(Larry's Blog)

 

WHO INVITED THE AARP TO MY BIRTHDAY?

Growing older can be very cruel.  It all happens so quickly.  All of a sudden my premature white hair is no longer premature.  It's just white hair.  In fact my white accents have recruited the brown hairs over to their side.  It's official…I am now my father.

All of a sudden I struggle with buying clothes.  Should I buy pants that fit me at this very moment or ones that will fit after the killer diet that returns me to my Charles Atlas figure of yester year?  Or, should I buy clothes that will fit me based on my projected weight, give the hideous trend over the past three years.  It is the same thinking you used to reserve for buying sneaker for your kids as they seemed to experience growth spurts on a weekly basis.

Another lovely development that seems to have come with age is that I now cry at weddings, the playing of the national anthem at the Olympics, and when watching sentimental movies.  How embarrassing is that?  No one even has to die for me to shed some tears.

I cried while watching the movie Rudy when he finally got into his first college game with his dad looking on from the stands.  When my kids walked by and expressed concerns, I had to pull the old allergy routine.  Crying over football movies…can I sink any lower?

Oh yeah, I now need reading glasses.  What is more painful is that I have trouble remembering where I left my reading glasses on a daily basis.  Solution: I went to the Dollar Express and bought seven pairs.  One for my bedroom, the den, the kitchen, my office, the living room, each car, with a replacement pair lying in wait  I am now covered in the event of both blindness and senility.

Before I paint a picture of myself as some decrepit old man with his days numbered, I should point out that I am fairly active still.  I play in a flag football league on Sundays.  I have been enjoying this weekly ritual of self-denial for some thirty-five years.  The average age of the participants is roughly 32 years of age.  When I am not there, the average age probably drops to 22.  You get the picture of how really old I am.

In the early days of the football league, when choosing teams, I was picked in the early rounds (or at least I like to think so).  That was because I had good hands and was fast.  Now, I get picked in the later rounds.  I still have decent hands, but am now considered "fast for my age."  Somewhere along the line, I went from "fast" to "fast for my age."  Talk about your underhanded compliments.

Then on Monday nights I play in a basketball league.  Most of the participants are 45 and over.  This is great because, once again, I am fast.  I have learned that "fast" is a relative term.  If I could find an over-60 league, my nickname might even be "Lightning."

Come Tuesday morning, reality sets back in.  Football on Sunday and basketball on Monday leads to limping on Tuesday.  I look like a commercial for Depends.

I hang on to football and basketball for a very simple reason.  My golf game is in shambles.  I like to think that I stink at golf because I don't really need it yet.  I am great at rationalizing away my deficiencies.

I used to feel good going to the barber because he would alway comment on my full head of hair.  I am fortunate to still get that comment.  However, when it is followed up by "Want me to trim the inside of your ears too?" it tends to lose some of its luster.

However, probably the toughest moment of getting older occurred on my 50th birthday.  Just who at the American Association for Retired People thought it would be a good touch to send me an application on this joyous occasion?  As if turning 50 wasn't traumatic enough.  I didn't even have time to get over petitioning the township for permission to have the full compliment of candles on my cake without a firetruck present.

There are a few perks though.  People trying to sell me life insurance have stopped calling.  I guess they figure that I am now at the age where the pay-out would clearly outweigh the pay-in.  My bouts with acne and puberty are over, although I still struggle with maturity issues.  I no longer get carded when I enter bars or restaurants.  The only "carding" in my future will be at the movies when I claim senior citizen status.  Come to think of it, maybe I could have the people at AARP talk to the movie theater people to accelerate the process.

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ACCESSORIES: A MAN'S VIEW OF EARRINGS

Ladies, if you choose to get your ears pierced, you go it alone.  Not only do we men know nothing about earrings, we don't even know that you are wearing them.  No man has ever uttered the words, "Not only is she hot, but she has the most beautiful earrings I have ever seen."

Unless you have two full-sized Louisville Slugger baseball bats autographed by Mickey Mantle dangling from your ears, we will probably not even notice that you are wearing earrings.  After all, our idea of accessorizing is a cell phone.

If you wish us to notice your earrings, you need to be more creative.  Here are some suggestions…and remember that bigger is better.  Beer mugs!  Filled with the real stuff…even better.  NASCAR!  Models of racing cars hanging from your ears would clearly rev up the romance in your life.  And the mother of all earring…dangling remote controls.  Guaranteed to turn up the volume on your relationship and channel his attention to your external beauty.  

This is not, in any way, to suggest that women should dress only to please their men.  Lord knows, when we pick out our wardrobe each morning, there is little consideration given to whether or not the little misses will approve.  Come to think of it, little consideration is given to anything, including matching.  We just don't want to be cold or naked.

Still, and much to my utter amazement, my wife will occasionally ask me what earrings she should wear.  This is being asked of a man who, up until two years ago, was still wearing a terry cloth shirt with a zipper instead of buttons.  My name and the word "fashion" have never been uttered in the same paragraph, let alone the same sentence.

So, ladies, enjoy your earrings.  They are your own little present to yourself.  All the women of the world are taking notice and admiring your taste.  We men may even notice too…that is if you walk smack dab in front of the television during the closing moments of the football game and ask us directly what we think of your new earrings. The response you get from us will be filled with expletives and will largely depend upon the score of the game.

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REAL MEN DO DANCE

By nature I am a risk taker.  I talk in elevators.  While every other Stepford rider is dutifully watching the floor numbers change, I am asking everyone if they come here often.

i have learned that 90 percent of the world appreciates risk takers; the other 10 percent immediately get off the elevator at the very next floor.

When i dine out, i always ask the waiters or waitresses their names while introducing them to every member of my dinner party.  My wife has accepted this ritual as part of the baggage that comes with our marriage.  She may even find it mildly charming, although would never openly admit it.

On the other hand, my children are mortified by this and, consequently, seldom join us for dinners out.  There is a method to my madness.  Dinner for two is significantly cheaper than dinner for six.  Sorry kids, but college tuitions cleaned us out.

For all my gregarious bravado, I do have my limitations.  I refuse to be the first one on the dance floor at a wedding.  There is comfort in numbers, and I am prepared to leave the groundbreaking to those ringers who have clearly gone to Arthur Murray’s or other dance school venues.  You know, the ones who use every wedding as a platform to show the world how their marriage has been re-energized through tango.

They are the Richard Sherman or Kanye West's of the dance world…talented but oh so cocky.  Yes, America, real men DO dance.  They just don’t dance first.

When my daughter got married, my wife and I actually took some dance classes.  I wanted to step up my game.  There were times where I was actually able to convince myself that we were the best dancing couple on the floor.  At the same time, I made darn sure that we were never the only couple on the floor.

 

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