When Krista met Tom, she was 27 and she figured he was “around 34.” Well, Krista will never get a job guessing ages at a carnival, because Tom was 42.
They met at work. Tom would flirt with Krista, in a “cute” way. After working together for three months, they had their first in-depth conversation at an after-hours work function. Krista was “instantly hooked,” she recalls.
“I couldn’t take my eyes off of him from that moment on and I knew he shared the attraction.”
Krista figured Tom was around 34, but she wasn’t sure. So she ran back to the office and checked his personnel file. She was flabbergasted to find out his real age.
“I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I thought of terms like cradle robber and midlife crisis. I thought about getting involved with him and being left alone in my older years. But since no one has any guarantees, I thought this was not a good reason to discontinue our relationship.”
As open-minded as Krista was, she realized her parents might not be. She didn’t tell them, or any one else she thought might object, how old Tom was. But she was attracted to him, and, against her better judgment, they started to date.
At this point, Krista had been married and divorced twice and didn’t want to be a three-time loser.
She had married her first husband right out of high school. He was seven years older, an alcoholic and irresponsible. Her second husband was younger. She was 23 and he was 19. “I was like his mother,” she says.
“I think that’s where the real attraction to Tom came from. He was the first real man in my life. He was responsible, a person with a great job and many admirable accomplishments. He gave me respectability.
“An added benefit was that I no longer worried about my own age. I couldn’t wait till my 30th birthday because I wanted to be a woman. I also wanted to be older so that the appearance of older man-and-younger woman wouldn’t be so great - although I don’t think we ever stood out in that respect because Tom looks so much younger than his age.
“I still cringe when people talk about men running after younger women. All cliches may be based in truth somewhere, but our genuine attraction to each other is blind to age.”
This is not to say that Krista and Tom haven’t had their problems. They are, after all, from two different generations. Tom grew up “in a generation that said women stayed home and did all the cooking and cleaning, and waited on the men in the family.”
That was not Krista’s generation. In fact, the opposite was true in her own family. Her mother had a job, made all the decisions, and insisted that Krista go to college. But somehow she and Tom overcame it all.
“Maybe it was because he had had 17 years of marriage to ‘a perfect mate’ who waited on him, etc. etc., but there was no spark (in that relationship) and it turned out that the perfectly kept house was not enough to sustain the marriage.
“I was able to give Tom the spark that was missing and he was willing to pay for it by sending me back to college and sharing the household chores with me. It has worked wonderfully. I am now 38 and Tom is 53. We have a wonderful life, full of mutual love and respect. We have a beautiful 6-year-old son who is learning all the right things about relationships.
“This month I will be attending my 20th high school reunion and I’ll have my head held high when I proudly tell everyone that my husband is 15 years older than me.”