Saturday, August 23, 2014

Grumpy Old Men

As both of you who read this blog regularly may have noticed, I tend to employ a certain degree of snark in my political elicitations and dissertations. And I use this approach to discuss matters of import, to foster debate, and to piss off people who are less than willing to hear opinions contrary to their own.
However, this time around, I have found something that I think everyone -- Republican, Democrat, liberal, conservative, mentally sound, Yankee fans -- can get behind, and that is this:
Getting old kinda sucks.
I'm beginning to know whereof I speak. I'm 50 years old in a few weeks, and when a man turns fifty he starts to take stock of things, to reflect on his life, and to realize that the body just doesn't do what it's supposed to any more.
So, in no particular order, I present this List Of What You Can Expect for all those who have not yet reached the half century mark.
1. Fashion becomes much more functional.
When they're in their twenties and thirties, guys will think nothing of strapping themselves into tight jeans and form-fitting shirts as a way of displaying their taut physiques to young females. This works because, in many cases, guys this age have roughly a half teaspoon of body fat.
By the time they hit 50, however, tight jeans and form-fitting shirts become a) incredibly unattractive, looking like a denim baggie full of curdled milk, and b) too much damned work. Guys this age are looking for comfort, and if that means baggy jeans and an ancient Aerosmith sweatshirt, then so be it.
2. Loafers
Some people say your tastes change and become more conservative as you age, and that you are trying to project an air of gravitas and responsibilty. When in reality loafers happen because you can no longer bend over to tie your damned shoes.
3. The bathroom.
Nowhere does aging make itself felt more to a guy than in the can. Where you used to be able to unleash a stream for twenty seconds that would drill a hole through a bridge abutment, it has now become an anemic dribble that lasts as long as the first part of "Stairway To Heaven", up to the guitar solo. And so you find yourself sitting down more often, partly because of this, partly because you now have this distended belly that makes aiming pretty much pure guesswork, but mostly just to take a load off (get it?).
4. Sex
There has been much written about maintaining a healthy libido into middle age and beyond, most of which is true. However, what nobody mentions is that as you age it's not the lack of desire or stimulation that puts on the brakes, it's just that you'd rather take a nap.
In fact, at this age, probably the sexiest thing you could say to a man is "Relax and watch the game. I'll take care of it," where "it" is the dog horking something up on the carpet or the toilet making strange gurgling noises or your teenage daughter stomping into her room, screaming about how she has to do EVERYTHING and her little brother does NOTHING.
5. Nightlife
Let's face it. By the time you turn 50, "nightlife" would be replaced by Nightline, if it wasn't for the fact that it's on so damned late and you end up falling asleep in the recliner in boxer shorts and a stained white t-shirt roughly two hours before it comes on.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. There are plenty of other aspects to aging that I will not be covering here because, quite frankly, they are too depressing, like the fact that hair stops growing where you want it, like your head, while simultaneously sprouting luxuriously from other areas, like your nostrils. Or the fact that you are emitting aromas much more frequently,  and publicly, than before. Or the fact that this doesn't bother you anywhere near as much as it should. I gotta lie down.

A Path Forward

The Democratic primaries are heating up, and I am already seeing purity tests of various stripes filtering across the intertubes. Bernie ...