I have to admit I enjoy life a lot more in my cougardom than I ever have previously. There is still plenty of room for improvement in my quality of life, but over all I am thankful that life in general sucks less than it used to. My childhood consisted of thirteen years of wearing bad clothes, being a klutzy and nearsighted social pariah, and getting the living thunder beat out of me by my sisters, their friends and the kids at school. Adolescence wasn’t much better, as I was voted “Least Likely to Get Laid” in the high school Senior Will. The good part of high school was that I didn’t get beaten up once I had the good fortune to make friends with big girls who could fight. I looked old enough and usually had money to buy cigarettes, so protection for smokes was a fair trade. Guys only asked for my phone number so they could call my sisters, but I can’t say I blame them. I was nothing to look at.
Fast forward into college- that was an improvement mostly in my personal autonomy. For the most part I could come and go as I pleased, at least as far as my limited finances and the condition of the current tires on my old Subaru allowed. If I would have had the foresight to have ran, ran, ran away from my ex before I was naive enough to marry him- and went to college in another state- life would have been different. I don’t know if it had been better, but it would have been different. Perhaps a better male contributor of half of Steve-o’s DNA would have actually given a shit, and perhaps Steve-o would have gotten better hair. He managed to get off incredibly well in the genetic lottery with the exception of having bad sinuses and even worse hair. Coarse, kinky, greasy and mousy brown, just like the sperm donor’s. Acck. But hair can be buzz cutted, and when your hair is nasty, the clippers are a beautiful thing. I am glad he gave up the Robert Plant- sometime- around- 1971 hair style. I had to wonder what kind of unauthorized insect life was living in that mess. The only good thing about it is that he didn’t attempt dreadlocks- he has the right kind of hair for it, but Anglo men look absolutely disgusting with dreadlocks even when nature does give them coarse, kinky and greasy hair. It’s just not culturally congruent- unless you can prove you are related to Bob Marley.
With a good haircut he almost looks normal. This was not a good haircut. They didn’t shave it down to 1/4″ or less. The only good thing about his male parentage is that the sperm donor was 6’2″ . Steve-o is 6’1″, and he certainly didn’t get height from my family. The tallest one of us is my formerly sadistic older sister who is 5’9″. Dad is only 5’6″ and I tower over him if I wear a three inch heel or more. Then again, the odds are that had I chosen for myself I probably would not have bothered to procreate at all (Steve-o, the illustrious POMC, was not exactly planned) so that’s a bit creepy to mention.
I have to say my 20’s and 30’s pretty much sucked. Between bad relationships, trying to raise the POMC (mostly alone) and constant work, it was almost all a bad nightmare. I didn’t make the greatest decisions. I found myself in some pretty stupid situations. For a long time I was on a first name basis with day care managers, elementary and middle school principals and guidance counselors, and even more frightening, representatives of law enforcement. Steve-o did not have a particularly mellow adolescence to put it mildly. He always had to be the ringleader. If there was trouble in a communal setting, he was generally right at the center of the action. Hell, he didn’t need a community to get in trouble. There’s nothing like explaining to the cable company that the $300 of pay-per-view porn that magically appeared on my statement was procured via the cable remote by my 12 year old.
But finally, I woke up one morning and Steve-o became an adult. The fact that his first child is due in February might have something to do with it. I am glad he is being a man and taking care of his obligations. He even bought a four door car. I may even dare say he is becoming a responsible adult which scares the hell out of me in a way. Somewhere in all the chaos I went from young and struggling and constantly moving from crisis to crisis and discovered I became an old cougar. It seemed the transformation was overnight but as I look back I realize it was by degrees.
There are some things I still find important. Personal landscaping is a constant challenge. Women should only have body hair in three places- the top of the head, thinly sculptured eyebrows, and eye lashes. Every other bit of hair is unsightly and should be removed. Nails are another part of the personal landscape. I like mine big, bold and brightly colored. In nature bright colors and bold patterns are warning signs. They say “Don’t Screw With Me.” That’s why the poison toad is bright orange.
I refuse to take on the conventional wisdom of platinum blonde hair and boring earth tone makeup for older women. First of all with my round moony face I look hideous with blonde hair. Second of all, I like the contrast- dark black hair against my Super White skin. Third of all I like bold eye shadows and bright lipsticks. I am taking a cue from nature. Let them eat the platinum blonde toads- I am brightly and boldly adorned to give the world fair warning. I am not the average middle aged woman who is content to blend into the wall.
Now that I am in the over-40 set I get to do a lot more observing. Age has a certain gravitas. I get away with a lot of things that younger people just can’t do.
I did have a young girl express her dislike of my anti-Obama commentary on the back of my car today. It was sort of hard to take her seriously because she wasn’t even alive yet when President Reagan was in office. Too bad she didn’t live through Jimmy Carter. Then maybe she would have understood where I was coming from.