Mary, twenty years my senior, was my first mentor. She was my editor when I was a green 24-year-old reporter. I would tensely watch her reading my copy, praying she’d like it. She taught me, over many years, how to become a better and better writer.
Mary also was my closest friend for many years. My husband and I would go to her apartment for dinner many Saturday evenings. After one of Mary’s marvelous pasta dinners, Douglas would occupy himself reading while Mary and I would drink wine and talk into the wee hours. We’d discuss the men in her life (she never married, but had lots of suitors), work, food, and co-workers.
Here’s the thing. Although there was a big gap between our ages, I never ever looked at Mary as an older woman. She was hip, smart, attractive, a hard worker, dedicated and loyal. She was one of the first career women of her generation. We had a great deal in common and that’s what mattered. She wanted to teach me and I wanted to learn.
Now I am friendly with woman twenty, even thirty years my junior and I wonder if they look at me as I looked at Mary.
Age doesn’t really mean a thing if we give our best to each other, wherever we happen to be on the continuum. I wouldn’t mind being thirty again, but with my FOF experience and frame of mind. Since that’s not possible, I’m happy I have young women in my life.
P.S. DO YOU HAVE A BEST FRIEND WHO IS MUCH YOUNGER? COMMENT HERE AND TELL ME A LITTLE ABOUT HER. WE MIGHT FEATURE THE TWO OF YOU ON FOF.