Granite Bay author shares why women over 40 are in the prime of their lives

By: Stephanie Garica, Granite Bay View Correspondent
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“Ripening of a Woman”

“Ripening of a Woman” is available on author Melanie Baker Garrett’s website,, or on One percent of all proceeds from the book will go to support ALS.

Crop report

We harvested a few quotes from Granite Bay author Melanie Baker Garrett’s book “Ripening of a Woman.”

On the shrinking dating pool for women over 40: “The men know it and act like a kid in a candy store. There is no need for a relationship when the men are in such high demand. The really sad fact is; the guys who have the ‘most to offer’ are already married.”

On the expiration date for women in Hollywood: “A woman becomes a certain age and she can only play the unattractive ‘character’ roles. Thank God for the strong, talented actresses like Meryl Streep, versatile and elegant and always the entire package.”

On examples men set for their daughters: “If you date women a lot younger and buy them gifts, she will learn quickly how to get things with her body. When you date a lot of different women, she will learn women are NOT valued in relationships.”

On finding passion: “If you find yourself with a nice guy, respectful, good provider, family oriented and you feel comfortable together but you don’t feel any Passion (and you just left a marriage without Passion), don’t settle. Why cheat yourself?”

On younger men trying harder: “If you can’t teach an ‘Old Dog’ new tricks ... it’s time to get a ‘Young Dog.’”


Melanie Baker Garrett, local dating expert and self-proclaimed “cougar,” has a lot to be thankful for. Her book, “Ripening of a Woman,” is now available on Amazon, and it is gaining popularity due to its humorous tone about a woman’s journey to awaking her sexuality in the prime of her life.

Garrett considers herself a cougar. (She claims to have been cheated out of winning the title of Miss California Cougar in 2009.)

But Garrett didn’t set out to write a guide to becoming a cougar.

“I wrote ‘Ripening of a Woman’ to help women in their 40s and 50s get back into the dating scene,” said Garrett, a Granite Bay resident for seven years. “The dating landscape has changed, there are new rules, and my book is meant to entertain and educate.”

The book covers everything from current sex trends to online dating, to pop culture examples. Garrett not only shares some of her own stories, but those of other women that paint a true picture of what is out there.

She also explains the real meaning of the word “cougar.” The term “cougar” has become a word used to refer to a growing number of middle-aged women who seek out, meet, and date, younger men.

“Women re-entering the dating game after divorce and being married for several years are finding that many things have changed,” Garrett said. And she knows from experience. After an eight-year marriage with two children, she found herself divorced and single in her mid-40s.

“It was a new world,” Garrett said. “I didn’t realize how hard it would be to date, and I learned a lot.” Garrett wanted to share her experiences and give advice to other women who may find themselves in the same situation.

“Women today need to be educated on everything from online dating to repercussions of casual sex and especially the pitfalls to avoid,” Garrett said. “Unless you have been out and about dating in the current scene you simply do not recognize the red flags.”

While some people may believe that cougar behavior reveals a sense of desperation amongst older women, others view being a cougar as a source of self-empowerment.

“In our 40s and 50s, we are at our peak,” Garrett said. “We feel more secure, confident and intellectually, we have grown. We are sexually, mentally and physically in our prime.”

Although Garrett admits that she does prefer to date younger men, she said the cougar/cub relationships that so many hear about in the news do often have the recipe for mutual satisfaction.

Some young men are particularly attracted to a cougar because they perceive the relationship as being one with “no strings attached,” so they don’t feel the pressure of being in a committed relationship. Another benefit is not having to provide financially in the relationship, and being with a woman who is wiser, and therefore more experienced in life and in the bedroom.

“We are not looking for our meal ticket or a parent for our children,” Garrett said. “We are looking to explore ourselves and are confident enough to go ask for and get what we want.”

Garrett says the book is a humorous story offering insight, advice and adventure into a world many are not familiar with.

“Women love this book, but men are writing me as well and telling me that they enjoyed it, too,” she said.