Monday, November 30, 2009

Book Review: Don't Ever Call Me, Ma'am!

I never get it when people, particularly women, worry about their age.

I don’t understand why they consider themselves less attractive or less valuable or less anything as they get older. It’s been my experience that people with a few years under their belts are funny, smart, and interesting (well, usually).

So when a book comes along to assure me that life begins at 40, I’m like, “No kidding.” You’re preaching to the choir.

But then I read my mail. I get email from women who tell me they might as well have dropped dead at 40. Men don’t want them. Employers don’t want them. The only person who does want them is the plastic surgeon.

(Again, personal experience shows me something else. A good friend, who’s 44 with two children, attracts a ridiculous number of men ranging in age from 20 to 60. Two years ago, she set her sights on a certain position in a certain location - and got it. Still has it, too.)

But if you’re a woman who fears 40, I do recommend Linda Franklin’s Don’t Ever Call Me Ma’am! The Real Cougar Handbook. The first Canadian woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, the woman’s got a winning attitude whether she’s writing about success or relationships.

Here’s Franklin’s take on men:

"While it may be true that more women over 40 are enjoying relationships with younger men, they aren’t putting themselves on the auction block to do it. Don’t believe for a minute that a Real Cougar is a lonely predator skulking in dark bars preying on younger men. She is definitely not the cartoon character that too many make her out to be. Undoubtedly, this negative image was concocted by the overly testosteroned fantasy world of our male population. Let’s face it: Women are still the prime target for the good old boy’s double standard. And the only way we’re going to change that is to continue to excel doing it our way.”

The book includes a how-to chapter on dating and relationships, guest-written by dating coach and author Ronnie Ann Ryan (full disclosure: Ronnie’s a competitor of mine who’s now a friend). The book also features Franklin’s easy-to-follow advice on managing one’s finances and her success plan for achieving goals (with a very inspiring story about how one woman set out to become a best-selling author and became one). There’s also a chapter on sex, amusingly titled, “Sex Is Not a Job.”

Fore more information on Linda Franklin and Don’t Ever Call Me Ma’am!, check out The Real Cougar Woman.


dating london said...

my husband is nearly ten years younger than me but i dont consider myself a cougar, we met and started dating in london and we're in the same line of work and we started out meeting up just as friends because he was in a relationship. when it ended his relationship we found that there were deeper feeling developing and i asked him if he wanted to try a date and that night changed both of our lives. the age is a factor for our friends and family and sometimes people assume we're not together or that he's available even when i'm there but i guess every relationship has it's issues, we laugh about it mostly and that's why it works.

Jokah Macpherson said...

...meanwhile, 18-25 year old girls carry on about their business knowing they are the center of the universe WITHOUT having to read voluminous tomes of self-validation.

I think the underlying message that you should not worry about your age is a good one. Even though you will never be as beautiful as you were when you were young, you are usually competing with people in your peer group, who tend to be closer to your own age, and therefore you will be judged on other positive traits like your sense of humor, thoughtfulness, intelligence, etc. Speaking as a 26 yeard old male, I am much happier now than I was at 18 or even 22.

This author takes the cougar thing waaay to far, though. I am all for dating anyone of any age who likes you but labeling yourself a "cougar" and talking about how empowered you are is just as comical as a man telling you he's a "player" and lecturing you on how pickup artists are misunderstood by society. If this book helps readers of Terri's blog get over their age I am all for it. Just keep in mind that this woman is trying to sell books, you know, for money.