Cougars and Cubs

If I were to write a real profile description of who I am, it might say something like this:

“Don’t know what I’m looking for, but I’m having a good time looking… I vacillate between extreme inspiration and utter apathy. I will never love you as much as I love my dog. I like peaches.”

I am straightening my hair. Its my first night as a cougar, and I want to look good.

The music stops in my living room, and a Spanish lesson comes on. “Unit ten,” says the woman’s flawless voice. “Cuanto anos tienes? How old are you?”

I practice along. It might come in handy.

I shake myself into my little green dress, slide into my boots, reapply my lipstick, and head out the door.

I’m nervous. My meta-date has cancelled, and though I am merely a sociological galfander checking out life on the clearance rack, I am overwhelmed by the unknown.

I climb down into the subway in the Upper Upper West Side and emerge in the East Village. It’s pouring rain. I duck under awnings, but to no avail. I am soaked.

It’s a quiet night, on account of the rain, and a small group of young men lounge uncomfortably at the bar. I sidle past them and into the restroom to summon my cougar spirit and asses rain damage. By the time I step out, a fellow cougar is at the bar, first drinking a house red, then a rum and diet coke, slowly getting soused before the big event.

She’s amazing. Vibrant, silly, full of life and hope. Looking for younger men to chew up and spit out. She knows who she is and makes no apology. Gamine in appearance, blonde and svelte, she rambles on about her acting career, her apartment, life prior to New York. The minutes tick by slowly, and the boys stick to themselves like pre-pubescents at a prom. I ask her what she does for a living. Singing telegrams. She might be the most interesting person I’ve met all year.

Another cougar silently stalks by the crowd and into the event room without easing her gait to assess the scene. Soon, our host invites us to join her. We wait on one last woman, a friend of the host who’s filling out the ranks. When she arrives, after her 24 hour shift as an emergency room doctor, the speed date begins.

According to one of the 126 definitions of “cougar” in the Urban Dictionary (, “the cougar can be anyone from an overly surgically altered wind tunnel victim, to an absolute sad and bloated old horn-meister, to a real hottie or milf.” The city cougars lean towards hot, as opposed to sad and bloated. The cubs, on the other hand, are sort of… benign.

The host advises us ladies to ask leading questions, things we’re looking for in a mate, the non-negotiables. I suppose both cougars and cubs are there to get lucky. No one’s really looking for a relationship. But when all is quiet between the sheets, sometimes it’s nice to have a laugh, or wonder on the politcal circus we’re witnessing, or discuss strategies for avoiding GMO’s while still enjoying corn chips. Anyhow, I’m looking for information, so all bets are off.

First, there’s the mathematician, then, two financial guys, a floor manager at Target, and an executive sales associate at a health club. They’re all so nice, clean, well spoken, and boring. My cougar friend in the corner is giddy, charming, and adorable.

“Why are you here,” a financial guy asks me.

I shrug my shoulders. “You know…”

“No. really. You could have any guy in this room.”

“You are very kind,” I say.

“No. I mean it. Why are you here?”

My heart skips a beat, but I follow my cougar friend’s lead and flirtatiously toss my frizzy, rain-altered hair.

“It hasn’t worked out with any of the older guys I’ve dated so far…”

The bell rings. I am saved. The dates move on. I talk about brewing beer with the next young buck, and mathematical theories with the kid following him. The one behind him has a beautiful smile, and I tell him so. And then the night is over. This cougar is spent.

I head out, past the boys lounging at the bar, onto the street. The rain has stopped.

Atomic Wings calls from across the street. I go in and dive face first into a plate of waffle fries. I ponder the benefits of giving up and growing old and fat without a fight. Sinking into the comfortable cushion of my own pillowy flesh, sleeping in a lazy chair, eating a cupcake as big as my head every day for breakfast. It might be nice.

I wonder if my drunk cougar friend is having fun at the bar, drinking her diet coke and rum, flirting with all the boys.

I step into the subway, Slide my card through turnstile. The train arrives. I don’t know what I’m looking for, but I’m having a good time looking.

1 thought on “Cougars and Cubs

  1. So the cubs seemed decent enough, not ugly or stupid ya? And most people are boring at first, especially when trying to force date. I say this was a successful anthropological study!

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