Thursday, August 13, 2009

BOYS TO MEN

Last night I wasn't just talkin' 'bout a revolution. I did something revolutionary. I picked on a guy my own size (as in my own age, a contemporary who turns 39 on August 22). After spending much of the past three years cavorting with boys nearly half my age, it was jarring to go out with someone who actually gets it. Perhaps it's partly due to the fact that he's Uruguayan and was raised outside of the porteño cult of unchecked arrogance and pride, but he seemed to pull my thoughts out of my head before I could get them out. Unprompted, he made so many of the points I've made in this very blog, from porteño preening to the apparent aversion to more-than-superficial conversations prevalent among so many gay Argentines (99.9 percent of first-time chats seem to begin with the same two or three questions and rarely fail to include queries about penis size and preferred sexual position).

Then there were his more age-related qualities: He had his own place, his own job, his own life, and not once did he mention an upcoming exam, Britney Spears or Lady Gaga. The subject of Madonna did come up once but only to deride youngsters who worship at her altar.

It was an interesting experience for sure. Although not one word of English was spoken, we understood each other perfectly, and for me, it was a relief to know that my litany of complaints weren't due to my being a cranky old bird who's too hard on people. He told me that in his country, people tend to be even more provincial than in Argentina, hanging on to the same jobs, the same homes and clinging to mom even longer than their Argentine neighbors. In Uruguay, he said, it's not unusual for people to spend their entire lives in the same several-block radius, toiling for the same company. This makes the fact that he left his family, his country and a stable bank job behind 10 years ago to seek out a different kind of life in BA all the more impressive.

I once wondered aloud why I never meet more guys my own age in BA, to which a porteña replied that once they finish school, many of them leave the country to make their fortunes, not returning -- if they return at all -- until they are well into middle age. Just my luck. Although I totally dig this age-appropriate thing, I'm sure there's another early twentysomething just around the corner, ready to drive me insane.
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