Half Plus Seven

Half plus seven. Have you heard of this rule? It’s how you determine if someone is in your dating age range. Example, Joe Hottie is 28. Half=14 PLUS 7= 21. 21 is the youngest that Joe Hottie can date while still being socially acceptable.

I’ve applied this rule loosely with my friends, but always strict with myself. I capped my oldest age range at ten years older than me.

Imagine my surprise when in my inbox I receive “Does my beard make up for the fact that I’m a few years outside of your age range?” Okay, I’ll bite. You have intrigued me sir. His profile shows that he is a 34 year old teacher that writes about books, traveling, and God. He has kind eyes, a thick beard, a newsboy cap, and skin that ages him in ways that make it apparent that he’s more advanced than my early-20s-year-old-self. People would probably be able to tell there is a difference in our ages-I think to myself.

I respond with “Probably makes up for a year. Your newsboy cap makes up for the other year. And the fact that you read actual books makes up for 5 years. So you’re essentially 27 in my book” and then I laugh to myself because I think I’m funny.

Our conversation proceeds as follows:

“27, eh? I like the way you do arithmetic!
So…..now that I don’t feel like a creepy old dude, how are ya? Are you a teacher? Traveled anywhere lately?
Have a great day!”

“Ha! Not creepy. Funny old dude 😉 I’m currently under caffeinated, but good. I work [for the local university].
Unfortunately I haven’t been able to travel much this summer. Had to attend quite a few weddings. What about you?
You too!”

“Yeah, I remember 5 years ago when I was 22–that’s about the time all my buddies were starting to get married off. Ah, nostalgia….
Anyway, I asked you the travel question hoping you’d ask me because I wanted to impress you. I spent my summer backpacking through the Balkans. It was the greatest adventure I’ve ever had and I can’t wait to go back!
Btw, my profile pic is me standing inside the old bobsled track from the 1984 Olympics in Sarajevo. Pretty cool huh?
Have you always lived in [small Texas town]?”

“5 years ago I was 17…the age of the students you teach in high school…this is getting mildly inappropriate now. I’m telling you, I need coffee.
Oh good. I’m glad I could set you up perfectly for that one. I am completely jealous of your backpacking trip. What was your favorite part? Did you go by yourself? The bobsled track is legitimately impressive.
Definitely not. I came here when I was 17, for college (hey look, nostalgia again). Graduated in 2012 and stayed to work at my wonderful job. I moved around quite a bit growing up, but finished high school in a small town near [larger town]. Yourself?”

“Le Distraire,
I’ve always dug the name Le Distraire. Very cool. Hopefully you’ve had a few cups of coffee by now. And for that matter, isn’t there something kinda cool about dating a hip, mysterious, ruggedly handsome older guy? Or is it just me…….
My trip: yes I went solo which was the best decision I ever made. I met so many cool people along the way. I visited Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Albania, Kosovo, and Macedonia. I loved them all. My favorite city was Sarajevo; my favorite country was believe it or not, Albania. Lots more to say about that…..
A little town near [larger town]. I actual taught at a small town near [large town] for 9 years….so I know it’s not that one. Hmmmmm……
So, if you could go anywhere, where would you go?
What do you make of this online dating stuff?

-Mr. Kerouac (his nickname will become obvious in the next paragraph…just keep reading)
*currently enjoying my first conference period of the day”
“Mr. Kerouac,
Thank you. I like my name too. No coffee, but some down time with no meetings this morning, which has been refreshing. Listening to some good music and catching up on paperwork. Well, I’ll need a list of how you are hip, mysterious, and rugged before I agree. Also, I just saw that I’m outside of your age range too, so maybe I should be the one asking what makes up for the difference in your age requirement?
Thats amazing! I feel like its always a little hard to talk about travel through typing. Pictures, gesticulation, and good questions are needed to truly capture any story about adventure (well, unless you’re a great author. then ignore the previous statement). How many months were you gone?
Definitely not my town. Where did you teach?
I really want to go to Greece. Preferably when it’s a bit more stable. Also, New Zealand and Australia both. Australia would require the wardrobe worn by Nicole Kidman in the movie by the same name. Which most people hate, but I found charming and odd.
Online dating makes me a little embarrassed honestly, but I feel like it is hard for me to meet people that aren’t students or someone I’ve known for 6 years and already ruled out in the dating field. What are your thoughts?
-Le Distraire
*Do you get more than one conference period?”

“Le Distraire,
Oh yeah, I get two (kinda three) conferences. Jackpot! Plus, none of my classes have a standardized test, so I actually get to teach. Needless to say, I’ve got a pretty sweet gig going.
A list of what makes me hip, mysterious, and rugged. Just look at my beard again…..isn’t it all 3 in 1.
But I digress. Actually, I think the best way you’ll see those traits is to meet me in person. See what I did there……
So you’re 22. I give you 1 year a piece for noticing my cabbie hat and my books. Now you’re 24. You used the words wit and adventure in your profile. Now you’re up to 26. You used Protestant to describe your religion–that’s 4 years. According to your profile pic, you are extremely pretty–that’s 20 years (*See note at end). Lastly, you write me back in a timely manner–that’s 10 more for a grand total of 60 years! Dangit–still out of my range!
Anyway, I grew up in a ranch in the middle of nowhere.
I actually stepped foot in Greece while I was in Albania, and met a lot of people who had traveled through it, and they had no problems whatsoever. Maybe this summer I’ll spend more time in Greece.
Yeah, I feel the same way about online dating. In a way, it makes me feel like a failure. Oh well. Have you actually met anyone in real life? Any horror stories?
What music were you jamming out to? And speaking of movies, I really, really want to see Gone Girl. Looks so good.
-Mr. Kerouac
*I almost deducted 20 years due to your prettiness because, according to my favorite author Jack Kerouac, “pretty girls make graves.” ”

Obviously, I was forced to bend the Half Plus Seven rule after that quote. Books forced me. Literature forced me. Witty men that quote their favorite authors forced me.

I saw him in person. What’s two years anyway?


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