December 8, 2006

You are going to have to use your imagination a little more on this piece. When you get to the text pretend that the font being utilized is titled STENCIL. I discovered that if you read this and do not have the font STENCIL on your computer, it will just come out with 'normal' print. So trust me it was hard to read anyway.

You will notice that the following piece uses the font titled: Stencil. Stencils are used extensively for labeling items when we are in the military, and at the peak of our physicality. Since the piece concerns the inevitability of losing some of our ‘manhood’ as we age, it might be Freudian.


I’m not exactly convinced that men are the stronger of the sexes. It is true that we are more muscular and can carry much heavier loads than most women can, but I’m not sure we can withstand pain better than a woman could. I’m also finding that I want to go to bed earlier as I get older, but I get up earlier, which only seems logical. I have not fallen into the bathroom visits each night yet. But I suppose that will come to pass. Sorry, I couldn’t resist that sorry little joke. Oh Oh here is another joke I could crack, but I won’t again. It’s not because I’m too goody goody to share potty or anatomy jokes, I like them, but I’m not very good at telling them.

I also find that my hair is thinning. I mentioned this to my barber in passing the other day, and he thought it pretty amusing. I guess I shouldn’t worry about becoming bald, and I really don’t, I see nothing repulsive about baldness. What it is that bothers me a little about this is that I have never, truthfully, never been vain about my appearance, and I don’t think I am now. I think it bothers me because it adds to my preoccupation with getting older. Now even that statement, ‘getting older’, is suspect. Why didn’t I just say getting old?

Another unsettling development that it seems develops in the males in my genetic path is that we lose some hearing as we age. I have reached that dubious plateau and have lost some of my hearing. To the point that I visited a hearing specialist and they of course wanted to fit me with hearing aids, which I did try out, took for a spin around the block, as they say, but returned to the showroom after a very short spin. I decided, rightfully or wrongly, that the cure was worse than the problem. Wearing hearing aids played havoc with my psyche. It plugged off all my natural hearing ability, and the sounds I did hear came through the electrically amplified earplugs. It did a psychological tap dance on my brain. I did not like it, so I decided that hearing aids were not for me, at least just yet.

One of the strange things that older people do is when bending over, getting out of chairs, getting in chairs, and several other situations, is making accompanying sounds, like drawn-out aah’s, and/or ooh's or umph's. It certainly is not an involuntary sound, it could be held in, I am sure, but it seems to make the extra exertion more bearable if the sound accompanies the act.

I think I am in pretty decent health for my age. See, this is old man talk, in my younger days, I would have said I am, in big letters, in good health, without that pretty decent disclaimer. But when the years add up, you are never exactly sure. I only have to take two pills each day, a blood pressure pill, one of those pills you take because the consequences are too dire to mess with, and a little aspirin to help thin my blood in case I have a heart attack. I might then make it to the hospital in time. Who is this old jerk talking about pills? But it is the subject older people will get around to discussing amongst themselves. Recently I even bought a bigger pill storage unit that divides into days of the week, so I could add a fish oil capsule that I am assured will make me remember things longer among other medical benefits.

One of the indications that you and your mate have crossed some invisible line in the road of life are discussion topics we consider important. Topics we might have thought important when the house was full of kids were in case of fire we would do this or that. But now in a childless home the topic that is the hardest to pin down is the question of when and/or where we should relocate to when that time comes. Now that phrase when the time comes is a handy phrase that covers a lot of territory without having to spell it out each time. Also included in the phrase is the exclusion of one of the parties of the marriage, and here it gets tough.

In hopes of not making anyone’s day gloomier than it has it be, I will end this depressing litany of growing older signposts, but be assured that each of our days are filled with laughs, mostly at ourselves, and joy at being together as long as we have.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't know if this will go through because I am not, gasp!, a blogger. I was looking at Bill Crider's blog and suddenly decided to call up one of the blogs he lists on the side. Yours. As a 71-year-old I was struck by your observation that you sometimes make voluntary umph grunts when standing up, etc. I do, too! I knew it was a characteristic of my aging, but to find others do it as well... OK, as if it matters. Just thought I'd say thanks for pointing it out. - Ted