Single in Sandpoint:

I am back

By Scarlette Quille
Reader Columnist

Sorry that I missed a week. I was in the middle of a three week wedding bender that sandwiched in my least favorite day of the year: my birthday. This birthday business is not something that I care to mention, because each year that I creep closer to 40 years old I become more irrationally angry about birthdays. I used to think it was weird that my Grandma only had a birthday about every 3 years, and when she did have the birthday she spent the day crying. That is until I started crying on every birthday I have had since the age of 33. Which in Grandma birthday years is only two birthdays ago.

Sure, I could feed myself a healthy dose of bullshit about aging gracefully, and gaining wisdom, and 40 is the new 30. It seems to work for some. As for me, I don’t buy it.

Fuck getting old.

Yes. I used the F word. It’s the word that most accurately describes how I feel. Realistically, you shouldn’t read this column if you can’t handle profanity. It is one of the skills that I have mastered in my increasingly long life, and I read somewhere that when you are gifted at something you should share it with the world.

You are welcome.

It’s no wonder that people go nuts and throw lavish parties for their children on their birthdays, it goes a long with all the traditional holiday lies we tell our children. Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy: Deep down kids know that these entities are nothing more than an orchestrated ruse to make them behave. However; when it comes to birthdays, the lie isn’t revealed until sometime in your 20s, when your birthday becomes a reminder that you were supposed to accomplish something by this point in your life. Yet here you are, eating ramen, and waiting tables despite having a college degree. Or maybe, you are married with a couple of kids, and your significant other buys you a vacuum. Either way, no one’s wearing Hello Kitty hats and encouraging you to eat your weight in cake.

Let’s not forget that the older you get, the more of a joke it is. When you are young, you get birthday cards with cool shit like unicorns and Smurfs on them. By the time you are in your late 20s, people start sending you cards with saggy-boob old lady cartoons on them. If you’re lucky, you might receive a funny dog card. To add insult to injury, this year I received a card referencing my age and pointing out that I now meet the age requirement to be a cougar.

No, not the Washington State Cougars. A cougar defined by Urban Dictionary as “an older woman, typically mid-30s to mid-40s who has abandoned typical rules of romantic engagement and taken as her mission the seduction of as many game young men as she can possibly handle.”

Basically I received a birthday card that said, “Happy Birthday, you old slut”.

Age-wise I guess I am in the cougar zone. And to be fair the person I date is a man, and he is a few (not many) years younger than I am. Since I’m not interested in any seduction missions, I’m not sure if that revokes my cougar status or not. Can you be a cougar if you have just one boyfriend? I have never been much for the fine print.

I am not sure that I am really cut out for cougarhood. From what I have seen, there are a lot things that go into being a proper cougar, such as owning multiple pairs of yoga pants with matching skin tight hoodies, boob jobs and a radical exercise habit like running or yoga that requires constant posting about it on Facebook.  I lack that kind of dedication. However; if I am going to be lumped into their ranks because of my age, and my somewhat vast collection of yoga pants, I should at least see what all the fuss is about.

The fact that I had several weddings to attend this month created the perfect opportunity to observe cougars flourish. Weddings are like wildlife preserves for cougars: free liquor, an atmosphere dedicated to romance and a unique visitor-to-local ratio that creates rare hunting opportunities for local cougars. You see, Sandpoint’s average cougar is ravenous from competition for male attention at our heavily overpopulated hunting grounds, namely the gym and the 219.

If I learned one thing from my 12-plus hours of observation this month, it is that cougars are definitely the catch-and-release type of harvester. They are not really looking for a commitment. Most of the time they weren’t even interested in conversation with their male suitors. From what I have seen, a cougar feeds on the attention, not the actual meat and bones of her male quarry.

This is why young men seem to be entranced by the cougar. She doesn’t give a shit if he texts her or not—it’s all about the here and now. A cougar will give a 23-year-old man the time of his life on the dance floor and then leave him there, refusing to dance with him the rest of the night. The trap has been set.

Another casual observation: All cougars are dangerous, but the most dangerous are the married cougars they are typically inviting male attention in order to piss off their husbands. As far as I know this is some part of a weird foreplay ritual. What happened to a few shots of tequila and an R. Kelly CD?

I guess I am old.

This cougar thing at the very least is equally as entertaining as informative. I’m thinking about making a documentary about it. I was thinking about calling it the “Mating Rituals of The North Idaho Cougar.” Is it a “mating” ritual when most of them are too old to be getting pregnant?

There are so many possibilities.

‘Til next time, Sandpoint,

Scarlette Quille

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