Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Un-Cougar...humorous column about the latest babyboomer trend...

February 6, 2010

The Un-Cougar

Okay, so I’m a friendly girl; always have been, always will be and that has always been something I counted as a strength for me. It never led to any problems in my life and, in fact, has kept me skipping along on my happy little trail to Optimism Land where all things are good and, even if they’re not, they will be shortly. Until recently. When the whole concept of being a Cougar came into play.

Now, I have a pretty darned good sense of humor, the only exception to this being excessive anatomical humor or bathroom humor. They just don’t bring out the guffaws in me and we all know that humor is subjective, so that’s no biggie. The funniest moments in my life usually occur at my own expense, anyway, because I am one of those people who turns the very simplest of experiences into the very not so simplest of experiences, i.e., simple walking in high heels turns into a long forward trip spanning multiple city blocks, drinking my coffee ends up turning into a cup juggling act and so on.

But this Cougar thing, now that is not so fabulous. My poor fellow babyboomer females and I are not reaping the rewards of keeping ourselves fit, realizing the (relative) dream of social equality, and retaining one or two of our marbles along the way. What am I talking about? Whenever I chat up someone from the opposite sex who is younger than the cookie sheets I own, I am accused of being a Cougar. Yuck! Witness a seemingly innocuous interaction I had in the presence of my daughter. Again, just to reiterate, I’m friendly. Always have been. Always will be. Well, maybe that last one is still up for debate.

I’m moseying on out of my car, getting ready to take advantage of one of our local retail outlet’s “buy 7, get 1” great deals, when I espy a totally darling dog out with his master. As I jog over and twitter about, asking the young man how old this precious puppy is, confirming the breed – it was a Golden Retriever – I note that my daughter is watching me with “that” look on her face. I don’t get it, but not to worry, I’m full-on in the throes of my doggie doting, being a pound puppy mom to the third power. These kinds of interactions are instinctual for me, really. I thought the youth was nice and as I waved good-bye, telling him to have a nice day, my daughter hissed, “Oh, my God, mom, do you not get what you just did?”

Okay, I’m really not going to be able to play this one off because, for the life of me, I can’t see how talking to a young guy about his dog, running over there energetically, all the while talking in an animated, friendly tone…oh, hey, wait a minute. Hold on. It’s one of those Cougar moments, a term I couldn’t get right for a while, insisting on saying ocelot until I employed the use of mnemonics.

I turned to her, a bit nauseous and say, “Don’t tell me. That’s what people do to pick-up on people, right? That was a come on?” She nods affirmatively. I mean, in my defense I have been out of circulation during a span of five presidential terms. And then I got irritated and I’ve remained irritated every time I am just a normal person interacting with other folks who, oftentimes, also happen to be males half my age.

This whole thing is making me a bit twitchy, so my clumsiness has amped up even more, rendering trips to my local fine purveyors of caffeinated beverages as not so much trips where I score caffeine as outings where I display my cleaning prowess. I find myself blurting things out in moments of unabated Tourette’s Syndrome making comments like, “We’re just talking here,” or proclaiming loudly my status as a married woman, “Boy, it’s sure great being married…and ordering a skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latté.”

All of this has just made me look like a nutcase which, in point of fact, is just a notch below Cougar status. At least it’s a Cougar of a different stripe.

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