The young 'uns

"I'm not a kid."

I heard that twice already in my short lifetime in SL. The first time, from a 19-year-old, who wanted to take me to the sex temple, and who resented the fact that I called him "jailbait." The second time, from a 15-year-old, who sneaked into the adult grid because he wanted to make money and be able to curse, and who begged me not to ban him.

However, to a woman in her early forties, they ARE kids. I figured I would meet mostly 20-somethings in SL, and I was relieved when the first person I met was only two years my junior, so I guess there's a wide range of ages in SL. I don't always ask people how old they are, but I can pretty much intuit someone's maturity level by the way they behave, by their interests, by the way they talk.

I've met other young people -- a builder who just needs company and approval, a sensitive soul who had to deal with harsh words from his peers, and others who just want to hang out.

However, sometimes, these kids surprise me. The 19-year-old had already thoughtfully formed his own theories about existence, for instance.

They seem to know the basics of staying safe online. And when I warned the 15-year-old to stay away from the adult areas, he said, "I hate that stuff, it's not meant to be on a game." Hopefully, that innocence would protect him.

Both said I needn't worry about them, but my maternal instincts still nag at me....

My love story

I was once engaged.

He bumped into me, literally, at the Graduation Temple in Orientation Island. That day, we spent many happy hours exploring SL together. But, after finding out a small detail about his real life, I agonized with a moral dilemma: If I have an affair in virtual reality with a man who's married in real life, do I burn in virtual hell or real hell?

Yet, in spite of that anguish, I agreed to be betrothed to him on the second day. For five glorious days, I came in-world twice a day for trysts with my lover, who lives nine timezones away. And we flirted with each other to our hearts' desires, calling the other every imaginable term of endearment.

Ah, but this love affair was meant to be short-lived. For, on the seventh day, a security breach scared my lover away from this world and away from my life forever. And so, here I am, a bride left at the altar with tearful eyes, waiting... longing... wondering.... Has my lover abandoned me for one yet fairer in beauty in another reality? Or have I become a widow 'ere I became a bride?

[Touch back of hand to forehead and faint... Oh, wait, I gotta rez a fainting chair first.... ;-) ]