As many of you are aware, I've joined an online dating site. It's rife with lunatics and 21 year olds looking for their Mrs. Robinson. I actually added an addendum to my profile last week that said, "If you're under 25 years old, please don't message me. I'm sure you're a great guy, but I have no desire to be your Mrs. Robinson. Don't know who that is? Google it".
Yeah it's that bad.
I work at the senior management level of a community College in a relatively small area. People love to talk. Our front page news includes articles about emails sent by the wife of a local politican. Yes, THAT small. We have no crime to speak of so what else are people going to talk about really? I'm going somewhere with this, give me a minute.
I'm very aware of what I do and say - and how it reflects on my employer. No one at work knows I'm a member of an online dating site. It would fuel the gossip mongers for days. No, I do not have an inflated ego, I just know how people talk. I have no desire to be gossip fodder for the crowd in the staff room.
So last night I'm online surfing through profiles of various men and I get an instant message. I respond and we go back and forth for awhile. This guy is CUTE and YOUNG - 27. This puts him 10 years younger than me. I have not figured out where my boundaries are with regard to dating and age. Is 27 too young for an almost 37 year old woman? I don't know. But we're chatting and there's no harm in that, right? This whole online thing is hit or miss. I sometimes get IM'd by guys who will sit there expecting me to carry the entire "conversation". That doesn't fly with me. Or guys who are so incredibly boring that my eyes bleed and I cannot fathom how they would actually hold a conversation in real life. This guy wasn't like that, he zinged the replies back as quick as I fired them out. He had a biting sense of humour which always attracts me.
And then I found out he's a student. Not only is he a student - right at this very fucking moment he's in a classroom beside my office. I saw him walking by earlier this morning. It was bound to happen, right?
He asked me to go for a drink this weekend (he moves fast which I like). I had to explain to him that I work at his College. That I wasn't sure if I was comfortable going out with a student. I couldn't even give the poor guy my first name, considering the fact that there's no one else in the organization with my first name. He has no idea what I look like and here I am checking him out as he walks by my office. I must admit it kind of amuses me. He was surprisingly ok with my hesitation, he seemed to understand it.
There are just so many pitfalls that this could lead to, me becoming the top item on the gossip circuit being just one of them.
What do you think? Is 27 too young? Am I just asking for trouble by going for a drink with a student? To my knowledge there is no policy against staff socializing with students. That does not mean there isn't an unwritten policy. I don't know, it's never been an issue in my world. Up until now. If I wasn't in the position I'm in, I probably would not give it a second thought. But I am.
Did I mention he's incredibly cute and funny?
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