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Recently I was asked out at the gas station!

Picture if you will, the colors of the Arco blue on a stunning Friday afternoon. Venice Beach’s Lincoln Boulevard alive with the almost weekend hustle bustle. The next door Tommy Burger gearing up for the dinner rush. Not quite ready for Friday night fantasticos, I was doing my bustle about town in some saucy gray leggings and my cute dirty hair day cap. Nothing worthy of a double take (or so I thought). I emerge from the Black Pearl (my car), debit card in hand and make myself dizzy whirling around and around looking for the pay station. Perhaps my dance of utter confusion resembled an ancient mating ritual. Perhaps my mad whirling sent up the damsel in distress bat signal. Mid spin I hear, “credit card?” I turn again to lay eyes on a most delicious chocolaty treat. “It’s right there,” he offers with a gorgeously shy smile. Okay, now I feel a little silly. The pay box was right in the middle of the station where it always is. But I do feel like it was a little shorter this time. Like a midget playing hide and seek behind that Chrysler. I express a sheepish and sincere thanks, and bound away. But the dance is not done.

Working my pumping stance, his car rolls up with it’s windows down. Overly confident and a little sleazy he says, “You know you could take me out to dinner to thank me.”

Ha! is the reaction that escapes my filter. “So you need to be rewarded for random acts of kindness?” I challenge. Instantly, confidence is lost. This beautiful, big, strong man bumbles around nervously and this is where my interest is piqued. “Oh, um, or, or we we could just go out for a drink,” he stammers. Now this is sick. Do I all of the sudden raise my eyebrows at the prospect because the power pendulum has swung in my direction? Or am I softened by witnessing a stony facade crumbling down? Either way, he finds his in. In gentlemanly fashion, he ascends from his vehicle to take the lady’s number face to face. He’s happy having made the move and made it victoriously. We’ll be in touch. As I replace the pump, I notice the man getting gas behind me has been watching this whole scene. For just a moment our eyes meet and I can read his mind. “Awwwhh shit, if she gave that brotha her number………” He starts towards me. Eeeekkk I freak! Drivers seat, ignition, out! One gas station encounter a week, that is my max.

Three weeks go by before we actually meet for that drink. There was cute texting of course, laden with politeness and romantic sentiments. I was too wrapped up in my Long Beach longings to give them any real attention. Side Note: My experiences with the Long Beach man are nothing short of amazing. Each moment together fuels a fire that builds in heat and warms our hearts. It can be borderline blissful. Unfortunately, our merry moments together are trumped by long periods of sad separation. If he didn’t travel for work every week would I still be looking elsewhere for beverage boys, flirty friends and cuddle companions? This is a whole other topic. End Side Note.

After a big weekend full of out of town guests, happy hours, late night dancing, biking and concerts, I opt for a mellower meeting. Late night tea time at Urth Cafe. He is cuter than I remember, and much, much taller. The perfection of his coffee-colored skin almost intimidates me. But I think I intimidate him. His manners are charming and sincere, yet jumbled and nervous.

“Oh, I should get that door for you.”

“Do you want something sweet? I bet you like sweet. You look like something sweet.”

“Anything you want, I’ll match that. This is your opportunity to take advantage.”

I assure him that I would never take advantage, not my style. The more honest I am, the more this precious man seems to relax.

His stuttering stops under the glow of the wooded canopy. We cease in talking and begin sharing. He listens with the intent to know. When he speaks it is from the heart and about things that matter to him. Bold enough, he initiates conversation about past relationships, intimacy and sensuality. This is a virtuous and lovely soul. As beautiful as this exchange is, there is a little red light blinking in the back of my mind. Warning! Warning! Impressionable young man in your midst! Oh, but he is so sweet. And he is so attentive. And he is so pure. And he is so………how young?  23 years young! Aaaawwwhhh I am deflated. And almost instantly I feel foolish. But why? The first thought that surfaces is how much I loathe the term “cougar.” It pisses me off. But again, why? Why should I be opposed to any goddess getting hers?

I think this judgment might stem in part from the horrified rants of my gay husband. Nightly, while working at the wine lounge he gets (not so subtly) propositioned by scads of foam-mouthed hyenas (his words, not mine!). He finds them pathetic and scary, especially when they stick their hands down his pants and follow him out to the parking lot. Meow ladies! He calls his place of employment “The Cougar Den” as if he has been hunted, captured and then dragged into a dangerous lair. But I am not out trolling for young bucks I justify to myself. If anything, this is a case of the hunter being captured by the prey. I was pursued by this hunky cub. I realize that my aversion is not to the tasty treat sitting in front of me. He’s right, I do like my sweets. My aversion is to being judged for eating some other little kid’s piece of cake at the birthday party. But what the fuck? This is my cake. Someone brought me this piece. Obviously still feeling the need to argue my point, I remember a very poignant thing that my coach Jo Anna imparted onto me. So effortlessly and frank, the words leapt gloriously from her tongue, “Fabulous people don’t justify what they do.”

Oh how I adored this when I heard it! It instantaneously sliced all of the jibber jabbering wah wahs into oblivion. This statement of triumphant truth gives pleasure the ultimate permission. It dares outrageousness to show up to the party and rock that body. It is the acceptance portal that all goddesses must pass through in order to celebrate the exuberant life within themselves, their own gratified existence. What would you do if you didn’t have to justify your actions to anyone? Oh boy! Criticizers, judgers, naysayers beware! Piss off! I’m fabulous! This notion is a freeing one. One I desire to practice daily.

So am I going to take this newfound freedom and rob the cradle? Who really knows? I am reminded of yet another pearl of wisdom from yet another fabulous friend. The dear Marisa Ann recently texted me after reading my last blog post. Full of praise and encouragement, she added an ending plea. “I love you. Please do me one favor. STOP THINKING AND START FEELING” (yes she used all CAPS!). So this I shall do. I intend to let myself get sucked into the unjustifiable pleasure of emotion, soul and all. My feelers are going to show me the way into the doorway of my own ecstasy. I enter. The party is not nearly over. Time to go enjoy some cake!