Thursday, 12 November 2009

The cougar is concerned

Dating a toy boy is not without its problems for the less experienced Cougar. Although one of the joys of getting older is that you do become much more comfortable with who you are, I’d defy any woman over 40 to say that there isn’t the odd day when she doesn’t wake up, look in the mirror and think, “holy crap, what happened there?” .
While, much of the time, we can convince ourselves we are still lovely young thirty year olds, after a late night and a bottle or two of Fleurie, the facial evidence most definitely says otherwise. So, while young Ad Man clearly liked what he saw when I was propped up by half the products on the Bobbi Brown counter in the daytime, I wasn’t so sure that he’d be prepared for the early morning face.. I already knew that, pre Cougar, he’d only dated women in their twenties, who (damn them) would no doubt wake up looking as dewy and fragrant as a teenager, so the pressure was on..
It seems even the celebrity Cougars have the same insecurities. Sadie Frost (former cougar wife of Jude Law) was pictured recently looking ‘fab at forty plus’, even in a bikini. But reading the small print, she has apparently spent tens of thousands on ensuring that her body looks fit and pert still for her current young partner, 28-year-old Andy Jones.
My Features Editor salary was never going to stretch to that, even if I had the nerve to brave the knife, so I had to resort to other tricks instead. Luckily for me Ad Man sleeps, well, like a baby of course, which gave me an early morning advantage. I soon learnt to prepare for a sleepover by filling a handbag with cougar face-saving essentials, such as eye rescue cream, beauty flash balm, and other such tricks we girls rely on. At night, I’d keep my handbag by the bed and, in the early hours of the morning, very quietly ease out said products, and then lie back, head on the pillow again, and start frantically applying creams before he stirred.
Of course, there would inevitably be the days when an overnighter hadn’t been planned, and I’d wake up after a heavy night, almost feeling the weight of the bags under my eyes, but with no emergency beauty kit to save me. I could vaguely remember some beauty editor once telling me that lying horizontally at night (as, lets face it, most normal beings do) allows fluid to accumulate under the eyes and causes the dark circles and bags. So, those unexpected mornings chez Ad Man would find me desperately plumping up the pillow to make me more vertical than horizontal and tapping away at my eye sockets in an attempt to persuade the damned fluid to head south. Then I’d try to slip off to his bathroom and splash my face 100 times with freezing water, in the hope it would, I don’t know, shock my face into eternal youth maybe?
One morning though, when worryingly, I’d not had a chance for any such pillow prep, Ad Man happened to bring the conversation around to his dislike of the high maintenance woman. “What I like about you, “ he murmured softly, “Is that you don’t wear make up, and yet you always look lovely..”
What?! Could he really not see the difference between the bare faced and exposed ‘me’, and the ‘me’ after hours of work in front of the bathroom mirror? It was at that moment I realised that, actually, what young men see, isn’t the small details we fret over, such as the crows feet and the frown lines. They are far more interested in the more general picture, such as how you move and smell, talk and smile. So, actually, the fact that they may not notice that you’ve had your fringe trimmed, or bought a fantastic new bag, is a GOOD thing ladies – it means you can get away with a few bags under the eyes too. Listen up Demi, you could have saved yourself a fortune!
Next time: dating the older woman – what’s in it for the younger man?

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