I turned 29 a few months ago.
Like most of you, I've been brought up on corny 1980s/1990s sitcoms dictating that women go absolutely bonkers as they round the bend on the big 3-0. Because I've never considered buying a pair of jeggings, or read a Twilight book, or paid hundreds of dollars to watch Lady GaGa self-asphyxiate onstage in a cellophane suit, I thought that I might slip calmly between decades. Unless you count modifying my nighttime skincare regime, my transition from late 20s into extremely late 20s has been blissfully free of age-related lies and kooky 'just one of the girls' antics. Except for one thing.
I dated a bimbo.
It started like corny 1980s/1990s sitcoms predicted: we locked eyes across the busy pub, and within a minute he was sitting down next to me...smelling amazing, looking handsome, laughing at everything I said. Because this busy pub was actually the busy Postgrad pub (and because I've become such a fucking snob for education), I asked whether he was doing his Masters or his PhD. "Neither," he grinned with his white teeth and full lips, "I'm a second-year undergrad." I'm not sure I fully processed this information until after I'd given him my phone number and watched him leave to smoke a joint on the way to a club. I'm not sure I fully grasped the implications of this information until now, months later, when my skin crawls at the accidental sight of him.
There were plenty of red flags. He had "no time for reading" and his favourite website was StumbleUpon. I had to explain why communism is considered largely unrealistic. He consistently used the imaginary word idealic instead of ideal, presumably because it's longer and 'sounds smarter.' When I finally told him that idyllic does not mean what he thought it meant, he confessed to having used it in multiple academic essays -- each time candidly ignoring the squiggly red line accompanying. Qu'il est mignon!
Yet I took all of this in stride, hanging a five-years-junior man off my arm and pretending that the stigma attached to Postgrad-Undergrad relationships is old-fashioned nonsense. I held his (big, strong) hand through a series of predictable mid-2os revelations, including 'Just because I have fun with someone doesn't make them a reliable friend' and 'Parents are fallible people.' This in exchange for some eye candy, a vigorous sex life, and my first real opportunity to turn down an invitation to the world of sexting.
It was only after I broke up with him (for being a pot-smoking, class-ditching, vapid, static-y dryer sheet of a human being) that I understood what the relationship was. He actually almost spelled it out himself when he screamed, "You're never going to find someone as good-looking as me to love you. Ever again! I'm a 7 and you're a fucking 2!" I thought, "You're never going to find someone as intelligent as me to pretend to like you, ever again. Intellectually, we're not even on the same scale." But what I said was "Uh huh." Because I have some pinch of class.
Anyway, it's dangerous to belittle children; you run the risk of manufacturing real assholes. Trust me.