The Accidental Cougar

31 Aug

While shopping with my sister at Target recently, I had an odd experience. We were in the check-out line and I noticed that our cashier, an 18-ish year-old who looked for all the world like a stunt double for one of the Jonas Brothers, seemed a bit distracted. He was pleasant and friendly and helpful, even chatty, but so distracted that I thought he might have a nervous disorder that should be medicated. Turns out, he was suffering from one of the more common maladies affecting teens, he was trying to flirt.

Realizing this, I looked around surreptitiously to see who he had his eye on. Back in the day, this was usually my sister. She brought out the nervous flirtation in a group of teenage boys faster than a stroll through the woods brings out poison ivy. However, my sister is now great with child and, while she is incredibly cute and radiant, she was not the object of this kid’s attention. No…I was.

I think I can be forgiven for being slow to catch on that this kid was checking me out while he was, well,  checking me out. Unlike my boisterous and approachable sister, I was more of a gloom cookie in high school, overly dramatic and brooding. I did not have a glut of teenage boys chasing me when I was a teenager, I didn’t expect it back then. I expect it even less now that I’m 31.

So there I stood, getting my receipt from a kid who had difficulty putting two words together when I looked at him (God only knows what he would have done if I had smiled at him or if I had been wearing a push-up bra) wondering how this happened. And it prompted me to wonder if he thought women who were dangerously close to being twice his age were so very attractive, or if the kid was mistaken and thought I was much closer to his age than I am. The latter seems more likely.

When we were kids it used to really annoy me that people routinely thought my younger sister was actually the older one. However, it has been a long time since that has annoyed me–funny how that happens. Not being married or having kids, I am minus two of the bigger causes of stress that age a person. On a recent tour of a historical village one of the tour guides tried to add me to the high school group. And that isn’t the first time something like that has happened.

Is it possible that my baby-face has turned me into an accidental cougar? A true cougar is a woman who actively seeks younger men, but that just isn’t me. It isn’t as if I’m seeking the attention of nervous, teenage boys, it just sort of…happens. My preference is for a guy one to two years older than me–I like the idea of being the young one. But now I’m wondering if there is a way I could make my tendency to still get carded at R-rated movies work for me. Maybe that could be my way of sticking it to the men* out there who are always looking for a newer, younger version of what they had before.They can think they are getting a barely-legal honey and I can get a guy with a decent dental plan.

*No, not all men are looking for a newer, younger version of the woman they had before. I know that. I’m just talking about the ones who are.


Posted by on August 31, 2009 in Lifestyle, Relationships, Uncategorized


Tags: , ,

14 responses to “The Accidental Cougar

  1. Jeni

    September 2, 2009 at 11:47 PM

    You crack me up. And don’t forget the guy at the pizza joint- he had a thing for you too…

    • chinspeaks

      September 2, 2009 at 11:58 PM

      I completely forgot about pizza guy! But then, I didn’t really think he was as into me as you and George did.

  2. johnnyviking

    September 24, 2010 at 8:33 PM

    followed you here from your daily norseman post s(fellow* vikings fan) .. you have a way with your writing style.. i hope you are some sort of writer / columnist for a living.. please keep posting!

    *can you say “fellow” in this context, when the counterpart is in fact not one??

    • chinspeaks

      September 24, 2010 at 9:04 PM

      Hey JohnnyViking, thanks! I’m flattered that you like my writing. And, although I’m not as great a grammarian as I should be, I think you can say “fellow” in that context. Besides, there’s a certain Vikings fan brotherhood so other fans would be considered fellows. Probably. Thanks again 🙂

      • johnnyviking

        October 8, 2010 at 3:17 PM

        i recently noticed you are now a “position coach” writer on DN… did that just happen? .anyways congrats , well -deserved.. and.plz remember…with great power comes great responsibility.. 😉

      • chinspeaks

        October 8, 2010 at 6:03 PM

        Hey Johnny, thanks! When did Chris ask me to write for the front page of the Daily Norseman? Hmmm, I think it was early in early September. I think being a position coach roughly translates to “staff writer” so I’m pretty sure the power won’t go to my head. Well, not too much anyway. And, I assure you, the purple hair is only a wig–I’m not quite gutsy enough to pull off that look every day. But I fully plan on wearing the wig when I watch the Vikings play on Monday night. Care to put on a purple wig too in solidarity? 😉

  3. Purplegrey

    September 26, 2010 at 3:52 AM

    Just saw your site here. Enjoy your writing. Keep in mind though that you should enjoy your youthful looks while you have them and graciously accept the compliments. You could awaken one day and find that Father Time remembered you after all and decided to play a cruel trick. It eventually happens to all of us. Hopefully, he’ll forget about you for many years to come.

    • chinspeaks

      September 26, 2010 at 6:49 AM

      Hello Purplegrey, glad I could entertain you. I can assure you, I enjoy my youthful looks probably more than I should–and my youthful voice (good way to get rid of telemarketers). When we were kids people would frequently think my sister and I were twins or that she was older than me. I’m three years older than my sister. That mistake is really annoying when you’re ten-years-old, but add a couple decades and suddenly I don’t mind as much when people mistake me for the younger one 🙂 Funny how that happens. I think the whole incident with cashier at Target was so strange largely because it took me so long to catch on to the fact that he was flirting. Sadly, it’s just that unusual to have guys flirting with me. Actually, I wish I’d caught on sooner so I could have enjoyed the attention.

      • Purplegrey

        September 27, 2010 at 12:45 AM

        Ha Ha, Don’t sell yourself short. I’m sure you have more guys noticing you than you think. Besides, that guy at the counter was probably thinking afterwards, “Whew! Glad she didn’t catch on! I don’t know what I would’ve done next!”

      • chinspeaks

        September 27, 2010 at 4:23 AM

        Saves me from seeing that look of horror on his little Jonas Brother face when he finds out how old I am!

      • johnnyviking

        October 8, 2010 at 3:20 PM

        btw, hope you weren’t wearing the purple hair?.. 🙂

  4. Purplegrey

    September 29, 2010 at 4:03 AM

    Now you wouldn’t consider emotionally scarring him for life would you?

    • chinspeaks

      September 30, 2010 at 7:56 PM

      Never 😉 And, sadly, I was thinking more about my own emotional scarring at seeing him recoil in terror at how old I am.

      • Purplegrey

        October 12, 2010 at 6:34 AM

        Hey Chin, When are you going to blog some new material? I could use some alternative reading after the Monday night loss. Anyway, I still think the Vikes will make the playoffs even win the division. Skol!


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