How to Be a Dad

How to Be a Dad

Robbing the Cradle

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Duran Duran at the Nokia Theatre at LA Live

My wife has complained for the past few months that she has felt like she’s getting old. It would be highly snarktastic of me to say, “You are dear”, right? I’ve decided instead to find ways to feel younger amidst the chaos of life, parenting and total economic horse dung.

This week I think I found a cure for her.

Avara’s always been a bit infatuated with youthfulness. One morning a few years back she was in the shower. I came into the bathroom to shave/pretend to brush my teeth and she had no idea I was in the room. I was grazing the sink area looking for one of my few toiletries, when I heard:

Avara in her Duran Duran t-shirtAvara in her authentic, pre-vintage Duran Duran t-shirt.

“I’ve got to find a way to reverse the aging process.”

I replied, “Oh, yeah?” She wasn’t happy.

At this point, I should disclose that my wife and I have a bit of an age difference. I’m not going to say how much but let’s just say that I was playing with Ninja Turtles when she was losing her virginity. She robbed the cradle.

Why would I divulge this?
A. She’s hot and based on appearances, she got stuck with the bad deal.
B. I want all you dudes under 30 to know that you can’t have her (even though she’s probably due for an upgrade).
C. Yet another example of how immature I am.
D. ALL OF THE ABOVE.

If you guessed “D”, you win!

We make up for the difference in lots of fun ways. She looks younger (conversely I’m transforming into a crotchety old man), we tease each other about our ages and we can be equally childish. Maybe I’m a fountain of youth? Maybe, like Demi Moore, she requires the company of someone more virile and pubescent. In any case, I fit the bill.

The age disparity couldn’t be more obvious than when we discuss music references. Current music isn’t a problem about 95% of the time. But when it comes to music we grew up with… you know… the music that makes up our emotional bone marrow, there’s a major gap. It’s a Grand Canyon. Just look at our first concerts: for me, Paul McCartney (post Wings). For her, Duran Duran (or as she calls them “Dran Dran”).

Charlie and Avara near Staples CenterFollow us on Instagram! Click the image!

So, when I heard Duran Duran was playing in LA this week at the Nokia Theatre, I knew I needed take her despite my complete lack of musical familiarity with them. I saw the wide chasm of musical upbringing and decided to take the jump on a dirt bike.

When I told her we were going to see them, it all came flooding back. She reminded me that they were her first concert when she was a little girl more than 25 years ago. She used to sit with her friends and make up stories about getting married to various band members and what they would name their kids. The musicians were the sun and these kids were the planets.

She began questioning me, if we were going “for sure” and “when.” She even invoked, “You know they were my first concert, right?” The answers were all yes.

So, Tuesday night, we headed out. Avara took 3 hours to get ready. It was like she anticipated meeting them in person. She put curlers in her hair for godsakes and acted GIGGLY. It was amazing. The highways even seemed empty getting there, which for Los Angeles counts as a signal for the end of the world.

Inside, we walked down the rows of seats and kept edging closer and closer to the stage. Avara repeated her mantra, “I was in the nosebleeds last time.” We got to the orchestra section, stage left. She was astonished. 

Duran Duran on-stage for their All You Need is Now tour.
Quote of the night: “I’ve reached the age where I need to put glasses on to see the set list,” Simon Le Bon

Neon Trees opened. They got people primed for a band that people have had on their walls or on the walls of their minds for 30 years, and when it hit 9:15pm on the dot, the lights dimmed. My wife turned to me and said, “I’m crying. This is so stupid, but I’m crying.” I loved it. She had come full-circle. All of those days of dreaming and standing up to her parents about her love for Duran Duran, and she was finally back. She still knew all the words to Rio. Their new stuff sounded really tight, and although there were moments near the end when you could almost hear Simon Le Bon’s voice getting tired, they never let up. Not once. I admired them for it.

Of course, the audience was older now. There were wrinkles and muffintops galore… but wait, aren’t muffintops the best part of the muffin? And didn’t we earn those wrinkles? There was a woman in front on of us who danced, but it was obvious she was actually having sex with the air and thinking of John Taylor. The band and their audience had grown up together.

Inside the Duran Duran concert at the Nokia Theatre on September 27th, 2011I had to hold my wife back from rushing the stage.

That’s when it hit me. 

She found her cure. Her dreams, her love of these five new wave rockstars — they amounted to her feeling more alive and limitless. They reminded her of that first concert, when she waited out in the back of Roanoke Coliseum, barely double digits in age, to see all the band members. Security had taken pity and told her they’d already left right after the gig, but decided to give her the name of their hotel. And she pursued them. It was back when love was new, and music and hair were both dramatic.

I wonder if Finn will grow up saying, “Yeah, my dad listened to Radiohead and Wilco and U2 and all that stuff. It’s really nostalgic for me.”

To get Duran Duran tour dates: CLICK HERE
To see the crazy woman who was having sex with the air around her: CLICK HERE

83 Comments

83 Responses to “Robbing the Cradle”

  1. cupcake says:

    You’re such a good husband and friend!

  2. Aw, I love this. You’re wife is beautiful. I’m sure you tell her that often… right?? ;) My husband is 4 years older than me and we have the same funny conversations about what influenced us growing up.

  3. Stephanie K. says:

    This is so cute/sweet! Jon and I have a decent sized age difference as well, and I like to threaten to bring him to a Justin Timberlake concert every now and then :-P

    • charlie says:

      I’m going to confess that I got to go to Justin Timberlake’s last concert for free. I couldn’t pass it up. The guy is a genius at many things. ::THIS MESSAGE WILL NOW SELF-DESTRUCT::

  4. Stephanie K. says:

    I’m honestly jealous. :-(

  5. Annie says:

    Justin Timberlake huh? That is not as bad as my friend who insists on going to every NKOTB concert. (I worry about her sanity at times) Compared to her your Justin Timberlake concert is nothing. (besides I have heard he actually has talent) I went to see Alice Cooper when I was 16. I will never forget that concert. I haven’t been to one that was that awesome since. As for getting old it does suck. It is hard to accept sometimes.

    • charlie says:

      I would’ve LOVED to see Alice Cooper. I met him one time with my dad. He was very funny.

    • stacey says:

      I got to see Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie last year and I got it at better than free… I actually got PAID to go. I was ready to go home after the Alice Cooper set… didn’t want it ruined in my mind. Since I couldn’t leave (work really sucks sometimes ;P) I kind of blocked out the Rob Zombie part…

  6. Lizzie says:

    I am married to Andy and I too am older than him. I just turned 40 and I know how she feels.

    She is both beautiful, youthful, intelligent and a great Mama and wife! You ARE lucky!

    Anyway, age is just a number not a state of mind!

  7. Sarah says:

    I just love this. I cannot wait to go see them again in October.

    • charlie says:

      Rad. I’m sure Avara would say the same EXACT thing. She’s starting her blog soon and wants to find a way to go backstage. I’m saying, there’s no way in hell I’m letting her near them.

  8. Justin says:

    First, I love the use of the word “snarktastic.”

    Second, when I began introducing my then girlfriend, now wife, to the things that she needed to know before she could be a complete human being, I had her start with Duran Duran. Our favorite pandora station is the one based around their music.

    • charlie says:

      Thanks, my limited vocabulary necessifies me making up new words.

      • stacey says:

        Welcome to today’s reading from the Charlie Lexicon::

        Necessification – The process by which something needs a name but it doesn’t exist (or does exist but the word escapes Charlie or is willingly ignored at that moment) and so a random closely related wordification occurs as a result of the thought bubble falling out of Charie’s head.

  9. Clare says:

    All of this sounds so familiar. I am however, older than my hubby but I too grew up as a Duranie. The emotions you say your wife has experienced, I have too. I first say Duran, & last saw Duran 23 years ago. I will be seeing them in December & I know that all those feelings will too return. Good luck to you both & Duran Duran rule!!

    • charlie says:

      So rad to hear people felt the same way as my wife. I really tried to capture the experience. And I left out many tiny details because the post was already over 1000 words!

  10. Sheli says:

    You, Sir, Rock!! :) how awesome a husband are you??? Almost 30 years later, I’m still waiting to see them live :(

    You made an astute observation that these five guys, for whatever reason, can transport a forty-something woman back to the 80’s where life was much less complicated, and we can unleash our inner 14-year-old girl once more.

    thanks for the sweet story, it made me smile!

    • charlie says:

      Thank you! You should definitely go. They have this crazy charisma (being a latecomer)onstage. Good stuff.

      And your point about making you feel younger, it’s one of the beautiful things about music. Its emotional impact can’t be understated, especially if it has sentimental value.

  11. Casey Jones says:

    Sigh….Duran Duran takes us all back to giggly teenagers ; ) And how much fun was THAT?!!

  12. Helen says:

    Wow!!! If only more husbands had the understanding you have shown! You are a rare diamond and your wife is very lucky. My husband did something similar for me with boy George and it meant the world to me

  13. Molli says:

    I loved reading this! I just saw them on Monday in Saratoga and you captured the exact way that I felt at the concert. I wish my husband could share in these things with me but he’s not so much a fan so going with my sister was much more fun. I have made it a point to see them every time they are in town for the past 8 years b/c I feel so alive, young and filled with pure happiness while I watch them on stage!

  14. Tracy says:

    It’s astonishing to me that there is anybody in the universe NOT familiar with Duran Duran. STOP!! You mean everyone doesn’t know every word to Rio? Everyone didn’t have a John Taylor poster on their walls? I’m hurting inside.

    One of my first concerts was Debbie Gibson. In 8th grade I had 2nd row seats at Poison’s “Open Up and say Ahh” tour, with my braces and all. Amazingness.

    • charlie says:

      You mean DEBORAH Gibson, as she goes by nowadays? :)

      I did NOT have a John Taylor poster. But one of my favorite parts of the concert was when people were screaming/tweeting “PLAY THAT TRUCKING BASS JOHN”.

  15. Paula says:

    Hey Charlie,
    Loved the story and I have to say that although my husband came after I was ‘married’ to Simon LeBon he never said I was crazy for having gone from Brazil to the US (TWICE!!) to see the band! And his last stunt was to ask me to interview Nick Rhodes for the newspaper he works at… I guess it was his way of saying ‘yeah… I’ll let you be 15 again and I won’t be jealous that sometimes you love these men more than you love me!’. Duran Duran has made me feel young again even if for just a few minutes a day! Loved your story! You are a beautiful couple!! Cheers from Rio! :) P.S. I’ll be travelling 500km to see them in November… Here I go again! :)

    • charlie says:

      Thanks Paula!

      I think my wife was married Simon as well. Although she mentioned that they traded out who married whom among their friends. Some sort of reverse polygamy thing, I guess.

  16. Cute story, and god bless that adorable woman having air sex. Great post Charlie, you are both very lucky to have each other.

  17. You rock, Charlie. And Avara IS TOTALLY HOT.

  18. Mike says:

    Epic post and such a great summary. Last Sunday, Dream Theater, Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, them, rocking the stage, the band and audience all “of an age”, me, both hands in the sky, my fingers making the “metal wings” symbol, 43 years old yet 14 again.

  19. TwoBusy says:

    You’re really quite good at this, you know.

    And by this, I mean both “doing right by your wife” and “writing.”

  20. Melsie says:

    Aww, Avara is my kind of girl! I’m a lifelong Duranie as well, and also married a younger man. He came with me to see DD in 2003 and enjoyed the show, but of course still reserves the right to tesse me about my fandom. But I dig the fountain of youth thing. I seriously feel 16 again when I see them. Sometimes, even when I talk about them! You’re a great hubby to have done such a wonderful thing for your wife. The bar is set ever higher now…

    • charlie says:

      I seem to sense a trend in Duranie’s marrying younger men here! Is it part of the fan club oath:

      Article 43258a: You shall marry a man no less than 5 years younger than you, and where possible/legal, half your age.

  21. Rhonda says:

    This is beautiful. I am speechless…

  22. Me says:

    You’re a great hubby. My wife had no interest in joining me when they come to our town, so I am going with a “new” friend. Take that!

  23. SingaporeGirl says:

    This is an awesome post! Thank you Charlie! You and your wife are so lucky to be together. You are one of the few husbands who can tolerate a wife’s lifelong love for Duran Duran, long may your tribe reign! My husband was finally willing to come along with me to Brighton last May for the concert. When it got cancelled he breathed a huge sigh of relief… Naturally I was bummed out but hey these things happen. When DD next come to Asia though it’ll be my daughter coming with me to the concert!

  24. Kathleen says:

    Great post. I’ll have some photos to share of the Band next week. Not kidding. Stay tuned.

  25. Maria says:

    I can so relate with Avara. I have been a loyal Duran Duran fan for 30+ years with a 20 year old son who thinks DD is just an old “gay” men band. I believe he is actually embarrassed that I am going to see them in concert! When I saw the AYIN video…the music took me back, back to when my parents would not let me go to see them and I new it was the end of the world, when no matter what happened in my teen angst – there was nothing my Duran Duran vinyls could not put right. As I kept aging their music was always amazing as they moved from vinyl to cassette to CDS and they were comforting and still exciting but in an adult way and I was still as crazy for them as ever and still convinced I would marry Simon. When AYNIN came out – it was like I was renewed and transported back to the beginning. I felt the flutters of butterflies listening to the album and remembering and feeling YOUNG – AGAIN. I heard they were going on tour and I prayed for them to come to Cleveland OH and when I found out they were and when the tickets would be available to buy – waited with the phone in my hand (tick tock) and called and I got my tickets!! I did not truly believe it until they came in the mail a few days later!! Finally, after over 30 years, I will be in the same city/state/room with them – DURAN DURAN – I always believed good things come to those who wait and on 10/19 in Cleveland OH in the Playhouse Square State Theatre (orchestra section first 2 sets in the row) will be my day and I will be young again – if only for a couple of hours!! Is it worth it?….YOU’RE DAMN STRAIGHT AND HELL YES

    • charlie says:

      It’s so great to see them age with their audience but still know who they are as a band. We see so many bands try and fail at that attempt. Great story. Thanks for stopping by! Come back and see us.

  26. Laura says:

    This brought tears to my eyes. For this cynical 30 something I act tough and that I don’t believe in love, your story broke thru the tough wall. And for this 30 something who can feel old and get wrapped up in the world and who’s first love was IS Duran Duran, I just think your story is awesome!

    • charlie says:

      If I cried on a regular basis, which I don’t, I would’ve cried reading this. Thank you. It means more than you know that you took the time to say this.

      ::INSERT FART JOKE HERE::

  27. Yolanda says:

    As another “cradle robbing” female, I could completely relate to your story. What a great husband you are. Your wife is incredibly lucky. I too find myself groaning at the grey hair that I swear wasn’t there yesterday and the moments that I convince myself are just forgetfulness but I’m sure are really bouts of upcoming senility. I may have married my husband, but he is quite aware that Duran Duran were my first love. They are a solid part of my life that he has come to accept and even possibily enjoy. I still get teased over how I go into complete panic mode right before a concert. I have to throw back the teasing to him too though. My heavy-metal loving husband has completely worn out “All You Need is Now”. I’m sure he’s listened to it even more than me.

  28. Mary Paredes says:

    Great story =) You are a wonderful husband for doing this for your wife! You are a rockstar, and btw the woman dancing and having sex in the air with John Taylor was me lol jk =) I wish!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can relate my fb status was an apology to my husband for dreaming of John Taylor that night! The next morning I told my husband the reason John Taylor looked tore up was because he didn’t marry me haha and that it’s a good thing he didn’t marry me because I’m not rich like his juicy couture wife and of course if I did marry him I would have never married my husband! My husband chuckled but at work I was giddy all day long singing duran duran songs =) Thanks for writing that I loved it!Very sweet!

  29. awwww I love this post!!!

    I grew up in the Duran Duran era too – but I never was into them. My first concert was Howard Jones! LOL And I saw U2’s Joshua Tree when I was 14. To this day, still the best concert ever. And I have seen hundreds – including most of U2s. U2 and REM were the soundtrack of my teen years and still are.

  30. Tha´st great man. This is love. almost important of this is called respect for the diferences and sure be love.
    You message touch my heart, only a Duranie understand this.
    Hugs from Brasil.

  31. Laura Schifferdecker says:

    Let me start by saying kudos Charlie. I am a 44 year old single Mom well not really I do have a 36 year old live in boyfriend, three children a daughter and two boys. I am considered a cougar which is flattering but not important. I have been a Duranie Faithfully for over 30 years and have seen the band quite a lot, in my hometown of St Louis Missouri and a far. One thing I regret is that I had the opportunity as a teenager to not only sit in the front row floor of the now since torn down famous “Arena” that they sold out two nights in 2 hours. Also had backstage passes to meet the band….which I’m sure if I hadn’t turned the opportunity down then-I would most definitely be Mrs. Simon Le Bon. What can I say I was young and obviously DUMB, no actually just let peer pressure get me. Believe me since then I’ve made up for it….once I saw them on Friday Night Videos I’ve been kicking myself in the BUTT ever since-at the time before the video didn’t really know who they were. The rest as they say is history….
    Now that I’ve told you that you’ll understand how what you did for Avara was priceless. Once I realized who they were and that they were and STILL ARE AMAZING I have been sticking up for my band ever since. I hold my head high when I tell people I’m an 80’s child and a proud Duranie. I’ll have you know you have to earn that title not just anyone can call themselves that “DURANIE”….All my friends either hate or make fun of Duran Duran I don’t care they just don’t know real music when they hear it that’s all. I have a friend that is 14 Yrs older than me and she was my concert buddy that is til my daughter heard them growing up then took Patty’s place. When they were here in 2005 my youngest son who will be ten in November was the youngest VIP to attend a Duran Duran concert ever at that time. I was literally on the phone w/a staff member of the bands hours before the concert that night getting confirmation that he could attend. Not realizing when I purchased the tickets online that he might be too young to be a VIP. I’m happy to say we both went and then hung out w/the band at the Ritz Carlton til yhe wee hours of the morning. Earning me the title of “Cool Mom” to my daughter and her best friend who are now 20. I haven’t seen them since and middle son is waiting patiently to do so. Hope they will come to The Gateway to the Midwest SOON so I can be a teenager once again. Oh & yes my awesome blond haired blue eyed boyfriend teases me about them but I’m hoping he’ll give them a chance like you did, never know he just might. He’s a police officer and earlier this year while working he heard a song on the radio….when he got home he asked me if Duran Duran had a song about a stranger. I told him they do and asked why-he just replied it wasn’t bad I liked it and walked off. See that’s all it takes, just one song of theirs and your hooked. Avara is blessed and so are you age doesn’t mean anything. I’m sure she would agree robbing the cradle is fun and you made it even better by sharing that experience w/her…..Incredible post!!!!

  32. Lisa says:

    What a great story – one that I can totally relate too – I am your wife! (Well not literally, but figuratively)

    I LOVE DURAN DURAN even today as a 38 year old wife and mother I listen to their music and it takes me back…I can still see my room plastered with Duran Duran photos torn out of Tiger Beat magazine – I even made a scrap book! I still have it :) Thank you for writing this piece…and for being such a great husband!

  33. Mayra says:

    My sister sent me this blog, and i was pleasantly surprised. I think that it was wonderfully thoughtful for you to have done that for your wife, and she’s lucky to have a husband who enjoys live shows.

    Very cute blog :) I will totally be reading again. I may even forward it to my husband, so he can take a cue from somewhere. hahaha.

  34. [...] Robbing the Cradle [...]

  35. Barry says:

    I’m on board with your wife. I robbed the cradle too. I’m 32 years older than her. Heck I’m older than her parents. Life is good; very, very good.

  36. Rebecca says:

    Most impressive husbanding. Kudos. We were a bit rougher than Duran Duran in our day. Now if it was Def Leppard it would be another matter.

  37. Mark says:

    Ahhhh, Duran Duran. Its the other way round for us, my wife the slave to my love of Duran. Hell, she even let me cut short the honeymoon to see the reformation tour in 2004 at Wembley Arena (4 times) as well as another 4 dates on that tour.

    They do make me feel young, they are like a time machine for me, every time I see them, I slip back 28 years to being a 14 year old, and buying Wild Boys on 12″.

    God I love them, but I love my wife even more for indulging me. I saw then 5 times on the tour you guys saw, bringing my running total to 47 gigs, thing is, I never get bored of them.

  38. bizzlebox says:

    This is GREAT.

    I have to say those….the ending was top notch:

    “To see the crazy woman who was having sex with the air around her: CLICK HERE”

  39. Alexis says:

    Hi there,
    I’m new to the site and I will say I am loving everything I have read so far. I wish Dran Dran were here in SF around April 18-20th – the 18th is our wedding anniversary. I would have shared this article on his FB page as a major hint! You are so wonderful doing this for you wife.

    I, too robbed the cradle, by a whole year haha. He likes to act like a Grandpa, too!

  40. I’m flying solo just now, but I have a beautiful 7 year old daughter from my relationship. My ex was never really into concerts, I did offer to take her to see bands/artists on a number of occasions, sadly, she just wasn’t interested. My personal gig is to go see a good rock band. I think Aimee is growing up to be a rocker too. She really looks the part with her toy guitar, rocking her sock off to Bat Out of Hell. Yeah Baby!

  41. Tiffany says:

    I just love this! When I met my husband, I had only been to a handful of concerts. And that was just because a band I sort of liked came to town. Don’t get me wrong, concerts are definitely my thing but I just didn’t have opportunities to enjoy them since I became a mom at the age of 21 and life was fast paced from there. So after Tim and I met we realized we had a lot of the same taste in music although I was a little more smooth and he was a little hard. We met in the middle when we discovered that we both liked TOOL. He had listened to a few songs but I was a die hard, MJK is my rock star husband, I have to see them fan. In our first year of dating, not only did he take me to see them 3 times but he took me to Bonnaroo, got me front row in front of 80,000 people. We have seen TOOL and MJK’s other project Puscifer several more times, even taking our son to a concert last year when he was 18 months. No matter how aged we feel due to raising children, taking care of a household and witnessing out parents age, going to those concerts puts us both in a space where we are teenagers, together, if only for those few hours! Those are memories I can never forget or pay him back for! You are an awesome husband for doing that for her!

  42. You are such a good man, awesome friend… keep up. She is blessed to have a man of your kind.

  43. Kay says:

    My hubby robbed the cradle marrying me, but my music taste even pre-date his era. Music is so magical. What a gift – time travel, recaptured youth, dreaming again….

    Thank you for “seeing” her, & giving her such a thoughtful gift. I kind of feel like I got a gift, just reading about it. :)

  44. Nicole T says:

    My husband and I have the same problem with music and movies – except it’s flipped because HE’s older than I am (by 8 years). Gets tiresome sometimes, but gosh darn it, I’ll take an excuse to retire earlier!

  45. Age is just a number but eventually you’re going to have to like a higher number.

  46. Claire says:

    Glad she enjoyed it! On the other hand, I bought my husband (11 yrs older) a ticket to Stiff Little Fingers and he came home depressed! They were still 21 in his head

  47. Kolbi says:

    So, I noticed the title of this post, but didn’t check the date and am unjustifiably angry at you for it.

    My hubs also robbed the cradle (8 years) and Duran Duran were gods to me, I had their puffy stickers and pins for my jean jacket and everything! So I got to the end of the post and thought what an amazing husband you are and what a great friend to your readers you were to include a link to their tour dates only to click on the link and be DEVASTATED that they aren’t touring now! I’m going to sulk for a bit…

  48. Jimmy says:

    There’s 11 years between my wife & I. She stalked me down in our relationship beginnings because she said no one else was good enough for me.
    As you know, the age difference is hard, but it keeps things interesting…

    Good Luck!

  49. Christy says:

    Avara is so beautiful. I think she’s YOUR fountain of youth Charlie:)

  50. Chris says:

    Very cool! You are a very lucky man! She is absolutely beautiful!

  51. Linda C says:

    ” but wait, aren’t muffintops the best part of the muffin? And didn’t we earn those wrinkles? ” Thank you so much for that!

    Your wife could be my soul sister. My BBF’s and I did the same thing – imaginary wives to Duran Duran (me Simon, my BF to JT), posters galore, etc. – my first concert at the ripe old age of 13. What great memories.

    The funny thing is… I see my mom having the same flashbacks over her 50’s and 60’s music. The melting away of the years. The glorious return to the simpler time of lost youth.

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