April Celebrity Edge: Gimme A Beat

944 Magazine

By now, we all know what a cougar is. (Insert your favorite female-dominant May/September fantasy relationship here___). We all know what she is, but has anyone taken the time to ask why she is? The question came to me recently while looking at photos of superstar singer Janet Jackson strutting her cougar stuff at the recent London Fashion Week with a smokin’ hot Latin twentysomething on her arm.

To find her motivation, one need only listen to her hit song “Nasty” from her classic 1986 album, Control.

Think about it.

Last summer, her long-time, big-shot, music-exec boyfriend skipped her brother’s funeral. Friends reportedly explained Jermaine Dupri doesn’t “do funerals.”

You know what my response to that would have been? “Guess that means I don’t ‘do’ you.”

Well, apparently Janet felt the same way, as the pair split up before the holidays last year. And then — just in time for Valentine’s Day — she found comfort in a warm and cuddly cub that she could control.

(Cue the music)

“I’m not a prude, I just want some respect
So, close the door if you want me to respond
Cause privacy is my middle name
My last name is control … ”
Can you blame her? She was understandably vulnerable, and wanted someone she could count on to comfort her.
I’ve done the same thing.

Three years ago, I sold all my furniture and moved cross-country to take a job in Atlanta — a city I’d never visited before. So when I met a smart, attractive man 10 years my junior, (OK, maybe closer to 11), I jumped. What appealed to me was his sweet naïveté. He actually believed our relationship would work and the fact that he was a bartending student seemed a small price to pay. Predictably, the relationship didn’t last.

He had a house full of roommates who had a fondness for late-night beer pong tournaments. And fortunately, I knew better than to bring my cuddly cub home with me. One need look no further than the alimony being paid by the likes of Britney Spears and LeAnn Rimes. Sure, their “cubs” may not have been significantly younger, but their bank accounts certainly were. Still, the cougar motivation remains. And it’s no different for a man.

I spent a good part of my 20s wondering why men would stop calling me, just when our relationship seemed to be getting good. Then I turned 30 and realized those men never had any intention of calling me for more than a month or so. As soon as things started to get serious, they’d move on. It’s like the succulence of that first bite of a ripe peach. That’s what new love feels like. But taking that love into the next level — where responsibility and commitment take residence — can be like sucking the pit: sweet at times, but more work than anything else.

Like going to a funeral, for example.

So, with her life upside down, Janet embraced her cougar side and found herself a cub that’s made her roar.
“Will this one do? Uh huh, I know …”

Corinna Allen is the entertainment reporter for Better Mornings Atlanta, airing daily from 5 – 7 a.m. on CBS Atlanta

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