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#8 – Eight Cradles A-Robbing

On the 8th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

8 Cradles A-Robbing
7 Smoke’s A-Blowing
6 Skirts A-Dropping
Sca-ven-ger Huuuunk…
4 Snowboarding Yanks
3 Taco Bobs
2-Stepping Gent, and
A Partridge in a Pear Tree

Welcome to my cougar date.

Sigh… Sadly, I’m not even kidding.

I’ve been jokingly called a cougar, because I seem to be attracted to men SLIGHTLY younger than myself, but I never go out with any that are significantly younger – on principle. But, this series is supposed to feature all different KINDS of dates, so…. I decided to take a young man (a very young man) up on his offer to go out.

I met Taylor (I’m calling him Taylor because he has one of those adorable last-name-for-a-first-name names, and “Taylor” just SOUNDS young) when he played upright bass in a jazz ensemble with my best friend one night at her gig. He was filling in for her usual guy and we met. He was very flirty and charming. We only exchanged numbers because a group of us were going to head out after that to go salsa dancing and he said he might like to join us. In the end, there was an issue with texts going through and he never got the information about the salsa spot… but the next day, he asked me out for brunch. I was flattered, but had other plans (AND he’s so YOUNG!) – “how young IS he, Sarah?”… well – let’s just say there’s a 2 in the front and leave it at that, shall we? Old enough to drink, young enough to not be marriage material – that we didn’t meet up.

But he read my blog and enjoyed it and we kept in touch with the occasional text here and there.

So, when he texted me one day to check in, I asked if he’d be up for being my baby child boy-toy slightly-younger-than-I-am date for my 12 Dates series. He was, (as I suspected he WOULD be) a great sport about it – even asking for clarification about his role. So cute.

We agreed to meet up at an English pub in the village, and I asked if we could grab something to eat from the restaurant next door and bring it back over (since the bar didn’t have much in the way of food and mama was hungry!). So, headed over to Benjy’s and while we waited for the pizza, we dove straight into what turned out to be a surprisingly lovely evening.

Taylor made me giggle right off the bat when he instituted a policy whereby, if he raised his hand while saying something, that information was inadmissable to the blog. “Off the record,” if you will. Awesome. Of course he didn’t ever end up raising his hand throughout the night, but it started us out in a light-hearted way, which is always good.

Taylor - at Benjys

We brought the pizza back into the pub and ordered a couple of beers. I asked if Taylor wanted to sit at the bar so he could watch the game (there was an important Texans game on…why do I always end up on dates when there’s football to compete with?), but he made this anti-football girl’s heart flutter when he said, “no, I’m not here to watch football!” (swoon…) and we retreated to the side room with the fireplace/bookshelves/sofas – very English parlor-esque.

P 3 - fireplace with beer and pizza

So we sat and talked… and talked… and talked…

Who knew a young thing like Taylor had so many interesting opinions and ideas? They must be teaching that kinda stuff earlier these days…

We talked about music, about children (he wasn’t at all freaked out about me having kiddos…which surprised me), about dating, jobs, and on and on. He was so easy to talk to, and (as you can see in the photos), adorable to look at. And, despite his age, he was so conversationally adept – keeping a balanced cadence of his own thoughts as well as asking me about myself and my world. Color me impressed.

After a while, I mentioned the fact that they had pool and darts in another room and Taylor was totally game – for a game. This is my kinda guy – ready to spring into playful action at a moment’s notice.

So, we played a very flirty but competitive game of darts. To be fair, I totally had him on the ropes all the way through – knocking out my 17s, 18, and such, but got SO stymied by that blasted bullseye, that I gave him ample time to come up from behind and ….(though it pains me to say it) …win.

But he was a great sport, and didn’t do that annoying thing some guys do where they try to correct your stance or act so superior about their form that it feels less like a game and more like a darts clinic. No, Taylor was an absolute blast.

P 6 - Darts

As a side note – and the only purpose of this paragraph is for me to brag – there was a small group of British friends playing pool next to us and we started some friendly banter with them. I, of course, had to sport my English accent, and after a while, I overhead the woman tell the guys, “my gosh, her accent is better than mine!” SUCCESS!!! My crowning moment… I can die happy now.
Ok – toot-my-own-horn rant over.

We then went onto the patio for a few minutes and enjoyed the gorgeous crisp weather. We talked some more, evening opening up about some more serious topics (past flames, family, etc.), and then he kissed me.
Oh boy…did he kiss me. The man can smooch.
It wasn’t anything crass or over-the-top, but it was perfectly sensual and passionate. MMmmmm…. this guy is danger.

We retreated back into the parlor/library room where we talked, laughed, joked some more. I stole his hat and allowed as how I thought I looked WAY cuter in it than he did…

Taylor was free with the compliments too… even saying at one point (I MAY have committed this to memory right after he said it…), “You’re amazing. I mean – you’re beautiful… But your personality is awesome!”
You speak the truth, young lad.

P 4 - the hat's on the other head...

Finally, we needed to go, and he asked if he could take me somewhere else for one more drink. I acquiesced… (who wouldn’t?) and started to follow him out of the parking lot, when I realized I’d left my phone and my scarf inside the pub. So, we turned around and I headed in to get them, only to find that a gang of drunk 30-something men on the patio had found said scarf, and one of them was wearing it. Great. Gross. Ugh…I can already tell I’m going to have to engage in some kind of drunken negotiations to get it back. So – I turned on my charming and cheerful persona, thanked them for finding it and asked politely for the scarf back. The guy wearing it thought he was being funny, but he was just being a jerk about it and not giving it back to me, saying – “this doesn’t smell like you…I don’t think it’s really yours!” (yes… you’ve deduced correctly… he sniffed me. SNIFFED ME, people…)

After my best protestations, they would NOT give me the stinkin’ scarf (drunk guys can be such fashion-hogs), so I gave up. I thought when they saw me walking away, they’d cave, but no – they’d fully committed to the jerk role and were playing the part beautifully.

When Taylor saw me returning to my car scarfless, he hopped out with a puzzled look on his face. I explained the situation and he marched right into the bar and politely, but firmly told them to return my scarf to me. They played the same boorish game with him, but he was having nothing to do with it. He reached up and grabbed one end of the scarf and used a perfect balance of a “don’t mess with me” tone and playful banter with these idiots as he pulled the scarf off the guy with the same finesse as a magician pulling bandanas from a pocket. In less than 2 minutes, the scarf was ours again and we were heading out.
I have to admit… it’s PRETTY sexy when a guy will stand up for you – even if it IS about something as insignificant as an accessory. (Though…it was a VERY cute accessory – black ruffles and all).

P 5 - Bier Haus

He tried to take us to “The Big Easy,” a sweet blues spot that often has live music… but it was closed, so we headed over to Hans’ Bier Haus where we had some Christmas-y brew and sat by the jukebox just chatting some more. At one point he even quoted Lord Byron. BYRON, friends…

This was a great date. I mean – truly. It was such a refreshing surprise to find such depth AND playfulness in a guy so young. Some of the stuff we talked about would have been socially paralyzing for many men much older, but Taylor was comfortable and winsome.

He kissed me again outside the Bier Haus before returning to his car. Yum. …and sigh…

So… the cougar date ended exactly how you wish it won’t … with me wanting to spend more time with someone who’s really not appropriate for me to date.

I figured that after the fun of the night wore off, when he woke up the next day, unaltered by alcohol or my captivating smile, he would think of our date with fondness, but then move on. I didn’t expect any texts or follow-up conversation.

But… I was wrong.

He texted me to ask when this would post, and after I told him (and asked if he was nervous about the write-up!), he texted, “Well, regardless of the ‘grade’ I receive…I plan on pursuing you again 🙂 ”

Totes adorbs.

So – that brings us to now. We haven’t hung out again because I’ve been so busy with holiday stuff and little ones. But, not for lack of his trying – he’s texted a couple times asking if I was available to go out.

What shall I do? I guess I should also throw out there, that it’s not just the age thing which has me perplexed… I think he and I are probably in different place on the issue of faith. (You know… that whole sticky wicket of me loving God and wanting to find a guy who does too?). Now, I’m not CERTAIN of this… it’s just what I picked up from our brief foray into that topic. Maybe another date would clear it up? But then, when you combine that with him being a neophyte (in more ways than one?)… I’m not so sure… Then again, he’s sweet, smart, funny, thoughtful, fun to be around and an amazing kisser.

Hmmm………..

So, I’ll do what any self-respecting not-bold-enough-to-make-her-own-decisions dater would do…
I’m opening it up to readers’ suggestions… do I go out with him again, but make it clear that we just need to be friends? How young IS too young? I want to hear your thoughts.
The best comment (as judged by my entirely subjective mood, with extra consideration to those that make me laugh…) will receive a free “AndAllThatSass” notepad.
I know… I know… the excitement is almost unbearable.

Let the advising begin.

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