I was 19 and good-looking. I was open-minded and rebellious and ballsy. This must have been a recipe for middle-aged lust, because I had to fend off multiple amorous advances from people my parents' age that summer. First there were the married mechanics. Miguel had a big family back in Mexico. He was the best mechanic we had, and he sent most of his money home to his wife. He wanted a gringa girlfriend and he decided that that gringa would be me.
Then there was Ernie. He was married with kids too, and his family was local. He told me he wanted to have gringitos with me. A guy from Guatemala asked me to marry him. He was my age, but shorter than my 5-foot-3-inch self. (5'5" if you count my early 90s hair.) The gray-haired tow truck guy asked me to lunch one afternoon. And I was actually kissed by an old family friend. He was married too, but said he couldn't help himself because he'd always wanted to be with a curvy, white woman with blond hair and blue eyes. Yuck.
All of this attention was creepy enough. But the freakiest advance was to come. The general manager of the shop and his secretary were having an affair, and they asked me to er, join them, for a birthday celebration. Like I was a present for turning 40 or something. I said no, of course, and he wasn't all, "If you don't party with us, you're fired," or anything, but it made for an uncomfortable work environment.
Working that summer job made the guys at college seem like featherweights. I went back to school for the fall semester grateful for the relative ordinariness of slurring frat boys and dance club gropings.
Growing up a girl is hard.
Now that I'm approaching middle age, my perspective on the Over the Hill Club has changed. It is now my belief that being a perv was a job requirement for anyone applying to work in that shop. In other words, it was location-specific, not age-specific. Which is good news for the middle-aged men of today.
Because I've been working on my ninja skills.