While attempting to squeeze into a pair of jeans I used to be able to wear the other day, a great myriad of mournful thoughts and emotions came cascading around me, and a keen awareness of life facts (most of which I have been in denial of for quite some time) managed to reach my consciousness. If you’re wondering what the heck I just said, I meant, I came face to face with “Old Man Syndrome.” Yes, you’ve heard about it, and much like the legend of Sasquatch, I thought the affliction was made up, or a figment of someone’s imagination, but it is real.
While getting ready to make a supply run to our local building supplier (we are remodeling a house — quite another story) I found myself dancing around my bedroom with one leg in and attempting to squeeze my other leg into a pair of jeans I should have passed on two sizes ago to someone much more sizably suited for them.
Out of breath from the hopeless endeavor, I then embarked upon the laughable chore of trying to get my oversized leg out of the britches I fought like a Ninja to get into. My wife knocked on the door several times to make certain that I was alright. She said it sounded like I was fighting with someone, and she wondered if she should call to police to come save me. Not funny Patty; not funny.
While trying to peel my leg out of the jeans, I suddenly remembered an episode of “Friends” where Ross bought a pair of leather pants and couldn’t get them off to make use of the facilities. He even used baby powder to try to make the job easier, but to no avail. Unfortunately for Ross, his dilemma occurred while visiting a friend. Fortunately for me, mine happened at home, although my wife was quite amused. After fighting with clinging denim for what seemed to be hours, I gave up and cut them off with a pocket knife. I then put on my bib overalls, told my wife I was now a farmer, and went about my chores. I think what bothered me most was the thunderous laughter as I closed the door to my house. If nothing else, I provide her comic relief.
A few years ago, while playing kick ball with my grandson, a tendon in my leg decided to call it quits and down I went. Painful as it was, in my mind it was just one of those weekend warrior injuries that all of us part-time, semi-pro athletes suffer at one time or another. It couldn’t be age or related to being out of shape or my unescapable appointment with Old Age Syndrome. No. Or could it? No!
I remember going to a meeting or a social event and being the youngest person in the room. Now, there is virtually nowhere I can go and be the youngest in the room.
I can point to a moment when it all changed. If this has not happened to you, hang in there, it will. The day I turned 40, my vision blurred, hair began growing where hair is not supposed to grow (like in and on my ears). One day I came from the mirror in my bathroom and insisted my wife examine my tongue because hair began growing from it! I had trimmed my beard, and thankfully, a rogue hair found its way into my mouth. False alarm. For now. I promise you, this aging stuff is not for the weak. It will make you weary.
I recall playing concerts in my younger days when the girls would toss their unmentionables onto the stage. I stopped doing concerts when the “unmentionables” became “Depends”.
I am happy about a few things associated with growing old. First, I am still alive to grow old. Second, my wife loves me and it has nothing to do with how young I am not, or how old I am. Remember, I mentioned being her comic relief though. Third, it makes for good stories and fourth and finally, well, uh, I can’t remember. What were we talking about?
Herb Day is a longtime local radio personality and singer-musician. You can email him at [email protected] and follow his work at www.HerbDayVoices.com.