Friday, October 03, 2008

The French Rule

Even though I’ve always felt that picking my favorite season was kind of like choosing between peanut butter and jelly, fall is unquestionably my favorite time of year. Summer is too hot, winter is too cold and spring just makes me alternately nostalgic for a winter I probably thought was too cold or jittery for a summer I’ll eventually think is too hot.

But the fall has a certain freshness: that brisk, pre-winter chill. For as long as I can remember it has been the start of my new fiscal/academic year, not to mention one of only two seasons where religion is more than just a way to justify neuroses for most Jews. After a busy summer of vacations, festivals and Greece­-style summer lovin', it is also nice to come back to reality relaxed, rejuvenated and ready to take on the year with renewed vigor (and maybe some John Travolta-style dance moves). I traditionally pick up some new friends each fall as well, some of whom have blossomed into my closest companions, others of whom have inspired some of my favorite crazy girl blog entries (luckily I have a few days until the Day of Atonement to decide who fits into which category).

Yet, something is different this year. Maybe it is because five years after college I'm going through a so-called second adolescence: out in the world, on my own and finally free from the four-year cycles that have pretty much framed by life since first grade (though sometimes I can’t help feeling like a super senior next to the latest crop of Relix freshman...I keep getting older, they stay just as hetty). But, at a time when my life has became an odd mix of baby showers and beer pong tournaments, something seems a little off about my proposed crop of 2008-2009 crazy girls (not that I don't enjoy discussing such hot topics as post-wedding name hyphenation).

Since college I’ve dated girls both old enough to be my camp counselors and young enough to be my high school mentees and at the end of the day I could at least bond with both groups over that episode of Saved by the Bell where Jesse got booked on caffeine pills, but even that reference is fading. Perhaps it is because words like companionship and compromise have started to creep into my social circle’s collective vocabulary or maybe it is because those older girls are slowly aging from mature to MILFs and dating those younger girls have gone from being sweet to sketchy.

All of which have led me to the inevitable question: How do you know when a girl you meet is too young to date?

And, as it turns out, like wine & cheese, Justice and Babar the Elephant, the French have figured out the answer.

So, I hereby present to you the French Rule of Dating:

It is socially acceptable to date someone seven years older than half your age.

Which basically means that if you’re 18 you can date someone 16 or older, if you are 30 you can date someone 22 and older and, if you are 72-year old John McCain, it would have been a sign of patriotism if your 54-year old wife was born twelve years earlier.

In case you are better with numbers that letters, here is the rule of thumb written as an algebra equation:

Let X=any neurotic single New Yorker currently living out their Garden State fantasy

X/2+7 >/= the youngest person you can date.

and in case you are better with graphs Wikipedia has provided one of those too:

Which means that at age 27 the youngest girl I can date is 20.5 and, if you flip it around, I guess the oldest girl I can take is 47, which gives me a nice solid range (that's i math term I'm told) of college girls to cougars. Now if only the French could figure our a way to make it fall all year round...


Greg said...

ahh the late 20s-early 30s...where you can date college girls and their moms!

Devin said...

Wait, so that means that this entire time Emily and I have been socially acceptable?

How disappointing.