I’m No Cougar

By Leigh Anne Jasheway
NABBW’s Boomer Humor Expert

I was innocently watching something on TV the other night when an ad for a dating site popped up. It was called OlderWomenWithoutBoundaries.com or something like that. Naturally, I had to run to the computer to check it out — not because I am one (a cougar), mind you, but because I needed good laugh.

I found there are actually several dating sites for cougars (none for pumas, panthers or housecats, however). I logged onto CougarLife.com because it said it was #1 in cougar dating; it was rated four claws.

Across the top of the home page was a picture of a blond woman reclining on the floor, wearing a robe and panties. I knew I had found the right site, not because of her outfit, but because as a woman over a certain age (mumbledly-something), I know that reclining is the best position to be photographed in.

It relieves the pull of gravity on breasts, derriere, and jowls. It’s the poor woman’s plastic surgery. Those who can afford surgery never lie down. They can’t. Everything is too tight. Just ask Joan Rivers.

According to CougarLife.com, a cougar is a woman in her PRIME (Prefers Raunchy and Immature Men Exclusively). She must also be independent, sexy and wildly successful. Apparently, I couldn’t be a cougar even if I wanted. I’ve got the independent part down and with a day at the spa, the right lighting, and a myopic partner, can fake the sexy, but no one would ever mistake me for wildly successful. I don’t even own a BlackBerry. Or a briefcase. The IRS scoffs at my income tax returns every April.

But, back when I was 32, I met a guy while out dancing who was right out of college. I wasn’t “on the prowl,” as cougars are known to be. I just enjoy dancing and the only men who could keep up with me at the time were in their 20s. I was both a marathon runner and an aerobics teacher and had the stamina of a hummingbird. Today I have the stamina of a well-fed penguin.

Had there been such a term at the time, I guess I qualified as a cougar. I was even much more wildly successful, if by successful you mean “earning enough money to go out dancing twice a week.” However, I made the ultimate cougar mistake. After only a few months of dating, I married the “cub” as they’re known in cougarese. If this happened today, I would have been kicked out of the den because everyone knows that if you’re closer in age to his mother than him, things are going to get weird quickly. Which is why I’m single again… but still not a cougar.

Leigh Anne Jasheway, M.P.H. is a stress management and humor expert who helps women and men manage stress, embrace change, and become healthier by learning to lighten up. She speaks at 50-60 conferences and workshops every year and has been a national Speaking of Women's Health and Healthy Woman keynoter. She's a member of the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor (AATH)