This past winter, I had an experience with a younger man. It left me wondering, am I a cougar?
In my line of work, I meet various ages of people, and have friends of various ages. Friends range from 22 to 55 years of age. So that often time leads me to agreeing to doing things that I think I'm much too old to do. Yet, me wanting to seize the day, I'll do it. Well, this is one thing I wasn't sure I was ever going to do, date or even sleep with a younger man.
He was 29 and I was 43. If you do the math that's 14 years different between us. Which, if you think about it, is not too terrible. Right? It did give me a confidence boost, and it made me rethink about when I was that age, why wasn’t I as confident as I was now.
I had seen him various times at dinners or parties that my young friends had. Let’s call him the Cub for namesake. We had casual conversations, and I got the impression he was interested in me. I flirted as well, feeling some interest toward him. We did the casual conversations. The silly jokes and me pretending to laugh at them even I didn’t understand them. Remember, age difference. Then one evening, it all changed.
My friends had invited us to dinner at a restaurant almost 30 minutes from our homes. The restaurant hadn't accounted for a party as large as ours and sat us at the back. There were several tables lined up along a wall of mirrors and only 5 or 6 people could sit at a table. I had an empty seat next to me, and when I saw him, I motioned him over. He gladly accepted the gesture and sat down. Later when I asked him why he sat there of all places to pick from, he said “how else was I going to get to be next to you?”
The remainder of the evening we spent talking about various things, and even sharing a plate. The others at the table just stared, and we didn't seem to notice. As the evening winded down, he insisted he always got lost and asked if I would ride with him. I happily agreed. Still in my head thinking, it's just innocent fun.
When we arrived at my friend's place, it was cramped and they were participating in behaviors that I would have never even considered, so I stepped outside. As I was outside, he joined me. We talked again, and tried to stay warm in the raining and cold winter night. No one seemed to notice that we weren't inside. No one except the hostesses. She came out and spoke to me when Cub went inside for a moment.
She smiled and wondered what was going on between us. I acted appalled and said it was nothing. Then she said something that I never expected, "why not?" Why not?! Because! He's 14 years younger than me! Because we have nothing in common! Because he probably doesn't even think of me that way! That's why not!
She laughed at my responses, and told me that I should have fun. I deserved it. That's when it struck me. She was right. I did deserve it! I had been married for a total of 20 years, and had sacrificed so much for men that left me with nothing but bills and disbelief. What was I thinking? What was I doing playing it safe? I wasn't going to marry him, right? Why couldn't I have fun? I had earned it!
So, when he returned, we continued to talk and flirt as before. But this time, I just asked him, what was he doing out there talking to me? Why had he spent most of the evening entertaining me? His response? I was glamorous. Glamorous? Older, wiser, maybe, but never considered glamorous. Had I become a cougar in my quest to enjoy divorced life? Is that what cougars where, glamorous?
I chuckled and explained that a woman my age would definitely break his heart. A cougar statement! He said he'd liked me since he had met me months before. I was astonished! I hadn't even remembered when I first met him, and he had liked me from that moment. If my ego had a gauge, at that moment it would have topped at a 100 percent.
Then I made a decision that I often wonder if I'd repeat, I asked him to come to my place. I knew where things would lead and so did he. I also premised this by letting him know that it was just for fun, that I expected nothing in return--no relationship, no calls, nothing. Things that I don't think he heard as he readily agreed to follow me home.
In the end, we did have sex. He did attempt to have some type of “dating” relationship with me, and I avoided any idea of it. I did see him a few more times at as an attempt to have some time of friendship with him, but our ages and viewpoints of what we wanted got in the way. Eventually, he faded off into the past and we stopped communicating.
I often wondered, had it been someone different, a "more mature" 29-year-old, would I have acted or even felt differently? Would I have embraced the life of a cougar? Honestly, I don’t know. Being newly divorced things like this seem so foreign, and almost unfair. Yet, I can't help but wonder if the situation presented itself again, would I do it again? Most definitely!