by Justin Gawel on June 21, 2013

If you’re making the rounds of college bars, an influx of cougars will be unexpected. It’ll be the Saturday that’s a perfect storm of a few bachelorette parties, mom’s weekend at several sororities, and the divorcées from a children’s soccer team embarking on a man hunt. They’re split into two distinct type: the ladies who are dressed conservatively and are only there to be with their girls and the type who are wearing two pounds of makeup on their face, some high pumps, and a Whitesnake t-shirt that possibly fit them at some point twenty years ago. This latter group, they are the ones we’ll focus on, as they are, in the immortal words of J.R. Smith, “trying to get the pipe.”

It’s a magical feeling when the cougars are out; the tables have turned and you’re the pretty young thing getting drinks pumped into you, courtesy of their disposable income or child support payments, while they simply smile and nod at your ramblings about nothing. Naturally, there will be somewhat of a disconnect in what you’ll be able to talk about — likely she’s not going to have any stories of tripping on molly at techno festivals and you won’t have anything to discuss if she brings up New Kids on the Block concerts or tales from the Dukakis campaign. Regardless, this relationship has no chance at lasting more than a night, so you might as well admit that little details like past relationships, drunk stories, and first names don’t really matter whatsoever.

As things progress, recognize how you’ve been desensitized over the years to interactions with the ladies. Think back to seventh grade: a girl touches your arm and giggles after you tell a funny, and suddenly, you’re frantically fumbling to drop your math book on your lap to conceal your excitement. Compare that to nowadays when you’re giving overly elaborate instructions like, “Call me ‘Daddy Warbucks’ and I’ll eat this McChicken while we get to it and I take full advantage of this here oscillate feature on the bidet.” Reason this out: if she’s older she likely already hit your Daddy-Warbucks-chicken-sandwich-power-trip phase a while ago and now may have progressed onto something like sex swings, butt beads, or other atypical alliterations. The best advice is simply don’t knock anything until you try it, remember to do it for the story, and just go with the flow if she says, “We leavin’ dis bar and going to tha Chili’s my ex-boo works at; Ima give yous a squeeza’ under tha table wit one hand while Is eats a Triple Dippa’ Dinner wit da other.”

Bottom line, these cougars are generally not going to have the hang-ups that college girls do. They know they didn’t just come to this bar to dance. They aren’t going to spend the night crying in the bathroom. No, cougars have done this before; they know just where to go when they’re aching for a caking. They’re cougars; they’re going to pounce. Truthfully, all you need to do is sit back, act your age, and not say anything too creepy or barf. Call a spade a spade. Like the Miami Heat with Jesus Shuttlesworth, enjoy scoring with a crafty veteran. Just be sure to set an alarm if you end up at her place — waking up to screaming children who think you’re their new dad could be the worst possible ways to start a hungover day.

Justin Gawel is an adult baby from Michigan. Look for more of his writing, his archive (which is under construction), and his updates at or follow him @justingawel on Twitter.