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Around the tenth question, when I asked him to describe his ideal day, thinking he might say “Bike through Golden Gate Park, then do a beer-and-painting-class,” this 23-year-old stranger said it would be waking up with me, making me breakfast, then watching movies all day.

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I had started my 40s dating a 50-something white dad — that romance was so unequal, it was an endless episode of “White Boyfriend Knows Best,” and it upheld white-male privilege and the patriarchy at a time when Donald Trump was running on the exact same ticket.

“Don’t ever tell me again how men oppress women,” this boyfriend lectured, “when you women couldn’t even get together for Hillary.”“That was women,” I lobbed back.

But I was suffering through the disability I call “middle life” and needed comfort.

Turning 42 brought on self-criticism and disappointment that flowered like a bruise.

He looked about 30, and if you’re into Jeffrey Wright or Drake, this man would have definitely caught your eye.

On our first date, I brought out the “36 Questions to Fall in Love With Anyone” app.

Maybe I wanted to be the self-centered asshole in a relationship.

Either way, I behaved like a cranky senior who didn’t get any visitors except this one junior orderly. We lived in the most expensive city in America; carrying us both made me feel superior.“Babe,” he once called to ask, “is it OK if I go out tonight with my coworkers? And be here in the morning.”When he showed up at my house — still bleary from tequila shots, explaining that he had lost his cell phone at a bar and blacked out — I launched into a matronly reprimand about his bad choices and how he couldn’t afford to replace his phone with the child support he owed.“And don’t think I’m going to buy you a phone and reward your dumb behavior.”He glared at me, quivering like that kid from Stanley Kubrick’s , and said, “I’m sorry. “It’s this Hollywood classic where a faded actress keeps a younger man. He bowed out the door peacefully, and I chased him barefoot down Fillmore Street, feeling mean-spirited and craven.

So I kept ordering Pinots, observing this tragic man, slightly buoyed by how I was faring much better than him and the women who had encountered him. And as I made out with him while waiting for my Lyft Line to arrive, my brain suddenly snapped awake to this blunder.

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