Monthly Archives: September 2011
I’ve had a few people tell me lately that I don’t look 50. I tend to agree with them! I don’t think I’m 50 regardless of what the birth certificate says! I don’t think it’s just how I look that confuses people about my age. It’s my attitude that confuses them. I see myself in the mirror and I see some gray hair (not much, but enough) and I see some wrinkles. I see a body that really should not go out and run shirtless! I hate to shave, but I can’t see myself with gray in my beard! My knees crack and pop every time I stand up. But 50?!? I don’t think so!
First, there’s the music thing. I can’t stand listening to 92.5 The Fox because they play the music of my teen/young adult years. I heard those songs then, I liked a lot of them then, but I do NOT want to hear them now! I listened to every Van Halen album until they fired David Lee Roth. I listened to the albums so often, I knew what song was coming next before the current song was over. I listened to Rush and felt like I was part of an exclusive club not understood by the masses. I listened to Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Queen, Aerosmith before the drugs. I even had some fun listening to George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic (take that, spell check!!). Today, when those classics come on the radio, I will nearly crash my car to change the station! God help me if it’s a song I didn’t like 30 years ago because I will drive my car off a bridge just to make it stop! The Hell I imagine is, you’re just hanging out with nothing to do and Satan is in control of the music. He will play just enough of a song you hate to make you sing it over an over again in your head. Heaven wouldn’t be any better – they don’t have “devil’s music” up there!
So, what does this have to do with my age? I just left a meeting for volunteers of this year’s Midpoint Music Festival. It’s a three night event downtown that showcases undiscovered talent. They always have one or two “name” acts, but 99% of the acts are unknown to you before seeing them. I thrive on that type of musical discovery! When I listen to music that gives me goose bumps, I feel like I’m 17 again. I have music in my collection that my kids haven’t heard of!
Second, there’s the running thing. I take pride in knowing that I run faster (and longer) than people half my age. Tonight, I was driving through a neighborhood and I saw someone running slowly. I wanted to make fun of them but then I saw that it was a gray haired old dude running. Then, I was saying “you go, old man!” Of course that made me think of me at 60 years old running my 21st marathon in 10 years! I will have run three marathons this year, so if I run two per year until the end of my 59th year, I will have run 21 marathons during the decade of my 50s. Now, by the time I’m 60 I may be slower and actually have to walk more than my ego would like, but I’ll still do it. I imagine my older self taunting the young whippersnappers as they nervously approach their first marathon, “How are you going to feel when I pass you, punk!?!”
Finally, there’s the sex thing. With respect to my sons who may be reading this, I’ll keep this one private. No one wants to hear about old people having sex! That’s just gross!!
My Dad and my oldest brother died in their mid 50s. I plan to make it well into my 80s. As long as I’m alive, I want to be re-defining old age for my children and grandchildren. 50 is the new 30! Now, someone help me get out of this chair. My bones are tired!
Everyone says you don’t really get to know someone until after you live with them. You can take that two ways. One, the person you’re dating will reveal her true self after living with her for a while. Two, she’s going to find out about my true self too! That’s kind of scary! Only I know my true self and I’m my worst critic, so how can I let her see that guy? You are always on your best behavior during the dating stage. The gentleman opens the door for the lady, you call if you’re going to be late, you’re always in a good mood, and the most important rule is, NO belching or farting!
Alana and I spent a few dates in that “polite” stage, then we spent some time telling each other our deepest, darkest secrets. I think she was telling me what she thought would scare me away. This just caused me to tell her things I thought would scare her away. I found out rather quickly that she accepted me flaws and all, and I accepted her without judging her. We had this mutual, unspoken, agreement that we were getting and giving a new start to each other. It was like getting a do-over! The funny thing is, this acceptance of each other created a bond very quickly. We entered the “impolite” stage soon thereafter. That’s when I found out that you keep a woman who won’t fart in front of you, yet who laughs at my farts! Her laughter is what has saved her from the dreaded Dutch Oven.
As soon as I moved in, she did everything she could to make me feel at home. She helped set up the Man Cave in the finished basement. Then I found out that she sends me to The Cave so she can watch TV alone! This really is a good thing. I’d rather watch the shows I like and not be forced to watch The Bachelor in order to compromise with her! Every so often, I’ll go upstairs just to say hi. She is genuinely happy to see me every time. Forced togetherness causes resentments. Being able to be home with her while doing what I like to do without her makes me want to be with her more! This reminds me of one of my favorite sayings – “how can I miss you if you won’t go away?” Our “alone” time makes our together time all the better.
There are many things I’ve learned about her since moving in. Whenever I do something that makes her laugh, she makes me do it again. She’s like a little kid saying “do it again, do it again!” So I do it again and she laughs harder than she did the first time. There are things I have repeated for months now just because it makes her laugh! Because she is so competitive about everything, I’ve also learned to let her win most of the time! She has found out that I sometimes need to vent about something that frustrated me. She listens and understands my venting has nothing to do with her – I just need someone to care that I’m frustrated. She makes these faces and says “you’re scaring me, Baby.” I know she’s joking and that helps defuse the situation. She realizes that once the venting is done, I’m happy again.
Life with me can’t be a bed of roses, but it’s been pretty spectacular so far! We have so much respect for each other that when disagreements or misunderstandings occur, we work them out very quickly. She figured out the trick to staying happy with me is to not take me too seriously. I figured out the trick to staying happy with her is to just let Alana be Alana. We fell in love with each other after we allowed each other to just be ourselves. Neither of us wants to change anything about the other. I guess that means no matter what else we learn about each other over the rest of our lives, that’s going to be okay too!