Cougar Pride


It’s time to talk about something that has been occurring in my life for the last 10 years. I am not saying this to brag, nor am I saying this to get positive reinforcement, but it’s a fact: younger men tend to look at this 58-year old grandmother of 5 and say “yum.” Okay, that’s probably not exactly what they say, but you get the idea. I totally do not get it, but this has happened too many times, for too many years for me to shrug it off as a one-time thing.

My friends would be happy to back me up on how often this happens. More than once I’ve been walking along, minding my own business, when the person I’m walking with starts laughing. When I ask them what’s so funny, they point out a man somewhere nearby, who has been staring at me. A good part of the time, I am totally oblivious. Of course, sometimes, it’s hard to be oblivious.

Five or six years ago I went out on New Year’s Eve with a good friend and her husband to one of my favorite night spots in Kansas City. There were quite a few of us in the group, some whom I knew, some whom I didn’t know. As the evening progressed and the whiskey flowed, the inevitable happened and I had to use the ladies room. I was standing in the long line for the restroom and noticed a man standing there.

Now, this was a man who had to catch your eye; I don’t know if he was good looking or not, but his wardrobe stood out even in the festive room. In the darkened bar he was wearing sunglasses along with a full-length fur coat. The most eye-catching facet of his wardrobe was the full grill that flashed in the random lights hitting him from the dance floor whenever he moved his mouth. I mean, how could you not notice him?

What surprised me though, was that I was the one he decided to approach. Not particularly cleverly; he asked me what I was doing while I was still waiting in line. Being me, I explained the obvious, and told him I needed to use the restroom. He waited for me to come back out and asked me to dance. Now, I have a policy: if a man gets up the nerve to ask me to dance, I will say yes. So, out on the dance floor we went. This man was so cool he moved no body part except his head, which he kept bobbing from side to side, grinning at me with his grill glittering. Pretty quickly I noticed that everyone in the party I was with started walking by the dance floor in single file to enjoy the spectacle of me dancing with this epitome of ghetto fashion and style. The dance ended and I hightailed it back to the sanctuary of my friends, but this story is probably the reason I no longer go out on New Year’s Eve.

A year or so after that, my second favorite story occurred. I was out to lunch with two male friends and a female friend. As we were eating, four young men came in and sat at a table near ours. I was enjoying my companions and didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to the other table, but it did seem like every time I looked up one of them was watching us. I shrugged it off to us being a little too loud and obviously having a good time. We paid for our meals and got up to leave. As we were walking to our car that same young man followed us out. He got my attention and asked me if I was single. I said “yes, but I’m probably older than your mother.” He quickly said he didn’t care and wanted to know if I would give him my number. Much to the amusement of my companions, I gave it to him. I have always been a sucker for a bold man and this was probably the boldest approach I’d seen in a long, long time.

One of the benefits of working in gyms is that I get to see fit, muscular men on a daily basis. Much to my surprise, the younger men who like older women make no secret of their preference and do not care who knows it. I have been amazed by the number of times one of these fit younger men have asked me out. Most of the time I said “no,” but there have been a few, memorable, occasions when I was amused enough by their boldness to say “yes.” Their courtships were fast, aggressive, and almost always amusing. None of these younger men lasted long in my life, but it was flattering to have such determined suitors.

Many of my friends find this phenomenon highly entertaining. The women, almost every single one of them, have encouraged me in these relationships, usually with a suggestive snicker or a “You go girl!” The men tend to just shrug their shoulders.

With all of these younger men in my life, I have frequently been accused of being a cougar. I am not amused and always beg to differ: Cougars are predators. If the young men are chasing me, then I am not being a predator. But I am damn glad they’re still chasing.

What are your thoughts?