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Rock the cradle of love

April in GlenwoodApril E. ClarkGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
April E. Clark
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Like that awesome Billy Idol song, I’m rocking the cradle of love.I think I’m noticing a trend. …And like Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, I’m realizing how sexist double standards can be.Being a woman has as many ups and downs as the U.S. economy. Dating a 26-year-old has friends teasingly calling me a cougar. But I don’t think I’m quite on that level. First, I’m not older than 40, although I’m closing in faster than I like.Can’t I just be 30-something forever? It’s such a great place to be.Second, I’m totally lacking the cash-cow divorce. Rudy Giuliani paid his former wife of 18 years, Donna Hanover, a $6.8 million settlement. Unfortunately, I was not so lucky. At least I came out of it with a car to drive me out of Indiana and into Colorado.A private G5 would have been a lot quicker.Third, I’m just not in it for the sex. I’m sure my parents really loved hearing that one. Apparently many “urban cougars” prefer younger men for their endurance in bed and lack of commitment. I certainly have no problem with the first one, but the latter has haunted me like the ghost of Lizzie Borden in the past. Dating a man with no intentions of marriage is as much fun as a gynecological exam.The quicker both are over, though, the better.In my current dating situation, I’m pleasantly surprised to discover not all 26-year-olds live with their parents, play Xbox 24-7 and think marriage is as painful as a punch in the testicles. My cuddly “cub” – as they’re so-often referred to in articles about urban cougars – is focused on building his career, investing in real estate and even meeting my family. We’ll see how that goes considering my brother told a guy I very briefly dated over Christmas to be careful and that I was a player.Um, tennis maybe.As one of my favorite old-school hip-hop legends, Ice-T, once said, “Don’t hate the player, hate the game.” In the same song he also said, “I didn’t choose the game, the game chose me … ,” and “If you out for mega cheddar, you got to go high risk … .”Well Ice-T, if love is like cheese, I’m a Ritz cracker seeking a tasty topping with a little more substance than aerosol cheddar. But with so many varieties to choose from, picking the perfect partner can be as hard as aged gouda.I happen to know a couple of flaky, nutty and smelly varieties myself.A few are even best enjoyed with wine – lots and lots of wine.And the stronger, the better.I can’t imagine many women enjoy being called a player or a cougar. But for those who don’t hate the game, I say more power to you. To quote those Virginia Slims ads that make smoking skinny little cigarettes look cool, despite the big black warning box, “You’ve Come A Long Way. Baby.” Suddenly it’s not so racy to share like qualities of Mrs. Robinson, Cleopatra or Mae West. Now that’s some history in the making. Our male counterparts who revel in noncommittal, sex-driven relationships with women half their age have been doing it for years.Well now it’s our turn.I say if a woman can be a candidate for vice president, then she should be able to be do anything she wants without being negatively labeled. Even get pregnant at 17 while not being married and choose to have the baby.Isn’t it great to have options?Let’s start with losing the term “cougar” and its over-sensationalized, pop-culture popularity. Personally, I prefer a mammal nickname with a little less stalk-and-ambush tactics and a little more family values.What about the meerkat?In meerkat societies, there’s always a dominant female joined with a dominant male. And being a dominant female in a meerkat society is pretty much a big deal. Meerkats are very social, enjoy wrestling and have cat-like vision, which helps with avoiding predators and other female meerkats making a move on their man. Plus they have no excess body fat stores.A dream-come-true to this kitty.Better yet, alpha female meerkats can evict mothers of offensive offspring from their societies. What a great way to get rid of those jerky, poor-sport mothers typically found screaming orders at their kids from the sidelines of soccer, hockey and baseball games.Hey ladies, it’s just a game, it’s just a game. Just remember what Ice-T said.”Don’t hate the player, hate the game.”April E. Clark wishes she was going to the Billy Idol show in Vegas this weekend at the Hard Rock Hotel. Instead she’ll be dancing with herself to his best-of CD. She can be reached at aclark@postindependent.com.


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