Cougar town

  1. a large American wild cat with a plain tawny to grayish coat, found from Canada to Patagonia.
  2. informal, an older woman seeking a sexual relationship with a younger man.
I cannot remember the last time I went dancing with my girlfriends. I have a vague feeling that it was just after I stopped breastfeeding P & G, like 2 years ago. We were at Bagatelle and I thought ‘Boy, I am back! I am so going to rock New York night scene now’. Of course, a couple of months later I learnt I was preggers with L. It then felt like I was never going to be back. EVER. I have been missing a good ladies’ night out where crazy dance antics meet existentialistic drunken tirades about Love, Life, Career, and other women’s frocks… So last Friday, when, after a dinner drowned by a few pisco sours with my girlfriend Jules and her husband, my very own DH suggested to check out the only lively bar of Upper West Side, ‘Prohibition’, I think I squealed and literally rushed everyone out of the peruvian restaurant.
What I like about ‘Prohibition’:
– it’s jammed packed (because there is no other bar in a 20 blocks radius) so it reminds me of my time in London when we used to push left, right and center to reach the bar. And then, you had to show some gymnastics prowess not to get drenched by over filled pints of flat beer. I never thought I would ever said this but yes, from time to time, I do miss the ‘beer shower’. When you spill martinis over here, there is no much to drink afterwards. Fact.
– There’s a live band playing some Rihanna and Maroon 5, which means the crowd is …old-ish but wanna be young. In fact, last time I was there the place was full of Cougars. I had heard of cougars, I had encouraged my single girlfriends to become cougars but it was the first time I ever saw an entire room full of them. It was impressive. They are super toned, perfectly manicured, and wear J Brand (very) skinny jeans. You can see around their eyes that they have lived and lived well but were stunning. It is well documented that Manhattan has a very high ratio of single ladies but contrary to what TV shows like Sex and the City or Cashmere Mafia suggest, from what I have seen so far they are much nicer than their televised versions.
– Because the crowd is old-ish, people don’t give a fuck about how good they look. I remember when I went to Buddha bar, I was amazed by how many young pretty ladies would do a 2 step dance, not smile, and slowly sip their cocktails…DH called it ‘the cover magazine pose’ or something like that. I called it ‘a waste of alcohol’. The crowd at Prohibition also does not seem to care if they are embarrassing themselves talking to a stranger (often yours truly, I don’t know why but I always attract the most random conversations). Last time, I found a new mom sulking in the restrooms about how it was her first night out since she gave birth and she asked ‘Be honest, do I look like a mom to you? Cause I really don’t want to look like a mom tonight?’. I replied: ‘I am not sure what you mean by that. I am a mom too. But you look hot so you should not worry’. She was skeptical, stared at me and blurted: “Can I borrow your make up? I never wear red lipstick or black kohl on my eyes…And you don’t look like a mom’. I was going to oblige but she suddenly rushed to the cubicle to…Oh well, poor mama.
Instead of dancing though, I ended up spending most of my night on the sidewalk with Jules ranting about absolutely everything. How does DH cope with my insecurities, my body getting old and never recovering from giving birth to my 3 babies etc? I mean,let’s face it I could never be a cougar because I could never have the body of a cougar. Why is it that older women can only nab a younger stud if they look like goddesses (e.g. Bo Derek)? But older men can look like a troll but still bag themselves a top model? Why is it that I am so confused about what I want and who I am now? Is it motherhood? Is it age? Is it the 2 Pisco sours and 2 mojitos I had tonight? I don’t have any answers hence the existence of redlipstickmama (my alter ego who actually can admit she is fucking lost…) However, something funny that happened that night is giving me some sort of peace for now.
Jules was complaining about how, if she had known about this impromptu night out, she would have taken her ‘baise-en-ville’ instead of her beach bag/mama bag (it was the last day of her summer vacation). I laughed hard because I hadn’t heard nor used this expression in like 15 years. Note: in French a ‘baise-en-ville’ (literally a ‘shag-in-town’) is an overnight bag or even smaller, in which one might carry all the necessary items one might need were one to decide to not go home and instead spend the night elsewhere to usually have sex. My younger and wilder self would have: a toothbrush, a deodorant roller, some facial moisturizer, a lipstick and a miniature bottle of Eternity fragrance by Calvin Klein. Anyway I tried to find the proper English translation for this expression and found a ‘shag bag’…A ‘shag bag’ is a rucksack or other small bag which contains condoms and sex toys to be handy at any time and any place. Example of how to use this expression given by the Urban Dictionary is: ‘Let me reach for my shag bag, baby!‘ (???)
I think some stuff are better left untranslated 🙂
OK getting back to my story…So I started to empty Jules’ bag for a laugh and realized it could have been my bag. What I found was a beautiful metaphor of my life as it is at the moment:
– some dried fruits i.e. sweet healthy snacks in case the kids starve or have a tantrum (which seems to happen all the time)
– a half-eaten bagel. I never have the time to digest properly a meal so leftovers are always welcome
– a pretend play plate and spoon for an off-the-cuff play date. Moms are seriously the best unpaid improvisation entertainers.
-some designer sunglasses to hide over tired eyes on a lucky day and the ‘I am just fed up with life’ eyes on a very bad day
– expensive sun block because while the kids can do with Neutrogena, we are old and thus need the big guns
– a lipstick, obvious.
– a gossips magazine because sometimes I need to see what seemingly ‘have-it-all’ women are like and sometimes I need to pity those who seem to mess it up more than I do. I am talking about Scarlett Johansson, divorcing Ryan Reynolds??? Really? But mainly because perhaps insecure Me craves for some kind of public recognition…one day.
– And my ultimate favorite: one, not two, heeled shoe! Because I secretly hope that my dancing queen alter ego is not dead and ready to rock it big time but the reality is that I forgot the other shoe at home with my babies soundly sleeping and snoring.

As Jules and I were giggling contemplating the state of our messy lives, our DHs looked on, shook their heads, smiled (almost lovingly) and cooly went back to their pool game. No judgment.

I may never be and look like a cougar and will always be a silly dork but I guess, my salt and pepper haired man does not seem to care much about it. And it is just fine by me.

Mama bag


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