Older women who date younger men have become pretty well-known as cougars. But what do you call older men who date younger women (other than “ex-husbands”)? They’re manthers, I learned from a recent speed dating event.
My manther encounters started as soon as I entered the bar. As I searched the drink menu for a beverage under $10 (manther habitats tend to be expensive), a gray-haired man eating a large plate of sushi struck up a conversation. He explained his line of work: buying depressed or foreclosed properties in Florida and flipping them for a profit. But it wasn’t until another gray-haired, pin-striped manther prowled up that I learned the slang for this industry. “I’m in vulture capital,” he said.
Not being ready to date a scavenger, I focused on the newcomer. But, although he claimed to be “happily divorced,” he didn’t seem to have fully adapted to the manther role. After a little small talk about speed dating, he started offering me dating advice. “I’ll tell you what I tell my daughter, who says it’s hard to find guys. Go to standing room section of Phillies game. Or an Eagles game. They’re full of guys,” he said.
It seemed like a clear signal that I wasn’t manther bait. (Wouldn’t they spring for seats at the game to rest their aging bones?) I thought about asking for his daughter’s number so we could go man-hunting together. But I was late to meet my dad– the only older man who would be buying my dinner.