Not too long ago I let all of you know about my divorce that occurred last year. It was a whirlwind affair, taking about six weeks until it was all said and done. My ex-husband insisted that everything be finished as quickly as possible. This necessitated review by the editorial staff of the Smart Aleck Press. Being the only staff person, I found myself engaged in many one-sided conversations about the matter. A tentative title in my head for the legal proceedings was “Wham, Bam, Thank you Ma’am.” It was like a quickie movie star divorce from the ‘50’s, only I’m not a movie star, I’m well past my 50’s, and I’m not living in that decade. Most of the time, the movie stars got to go to someplace exotic, such as Nevada or Mexico. I merely went to my lawyers office downtown. The only thing exotic was the price of the parking.
During one of the solitary staff meetings of the SAP (not to be confused with the Spanish language option), I thought it might be helpful to trot out epithets from the ‘70’s. Moving ahead by a few decades felt like an improvement. Slogans such as: A Woman Needs A Man Like A Fish Needs a Bicycle! came to mind. Burn Your Bra, was another one. Bra’s for older women are so terribly expensive, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Besides, the ozone layer doesn’t need the chemicals from that much burned spandex wafting through it.
Being alone for a large part of the time, I began to wonder if I would ever date again. Not the gentleman caller variety, you understand, just looking for a little giddy-up. Can that happen when one divorces in the Golden Years of Medicare? I’ve been told that there’s a word for women who are a lot older but who date much younger men. The urban myth is that the age group for women who are considered Cougars is younger than I am. I’ve heard this is somewhere between 40 and 55. If that’s the case, I am way past Cougar Town here. This is one time I don’t feel lucky to have aged out of something.
I have only heard men use this term. They are referring to a “much older” woman that dates younger men. For the life of me, I can’t remember what it is. It is delivered as a derogatory term, as many epithets about women often are. Pondering the matter only seems to make the word escape further back into the recesses of the brain but would be s instantly recognizable upon hearing it. There is a small part of me that wants to blame this memory lapse on age. I don’t really think it’s my age, I think it’s just obscurity. Not having heard the word very often, it’s hard to pull it out of storage for convenient use. As I consider my options for who and when I will date, for whatever reason I choose to date them, I don’t think there’s one word for this phenomenon. I think it’s a whole phrase, and it typifies how women usually handle the quandaries of life: I know better. I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar. (Thank you Helen Reddy).