Speedy Jonathon, Henry Fun

I am a cougar in a college town, trying to get asked out on a date.

I’m cruising down the country street, the radio of my rental car stuck on the eighties station. The decade of my youth. I don’t recognize a single song.

I didn’t lie young men when I was young. I’m not sure why I’m supposed to like them now. But, according to a spate of twenty-three year olds stalking my online profile, every older woman has a little cougar in her.

I didn’t start off prowling bars and coffee houses to score a date with a dorm-dwelling toddler. I trusted old faithful: okcupid.

Here’s just a spattering emails I received from my Arkansas hopefuls:

SpeedyJonathom said, “hello.”

RM321, “Hi.”

FreshApricot: “Mister Softee!”

HenryFun: “Let’s chat.”

Good4u: “Hi you.” Astronaught, “Hi.” Ephram33, “Hello.” RadioSlnce, “I think sock puppets could lead us to a higher evolutionary plane.” BgudorBgone, “Hi.” Lonelycountry, “Hello.”

I understand that Arkansas men are men a few words, but this doesn’t bode well for a good conversation.

And so, I find myself pursuing other avenues of scoring a date. I’ve learned from my San Francisco/Denver/Houston experience, that I am, indeed, loveable, fascinating, sexy, and a Very Special Person. Surely the Arkansasians will see this. I will walk into a bar and heads will turn. Fights will break out over who will buy me a drink. I will giggle and laugh and flirt and study and disseminate and report back to you all of my findings.

This doesn’t happen. No one bats an eye. Perhaps it is the five layers of clothing I am wearing in lieu of my winter coat, which is packed somewhere at the bottom of my trunk.

Time for a new strategy.

I will throw myself at people. I will wear make-up and flirt and giggle and cavort at work.

I work in theater. The options are limited.

Stymied, I join my friend to blow off some steam at a bluegrass concert at George’s, a good old-fashioned, concrete-floored, college music venue. A few people from work are there. I’m informed by one drunk co-worker that he wants to hook me up with another drunk co-worker. This could be considered a date. We’re in the same building, drinking together sharing an evening of music with the intent to 1. have sex (him) or 2. avoid having sex (me). But, early on, we lose them in the crowd.

I am too short to stand in the thick of thing and some drunk girl is spilling her drink on me, so my friend and I move to the back of the room. We stand behind a guy grooving to an entirely different beat, coked out on crystal meth. He turns and winks at me, a maniacal smile curled from ear to ear. I bet I could get him to ask me out.

And then – a tall, semi-good looking, happy geekster starts jamming with me and I think, “finally. I’m in Fayetteville.” After a song, he leans over and whisper/yells in my ear.

“All that was left was snow on the pines.”

“What?” I whisper/yell back.

“All that was left was snow on the pines.”

“And the pines, too,” I add.

He moves away.

Cock-blocked by logic, once again.

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