Happy Birthday to me

Its the day I try to deny more and more every year — which seems to arrive more quickly every year.

When I turned 50, I was shocked that I was immediately eligible for membership in AARP (even though I wasn’t retired) and a “Senior Checking Account” with my bank.

When I sat down to write about being a “man of a certain age”, I found help in the following lists.

The Pros:
We speak our mind and we don’t care what anyone else thinks.
We can wave by just raising our arms because we’re lucky enough to have skin that no longer adheres to the muscle or bone.
We’re smarter than we were then.
We’re less opinionated. Well, at least some of us are.
We own everything we need and chances are there’s nothing left we want.
We’re younger than our parent’s were at our age.
We don’t look like Grandparents nor act like them.
We have perspective.
We have no illusions about love. We know exactly what it is.
We no longer need to worry about “skinny jeans”.
We know what a record is, what music is supposed to sound like and chances are we still own a record player.
We’ve experienced historical events that have changed the world and thusly changed how we view the world.
We had actors in our day not personalities.
Our first cars were made of steel, gas was 25-cents a gallon and we could buy a slice of pizza and a coke for a buck and a quarter.
We know what it is to protest for issues or changes that we feel strongly about.
We’re passionate. We feel deeply about many things.
We care about the world and preserving it for those who follow.
We read.
We debate and converse.
When we argue an issue it’s not a deal breaker.(Well, for some of us.)
We know the value of friends.
We really enjoy a good meal and a fine bottle of wine.
Grammar, punctuation, articulation and the beauty of words and language are important to us.
We watch B&W and subtitled movies.
We lived through Watergate and survived being disillusioned.
Virginity was not a rarity in our day.
Back in the day “unprotected sex’ meant a padded headboard.
Children having children was uncommon when we were in our youth and marriage was the obvious consequence.
We knew how to balance a checkbook, count change, and the importance of a savings account before we graduated high school.
Religion and Politics were sacred and private when we were growing up.
When we went to school we were taught script handwriting, arithmetic, current events and problem-solving. We were lucky and we didn’t even know it!
Putting in a full, hard day at work was the norm and we took pride in our work.
We were taught respect for our elders -(oh, no, that’s us!!!)

The Cons:
Our hair is either thinning or gray.
We now have two chins like it or not.
We have twenty or more pounds on than we ever had and no matter what we do, unlike our youth when we just had to think about losing them, they now refuse to leave us.
If you’re over forty chances are you’re wearing glasses and if you’re not you’re holding the newspaper at arms length and misreading street signs.
We pee when we sneeze.
We pee when we laugh.
We’re grandparents.
We walk into another room to get something, but once we get there we can’t remember what it was we wanted.
We forget what we’re saying mid-sentence.
We need eight hours of sleep no matter what.
We have way too much stuff.
Our aches are chronic.
Arthritis, colonoscopies, prescription drugs and doctor appointments are commonplace and part of our vernacular.
It’s a choice between sex and a night out.
Beer bellies.
Instead of sport stats we’re complaining about our newest pains.
Herbal remedies, homeopathic and natural cures have become the topics of conversation along with Viagra, erectile dysfunction, and menopause.
We have to reconsider our wardrobe for “Age appropriateness”.
Everything sags.
We used to flaunt our voluptuous decollate, now, more likely it’s just a roadmap to our youth.
Men used to be able to tell their barber: “a little off the top”. Now, come to think of it, there are no more barbers or barber shops for that matter. They’ve been replaced by “stylists” and “hair salons”.
Scarves used to be a decorative compliment to an outfit, now they cover the ravages of time.
We used to tie a string around our finger to remember something, now we question who put the string on our finger and why is it there.
When did the “Early Bird Special” become part of our vernacular? Even worse, when did we think the food is actually good?
Your significant other knows how your stories end better than you do.
You buy sympathy cards every time you walk into Hallmark – just in case .
Drinking caffeinated coffee after two will guarantee a sleepless night.
There was a time when SUV’s, STD’s, AIDS, CD’s and such were just letters of the alphabet.

Happy birthday.


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