posted by Joe Anaya on October 3rd, 2011

Being middle-aged means you can’t make some jokes without getting into trouble. There have always been topics that you have to be careful about. The standards: politics, race, religion, are good ones to be careful about who is around. But now at our age, sex must be added to the list.

Recently, our college-aged baby-sitter showed up to watch my kid. As she takes a step into the house, she winces. I ask, “Are you alright?” “Yeah, my thighs are sore. I did a spinning class for the first time. Everyone told me eventually you’ll love it, but you might be sore after the first time.” I defy anyone not to think of some double entendre like, “They say you always remember the first time.” Or, “Spinning? Is that what you kids call it nowadays?” It was the perfect set up for any number of punch-lines.

But as quickly as ten punch-lines popped into my head, so did the thought of the possible reaction. I’m old enough to be her father, which puts me in a danger zone for jokes like that. I might get a chuckle, but it’s just as likely that I’d get a response reserved for the pervy co-worker, or the guy you can’t afford to offend but also don’t want to encourage. Or even worse, it could be mistaken for an “unwanted sexual advance.”

When you’re in your twenties, you can say something like that and it’s funny, or the beginning of “wanted” sexual advances, or is brushed off as the inappropriate behavior of youth. When you’re in your sixties, you can say it and its funny because you’re a harmless old man, or maybe eccentric or just a cute corny line from a grand-father type. But when you’re middle-aged and she’s twenty, you’re just a creepy older man. I don’t want to be a creepy old man, so I just say, “Help your self to anything in the fridge. I’ll be back in a few hours.”



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