Date Night at the National Single Cougars Convention

Cougars just wanna have fun in Palo Alto.

Edith, 48, Leslie, 42, Emilia, 45, and a shutterbug friend enjoying the festivities.
Photograph: Photo by Adair Lara

Upon arrival, each man was given a special coin to bestow upon the woman he thought should be elected queen of the cougars, a form of voting that would be tallied later that evening. My husband and I left before the dancing started, so we missed the late-night crowing of Miss Cougar America, Gloria Navarro, who gets to be guest of honor at, yes, "the world’s first International Cougar Cruise." I heard the festivities were followed by a 1 a.m. dip in the pool. "OMG, it was so awesome!" one attendee enthused on Yelp afterwards. "I’m one of the ‘Cougars,’ and I didn’t know what to expect at all. It was amazing! TONS of young gorgeous guys. I was shocked! And gabs of beautiful older women! And everyone getting along famously." The next shindig will be a Cougar Mixer and Dance in San Francisco on September 26.

Bill and I are of course what Bridget Jones calls "smug marrieds," so at first we just felt overwhelming gratitude that we didn’t have to do this ourselves—show up bright and smiling to try to impress strangers. He found it a poignant evening: "It reminds me of how all people want to do is connect," he told me.

And as we were going to bed that night, Bill gave me his coin.

For more photos and quotes from the National Single Cougars Convention, check out Adair’s slideshow

And speaking of slideshows! . . . Cougar Bait: 32 Younger Men We Love.

Adair Lara is the author of Hold Me Close, Let Me Go: A Mother, a Daughter and an Adolescence Survived, The Granny Diaries: An Insider’s Guide for New Grandmothers and Naked, Drunk and Writing. She also teaches writing classes and does manuscript consultations.  


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