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Are You A Cougar?

Is it the right way to be?

He wanted me. I could feel it when I was around him. The only problem was that I was over twenty years his senior. He was in his mid-thirties and I was somewhere in my fifties, and I'm not saying just where. Suffice it to say, he was hot and I was hot for him.

He was a friend of a friend, and I remember feeling his eyes watching me when I would come around. When he spoke, he looked into my eyes, and then there was that smile that was so warm it could melt your heart. I couldn't figure out why he wouldn't invite me out, especially when I could see how much he liked me. Maybe I was misreading the looks and the smiles. 

Winter turned to summer, and one warm afternoon he invited me to have a quick dinner with him, if I had time. God, did I have time for him, and if he only knew how weak in the knees I was when he asked. I didn't want to look too anxious, so I pretended to think about it, figure out if I had anything else going on and finally said sure, I would love to grab a quick bite. I kept waiting for someone to commend him for taking his mother to dinner, but that never happened. We had a few drinks, and ate a burger and fries while listening to music and trying to talk over it. The date was not the most relaxing, but as time went on we went to more dinners, and to the park, and all over the place.

He made me feel pretty and appreciated for who I was. He listened when I talked to him, and never acted bored or distracted, and never once did he tune into a sporting event when I was trying to make a point, or be sexy for him. He loved me in my flannel pajamas as much as he loved me in my sexy lingerie, although I do believe his preference was the little night gown that barely covered me with the string they give you for panties.

Different people objected to our being together: his mother, my friends, and his friends.  It wasn't anybody's business but ours, and I am so glad that I took the dive and decided to go out with him. I can't say that there will be a long-term relationship here, because as I get older, he will too, but he will be sexier as a man aging than I am as a woman aging.  You know what I'm talking about: the sagging skin under your upper arms, the cellulite, the tummy that never goes away no matter how much you diet and exercise.  And then there is the lack of knowledge about technology, things his friends just know automatically but I can't figure out. He just smiles, puts his arms around me and then explains it in simple terms without embarrassing me, followed by kisses on the neck. I love that, those kisses that make you tingle down to your toes.

Summer turned to fall, and although things were still good, I had to take a walk and think about everything from a logical point of view rather than an emotional point of view. I went to the park where we always came, and sat down on a bench under a tree. The bright fall leaves blew past my feet, and I watched the birds quarrel over bits of bread on the sidewalk.  I pulled my jacket around my shoulders tighter as the breeze ruffled through my hair. He loved my hair, the way it cascaded down my back, and would often sit and play with it.

I guess I was now considered a cougar, a cradle robber, and yet I couldn't understand why everyone had such an issue with it. Age is just a number, and sure, there are physical attributes that deteriorate with age, but face it, we are all going to be there. And if two people want to be together, does a number really matter? I didn't want to be with a man my own age, a man who would constantly be looking at younger women. Perhaps a man who had been married before, and expected me to replace the things his wife did for him, or a man who was incapable of taking care of himself and needed a mother really bad. None of those options sounded appealing, especially when I was still wanting this young man so badly that it hurt. He had asked me to move in with him, but I was gun shy after a few failed marriages. Maybe I wasn't the marrying type? Maybe I just picked losers, but either way it made me hesitate when he brought up the subject, a subject I would have to address tonight over dinner, a dinner he was making special for me. He was an excellent chef, and he presented his food with much elegance and charm. We had been dating for over a year, and I had to admit the idea of lying in his arms each night when I fell asleep meant the world to me. My children were grown, so they had their own lives, and I was divorced, lost my last husband to a younger woman who had a career as a maid. Who could have guessed?

I made my decision, and it wasn't that difficult. With much enthusiasm, I flew off the bench and downtown to get a new skirt and top for the dinner. I stopped at the beauty salon and had my hair done, even had it colored a bit to give me an extra bit of courage. Then I headed home to sit in a bubble bath and get all soft and happy for the dinner. I drank a glass of wine in the tub, and enjoyed getting ready with much gusto. I looked great! If I didn't know better, I couldn't have guessed I was the age I was and not younger. I was almost ready and took one last look at myself in the hall mirror before going to his house. I arrived a few minutes early, typical for me, but the house looked dark.  I sat in my car for a moment, but I noticed his car was still in the driveway, so he had to be there. I left the car but when I got to the front door there was a sign that said "dining this way" and an arrow that pointed to the back porch.

He had the most beautiful flowers everywhere, with a petal path for me to walk across to get to the table, and the food was delicious. We have been living together for over a year, and I don't know if I've made the right decision, or if I am only deluding myself, but one thing I do know, when I am old and sitting in my rocker, I am going to have a whole set of wonderful memories, and for that, it is worth everything!

Denise Willis
Denise Willis

I have a bachelors degree in accounting, and a masters degree in psychology, but art and writing have always been my love.  I have three grown sons, and recently, I finished a novel of around 200 pages finally posted to Amazon.

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