Dating a married man 20
In Cairo, I resurrected the bold, adventurous woman I'd been two decades earlier, before I'd yielded to the pressures and should-dos of grown-up life.
I'd met my former husband in the then-Soviet Moscow, where I'd moved from Paris in search of a job in journalism. In Cairo — I was working on a book about Egypt, so moving there seemed the logical choice — I found strange comfort in the upheaval.
I was already two decades past that, so the age difference took him off the romantic-possibility table in my mind.
Imagine my surprise then when, over beers, I casually mentioned my kids and was immediately overcome by the desire to pull the words back into my mouth.
Then I remind myself that if it were he who was 20 years older, neither I nor anyone else would think twice, and I realize that I'm falling prey to the same sexism I bemoan.
While I worry that he'd prefer a woman whose body hasn't been quite so affected by gravity, he tells me many times a day how beautiful I am — even when I know I am not at my prettiest.
There was something between us that transcended logic.
We met the following week, and I spilled the tale of my failed marriage. It was under renovation, but we snuck into a dark conference room to admire the stunning Nile view … It was a great kiss — until a security guard pointed his massive flashlight at us and shooed us away.
The intensity extends to our sex life, which is all one might imagine it would be with a hard-bodied, hot man in his 20s (when I mentioned to a friend how kind he was, she said she was too distracted by his looks to notice), and it's helped me remember the sexually liberated woman I was in mine. This is the first time I've had a relationship that is both carnal and profoundly emotional.
When I step back and take an objective look at us — he's 26, I'm 48 — I think I must look ridiculous.
Living this period of his life with him gives me the sensation of reliving mine.
Only this time around, I'm a better version of myself.