I’m dealing with getting older well. At least I think I am. No longer do I pass frivolous nights in garish bars, trying hard to drown in a well of booze, trying hard to entice women who maybe pass for a seven (when drunk) back to my place for coffee – coffee and sex, trying hard to fit as many pills or powder into my stupid young head, trying hard to balance a lifestyle of excessive vapidity and vapid excess with my sanity. I spent most of my twenties (and some of my teens) living for the weekend, a weekend entailing the above, but with hangovers – I never mentioned the hangovers. Of course, I don’t miss it. It sounds hideous to me; ok I’ve just written it to sound hideous, but looking back it was a truly grotesque way of life. And yeah I’m dealing with the absence of that in my life really well.
Don’t get me wrong, the hardest part of being a teetotal dad of two younglings and husband of a wife, who’s been unwell of late, is the boredom. The incessant, merciless torrent of boredom. You might think your Saturday nights have dried up a little recently: a bottle of wine and some friends around for a DVD, perhaps; maybe some take out and an early night with your significant other, and a cuddle before the lights go out, wink wink; fuck it, maybe you’re in prison or homeless or a ten year old. Doesn’t matter. You’re still having more fun than me. Last Saturday night, I had the pleasure of watching the movie “Hop” three times in a row before being puked on by both my kids. Meanwhile my wife was upstairs, herself puking – I alone was the only non-puker in my family, and still I would have killed to swap places with her. So later I had to change my daughter’s shitty diaper, which was a fucking delight, because she wasn’t yet finished, so I got to watch that. It went from green to a mustard-yellow color (it looked a bit like mint and butterscotch frozen yogurt, but it did not, repeat: NOT smell like mint and butterscotch frozen yogurt). My wife then felt better just long enough to hold my baby girl (Eva the Diva, as we like to call her, does not like not being held. Ever. I mean EVER… ha ha ha, it’s enough to drive one crazy. Weird huh?) just long enough for me to put my son to bed. Upon his insistence, I told him Goldilocks and the Three Bears about twenty times before he finally settled long enough to sleep. At Ten. Fucking. O. Clock! Finally, I got some alone time with my wife, which lasted about nine seconds before we both crashed into Slumberville.
So yeah, I’m dealing with that aspect of getting older real well. But as I approach my mid thirties (34 is NOT yet mid-thirties; it’s late, early thirties), I’m starting to notice a few …changes. I have bona fide white hairs now. There aren’t many, only one or two, but they’re there, and they weren’t there before. I’m getting aches and pains: I have this tightness inside my shoulder blade that I can never seem to stretch out; and my back… my back is like a game of fucking Jenga. And I can’t get away with eating crap, and not working out anymore. My metabolism is like a steel mill in the rust belt in the 80’s – grinding to a fucking halt. I have zero baldness yet, but I’m getting back-pubes to match my chest-pubes. It’s gross, and I’m too lazy/cheap to get it waxed. Seriously, if the hair doesn’t stop, I’m gonna look like I’m wearing a sweater… under my shirt.
I’m turning into an old grouch too. I don’t like modern music; I don’t understand modern clothes – skinny jeans on girls are great; on guys, not so much. I complain a lot – Exhibit A: This blog. I yell at slow drivers; I yell at fast drivers; I yell at pedestrians; I hit people on bikes. If I had a walking stick I’d shake it at people. A lot. The weather is a fairly prevalent recipient of my wrath; I’m an Irishman living in Oregon, go figure. I’m a pre-middle aged fogey, and guess what? I love it. If I didn’t have anything to complain about, I’d complain about that too. It’s the best thing about growing old, and the older I get, the more cantankerous I get to be.
Now where the hell did I leave my damn pipe and slippers?