I suppose one could say I was a cougar before cougar's were dernier cri. Though technically I don't think you can be a cougar while still in your thirties, I was more likely a Puma.
I was 33 and recently divorced from Mr. Dependable. As you might surmise, the pendulum, known as my love life, is swinging back from the boring, predictability of my last marriage, rendering me susceptible to seek out a thrill this time around.
The thrill arrived in the form of a tall, dark haired, articulate, disarmingly optimistic salesman who called on me to pitch advertising space in a local business publication owned by his brother. I had been snarky with him when I agreed to the appointment, apprising him of my tight schedule and granting him a mere 15 minute audience with me. I honestly don't know why I was so brash and nervy but the confidence had intrigued him.
Our 15 minute meeting promptly became an hour and not once had he mentioned the impetus for our get together. There was no sales pitch, no polished presentation, no glossy subscriber stats or rate sheets tucked nicely into an embossed folder. We were too caught up in our rapport and mutual attraction to notice. Lunch time came to pass and I was hungry - for food - and for more conversation with this well dressed, handsome peddler of advertising. I invited him to join me for lunch wherein we continued to divulge our life stories over the next two hours.
At the end of this prolonged business meeting-turned-date, I agreed to purchase ad space sans the presentation. Apparently, I was sold on much more than advertising.
The following Friday he stopped by at the end of the day to drop off a proof of the ad I had purchased. To this day, he denies the conspicuous, intentional timing. I knew he was coming so I had worn a tight fitting sweater, shortish skirt and flirty sandals. Mind you, I managed to maintain my archetypal professional flare with this ensemble. Mama didn't raise no trollop.
So I'm thinking, get on with it already. Gheesh man, you obviously came here to ask me out. What's wrong with you? Maybe I should drop a hint, tell him I'm free tonight or maybe I should take off one of these flirty sandals and club him over the head with it. He begins to wrap up the meeting and I realize he's not going to do it. He doesn't strike me as the shy type; in fact, he is bursting with the very confidence that would later become our unraveling. I'll be damned if I'm going to waste a perfectly sexy, yet demure outfit. I've been looking forward to this all day, so here I go:
Zen: Listen, I don't have any plans tonight - would you like to grab a drink with me?
Sunshine: (pause, insert sound of cricket here) I am embarrassed to admit this but my brother hasn't paid me yet, I am basically working for him for free to help him get this publication off the ground, I don't have any money to go out.
Zen: Oh, is that all? Whew, what a relief - I thought perhaps you might be gay.
Sunshine: Yeah, a lot of people think I'm gay - I think because I dress and groom myself well and I have this peculiar accent from Wisconsin.
Zen: So, you are straight and available. I can live with the accent. Do you want to have a drink? It's my treat, I asked YOU out.
Sunshine: (pause, insert sound of cricket here)
Zen: Now what?
Sunshine: How old do you think I am?
Zen: I don't know, I hadn't really thought about it. I would guess around my age, late twenties, early thirties. Are we playing a game, is it my turn? How old do you think I am?
Sunshine: I figured you to be mid to late twenties.
Zen: I like that answer. Let's go get that drink now.
Sunshine: I can't. I'm not 21 yet. My birthday is next month, I will be legal then.
Zen: (more cricket)
Zen: (plague of locusts)
Zen: Now I really need that drink. Grab your things and follow me.
We walked a few blocks to a local trendy bar/restaurant/pool hall. I knew the owner and was therefore able to get past the front door without a check of our ID's. Once inside, we made our way upstairs to play a game of pool.
Zen: I'll go grab the balls and the beer junior. You wait here.
Sunshine: What do you want me to do while I'm waiting.
Zen: Why don't you just stand there and look cute.
That's the story of a lovely lady,
who was busy with a child of her very own.
Her life was full,
but marriage had been in vain.
The last one was annoyingly dull.
Till the one day when the lady met this fella,
and she knew that he was somewhat of a mess.
Her heart had overruled her brain.
She didn't yet know about the excess,
or the life of Mr. Sunshine with a chance of pain.
(To be continued....)