I AM COUGAR HEAR ME ROAR

cougar status

Cougars, and pumas, and MILFs, oh my! The Online Slang Dictionary defines Cougar as “a middle-aged woman who seeks out much younger men for romance or physical intimacy.” If you’re not the one seeking, but rather the one being pursued, would you be called prey?

As soon as I hit thirty-eight I became prey. I had just moved in to my complex with my three-year-old son. I was checking my mail when my young neighbor came over to me and started chit-chatting. Somewhere in the conversation he asked me how old I was. He was surprised when I told him, and gave me the same compliment everyone else started giving me from age thirty-five on: “Wow, you look really good for your age.”

“How’s a thirty-eight year old supposed to look?” I asked.

“Old?” he said.

Ouch. So I was no longer pretty, I was well-preserved. Me being old didn’t stop him from asking me out. I think I laughed in his face, which probably bruised his ego a little, and when he told me he was nineteen, I’m pretty sure I laughed harder.

I didn’t take him up on his offer, but noticed soon after all these young buckaroos coming out of the woodwork—man-boys who were twenty-two, twenty-five—young enough to be my son, for goodness sake! What the hell was going on? I wondered. Was I emitting subliminal signals of desperation from my scent glands? I had never heard the term cougar before, but then again, I had thought LOL meant Lots of Luck, and DH signified Dumb Head, so I wasn’t exactly hip to the most current lingo.

So I did what I always do when I want to find out about something: a search on Google. I adore Google. I’d be lost without Google. If I could find the male equivalent of Google, I’d marry him. Lo and behold, I was bombarded with a slew of information. This older women with younger men thing had been happening since the dawn of time. My age and the fact that I was single qualified me to be a part of a secret club. A club where I was now known as a femme fatale, a self-assured, confident, sophisticated older woman who didn’t play games, knew what she wanted, and was able to run sexual circles around her younger counterparts. It was definitely better than being known as “Crazy old cat lady.”

I wish I could say I fell in love with a man half my age and we lived happily ever after, but I can’t. I did manage to get a novel out of the whole “cougar experience” though. The Accidental Cougar does have a happily ever after, and while my heroine was extremely resistant at first to the idea of being with a younger man, the hero managed to find ways to wear down that resistance.

When it comes right down to it, in the face of true love age is just a number.

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WHEREVER THERE’S ONE KID THERE’S ALWAYS TWO MORE

Photo by kelsey e.

I gave birth to only one son, but he has two friends who are permanent fixtures in our house, so it’s like I have three sons. One of the boys is our next-door neighbor (I’ll call him Butthead), and he seems to never want to go home. Ever. And since his mom is a bit lax in the supervision department, there are times I literally have to kick him out—like at almost ten on a school night.

Either my house has a laxative effect or this kid has a bowel problem, because he comes over directly from his house and goes into my bathroom. And stays in there for like an hour. I’m not kidding. Usually, he has a video game he’s playing at the time, but still. Since there’s ten people living in his home, a cat, a puppy, some noisy parakeets, and a parrot that curses in Spanish, my guess is he comes over to my bathroom for some peace and quiet.

My son’s other friend (I’ll call him Beavis) may have a small crush on me. He never used to talk to me; whenever I would ask him questions, he’d stare at his feet and give me one-word answers. Now he’s like Chatty Cathy having coffee with me. Sometimes Beavis comes over and hangs out with me more than my son. He’s almost twelve, so I imagine hormones are starting to kick in. I need to watch what I wear to bed now though. No more prancing around in tight tanks or flimsy tops that gap at the neckline. God knows, I have no desire to be a MILF.

These boys were in my house the entire weekend. Usually, when they spend almost 24/7 together, they start getting physical with one another, somebody gets hurt, and then they need time away. This weekend the three of them were stuck together like Velcro. They went to each other’s soccer match, they played with Legos, the Wii, and my personal favorite: pelting one another with small objects so Mom can step on them later with bare feet.

I’ve trained myself to write through all these distractions. It’s a Catch-22. If my son’s not playing with anyone, he’s in my face asking, “What can I do? I’m bored.” When he is playing with his friends, I have to force myself to work through the realistic sounds of war (Thank you “Call of Duty-Modern Warfare”) and the pet names they have for one another, like “Dick” and “Ass.”

Part of me wants them here so I know what they’re doing, and who they’re doing it with. The other part wants to be at Club Med. Even when I get a break I don’t get a break. My son went to sleep over Butthead’s house Saturday night, but he didn’t decide to do that until 9:30 p.m. My twenty-six-year old neighbor hits the clubs once her kids are asleep. Me? I walked the diva and went to bed.

7:30 the next morning I awoke to pounding on the door. I staggered over and open it, my eyes still half-closed. In march Butthead and son. I stumble back into bed. Seconds later, Butthead’s puppy gets plopped on my head. I kick them all out of my bedroom and try to go back to sleep. Beavis arrives, and soon they’re all yelling and carrying on like a bunch of drunken frat boys. Sleep ain’t happening, because son ends up bursting in, jumping on me, and demanding to be fed.

Of course I have to cook for all three of them; they get to my house so damn early, neither of them has eaten yet. Once they have energy they start jumping all over each other, which causes the diva to bark, which causes the parakeets to screech. Right about that time is when I banish them to the outdoors.

But kids are like ants; even when you think you’ve taken care of the problem, they find a way back into the house. Before I had kids, I used to dread Mondays. Now I welcome them with a margarita in one hand, bleach wipes in the other.