Tuesday, September 11, 2007

project 365 #253: I 40 at sunset

I'm having a crisis. My mother called me fat. Not only that, which after all she's entitled to, because I am, in fact, fat, but I read this AskMe thread and it introduced me to a whole new slang term I had never heard before and I was faced with the definite possibility that I am actually a cougar. Except for the part where they're supposed to be rich and well groomed and the part where they pick up young guys, because frankly, I'm poor and shabby and, while I certainly am completely down with the idea of picking up young guys, in practice I'm hopeless at it. At the bar, anyway. Hee.

I was never even very good at it when I myself was young and nowadays I sort of more or less assume that no one in the bar could ever possibly be interested in me at all and thus I think I may be missing any number of subtle hints and cues that could lead to me having, if not a satisfactory sex life, at least a much more, um, diverse one than I have now. Or not. Maybe it's the part where I get out the reading glasses to peer at them that turns them off - go figure.

When I was in college, my roommate and I decided one evening that the only possible way out of our current financial dilemma was to become high class hookers. Clearly, there was no alternative. To this end, we smoked a joint and dressed up in what we considered high class hooker wear, which, if I recall correctly, was our old prom dresses or maybe some party dresses of my mothers from the 50s that I had snagged out of the Goodwill bag, put on a lot of makeup and hied ourselves down to the bar at the Francis Marion Hotel in downtown Charleston, where, we reasoned, there would be tons of out of town men looking for high class hookers. We sat at the bar for a while, drinking up our rent money, waiting to be approached and beginning to appreciate the function of the pimp. Finally, just as our career path began to look dim, a very nice dentist approached and bought us each a bourbon and coke. He told us kindly that perhaps we should go back to the dorm and then he said that dental hygiene was an exciting and lucrative career for smart girls and maybe we should drop the poetry and art and go for that instead. And if only I'd taken his advice, I probably wouldn't be writing this. But I'd still be fat.

It was mean of my mother to comment in her inimitable way on my tummy. Plus, she just had to call it that, as in, "Felicity, you need to lose that tummy, dear!" I had to call my daughter and say, "Guess what Gramma said right when I was leaving?" "Umm, let me guess," said my daughter, "She said, "You're fat?""

It's all very well for Mom to say. She hit the starved-out waif-thin Kate Moss look about four decades early and was occasionally told firmly by doctors to gain weight, which always made her laugh merrily. Yeah, it would make me laugh merrily too. My mother lives in a nice retirement community that is fully stocked with widows with incredible bone structure. I mean there are 85 year old women in there who look better than I did at 22; it's depressing. It's the kind of thing that ought to make me come home and eat a lettuce leaf and vow never to eat again but what it really does is make me want nothing more than to chow down on a giant bag of Doritos while drinking a 6 pack of the most fattening beer I can find. If there's a 22 year old boy with good bone structure in the picture, well, hey, fucking bonus. It's vaguely possible that this is not a healthy attitude, yeah, but what can you do?

Update: M has never heard this term "cougar" before either. "Have you ever heard the term "cougar"?" I asked him. "Sure," he said, "Like, oh god, there's a cougar, run away! Hey, a cougar ate my baby! Of course," and then he looked at me strangely. "Mom, a cougar is a moun-tain li-on." he said slowly, emphasizing the syllables. So if this is slang, it hasn't made it to WNC yet. Thank the gods.


rainbaby said...

GAH! Sorry for the tummy trauma and the high class hooker miscue. I really just wanted to say that M's "moun-tain-lion" line is a quote from Easy Rider, I think. And I, for one, think you're hot.

Gordon Smith said...

Yer a star:


Edgy Mama said...

You've never heard of a cougar?

Wow. And I thought you were much hipper than me. I think I was introduced to the term a couple of years ago when I saw a woman in the North Asheville Ingles wearing a T-shirt that read "Cougar." I came home and Googled it and realized that she wasn't rooting for her son's high school football team.

I don't think you want to refer to yourself as such. I mean, unless into admitting sluttiness, which is kind of hip today as well. Not that anyone who is hip actually uses the word hip.

Edward said...

That term seems to be making the rounds of Asheville all the sudden. I think you're the 3rd person to bring it up in the past 2 weeks. Seems I learned about it in a popular movie or TV show.