What’s the female equivalent of a dirty old man? “Dirty old lady” doesn’t have quite the same ring—but, whatever it’s called, I think I became one the other day. (What I’m thinking is more salacious than “cougar.”)  Anyway, I’m a single woman-of-a-certain age. I date, and I prefer men around the same age as I am. I’ll generally go 10 years in either direction, but I really haven’t been that interested in much younger men. Until now. What’s more, he wasn’t just much younger, he’s a bit of a rock star. Literally. So a better description of me on that night might have been “severely over-age groupie.”

A friend treated me to a performance by Wyclef Jean—singer, musician, and all-around hot guy—at City Winery, in Manhattan, recently. I knew it would be a fun evening, because City Winery is sized so that the performances feel rather intimate there. Before the concert, I wouldn’t have called myself a huge Wyclef fan, though I like some of his music. I had met him years before at an event when I was working at an ad agency, and I found him personable and handsome in a regular-guy kind of way. But that’s it.

That night at the City Winery, something came over me.  I went from “This should be a fun evening” to “OMG, this is amazing!” Wyclef puts on quite a performance, engages well with the audience, and seems to be having a tremendous amount of fun onstage. I was sucked all the way in.

He was dressed all in white, and it was a wonderful matchup to his beautiful dark skin. His music is contagious, but it’s his movements that really got me going. I like the way he moves. Correction:  I love the way he moves. I think what really got me is how athletic he is onstage. When he did a full-body flip without missing a beat, I think I started to swoon. (I don’t think I’ve ever used that word before.) 

For the first time I really understood why old men lust after young women. It’s the physicality of it all.  No man my age can move like that.  I started to think that perhaps I’d like to spend an evening with this very sexy man, 16 years my junior.  Just the two of us. And to be clear, it’s not because I think he’d be fascinating to talk to for a long time; I’m not even sure if he’s sane. He tried to run for president of Haiti in the last election . . . despite having zero experience in politics and the fact that he hasn’t lived in Haiti for 20-plus years. Whatever.  It’s not his stimulating conversation I was interested in.

The friend who brought me to the concert knows Wyclef and offered to take me backstage to meet him.  I was beside myself with excitement. This was my big chance . . . but then I chickened out.  Despite having a wife, Sexy Wyclef has a reputation for being quite the ladies’ man, and I’d be embarrassed at this age to be just one more on a long list of honeys. I would want him to remember my name.  So I said, “No, thank you,” and went home alone . . . still smiling, though. I’m happy to be a groupie-in-my-head.

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  • rozwarren July 7, 2012 at 8:58 am

    @Eleanore next time, you’ve got to selflessly think of your readers and follow through.

  • Eleanore Wells July 5, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    @RozWarren: Thanks, Roz. I’m sure there would have been quite a story to tell…if I hadn’t chickened out!

  • rozwarren July 5, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    I was “sucked all the way in” by this essay LOVE your writing, Eleanore. What a fun read, and very insightful too. I’m just sorry you chickened out at the end — next time — GO FOR IT, have fun and then tell us all about it.