From Mid to 2/3rds in New Beginnings

  • May 30, 2020, 6:21 p.m.
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I wrote about my mid-life crisis last entry. I’ve sense leveled up with the following epiphany. I’m 38. My mom passed away when she was 58 and my dad when he was 68, both from cancer and/or cancer complications. Average those two numbers together, and my hereditary life expectancy comes to 63, which means I’m over 60% through my life. I’ll hit the 2/3rds mark just four years from now at 42.

I felt so cool, calm, and collected in my previous entry. Now, I feel marginally more panicky. I realize there’s more to how long I’ll live than just how long my parent’s lived. That said, both my mom and dad were very physically healthy up until they got sick. My mom worked out at a ladies’ gym at least a few times a week. Dad would walk 10 miles a day after he retired. I never new my grandparents, my paternal grandparents were smokers as was my maternal grandmother. My maternal grandfather died in a tragic accident, so I’m not sure how much stock I can put in their lifetimes. My mom’s dad served in WW2, and he passed away in 1983, one year after I was born, so that puts him between 62 and 67 at the time of his death. Maybe he would have lived decades longer, or maybe 67 would have been his final year no matter what. A few of my dad’s older siblings are still alive, but I still feel compelled to go by how long my parents lived.

It makes me feel bad for not making more of my time. I go to work, I work out, I entertain myself with media (TV, video games, books), I cook, and that’s it. What else should I be doing? I used to draw when I was young. I won’t say that I was good, but I think I had the potential to become good and possibly make some sort of career out of it had I continued in the discipline. I imagined picking it up again when I retire, but am I stealing years away from it by waiting until the time investment won’t be so exhaustive of my free time? Then there’s the dwindling romantic opportunities.

I almost went out on a date a few weeks ago. A very pretty woman named Hannah reached out to me via Match. She was 32, she was a graduate of UGA (like me!), but she graduated about 5 years after I did. She went through the accounting program (like me!), had her CPA (like me!), owned her own business, lived not too far way in Gainesville, and even had previously worked for a CPA firm where one of my old friends started. We exchanged messages, talked on the phone, then nothing. I asked her out to dinner, and she said she’d like to, but she didn’t want to be too close to people with the pandemic. I invited her to let me cook her dinner at my place. Perhaps, the suggestion was a little bold, but I couldn’t think of any more viable options. She said that she wasn’t quite ready for that, but she suggested a picnic, which I thought was a grand idea. I found a charming park halfway between us that was open, asked her if she’d be available for the upcoming weekend, and she was busy with work. I said I understood, but offered another phone date, to which she seemed amiable, then I never heard from her again.

Easy come, easy go, but the next girl has got me in knots. I think one of my students has a slight crush on me. Her name is Gaby, and I’ve written about her before. She’s modelesque Chilena in her mid-twenties. She reached out to me last week, and we had the following email exchange:

Her: “Hey Mr. Jones!

So sad you aren’t my professor this semester! But I was wondering if you’d help me out with a little project I have going on.

I know a doctor who owns a practice in Atlanta and called me to ask me a couple questions regarding his new bookkeeper. I had a look at his QuickBooks but it was the online version and obviously not the accountants side. I’ve been trying to do some research but there’s so much out there and four different options for QuickBooks downloads depending on what one needs. I was hoping we could have a quick Zoom conference and I could ask you a couple questions to help guide my research?

Just let me know if you have time, I know it’s the first week of school and we’re all busy!


Me: “Hey, Gaby!

Classes are a whole lot less fun without you, but fall semester will be here before you know it. As for your research, certainly! When is convenient for you? I’m busy prioritizing getting my students set up right now with their accounts, but I could talk tonight around 8:00 PM. If that doesn’t work, I’m free anytime tomorrow. Also, is it okay if we use Cisco Webex, instead? That’s the new required platform for ATC. I believe it works the same way: I’ll send you an email invitation, and you just click the link.”

Her: “Awe! I know Alejandro and I have been talking about how you were always so awesome, we really do miss you!! I’m kicking myself for ever dreading going to class haha.
Around 8 works for me, I was going to get some notebooks around 7 but I should be back in time. Just send me the link around 8 and I’ll get it set up!

Thank you!”

Me: You’re so kind! Whenever I imagine my fantasy class roster, you and Alejandro are definitely at the top of the list. You did so well, though. I can’t begin to fathom what was dreadful to you.

Definitely. I’ll send you an email about that time, and we’ll get it sorted out.

Her: “Aweee I just told him you said that we’re trying not to cry 😪 just the anxiety of wanting to do well was dreadful haha that’s all.


When we video chatted, she started the conversation by wanting to show me her new tattoos. They were on her arms, so I saw nothing was nothing risque, but there still feels like there’s something to her wanting to randomly show me a part of her body. We exchanged small talk: what her tattoos mean, how we’re surviving the quarantine, whether I had tried any new recipes. That last point was an object of interest to her. She said she really wanted to try my cheesecake bars, and I said that as soon as campus was reopened, I’d make her a batch.

Perhaps, I’m reading too much into our exchange. She only has four classes left, so she’ll finish this fall. Teacher-student relations are obviously disallowed, but the same rule doesn’t apply to teacher-graduate relations. Not that I would reach out to her, if for only that doing so right after graduation could insinuate that I had intentions upon her the whole time. She, on the other hand, comes across as not afraid to be forward, and if she were to reach out to me after graduating, I’m not sure what course of action would be proper.

Obviously, the age difference would be a factor. Not that 13 years is insurmountable, but I don’t want kids. I’m especially now too old for parenthood. Realistically, I’d be 61 by the time any child I produced graduated high school. If my life expectancy is indeed around 63, then the rest of my life would be consumed by child rearing responsibilities. Even if a young woman like Gaby doesn’t want to have kids, her biological clock hasn’t yet gone off, and I will be even less open to having kids 5 years from now.

She also strikes me as a bit of a vagabond. She’s flat out stated that she doesn’t like to live in the same place for very long. All we could likely ever have would be a fling. Not that there’s anything wrong with flings. My only objection to one at this point in my life is that the time, effort, and energy I put into it might cause me to overlook on a more appropriate romantic interest should she come along at that time. Let’s be real, with my luck, my perfect woman absolutely would come along if I became unavailable. Gaby is just so effortlessly pretty, and I missed out on those passionate love affairs so many get to have in their twenties. I really hope I’m misreading things and she’s not interested because were she to make an advance on me after she graduates, I don’t think I could resist, especially now that I feel the sand pouring down the hour glass.

Last updated June 02, 2020

Small Town Girl June 03, 2020

I think in terms of family? Genetics, characteristics, traits we get some family tend to be passed down, but I think they skip a generation. You have had a lot of young loss in your family tree! I can see why you would be concerned. Especially if your parents were in good heath and still got knocked down by cancer. I wish I had some words of reassurance. I think that since some of your aunts and uncles are still here that you still have a good chance of beating the early 60s. Especially since you have taken good care of your own self.

Robbo Small Town Girl ⋅ June 05, 2020

I hear your points. I might not be so worried if both my parents didn't pass from cancer. Both my grandmothers also died from cancer, but they were smokers. That said, I did have a great aunt who lived to be 100! I'd be fine with that, so long as my mind doesn't outlive my body or my body outlive my mind.

Small Town Girl Robbo ⋅ June 05, 2020

Oh definitely! The mind going has got to be the worst.

Marg June 05, 2020

I’m wondering if her forwardness is more of a cultural thing? I say go for it if the chance arises - life’s too short! Although her vagabond tendencies would be a red flag for me - people who tend to flit about are sometimes not very mature - that’s a bit judgmental though.

Robbo Marg ⋅ June 05, 2020

Like I said, I probably couldn't refuse based upon how pretty she is. That said, I have no idea how much longevity we could have. Like you addressed, based upon how she's described herself, I would expect her to wake up one day and want to move to other coast or up north. That notion is a romantic one when you're young and unattached, but I'm older and settled, and doing something like that sounds like a lot of effort just to be the same person in a different place. Some people just like to move, and that's fine, but those who are always expecting to find happiness somewhere else are chasing the wind.

Marg Robbo ⋅ June 06, 2020

Yep - chasing the wind is a very good way of putting it!

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