The Cougar Bites
I hate the word "cougar" used to describe an older woman with a younger man. Husband is 9 years younger than I and it just makes me crazy when people say "oh, you're a cougar." I am not with him because he's younger. I am with him because I'm madly in love with him.
I know there are women who purposely go after younger men -- as there are men who purposely go after younger women. But I didn't set out to find one. Hell, I didn't really set out to find anyone. It just happened. And it just happened he's younger than I. He's also smarter, a better writer, and more generous. But I make better cookies, know more about art, and have a better memory. So what?
Stereotypes are always stupid. But the fact that this one now has a name just makes me want to scream. Suddenly I'm an MTV series. I'm a People magazine feature. I'm a cultural assumption. The thing that burns me is the diminishing of what our marriage is because of a ridiculous age bias. Because he's younger I'm obviously after a stud puppy who makes me feel younger. Um...no. Our ages are just part of who we are. It's not the why. If Husband were Husband and he was 90 I'd have fallen for him because he's perfect for me. He's not my "cheaper than a facelift" way of hanging onto a fading youth. And he's not something I looked for because I had a list and "younger than my first husband" was on there. Actually, I did kind of have a mental list and he's all the things I wanted: great sense of humor, smart, caring, sweet, creative, etc. But the age thing? That's just a difference between childhood cartoons and songs that remind us of high school.