of cougars and baby men

By Jim Stanford on February 1, 2007

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Baby Man Syndrome: (noun) Characterized by young, single men, specifically between the ages of 29 and 37, who have made the conscious decision to live in Jackson Hole, ski, have successfully eluded all stereotypical adult male behavior such as marriage, children, six-figure incomes, mortgages, fancy cars and golf.

There is an epidemic of Baby Man Syndrome in Jackson, and it has many a furrowed-brow professional in deep thought. (hmmmm.)

Baby Men are darling, they are hot, and they are everywhere.

Today’s post comes from a new writer we shall call Cougar Mama. Her essay on “Baby Man Syndrome” practically burst off the Guest Shot page in yesterday’s News&Guide, offering a rare bit of incisive, refreshingly honest social commentary.

I’d like to broadcast it to all the lonely ladies out there in cyberspace, pondering a move to (or vacation in) Jackson Hole.

Finding a way to illustrate this wasn’t easy. Lacking a photo of ski instructor Greg Schnicter, I had to settle for this shot of cougars on the prowl at last year’s Halloween Party at Snow King, by David Stubbs.

Cougars on the prowl, by David Stubbs

What follows is “Baby Man Syndrome” in its entirety.

Having just returned from a morning ski run, I’m going to cue up some Widespread Panic on my iPod (cough, cough), make lunch and chill-ax.

Baby Man Syndrome: (noun) Characterized by young, single men, specifically between the ages of 29 and 37, who have made the conscious decision to live in Jackson Hole, ski, have successfully eluded all stereotypical adult male behavior such as marriage, children, six-figure incomes, mortgages, fancy cars and golf.

There is an epidemic of Baby Man Syndrome in Jackson, and it has many a furrowed-brow professional in deep thought. (mmmmm.)

Baby Men are darling, they are hot, and they are everywhere.

As you nod your head, we thought it a good use of time to investigate and discuss in detail this phenomenon. Knowledge and identification are the first steps to a successful interaction and, ultimately, a rewarding relationship. Our research, which is nowhere near complete, has given us these observations:

Baby Men love to ski. They have given up everything to be in Jackson Hole. They moved here from all over the country, although some just stayed after the boys’ ski trip in college.

They rent little houses, and many have curly hair, though most don’t brush their hair so it just looks sort of messy. They have hairless bodies that are rippled with six-packs and eight-packs, and broad shoulders with tattoos of all shapes and sizes. (Additional research is needed to understand if they were born hairless, lost it, or if it will grow later when they get bigger.)

Baby Men are very smart. They spend time alone, which seems to lead them to a great deal of introspection and self-discovery, or maybe it’s just all the pot they smoke. Regardless, they are hot.

Baby Men have interesting jobs. They are ski instructors, bartenders, drivers, cooks, dog watchers and caretakers; they are very busy. We are not exactly sure what they do with their day when there is no snow. Early analysis suggests they do a great deal of relaxing or “chill-axing,” which is a combination of chilling and relaxing.

Baby Men love music. Most have iPods with their favorite selections, which they may play at various times as a means by which to communicate their feelings. Genius!

Baby Men instinctively seek out women in their late 30s or 40s, who are commonly called “cougars.” This works well as cougars have the same mating season as Baby Men – all the time.

Baby Men are very comfortable with their sexuality. They seem to have done research as a species on how to lure, capture and conquer their prey, thus turning her into a purring kitty.

Baby Men love to travel. They go to places like South America, Baja Mexico and Alaska. Most of these trips surround a sports activity like paragliding, surfing, hunting and, of course, pot smoking. (Our professionals are considering an expedition with the Baby Men to observe their behavior in this foreign habitat.)

Baby Men have a unique language. The word “sick” means good, and “dude” is an intergender description, not a person on a guest ranch.

Baby Men text. This is a very important way to communicate. However, our experts are worried they may have future spelling and punctuation issues.

Baby Men can’t dance. Primarily because their shoes have rubber soles, and most have rather large feet for the size of their bodies. However, their “lids,” or little knit caps, make up for it! (oooooh.)

Baby Men recycle. This is something taken very seriously. If you are ever caught throwing a wine bottle in the trash you will see a spark of contempt. We recommend you recycle extensively, including cardboard.

Baby Men eat well. They love to “make lunch.” This is quite interesting to observe as it occurs in the middle of the day and seems to cause them great joy. They love burritos and tacos and oftentimes will have a beer, but this is rare, as the afternoon sports activity must be achieved with only pot smoking, not drinking, which is much worse.

If you ever have the opportunity to be part of their natural environment, we highly recommend you take advantage and spend many days and nights with them. They are beautiful, intelligent, very sexy, funny and in our opinion have lived their lives the right way.

We are thrilled to have them maintain their year-round refuge here in Jackson Hole.

Inquiries may be directed to: Jackson Hole Cougar Society, P.O. Box 2002, Wilson, WY 83014.

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Posted under Entertainment, Humor

5 Comments so far

  1. The Snaz February 2, 2007 8:26 am

    I only hope that the endemic species of the “Baby Men” of Jackson Hole will continue to be given refuge in the area, if only to provide much needed competition to a new invasive species that threatens to overwhelm us: the Wilson Mom.

  2. js February 2, 2007 8:38 pm

    While she nailed the Jackson guy stereotype, I think she has the relationship reversed. It’s the cougar ladies who are looking to prey on the baby men.
    Some of us prefer kittens.

  3. Kevin April 2, 2009 10:10 am

    I have a great piece on Ski Chickas Americanus, The North American Ski Chick. Where can I send it?

  4. Diane Benefiel April 5, 2009 12:07 pm

    Baby Men in Jackson Hole are nothing new.

    When I moved here in 1977 I was a wide-eyed, 24-year-old single kitten, fresh out of art school and seeking adventure and the Rocky Mountain lifestyle. (… cue John Denver et al.)

    Baby Men in 1977 had a lot of hair and like the Baby Men of today, eschewed the trappings of the “establishment.” The Baby Men of the 70′s (and their predecessors) helped to define the current Baby Man culture, but were more affectionately known as Ski Bums and Dirt Bags.

    The Baby Men of the late 70s are now the Baby Codgers of the new mellinieum. Securely fastened to bar stools (with their names on them), the elite can be found at The Brew Pub, Calico, Stagecoach and The Q.

    Many Baby Codgers tried marriage. They met and wed Jackson Hole transplants like me; young athletic women with an inexhaustible reservoir of energy and a willingness to learn the skills (from our Baby Men boyfriends) needed to enjoy (and survive) living and playing in the mountains.

    Couples courted while pursuing their seasonal outdoor obsessions; climbing, skiing, biking, boating, etc. Playing in the mountains and on the rivers were what we had in common. Sound familiar?

    We all learned soon enough that long-term relationships, though infinitely rewarding, are demanding and sometimes disastrous, especially when the people involved grow and situations change.

    Some Baby Codgers in 2009 still manage to avoid the trappings of the establishment though most own their own homes, some have grown kids, all are experts in their trade and, if the body allows, still excel at their life-long sports obsessions (musculoskeletal aches and pains be damed!)

    Baby Men eventually grow old. What happens during that process will determine the Man … or not. Does it really matter? I don’t know. Probably not. As long as there’re mountain Disneylands there’ll be Baby Men, Cougars, Kittens and those lovable, albeit eccentric, Baby Codgers.

    Thanks for the article.

  5. Jennifer Swett August 11, 2014 3:08 pm

    Hi all! I’m your author! Thanks for the
    Comments! A few years later I have even more research to share! (I know right?) if anyone cares it’s all changed up! I’m 50 now and there’s a whole new game out there! LOL ummm I think I gotta write it – The Book did well!

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