It’s taken three weeks, but FebFast got difficult overnight. Possibly because I finally left the Fibro and had to venture out into, gulp, society without the benefit of a bevy.
Friday night saw me in one of the local establishments with a group of girls from school (we are actually all women now, technically, but, you know, they’ll always be the girls from school (GFS)) and without a drink in my hand. It’s the first time I’ve been in said establishment without a drink in my hand since the first few times I went there – and then only because I was underage and actually cared about that. (I know, I know, total nerd.)
So there I was, familiar faces, familiar places, even familiar music – it was ‘retro night’, which means they were playing all the songs from my youth…when did my youth become retro? I don’t feel old enough for that.
Apparently, I am old enough, however, to qualify for Cougar Night. Retro Night in Fibrotown equals Cougar Night (or so a well-meaning male friend informed me), when the ladies of uncertain age stalk out into the night to once more shimmy to the well-named John Cougar Mellencamp (or possibly just Johnny Cougar, now I think about it – we were getting pretty damn retro there for a while) and mix it with the pretty young boys.
Had I not been FebFasting would I have shimmied? We’ll never know, because I was FebFasting – or, as I explained to the GFS, practising being ‘scintillating while sober’ – and shimmying never came into it. I definitely wasn’t a practising Cougar, and neither were any of the GFS, being either in relationships or not interested.
There was a lot of discussion about the Cougar phenomenon though. One friend, R, is affronted by the trend because, as she puts it, she’s been doing it for years and never got a label before. The two other GFS at the table thought they were cool with the whole thing – until they actually saw it in practice in our old stomping ground. As M put it: “At what point does Cougar become Mutton?”
I tend to come down on the ‘whatever gets you through the night’ side of the debate, though I do think that a smaller playing field requires a different approach. In the city, you can strut your stuff in a new watering hole every week. Not so in Fibrotown. Some of the Cougars shimmying away on Friday night must have been hitting that same dance floor for a long, long time, as drinks fashions went from West Coast Coolers to Bacardi Breezers, and the guys drinking beer against the wall got younger and younger.
Women in the city complain long and bitterly that there are no men there. How much more difficult must it be to be single in a smaller town? If the choice is between staying home every night with a cat and going out to the same places you’ve been going for years, what would you choose?
I tip my hat to the Cougars of Fibrotown, shimmying til they drop to a little ditty ‘bout Jack and Diane.
But I was even happier than usual to see the pink fibro at the end of the night. No alcohol high required.