That’s what my ex, who was a number of years younger than me, said when I jokingly asked him if I was a cougar. He said cougars are women in their 40’s, so you must be a panther. Or maybe he said jaguar. Who cares; all three are sleek, sexy, fast cats! I didn’t take it seriously anyway, since I don’t have a penchant for younger men. In fact, I’d prefer a peer, but as I get older, so many men my age remind me of … my grandfather. I don’t just mean looks, because I’m not what I once was either. I also mean attitude.
Anyway, awhile back, I attended (‘anonymous literary event.’) Currently single and always interested, I scanned the room for appropriate partners. There were a couple couples. A few men who were the wrong size or hair color. A woman dressed kind of like an older sexy librarian. A woman dressed kind of like a little girl. A young couple who seemed more interested in making out. A young loner. A cat. I sighed and turned my attention to the readings.
Most people read poetry. Good poetry, too. So I felt a little self-conscious when I read from my blog post Oh Dude! Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good story. But it’s humorous. Just a tad out of place amidst powerful writing about things like child abuse and existential angst. I noticed it didn’t inspire as many giggles as usual. But apparently it inspired something.
After the readings, I chatted a bit. Drank a little wine. Complimented a few people on their work. Petted the cat. As I was thanking our host and preparing to leave, the young loner was standing nearby. It would have felt rude to just ignore him, so I struck up a conversation. He asked for my card.
About a week later, I received an email: “Hi Lynda, we met at (‘anonymous literary event.’) I was the young buck in the leather jacket. How are you?” I was curious as to what he wanted. Writing tips? Friendship with a wise sophisticate? He couldn’t possibly be interested in me … sexually … could he? Well, my reading had been the story of a fantasy about a younger man. The irony was that it was completely fictitious.
I told him that I was busy finishing my semester, which was true. Another week went by. I submitted my grades.
Then another email: “Will you be in need of an alcoholic beverage in the near future? I go very well with a drink.” Clever. With classes done, I was feeling free. I responded the only way I could. “You’re so perceptive,” I wrote back with a smile. There are worse ways to spend an afternoon than in flirtatious communion with a charming young man across a vodka martini (shaken, not stirred).
That night I was celebrating at a club with some friends when I received a text from Young Buck. Apparently he was also out drinking with comrades and his thoughts had returned to me.
May I be bold and ask to see you tonight?
May I be bold and ask what your interest is?
You play coy very well, darling. Ok then, just some stimulating conversation, of course.
Am I being coy? Or just waiting for you to play your hand?
Admit it, you like that I’m clawing at your door like a cat in heat.
OMG, 0-75 in under a minute, Mr. Mustang.
Well, you’re the one driving the stick.
So I gather you want to fuck an older woman?
(pause while considering how to answer this question)
Lynda, I don’t mean to cause you distress, nor to objectify you as an older woman. I am merely intrigued by your sensual nature. If our interaction leads to your bedroom…
(silence, elevated heart rate, slightly heavy breathing)
…then I will fuck your brains out.
OK. Maybe we overdid the metaphors. And maybe it would make a better story if I had agreed. But while Robin Thicke says you know you want it, Louis CK tells me I should hardly go out on a date with a man, let alone invite one over late at night when we’re both under the influence. Besides, I’m not what I once was, and I get tired.
Long story short, we did soon get together. I found out that he knows his way around a … room. Also that I’m not that tired. At the start I joked, “Hang on, I’m trying to think whether I have any lingerie that completely covers my body.” He stopped me, took my face in his hands and said, “You are a beautiful, sensual woman. You have nothing to be embarrassed about.” That was a very freeing moment. (Men of all ages: Take note!)
I don’t like to kiss and tell. Well, only to my closest friends. And you’ll become one of them when I publish my memoir in progress. But here and now I’ll only say this. He was aggressive. Yet tender. And when I told one friend a particularly juicy detail, her response was, “OMG, he DOES know how to ____ _ _____!” We also talked. Quite a bit. And laughed. Quite a lot. Non, je ne regrette rien.
Interesting that sometime later, I woke from a dream to a very unusual occurrence. A poem in my head:
No! Don’t send me a boy.
His skin is too fresh,
My subconscious spoke. So while Young Buck remains a fond memory, I’m still looking for what I described in my story Jungle of the Heart: “…a man with gray in his beard who will look into my eyes and see worlds.”
Let me add, and one who has a little seasoning to him.
In Licking the Spoon, my book in progress on food, sex and relationship, I reveal what only an experienced woman can – the exciting features of men at different ages!