Cougar Territory

“Why do you young people have such high blood pressure?” scolded the nurse in a Jamaican patois that I’m not about to try and mimic in writing. All I heard was “young people” and took it as a compliment. I couldn’t say why all the nurses at my doctor’s office have these abrasive demeanors and I can’t tell if it’s just cultural (I always thought nursing was a stereotypically Filipino profession, not Jamaican) or if they’re just unpleasant women.

Yet my young people illusion was promptly shattered when my doctor astutely observed twenty minutes later, “you’re not young anymore.” Uh, thanks.

I knew what she meant, though. I hadn’t been in for a few years and she was flipping through my chart and was kind of marveling that I’d been her patient for eight years and it’s like I still seem 27 to her, i.e. she thinks of me as one of her young patients even though I’m not anymore. At least she followed her comment with, “you don’t look 35; your skin is perfect.” Oh, and then, “but you have the blood pressure of an old lady.” All right.

I don’t genuinely feel old, though I am starting to become acutely aware of ridiculous “cougar” bullshit regarding women under 40 as I’ve noticed recently on The Sarah Connor Chronicles (yes, I watch sci fi crap) where the actress is only 34 (which I think is too young to have a 15-year-old son–Linda Hamilton was 28 not a teenager when she got knocked up in The Terminator) and the commercial for the horrendous Lipstick Jungle with a 38-year-old Kim Raver. Seriously, how can you be a cradle-robber in your thirties? Is America that prude? I swear, I’m going to have to start a false cougar alert. Or come up with a new predatory beast to sell the media on.

How about goslings? That would be plucky toddlers who make advances on non-ambulatory infants. Sexy, right? Quack, quack.

But I’ll admit that dealing with a new 401k at work has prompted me to think about the reality of aging. I’ve always kind of joked about what a waste it would be to sock away money from each paycheck only to die before you could enjoy any of it. I mean, it happened to my dad. All I know is that my ghost would be very angry and definitely haunt someone, and well, the living me sort of takes the possibility seriously.

RetirementI honestly don’t know that I’ll be around when I’m 65, and it’s too late for a live fast, die young approach so I’m stuck with saving 5% of my income just in case I make it to my golden years. The delusional me doesn’t plan on working that long anyway and likes to imagine a life of leisure materializing within the next decade. Sweet.

Now, the 2006 me feels like listening to Peter, Bjorn & John’s distressingly overplayed, “Young Folks.”

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