I turn 44 this week, and aside from the wonderful alliteration of the age, I had found little to celebrate as I continue this ongoing trudge through middle-age.
Then that twenty-something voice that still lives in my head – the annoying one with the suspenders full of Bennigan’s flair and the graceful curls of an early 90s mullet tickling his neck – popped up and reminded me of all the cool things about rolling a hard eight in the craps game of life.
It’s remarkably easy to keep your wedding vows. This one is going to get me in trouble, so I figured I’d lead off with it. (Love you, honey). Everyone knows that men are dogs, or pigs, or some sort of unholy, horny hybrid of both. Chris Rock famously said, “A man is only as faithful as his options.” Well, thanks to the fact that my age and waistline are almost in synch, there are no options. I’m no longer seen as a sexual being in the eyes of the fairer sex (as opposed to ten years ago, when…actually, come to think of it, not much has changed)!
It’s not just that women of a certain age don’t find you attractive; you simply don’t exist. The other day, I wandered into a full sorority house, made a sandwich, watched television, and wandered out a few hours later, and no one said a word or filed a restraining order.
Just to clarify, I’m not saying I want to violate my vows to my beloved (hi again, sweetheart…I love you so much)….I mean, even if the hot clone from The Island were to come knocking on my door confused about these strange feelings and the uses of various body parts; I have no doubt I would resist temptation…unless, of course, I could convince my wife that it was my civic, neighborly duty to help out someone in their time of need.
You get free food. I pretty much always clean my plate. It doesn’t matter how much food is put before me, I’ll chow it down to the porcelain every time because I know the dangers. (You know, a starving guy from some famine-stricken country comes to kill you because you don’t appreciate the food you have).
It turns out that not everyone’s parents have warned them about this dangerous lunatic. They leave a portion of their meal, and invariably will look over as I’m licking my plate clean and say, “Hey, if you’re still hungry, why don’t you finish mine.”
I should say no. I’m not a human garbage disposal, and eating seconds (or thirds….or sevenths) is a surefire way of packing on the pounds. But if I decline, I’ll feel responsible when the Angry Asian (or Ethiopian, or whomever) comes to slaughter his way through the dinner party. Again, it’s all about doing the right thing and helping out any way you can.
Lots of space on the bus. My bus is rarely full, probably because it travels at about three miles per hour and most people realize they can get there faster by burro. When it does fill up, I am always the last person with a seatmate. It doesn’t matter if the seats around me are occupied by the loudest, stinkiest, most drugged-up cretins society has to offer, incoming passengers will fill those other seats up first, sitting next to me only when the only other option is bus surfing like Teen Wolf.
I don’t really mind, after all it gives me room to sprawl out; but I often wonder why no one wants to sit next to me. Maybe I give off a “cop vibe” and people think I’m an officer on the edge and I’m riding the bus just waiting for someone to push me. Or maybe it’s just because my fat ass actually extends over to the edge of the second seat and they don’t want to risk having their personal space violated. Or maybe it’s because they know:
I can pee on demand. I used to be terribly bladder-shy. It wouldn’t matter if I just drank a trashcan full of Cherry Coke and I was standing mid-stream in front of a urinal; if someone simply walked loudly passed the restroom door, I would dry up faster than Joan Rivers under a heatlamp.
Now, thanks to a four-decades old bladder and the joys of high blood sugar, I could pretty much go any time and any place. Office bathroom filled with senior executives? Pffft….amateur hour. Public restroom surrounded by laughing, drunken fratboys? With both hands tied behind my back! Hell, I can pee in front of a stadium full of nuns and supermodels on live TV if needed. Once it’s time to go, there’s nothing that can stop me.
So, that’s pretty much all I could come up with. Slim picking, but it could be much worse…Think about it, I could be turning 45!