Just Like That

The weather has changed and before I could finish saying Halloween, winter is here. There’s a slight nip in the air and the afternoons are perfect for brunches that carry on till lunch. Caught up with my ex boss or like I call him my totally entertaining, highly inappropriate friend. Working with him was cake walk-imagine being perpetually surrounded by beautiful, highly intelligent, lesbian women.  Though, thanks to him I’ve become 95% sure of my unfortunate sexual preference – I’m so horribly, freaking straight!

We sit outside The American Diner, soaking up the warm, winter sun talking about- photography; the ongoing festival; life in- London, U.P, Delhi and Kashmir; bisexuality, hijras and kothis. Of course marriage & dating come up. He’s now a happily married man and I’m still footloose and fancy free. ”The trouble is, I like younger men and the misogynistic, absolutely chauvinistic society we come from not only looks down upon women who claim it, but also demean them by calling them cougars. How do you men get away with it all, I wonder? Nobody points a finger at a man who dates or marries a much younger girl. I’m sure no one says anything to you, either.” He’s married to someone who’s about 25 odd years younger than him. ”Na, now that we are married we have everyone’s approval”, he replies. “I should have been a man!”, Mini Me screams at God from my gut.

Wind up my work for the day and head to the gym in the evening. Due to Karva Chauth, it’s relatively deserted and that makes the little brat at the gym restless and of course since it’s one of those days, he’s most interested in my life and of course the dreadful word, gets carelessly thrown around.

So it’s 2.30 a.m and I’m thinking about  the regressiveness of thought and action from the time of the Prophet Mohammed. The Prophet’s wife Khadija was 15 years older than him and only after her demise did he remarry. Though he remarried many times after that ( I’m not advocating polygamy here) some of the women were younger and others older, than him.

I start to think about older women and younger men and find a lot of information on the World Wide Web. The Urban Dictionary describes Cougars as-“An attractive woman in her 30’s or 40’s who is on the hunt once again.  She may be found in the usual hunting grounds: nightclubs, bars, beaches, etc. She will not play the usual B.S. games that women in their early twenties participate in. End state, she will be going for the kill, just like you.”There are many other definitions, some demeaning and other flattering but this is quite a moderate view. FYI- someone who isn’t doing anyone really does have all the time in the World for such frivolities at half two in the morning.

Chance upon a random dating website called Cougar Life. I’m calling it- Romance-the time of Death- 3:11 a.m.

I find various articles about famous women dating younger men( Madonna, J Lo, Sandy B, Demi Moore, Sharon Stone, Mariah Carey, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon, Paris Hilton etc ) and I think well, my mom, grandmother and aunt married younger men, decades ago!

And then I find this. I absolutely hate the title of the article that appeared in More.com. Helen Fisher, a Phd in biological anthropology talks about the science behind the unusual pairing. Here’s an excerpt from the article-The science behind cougar relationships.

“For almost 10,000 years we lived in an agrarian society. In these hunting and gathering societies women worked— they picked fruits and vegetables that contributed to 60-70% of the evening meal. The double income family was the rule. When societies moved onto the farm, women lost power and their jobs were reduced to having children and working around the home. The Industrial Revolution opened the door for women to move off the farm and into factories. Their roles were expanding and with that they began marrying later, having fewer children and divorcing more regularly— all because they could economically afford it. The need to seek a reproductive partner was lifted—giving both men and women a larger range of partners to choose from. Women no longer had to marry up and men no longer needed a childbearing vessel.

I’ve always admired the men who date older, interesting women in lieu of arm candy. Women become more fascinating with age— they know more people, they’ve been more places and they’ve read more books. To call them cougars, a word that carries such a predatory connotation, would be inaccurate. The younger man is just as eager to find the older women as the older woman is to find the younger man.  A recent study showed that 69% of men have dated an older woman, with 27% of those relationships having an age gap of 10-20 years.”

She concludes that the pairing of the older woman with the younger man is a global phenomenon, which will gain more and more popularity.

it’s four a.m.  I’ve spent an hour and half of my life thinking about dating and yet I’m totally unwilling to date. This is a strange phenomenon.

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