READER SUBMISSION: A little bit of advice from a one curvy cougar to another.
Chapter 1: Lets Get Started
Let me just preface by saying I love the idea of love. Hell, I’ll shout it from the roof tops. Notting Hill – Julia Roberts and I could have been sisters (in my mind). From Here To Eternity; get me on a beach bitches I’m ready to roll in the sand. ‘Cuddles and kisses and crisp morning papers,’ was my version of ‘Favourite Things.’ I was a modern day Maria Von Trap. One date away from finding my count and the adopted troupe of rescue fur babies I always wanted.
My list was simple enough: A pulse, humour, kindness and generosity of spirit. I’ve always believed there are no awards given to people who tear others down. Someone to leave me alone when I was busy but laugh with me late at night. ‘Oh my God, you wouldn’t believe it… someone ripped one in the office today. It was like rotten camembert and curry! Hilarious.’ I won’t apologise for my love of fart stories. It’s who I am!
I didn’t need a big wage, a fast car or even a hairless back. Sounds easy right? Hmmmm.
I never saw myself as the marrying kind. Raised Mormon (but not practicing), I grew up taught that family was everything. You grow up, you get married, have a family and pride yourself on service and a minimal carbon foot print. Even as a child, when my dad would espouse, ‘When you get older and find someone….’ the vision of who I wanted to be with was blurry. Man? Woman? Dog? Ferret? The list was endless, just never complete. My father still has a fixation on me marrying a farmer! But that’s another story.
I didn’t see a dress, or a groom, or a flurry of bridesmaids and flowers. I didn’t even see myself owning my own house. I just wanted company. A laugh, a cuddle and some very good, sweaty, hot sex. Just not all the time ( I have to think of my hair, you know!)
Then I turned forty. Suddenly I jumped an age bracket. I needed glasses. My knees started to hurt and my ego took a dive. I stopped being carded. I cried the first time the young boy at the check-out called me ‘Maam.’ I walked to my car and sobbed. I started to have visions of a house filled with cats. A ‘Grey Garden’ style manner where ‘Little Edie,’ was replaced by Bernard, the local badger, a homeless dude who went through my garbage and a chronic masturbating neighbour who liked to wave hello through the window to me mid mazz. I saw myself as ancient and alone. Filling jars with my own belly button lint, making floral cosies from weeds and draping myself in half finished sewing projects patched with masking tape.
So I went online…I’m good looking I thought. I have just enough junk in the trunk to cause trouble and my boobies aren’t quite to my knees. As I started to feel braver my catch cries became joyous! I’m articulate. I’m a professional. I’m funny. I’m awesome… bring it on!
Jason, a financial planner, started the dinner conversation with ‘I’ve been at the police station all day…someone saw my car at the scene of a murder… but I didn’t do it.’ Cheque… Brian, who ran a massive hotel and shopping mall, joyfully ate shrimp with the shell still on (head and all) sucking his fingers while he told me why he didn’t think women were very funny or could sing well. ‘They just don’t get me here,’ as he pointed to his heart. I suggested that perhaps it was the company of men he was seeking, went to the toilet and didn’t come back.
Mig, thought I was was a human pretzel. I didn’t mind him.
David Tindered me late at night with questions about repetitive thrusts and Red Tube.
Matt said during a drunk dial that he liked me, in fact he didn’t think he was going to have so much fun but he just got out of a 16 year relationship 6 weeks ago. What he really wanted was to have crazy sex with lots of women and tell funny stories at work. He went on to tell me that the ‘boys’ at work said he didn’t even need to tell me how he felt. He was allowed to simply stop talking to me. ‘That’s how you do it now days.’ I then took time to explain that because we weren’t in primary school and lived on this planet I called ‘earth,’ we considered each other feelings and communicated with words rather than butt grabs and grunts. His ‘boys’ were idiots. Ghosting was not cool and he was a d*ck.
After a few of these interactions my list of pre-date questions refined. I learned to cull quickly and without mercy. I’m not a dummy. I realise that human beings can choose to be honest or not. I relied on my ‘spidey skills.’ That innate voice that says “Shonni, this person is not from your tribe.” I assumed nothing.
- Do you have any arrest warrants?
- Am I talking to you or your carer?
- Do you want me for yourself or your wife?
- Are you a cross dressing transvestite with a bondage fetish?
I‘m an open minded person. I don’t care if your a Dom, sub, femme, butch, pagan, bottom or top. You can be a practising poly, puppy, swinger, transgender, nudist, old guard, brat, switch, mistress, slave or indulge in a scoop of vanilla. Be honest about who you are. I’ll do the same. I love to laugh, I love to have fun. I’ll stand in the rain and show you my true passion for interpretive dance while screaming out lyrics to Bon Jovi’s Blaze of Glory. I find no shame in truthfully connecting to what I require and desire. I also own the fact that a few steps in, I could change my mind and that’s ok too.
I’m not a millennial. I don’t like to keep it vague. I was in adult relationships before mobile phones became requisite and people tweeted their feelings rather than expressed them. Although the New York Post says that the term ‘date’ has been replaced by the phrase ‘hanging out,’ the 21 year old inside me that grew up in a time where they were totally different concepts begs to differ.
I’ll update you on how I go. As a forty year old woman I give myself liberties my twenty year old self would never have done. If someone doesn’t ask me questions about myself during a date, I wont see them again. If they act like they’re not interested in me, I’ll assume they’re not. Life is too short. Open a door, I like it. Offer to pay at the end of the date. I’ll contribute but if they asked me out then the cheque is theirs.
I’m not embarrassed about my career, my standards or my curves, it took 40 years to learn to like myself and I don’t have the same amount to time to waste convincing anyone of my value. Chin up cougars!
Let’s work on turning our kitty cat paws into cougar claws.
Shondelle Pratt AKA The Curvy Cougar
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