Tag archieven: 20 year olds

Cougar Town

"Ashton Kutcher" "Demi Moore" "Cougar"Last year. It’s my first time in New York City. A taxi brings me from JFK to my hotel. Traffic already dense in the morning mist. Sightseeing buses making early stops at every corner of the street, with vehicle-long advertisements on the side:

C o u g a r T o w n. T h e S e x y N e w C o m e d y O n A B C.

Home. I was home.

I was in the city where the word Cougar went without explanation: A woman dating a man at least 7 years younger than she is.

For my 30+? birthday, a considerate friend gave me a book: Cougar. A guide for older women dating younger men by Valerie Gibson. I had just met Benjamin. He was young, bright, sunny, and open to new things in general, and new women in particular.
“You can come up if you like,” Benjamin one day invited me to his apartment. “My girlfriend is not home.” I declined through grinding teeth. A wise choice, as I later learned from Valerie Gibson’s book. Aside from the obvious fact that coming up with a man who is taken is not a smart thing to do, I also made the classic beginners mistake: I was in love with Benjamin and he knew it.

No matter what source you consult, from modern day Cougar guides to the ancient Greeks, they all stress the same thing: when it comes to dating young men, never let them know you love them. Or at least not before you “humble them and draw their sails,” as Socrates so eloquently put it. Winning the heart of a below 25, is a bit like house training a dog: it requires patience, discipline, and strategic timing.

No wonder I sucked at it.

At the sight of Benjamin my knees turned to Jell-o, my eyes forgot to blink, and the stutter of my mouth resembled the words ThankYouLord. If there was anyone severely humbled it was me. And I would testify to these emotions in the present tense, instead of the past tense, but Benjamin doesn’t like that I am still thinking about him. Pretending to be over him is the only favor he still accepts.

So with me flunking my Cougar exam, and several unsuccessful re-examinations later, what should a cougar behave like? Courtney Cox plays a fresh divorcee, who strategically keeps her heart out of the equation when dealing with her toy boy Josh.

C o u g a r T o w n. I e d e r e d i n s d a g 2 1.0 0 o p N E T 5.

Socrates would have been proud of her.

Cougar Town starts, Tuesday March 23 th, 21.05 at Net 5 (Netherlands)
Dutch American Diary, the story of Benjamin (u) LS Harteveld is on this site. Available for free for a limited time.


HagridHe’s waiting on the sideline, yet I spot him from a great distance. 110 kilo’s and 190 cm tall. But it’s most of all his presence that makes him stand out so giant-like. Or maybe I just stared a little too long at his profile photo where he comfortably cuddles a real-life tiger.

“Hey! How come you saw me first?” my internet date asks in shock, when I pull his furred coat, as sort of a welcome.
“How could someone possibly spot you eh? “ I mock him. “Is it okay if I call you Hagrid?”
“Jeeeezzzzzz,” he rolls his eyes up. “Bud Spencer. Big Lebowski. John Travolta’s Michael,” he sums up the other big men from the movie screen who he’s been compared to. “But if we have sex after, you can call me anything.”
“We’re not going to have sex after,” I say.
“Oh women!” he quotes with a smile. “They make the highs higher and the lows more frequent.”
“The Big Lebowski?” I offer.
“Nope. Nietzsche,” he answers. “A very wise man. Just like me.”
And then he gives me three kisses. His beard tickles and there is a hint of alcohol in his breath. Neither surprises nor bothers me.

The evening is cold and quiet, the canals are dark. A few men admire the blonde by his side. Women look at him with a mixture of admiration and fear. The same look as I have on my face.
“You’re my first date in a long time,” I confess.
“Really? Why? You only have sex and never leave the house?”
But I shake my head. “No. And last time I had sex was in the holiday season.”
“That does not count any more,” he agrees. “That was 2009.”
Hagrid describes his love life. Usually one or two relationships, and flings on the side. “I was married and monogamous for a long time, but now I am poly amorous.”
The meaning of the words sink in slowly, like I am sedated. Women. Condoms. I muse on viruses that are common with men who sleep around. Our feet walk the same rhythm, his black boots next to my high boots.
“If only I could stop going to prostitutes, I would be such a rich man,” he dreams.

We have dinner at a rock café, where we can choose between meat, more meat, mixed meat or a vegetarian enchilada.
“And I think I’ll have a bottle of wine,” Hagrid studies the menu.
“I won’t drink more than one glass,” I warn him.
He throws me a big smile from behind his beard. “I had no idea you wanted wine too.”
Dinner is served; tasteful, satisfying, real good food. Hagrid empties his whole plate, including the salad, and for the first time in my life someone beats me to the French fries. Before I can even touch them the bowl is empty.
“Dessert!” he announces. We both choose Death by Chocolate, which he again finishes, whereas I have to leave some in order to avoid instant death.
Hagrid pays the check. The restaurant leaves a lollypop for each.

He walks me back to the station through unknown streets, playing his lolly around in his mouth. Mine is safely tucked away in my purse. I am not trusting him with the sight of me sucking anything.
“You know, there is something I don’t understand,” I ask the million dollar question.
“All those women. Why do they want to have sex with you?”
“Not every woman is into brown 20 year olds,” he answers. “You’re blocking things.”
“You’re not my type,” I defend myself. “My type is smaller. And I don’t feel safe with you.”
He laughs. “That’s okay pumpkin. Maybe next time you’ll feel safer.“

We say our goodbyes. He gives his three kisses. I reach up and throw my arms around him. The small hesitation in his response tells he is surprised.

We hug, and for 10 whole seconds, I feel safe.

The Joy of men and cats

two brothers both called MoonJoyce has two cats. Brothers, both called Moon, in different languages. Moon 1 and 2 have a different colour, but identical large physiques, friendly faces and those guilt trip almond shaped eyes. Joyce is a professional Tantra teacher and I am her professional yoga teacher. But we’re also friends.

The first time she invited me to her home, we were still discussing the feng-sui effects of her front door sticker “NO unaddressed mailings” (my advice was to replace it with a Yes! sign, a Thank you! sticker, or a pottery plate with Gratitude lives here) when I spotted Moon 1 lying belly up on the couch.
“Oh my God! Look who’s there!” I sneaked to the living room, tripped to the big feline, and kneeled down to introduce myself. The almond shaped eyes of Moon 1 were studying me upside-down.
“Are you relaxing here on the couch?” I made conversation, and mouth watered at the sight of it’s folded front paws, resting in the air close to it’s body.
I wasn’t going to hold this for a lot longer.
“You are so sweet, are you not?” I started caressing it’s belly. The cat did not object so I took the liberty of using both hands. Purring, and cooing I cuddled the furry belly with my fingertips and gently rocked the big cat a little from left to right.
“This is interesting,” Joyce analyzed. “Cat’s really move you, don’t they?”
“Yes, you move me, don’t you,” I cooed. And Moon 1 started to purr. Apparently it was mutual.
“I can imagine this is about the same way you respond to 20 year old guys,” she said.
I smiled.
“You bet!”
And then I went to look for Moon 2, who I found sleeping in the master bed. By the time Moon 2 and I were finished with our love-session, my friend had made tea, cleared the dish washer, and checked her email.

Joyce was right. It is not uncommon for me to think within 5 minutes of meeting a man: “Wouldn’t it be cool, to just take our clothes off and go to bed, and see what happens?” Only to then find out that the object of my affection is unavailable (always), irresponsible (in for a little side dish), or downright evil.

But I loved the men who were like cats.

I can still fantasize about guilt trip eyes, enchanting me.
His nails gently scratching over my skin. His cute belly turning up for me to kiss it.

And a yellow stick up note, next to his front door bell:
“Please use key! Waiting in bed – naked ;-)

Finding boyfriend

I have a thing for dark men. The past 18 months, the men in my life were typically caramel, mocha, or chocolate and barely twenty. Sometimes I adored them from afar. Sometimes we became lovers. But they were always, one way or another, unavailable. I wanted 2010 to be different. And in order to find something mutual, I was ready to move up.

“Dear Universe,
I, Lauren, now welcome into my life, a beautiful boyfriend. Dark, between 27 and 37. He’s an academic, like me. He is successful, ambitious, uncreative, overworked, and suffering from spiritual poverty. I will cure him from the last three, and in return he will inspire me to work hard and make more money. He is crazy in love with me, and I am crazy in love with him. Our relationship is passionate and loving, and we are both very happy.
Thank you.”

Now that the Universe knew who to send, all I needed to do was to find him. And I knew just the girl to help me out: Nathalie. When it comes to meeting guys, she is the one to talk to.

Nathalie likes to go out, but will also invite you for a sleep-over with tea, all the cookies you can eat, a double bed, and breakfast with eggs. I always leave with the feeling of falling short, but I do enjoy her Royal treatment.
Nathalie, on the other hand, loved my change of mind:
“I am sooooo happy that you’re over those young guys!” She welcomed the new task of finding me a coloured successful academic. “We can now finally go to the over-30 bars. Maybe I will meet someone nice as well.”
I turned pale at the word “over-30 bar”, but quickly smothered my feelings with two pieces of confetti cake.  Over 30 bar! Yay!  This was before I knew what such a place looked like.

On Nathalie’s Barbie-pink scooter we went to three bars. The last one had good atmosphere, service and drinks. The first two had all the customers, strong bare light, huge windows, and eighties music. Hundreds of gray mouse outfits offered a direct portal to the early 90’s.  These guys wore sweaters that were tight around the belly; not small t-shirts, covering mocha coloured six packs.  Their teeth were stained by cigarettes or Rioja; no pearly whites, smiling in chocolate dark faces. Dating 30+ was not for the faint at heart.  “Do they have something to eat here?” I weakly suggested. “I don’t feel too well.”

After our three-bar adventure we needed a breather and went to our old hang-outs, two South American inspired lounge bars. Big leather Cuban chairs. Dark corners. Dimmed light. They even had a salsa night.  I immediately ordered two cocktails, because they came with umbrella’s, and feasted on hot snacks ( bitterballen from Dobbe!) even though I am a vegetarian.
“Everything is so nice here,” I sighed, as I sipped my drink and stared over the dance floor. “Do you think I will ever find a boyfriend?”
Nathalie followed my gaze.
“ Oh no! Don’t you dare!” she warned me.
“ What?” I asked between sips.
“ The kid! I bet he’s not even 20 yet!”
She was right. I was staring at a young dark boy.
“Can’t I just go over and see if he’s handsome?” I begged.
But Nathalie wouldn’t have any of it.

We ended our night at a place where girls dance on the bar, and a rock cafe with live music. Neither one held beauty nor brains, but neither did we anymore, so that was okay.  At 2 a.m. she pulled me from the barstool. “Let’s go home. I have sushi for us, in the fridge.” The next morning I went through her eBay wardrobe: all the stuff she wanted to sell. I tried a pair of wide jeans, and asked her how much they were.
“Nothing. Please have them. They look just perfect on you.”

The brand of the jeans was For All Mankind.
And the model The boyfriend.