Of course I don’t mean cougars as in the animal. I’m talking about the older women scoping out younger guys.
The bar quickly filled, and we watched from our table like scientists conducting a field study in animal behavior as the cougars pounced on their prey. As far as the eye could see, attractive “older” women batted their eyelashes and released their pheromones for the younger men whose attention they had caught. I had never seen a cougar in action, and like a car accident on the highway, I couldn’t not look.
But as I studied this mating ritual, I couldn’t help but notice something about these cougars. These “older” women couldn’t have been much older than I am. How can that be? I’m not old enough to be mistaken for a cougar. Am I?
According to Urban Dictionary, a cougar is defined as “A 35+ year old female who is on the ‘hunt’ for a much younger, energetic, willing-to-do-anything male.” I’m certainly not hunting for men right now, young or old, but it appears I’m rapidly approaching the official cougar age.
I don’t feel like I’m in my 30’s, but I often have lapses in time that cause me to falsely believe I am younger than I actually am. The other day I found a warm-up suit from my college swimming days. It looked brand new. Well of course it looks new, I thought, I was wearing it at swim meets only a few years ago. But then I did the math. It was issued my freshman year, and that was, OH MY GOSH, 16 years ago! That’s roughly half of my lifetime ago!
Since we’re talking about age, I’ll tell you that I married a younger man. However, the few months of the year that we’re not the same age isn’t a significant enough age difference to qualify me as a cougar. According to Wikipedia, I’m also safe from cradle robber status, my husband does not qualify as a boy toy or jailbait, and our marriage is not a May-December romance. But the lines are a little fuzzier concerning my standing as a MILF (please don’t make me say a bad word…if you don’t know what that is, look at the Wikipedia link) or a puma (a younger cougar-in-training).
I don’t know when our society became so age-obsessed that terms like these even exist. Surely there were cougars long before it became a phenomenon. Just look at Susan Sarandon and Demi Moore. And who hasn’t seen The Graduate? These women obviously didn’t care about age, so why should everyone else?
So despite my initial dismay at my rapid approach to cougar age, I think I should start embracing my lack of youth and take solace in the fact that this cougar already got her younger man.
Here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson.