Just about everyone can think of reasons why being an old guy is not advantageous. These are just some personal musings as to why I find it, great to be an old guy.
NO MORE MACHO BULLSH!T
- There was a time when men didn’t give a damn if they were dressed stylishly or not. Now to be macho, they gotta look and act like women, and that’s costly. I got 7 pairs of shorts, a dozen shirts, and 4 pairs of long pants (for Winter). For the last 10 years I’ve had, 7 pairs of shorts, a dozen shirts, and 4 pairs of long pants (for Winter). Over the next decade I’ll have, 7 pairs of shorts, a dozen shirts, and 4 pairs of long pants (for Winter). And, they just might be the same ones from one decade to another too ! Waddaya suppose a young guy has in his closet ? A whole helluva lot more than, 7 pairs of shorts, a dozen shirts, and 4 pairs of long pants (for Winter) I can assure you. And, they replace them before they become transparently threadbare, or burnt, irretrievably stained, or won’t stay up ‘cause the elastic waistband disintegrated when Mulroney was in office. Though oddly, I have enough light jackets to clothe the populace of a small Latin American country.
- We used to disregard body hair. If anything, we were proud of it, since that was one of the things that separated men from boys. Boys and women didn’t have any, but Men did. Now I’m seeing TV ads where (as if shaving my face wasn’t enough bother) men are expected to shave every damned thing else too ! Now the poor bastards gotta drag a razor across their chests, backs (howya gonna do that ?) and God only knows (‘cause I sure don’t want to) what else they gotta shave. I used to know a guy who shaved his “courting tackle” … yeah, the look on your face right now is probably the same look I gave him at the time. I mean when he told me, ‘cause he wouldn’t have survived any attempt to show me, buddy or not.
- Old guys do not cut an impressive nor intimidating figure. “Oh, but what about Sylvester Stallone ?” you offer up as argument. I respond with, OK let’s do the math. How many old guys are there on Earth, and how many of them are Sylvester Stallone ? OK so let’s cut that crap out now. Yer an old guy, no one expects you to be a tough guy too, though many still try. My question is, why ? There’s no more pressure on you to be a tough guy. The wife knows you’re not, and if you’re lucky, she’ll want to see you calm down and live a very long time. I’m not promoting couch potatoism. Sure, keep active and such. Just don’t even bother trying to impress those young women, ‘cause, you don’t have to, and that’s what’s great about it ! Have you forgotten the misery of trying to compete with the high-school macho guys for the few fickle females available ? The stress and strain of acting like that “little indiscretion” didn’t hurt like seven Hells ? You didn’t stand a chance with the top girls then, and you still don’t now, so wind back and relax. You don’t have to do that anymore. That’s what makes it great.
CHIVALRY IS DEAD
Unless you want to revive it. You’re an old guy and if you don’t feel like giving up your seat on the bus to that young woman (whom you have no reason to impress), you don’t have to. You’re exempt from the “Prince Charming Expectation” due to age. It’s kinda like being too old for conscription. You don’t have to go, but you can, if you wish and prove yourself able. Well, the same rings true here. No one will stand in judgement of you if you don’t. Sometimes, it’s kinda fun though to offer before any young bucks build up the nerve to do it. You see, they gotta assess the situation and decide whether she’ll be impressed or insulted by the offer of his seat. While he’s doing that, you can leap up and play the gent. No matter whether she’d be offended or impressed by the young buck’s offer, she’ll see past it for you, because you’re a traditional old guy. A guy from a time more genteel, more sophisticated. An old guy who gave up his creature comfort for her, because that’s just the kind of man you are. Then, you get the adoring smile, and the mildly flirtatious chit-chat that would’ve gone to the young buck. And that, is fun.
NO MORE HAIR WORRIES (OK, some of us are the exception)
I have an old friend who is very slim, very tall, and very … how to put this delicately … bald. He used to be my boss for a number of years and we become close friends over that time. A great guy he always was, and still is. He was always ribbing me about being short (though just about anybody’s short to him). So, one day we were at a baseball game as guests of a flavour salesman. After the game, I stood up on the bleacher in preparation to step down onto the next level to leave. That placed my eyes just above Peter’s head. He turned to say something and saw me looking over his head. He grinned and asked “What’s it like to be a normal sized guy?”. I said “Well, the view is terrific, but doesn’t all the additional u.v. light from the sun play Hell with your hair?”. Then I placed my fingertips over my mouth feigning embarrassment at my indiscretion. He grinned and ran his fingers through what little hair he had left at that time.
I’ve noticed the days of old guys with “hair turbans” are coming to a close and most are just shaving it off. Bald men are sexy now don’t ya know ? However, there are still a few with bald tops, but a ring of hair left around the ears who let it grow into a ponytail. The wife told me instant death would follow any attempt to do that on my part. So I guess I’ll just have to settle for my full head of the stuff, neatly trimmed every six weeks. I gotta love going to that salon. That’s another thing. Salons beat the Hell out of the old barber shops. I’ve never felt comfortable surrounded by sweaty smelly other guys. I don’t feel any more comfortable surrounded by a bevy of estrogen oozing women either, but it’s a much more enjoyable uncomfortable lemme tell ya. Especially when my hairdresser’s 20-something assistant runs her fingers through my hair while marvelling at how full, rich, and thick it is. However, the fantasy goes straight to Hell when she just has to say “My Dad’s already going bald”. What she isn’t saying is “And you’re like … a million years older than him”. So, yeah, all you guys who lament your lost hair, those of us still sporting a goodly amount, are no further ahead, really.
YOU CAN GET AWAY WITH LOTSA CRAP
How many times have you heard “Explain yourself young man” ? The last time I heard it was 1985. When you’re an old guy, if someone starts getting all up in your face, all you gotta do is place one hand on your buttock, and the other on your lower belly. Then repeat after me “Well ya see, I got this condition …”. ZIP !! POW !! Yer off the hook chum ! Nobody wants to know any of the goings on below your waist. Hell, I don’t even wanna know what goes on below my own waist. Most others must be like me as many of us grow barriers to block our view of anything below our waists. That way we don’t have to think about it. Outa sight, outa mind right ? Damn right !!
WHO CARES “WHAT THE WORLD IS COMING TO” ?
I’ll be sitting downstairs pounding the keyboard for this very blog when I’ll hear the wife up on the ground floor above say “And well you should, you stupid fat cow !”. I listen a few seconds, then carry on with my writing. Then I hear “And just why the Hell should we pay for that you asshole ?” I stop again and listen. All goes silent again. Suddenly I hear “And it serves you right, you stupid ass ! Who’s going to profit from that ? Idiots, I swear you’re all idiots !”
I wonder, is she on the phone with someone at … I glance down to the computer clock … 11:17 ? And then it all begins to make sense. She’s watching the News. I don’t watch the News, ‘cause all it does is depress &/or anger me. But the wife, she watches it like an armchair jock watches a hockey game. She gets right into it, tooth and nail. Truth is, I sometimes just tap the keyboard to make it sound like I’m busily writing, so I don’t have any reason to go upstairs. I’ll pee down the washtub drain before I’ll climb those stairs. Eventually, she’ll burn herself out and shut the TV off (before she throws the remote at it) and announces that she’s going to bed. I tell her I’ll be up to tuck her in, in a few moments.
Then there’s my neighbour across the street. He’s a treat some mornings. He’ll catch a shred of News the night before, misunderstand it, form an incorrect opinion, and somehow by morning, he’ll be the best informed man in the Western hemisphere. By the time I drop by for our morning get-together, he’ll have embellished the story even further in his mind, and convinced himself of the absolute factuality of his rant. I just sit there nodding my head while planning my daily activities.
IN A WORD
Retirement, that about says it all. Even if you’re still working as an old guy, upper management doesn’t expect you to perform like the young bucks. The young bucks ignore you because you’re hardly a threat to them. They know you’re gonna either retire or crap out at your desk soon enough. But the smart ones will give you a wide berth, ‘cause they suspect after all your years, you might have friends in high places. Just don’t give them any reason to suspect otherwise.
These are just a few reasons amongst many, why I believe it’s great to be an old guy. There are lots of reasons why it’s not so great as well. Difference being, one set of reasons will make you a cantankerous, uncared for, and unhappy curmudgeon, while the other will make you the kind of guy people and beasties want to be around (whether you understand why, or not).