State of Mine
They may as well say instead, “EnGarde” then pull out a rubber cutlass in my defense.
Fifty is older. It isn’t old.
“She’s seeing some older guy.” Someone who has credit cards but never uses them. Someone who has grey hair or no hair. Someone who has yellow toe nails. Someone who has his eyebrows trimmed and nose hairs waxed. He has a daughter her age.
“She’s seeing some old guy”. He’ll be dead in a couple of years and she’ll be rich. He has grandchildren.
My toenails have not started to yellow. I’ve been pulling rogue hairs off my left ear since I was in my late twenties. At forty, I had about six grey hairs; now I have about twenty and like those six, they’re up there somewhere but to see them you really have to look. Thanks to Special K, the paunchiness is being managed. Last month I had my emergency back up bloat pants taken in two inches. I have four to go and as God is my witness, those treadmills in the health club in my building will get to know me better beginning, um, er, soon, then those 32” ‘s which have been mothballed for a year and half will see the light of day again. (I am not the first drunk to give up likker for chocolate and salt).
“Did you hear about Heather, she’s seeing some older guy.”
Couldn’t be me. I have an eighteen year old daughter. Now, in theory, I suppose, I could be seeing an eighteen year old girl, but in theory, I suppose, I could also have no conscience and in theory, I suppose, I could be a complete (not just a partial) moral degenerate.
So, give three cheers for outward appearances and a huzzah for a conscience.
But boo/hiss for this state of mind.
Paunchiness is a choice. Staunchness is not.
I turned fifty last year and in a few weeks, I’ll turn fifty one. This state of my mind is precarious, not for lack of a better word, but as one word for starters. The state of my mind has reached a goal it never sought to achieve. All a sudden, I have discovered authoritativeness. This is not to be confused with “control freak”. Control freakiness comes at all stages and ages. Authoritativeness is similar in this sense only: I now know what to do in most situations that crop up, situations that repeat themselves, situations I have experienced through trial and error and today I know intuitively what to do.
What fifty-one year old authoritativeness is not is the desire or willingness to pass it along. Although I may have a surefire solution for many mundane problems, if I see or know of someone younger about ready to encounter the problem or is in the midst of trying to solve the problem, I don’t barf out the solution. At best, I’ll offer up, “Yup. Shit happens.”
Shit happens but you are not on your own. You who do not intuitively know how to deal with it will have to work it out on your own. I could tell you how I, when trying to regain firm footing after hitting a similar stumbling block, righted myself, but would you (oh youth) listen?
Fifty. Life is a party. At fifty you arrive late, unnoticed. You leave early, unnoticed. And you wonder why you bothered to leave the house to begin with.