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I was recently hired to manage the leasing process of a mother-in-law apartment behind my friend’s house. I was responsible for writing and posting the ads, answering phone and email inquiries, and showing the property to interested parties. Most conversations with potential tenants were the same. They asked questions they wouldn’t have needed to ask had they actually bothered to read the ad I placed, and I attempted to answer their redundant questions without stabbing myself in the eyeball or sounding too annoyed.

Whole Foods guy (so called because he worked at Whole Foods; I’m a genius with nicknames) called one afternoon when I was hella hungover and incapable of forming a cohesive thought. I was in no mood to talk and immediately tried to get rid of him by being completely obnoxious. For no reason at all, I accused him of being a voyeur. I suggested that he might not like the apartment because it offered too much privacy and lacked window-to-window views with the neighboring houses. In response to my completely inappropriate affront, he laughed. So then I laughed. And I continued laughing as he talked because he was funny. And in the world according to Leslie, there’s nothing hotter than being funny, except being tall. I had a phone crush.

We met in person that afternoon and I showed him the apartment. He fell in love with it and I fell in lust with him. In addition to having an awesome sense of humor, he was tall and really good-looking. Whole Foods guy was quickly becoming Whole Package guy. We agreed to meet again the next day over lunch so I could collect his rental application.

He was already there when I arrived. I sat down and we fell into conversation as easily as we had the day before although this time, something was different. He seemed a bit distracted and repetitively looked over my head. He handed me his application. My eyes moved quickly over the page but came to a screeching halt when I got to the part about his date of birth: February 15, 1983. 1. 9. 8. 3. He was ten years my junior. And then it hit me. His upward glances weren’t to see what might be behind me. They were to see what was in front of him. He was assessing the depths of my frown lines and calculating my brown-to-grey hair ratio in an attempt to figure out my age. I was no longer a twenty-something that couldn’t stop a guy from staring at my tits. I was a late-thirties-something that couldn’t stop a guy from staring at my wrinkles. But, I stared right back. Because in that moment, I realized that I wouldn’t want to do my twenties again. And, I wouldn’t want to do someone in their twenties again either.

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