Friday, September 30, 2011

Bridging the Age

So Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher are heading towards splitsville, ready to wash dirty linen in an epic 290 million USD divorce battle. This is nothing unusual in case of Hollywood celebrities, you will argue. I agree. But my focus is not the post-mortem of Hollywood romance. It’s something which most often makes me think about and question my own choices.

First of all, I would salute both Demi and Ashton for sailing their love boat for almost a decade. Call her a cougar or him a toy-boy, but together they withstood the criticisms and doubts despite the 15 years of age difference (she is 48 and he is 33 now). I actually respected the couple for sustaining so long, although I always suspected they would ultimately fall prey to the usual Hollywood storyline of marriage or relationship (read Tom Cruise-Nicole Kidman, Susan Sarandon-Tim Robbins). It has been reported that the Demi-Ashton story is ending due to his serial bout of cheating on her with younger women. So, are you surprised? I am not.

I feel the huge age difference finally took its toll. Demi must have been the anchor in this relationship owing to two facts - she is the woman and the older one. But the very ‘old age’ must have been the ship wrecker. Man anyways is notorious for having shorter attention span; his interest in his woman is always at the risk of diluting. So a much younger Ashton must have been easily succumbing to all the temptations, bored of an older wife. Of course, Demi will still give 20-somethings a run for their penny even at this age. But you will have to agree, she is way past her Ghost glory days. And Ashton is young and his career is definitely on the rise (the countless rom-coms and yes, replacing Charlie Sheen in Two and a Half Men). He has much more success stories in store. The age gap, hate it or not, seems to have a taken a toll on this relationship.

Such cases are not rare. Take the recent case of Playboy chief Hugh Hefner and his runaway bride, Crystal Harris. I was amused when I had read the news of the marriage of the 85 year old media mogul to his 25 year old Playboy bunny girlfriend. Come on, is getting hitched this easy?! I concluded she is just a gold-digger and such is the trend in the glamour world of the west. Then Harris called off the marriage. Thank god, finally good sense prevailed in the girl. Harris later stated, It was all just happening too fast for me. I just sat back and thought about it all. Is this what I wanted? And it wasn't."(Thank god, these girls are not that bimbo after all!)

We don’t have to probe further west as there are several home-grown ‘age-gap’ love stories as well. Remember the Saif Ali Khan-Amrita Singh marriage? Their story is our very own Demi-Ashton saga as Amrita was older than Saif. Now Saif is romancing a much younger Kareena Kapoor. The entire country is eagerly awaiting the end of the Saifeena love story – ‘marriage or break-up?’ is always the favourite topic of the gossip tabloids.

Then there is the love legend of Dilip Kumar and Saira Banu. The vetern couple has weathered so many years of togetherness despite the huge age difference of 22 years. But is everyone is as fortunate as them? What about us mere mortals?

A friend’s recent Facebook update read “Few women admit their age. Few men act theirs!” I believe in this. Moreover, I believe women mature much before men. Which means the thought-process of a girl and a boy of the same age or age group will be vastly different. She is usually the wiser one. That’s my perception and which is why I always fall for older guys! Give me George Clooney any day over Robert Pattinson.

I have always shown more affinity towards men older than me. In fact, many a times my friends tease me that I might get hitched to an old man eventually. But there are always a few apprehensions in the back of my mind regarding getting into a relationship with an older man. What if the guy is too old for me that he starts considering me a kid? What if the things we both want in our lives together would differ as our thinking ‘age zones’ are different? Wouldn’t he get insecure if I am friendly with men younger than him? Would he become too old eventually to enjoy things I want to enjoy in life? What if I get bored of his old ways or worst, him?

On the brighter side, an older man usually lets go of the mistakes committed by the younger partner (or so as explained to me by many elderly women).  The older man is usually financially stable and can pamper you. (But again, I know of several exceptional cases: some older guys end up being big-time losers and actually look forward to sustain on the woman’s earnings!)

To be honest I am confused. Most often I am in a dilemma. I can see several flip sides of a sizable age difference between couples. But then, I can’t help my feelings. I still look out for the older men. The age-difference in relationship is a debatable topic. It will always be a matter of concern for everyone involved – the couple and their respective families and friends. But somewhere, I feel, the onus lies on the younger partner to strengthen and sustain the relationship. The younger one has age on hand and choices galore. So she or he has to be sure about the decisions and the loyalty towards the older partner. If only Ashton Kutcher has resisted all the temptations, people could have still marveled at the awesome couple. But unfortunately, he strayed despite having a gorgeous woman at home (he cheated on her just before celebrating their sixth marriage anniversary!!!)

I will need your viewpoints on this. Till then, I will sigh over the cute romantic movies like Autumn in New York (what a poignant story of an older Richard Gere and a young girl Winona Ryder) and our own charming Lamhe!

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