You know what’s really cool? What’s really cool is when you finally find happiness and want to share it with the world — so you do. You know what’s not so cool? When you share your happiness and the internet fuckwads crawl out from under the floorboards, pull down their pants, and take a giant, steaming dump all over your happiness. Thanks internet fuckwads!
Love is love, and like our good friend Daniel Faraday might say (hey, did you guys catch Daryl’s Lost reference last night?), “Whatever happens, happens.” Most of us don’t choose who we love; we run into someone and the sparks either fly or they don’t. The object of our affection doesn’t often come easily, or conveniently, so when it does arrive, shouldn’t we all just celebrate it? Instead our collective tendency seems to be to pick it apart.
45 year old (yup, that’s the *important* part) Christine Fitzgerald is twice married and divorced; recently she began a relationship with a younger man. “How much younger?” is probably your first tentative thought before giving any nod of approval, as is the nature of many *decisions* about what’s appropriate for women these days. Legal age requirements aside, we tend to think nothing of the standard older man/younger woman May-December romances, but when a woman is older, public opinion seems to slant against. Interestingly, in either situation it’s the woman who earns the derogatory label; she’s either “trophy wife, gold-digger” or a “cougar.” In sharing her new relationship, with hopes of helping to destigmatize older women-younger men relationships, Fitzgerald wrote honestly about how she at first worried about public and her own perceptions, ultimately realizing numbers shouldn’t be the primary factor; happiness should. After her piece was published at xoJane and Time, Huff Post picked it up for their Women section, where the nasty internet vermin quickly invaded:
(that was personally sent to Christine)
While there are also plenty of “go girl” comments in the mix, the commenters who have problems with Fitzgerald’s relationship are invariably men, whose main issues seem to be how the people involved “look,” or what Christine’s “problem” is since she has been with younger men in the past — some of them even go so far as to attempt psychoanalyzing her:
I don’t know about y’all, but I’m getting pretty damned sick and tired of being told what we can and should do with our bodies, our time, and our love lives by a bunch of sexist, assholes who would lose their damned minds if women tried to regulate those same things for them. So many people spend a good portion of life with someone — anyone —not so much because they’re in love or happy with that person, but because they don’t want to be alone. When any of us finds another person who makes us happy, who gives a fuck what color, sex, race, religion, (consenting) age they are? And what in the world but your own unhappiness would make you feel the need to put down someone else’s shot at happiness? I’m ten years older than my own old-souled husband, so stick that in your pipe and smoke it, Mark.