Foreplay: Our society is so obsessed with gender roles and taboos in dating that the English language has 3 different terms for older women who pursue younger men. A puma is a late 20s to mid 30s woman. Cougar is from mid 30s to 40s. Arctic fox is for any woman past menopause.
But what about older men who date younger women? They’re so much more prevalent! Sugar daddy implies that he’s rich and silver fox is more common with the gay community. What about men who are middle class heterosexuals. Well, imagine my utter elation when I discovered the term manther:
The male version of a cougar; an older man who preys on younger women.Would Blackjacket fit the criteria of a manter? According to the mathematical formula (x/2)+7=y where x represents your age, y yields the youngest age you can date that will be socially acceptable. I applied this formula to Blackjacket’s age and realized that I was a half year too young for his limit. By that right, our date was -- gasp! -- socially unacceptable. On a scale of Lolita to Woody Allen, I’d say we hit the Brangelina mark.
A bonafied manther!
The Down and Dirty: Alright, so I’ll be completely honest. Although I just knew Blackjacket was good looking, I didn’t quite remember certain aspects of him like, oh say, his face.
I made sure to arrive at the restaurant early and helped myself to a glass of red wine at the bar. I texted to let him know I was here and then busted out a book to occupy my attention -- ‘cause then he would have to get my attention when he arrives. And success! He spots me -- and he’s definitely not a troll! Double success!
Dinner conversation ambled along awkwardly as most do on first dates. He grew up in the South (which may explain his etiquette) but lived in New York for a stint. He pursued theater which is the most useless degree ever (his words, not mine). He’s currently a writer, actor, and stand-up comedian.
“Then why aren’t I laughing right now?” would’ve been my reply had I not been sober and in check of my verbal diarrhea.
Although the conversation ebbed and flowed without much trouble, I can’t say that there was anything special to it. I felt like I carried most of the discussion -- asking questions, commenting on current media, poorly attempting jokes during the occasional lulls. I don’t know if he was nervous and closed off or just one big unfunny snorefest . I didn’t feel like myself either; I was some excessively perky alter ego who spoke in a tinkling voice -- just to compensate for his lack of zeal.
While waiting in line at the improv theater, I reached into my purse in search of a mint but came out with the Magic Date Ball. At his amused curiosity, I explained how I let the toy become my own personal Rasputin for a day. He laughed but in that oh-my-god-you’re-actually-serious sort of way. Judgment aplenty!
The show was entertaining. We laughed accordingly. I may have snorted at one point. Usually after, I head straight to Birds with my companion(s) in tow for a nightcap but I recalled his sobriety the night we met and his lack of alcohol during dinner. It’d be a lost cause and wasted boozin’.
Just shy of 3 hours into our date, we decided to call it a night and he asked to walk me home. Maybe he got more comfortable or maybe it was because time was running out, but our conversation took an upbeat turn as we sauntered down the street. I argued that The Knife’s live version of “Heartbeats” was better than Jose Gonzalez’s cover. He made fun of my love of The Smiths and Depeche Mode.
When we reached my apartment complex, we talked for a while more as I stood on the steps. Finally, he announced the standard, “I had a great time. We should do it again,” tag line. I struggled to keep my eyes from rolling but politely agreed.
And then he reached in for a hug. Or what I thought was a hug. Until his face was like RIGHT THERE but it was already too late -- my face was aiming for the welcoming crook of his neck and he ended up planting a kiss on my cheek. In my embarrassed haste, I pulled back from his shoulder and brushed my lips against his stubble like a sloppy Italian mother.
It was a mess. I’ve never kissed on a first date before and didn’t expect to this time judging from the lukewarm interaction. We parted ways after saying goodbye, he to his car parked a mile away and me scampering to my door all the while stifling a groan.
The Afterglow: Okay, it wasn’t outright awful but I was probably expecting too much -- like, when you say you’re a comedian, I expect to laugh. Yeah, definitely set the bars too high there, buddy.
I'm left feeling somewhat unfulfilled after the date. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't bad -- it just wasn't anything special either. I didn't come away thinking he was a great conversationalist or appreciating his humor. I didn't even get a blog-worthy make out session out of it! He's 31 -- there should be NO room for error when you have a decade of practice on me!
There really isn’t much of a difference between going out with a 31 year old than a 21 year old as far as I can tell. I mean, your average 21 year old would probably know what Yelp is and wouldn’t proclaim that they’re past prime for Coachella. Who knows if age factored into his unnecessary stoicism. I’ve met some rather depressing 20-somethings in my life.
Every now and then I would wonder, “What kind of 31 year old is okay dating a 22 year old?” But then again -- age is just a number (until it can get your ass put in the slammer).
Who knows if he was serious about going out again. To be quite honest, I wouldn’t be too upset if I never heard from him after this. Sure, he was total eye candy but my brain is pretty pissed off at the lack of stimulation right now. If he wants to see me again, he’s more than welcomed to contact me.
Otherwise, I’ll release him back to the wild and hunt me down another manther.
P.S. Manther is now officially injected into my everyday vocabulary. I may have to start non sequitur discussions just to throw out that word.