floor" and "ceiling" age (to steal terms from the math world). In other words, should we assign a minimum and maximum age limit to whom we'd consider dating?

I know that the answer is rather complex, and rests a lot upon your own age. When you're an adult, there's a law about the minimum age, sure. But most adults would set their age-minimum higher than that law requires, so that's not an issue. But as an adult, the age range that's reasonable to date within grows a lot bigger on either side. When you're in school, the age range is generally +/- 1 or 2 years on either side of your own age/grade. But in your twenties, things spread out. All the sudden, people over 30 aren't THAT old any more...mainly because you're approaching that age with every passing year. [Yes, I know that last statement was an egregiously obvious one, just roll with me, I'm still warming up.]

I can only imagine that the age range grows even bigger when you're in your 30s, and above even.

But what is this "age range" I keep referring to? Is it self-imposed and/or self-defined? I feel like it's partially an individual thing. Everyone has their own tastes and comfort zones. But part of that age range assignment comes from society's rules. There is a society-approved "age range" for different ages of your life. In high school, college, your 20s, your 40s, your 80s. Do we feel a need to tweak these age ranges to our own liking because society has already placed them there?

I'm now going to start talking from my perspective, since I can't begin to think that I can speak for everyone on this one. I've always said that my age minimum should be cut off at my brother's age. Anyone younger than my little brother - who's 5.5 years younger than I am - is off-limits. Well, that made sense when he was in grade school. How weird would it be for me to date a 15-year-old at age 18/19? Ew. Or a high school kid after I'd graduated from undergrad? More ew.

But he and I have gotten older...meaning our ages aren't that vastly different anymore. He's reached his 20s. I'm still in my 20s, obviously. Is it still as important to keep that strict age limitation? I feel like the answer might have to be 'yes' given that he's in college and I'm not. Kids younger than him are barely out of high school. That's a little odd. But at the same time, it's not completely unheard of.

And, I've also recently looked at my age-maximum limit. I've kept it at 30 for some time now, simply because that was a round number. But, I'm much closer to 30 now than I was years earlier when I set that limit. 30 isn't old anymore (like it was when I was in college). 30 is livin' it. 35 is happenin'. 30 is no longer a good limit. And I find myself wondering if I should even bother setting a new maximum age limit. Is there really a point? Age doesn't define personality. It defines amount of experience with the world and one's surrounding environment. It gives a general sense of how much maturity a person can be expected to have (although, we all know that's not a set determination, but I won't get into that too much here).

The reasons for having a minimum age limit seem more plentiful than having a maximum age limit, I think. Especially from where I sit. Too young, and they're still in school, or can't come out for a drink. That just seems a bit young. But too old? I'm not sure what "too old" means anymore. I don't think it has a set meaning, because it would depend on the person, really.

I say this all, I think about it all, and it seems as though I'm convinced that I should keep my minimum age limit and nix the maximum one. But, I don't think I can do that, honestly. There are surprisingly mature "young'uns" and surprisingly immature older men. I feel like my age-range of old is melting like a snowman in April. Slowly, steadily, the surrounding environment makes it impossible for me to keep the firm shape of that age range, just as the snowman starts frowning and thinning and thawing - essentially blurring around the edges.

"...and in the end, it doesn't even matter."

Well said, Linkin Park. In the end, whatever happens will happen. Take it in stride, leave the rest alone until it comes. Cross the bridge when you reach it, but no point worrying about it sooner than that. You've still got to travel in the road leading up to it.

Man, I'm into metaphors and similes tonight, aren't I? Huh...

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The fifth season has arrived.

The answer is decidedly no. It's not winter. Not in Boston. How do I know? Nothing on the "winter list" checks out.

Let's see...

Snow on the ground or in the air.

No. Nothing. Not even a thought in the clouds. Rain we get. But never snow.

Freezing temperatures that numb your face when you go outside.

Nope. No face numbing happening here. There are times when I don't even take my coat with me. Or I leave my scarf at home. My hat and mittens rarely make an appearance. What's the point of having all this terrific winter gear if I can never wear it???

See your breath when you're outside.

Only at night. But that doesn't count because you can see your breath at night on Fall and Spring days, too. So no. This one doesn't technically check out either.

Plant life dead and brown and essentially "hibernating" 'til springtime.

Definitely NOT! I see green grass when I walk by parks in the city. There were new buds on a tree on my street this morning when I walked past. I'm taking a camera there tomorrow and shooting a couple pictures if they're still on the tree tomorrow. Someone needs to tell that poor tree that spring isn't coming for another couple of months (or at least, it shouldn't be coming for another couple of months).

Icy sidewalks that take careful poise and balance not to fall on your ass when you walk on them.

'What's ice?' asks Boston's weather patterns. 'Nuff said.

The checklist does go on. I'm just hitting the highlights really. The stuff that I enjoy off of that winter checklist. I want to go outside all bundled up in my winter garb, watch my breath as I walk down icy sidewalks that always threaten to break my leg if I step wrong, and feel my cheeks get numb from the cold only to have that tingly thawing feeling when I go back indoors. I want freezing temperatures. I can't tell you how much I miss the negative degree weather of my youth in Minnesota. I remember fondly the days when it was 30-below with windchill. Or those few days of old when it was so cold out, it was too dangerous to go outside and the governor closed all schools in the state (we're talking 50- or 60-below with windchill). That's winter. That's what I want. I realize it doesn't get quite that cold in Boston due to the ocean effect. But at least give me some single digits here! And snow. There's no snow. I think it has snowed all of twice in Boston this year...once early on in the "so-called winter season" only to melt the next day...and the second time on 12/30 when I flew home from my holiday vacation to be with my family. But again. Didn't even stay. I don't think the ground has frozen...hence the green grass and the freakin' buds on the tree.

What's up with all of this? Worst excuse for a winter EVER!!! I keep threatening to move to Canada if I don't start getting snow soon. I always say it with a joking sort of tone. But perhaps it's becoming less of a full joke and more of a thought in the back of my head that could possibly come true someday. I want snow. The only real snow I've seen all winter was in Montreal when I went in early December. It snowed the entire weekend I was there. It was freezing cold outside. And I loved it beyond all description!!!

I'm boycotting the use of the term "winter" to describe the current state of Boston. It's more like fall/spring. But we're technically between the two, so perhaps I'll coin a new term for the season we're in. Because it's certainly not worthy of the title "winter." I think I will call this season Fring.

Fring. I like it. Silly, ridiculous, nonsensical. Best way to describe this less-than-adequate-attempt-at-winter season.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Turkish Delight...?

Wow, it's been awhile, hasn't it? I guess the only way to explain is that "I've been busy" - as vague as that phrase is... Life does that "happening" thing, and before you know it, another year has passed, you're another year older (and deeper in debt/St. Peter doncha call me cuz I can't go/I owe my soul to the company store...)

Right. So, I had a topic. Turkish Delight.

What do you think of when you read that? Chronicles of Narnia, right? Perhaps, if you're as into the Chronicles as I am, you may even have gone as far as The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, or perhaps even as detailed as remembering this as the candy that Edmund asks the White Witch for during his first visit to Narnia. I haven't ever run into anyone that's ever actually had any. Most of my life, I thought it was a figment of imagination...a food conjured up for purposes of the story that C.S. Lewis was telling in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. But, it turns out, Turkish Delight is real. It actually does exist, and there's some sitting next to me on the table as I type this.

I came home from the dance tonight (a very fun time at MIT, may I say, but that's a different topic entirely, and we all know I'm working on not digressing quite as much as I normally do...), and my roommate had made a pile of all of the candy and sweets he brought home with him from the holidays spent with family. At the top of the stack was this box of candy labeled "Apricot, Almond & Honey Turkish Delight."

What? Turkish Delight? said I. And I quickly got myself into that box to see what it actually looks like and, more to the point, what it actually tastes like.

And let me say: it's delicious. Quite the perfect thing to use as the enchanted food that the White Witch uses in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe to ensnare Edmund into her little trap. It's a cube of sugary, gooey goodness covered in powdered sugar (or flour? no, most likely powdered sugar...more sugar that way). It's so incredibliy rich and sweet...there's no way I could have eaten more than one!

I love how gushing this post is...all about this candy that until very recently I didn't think truly existed. It doesn't really get to any real point or conclusion. Just a statement of fact. Maybe that's all it really needs, huh?

Turkish Delight: it's real and it tastes fabulous!

[...and now back to our regularly scheduled program...]

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