Happy Birthday- says who?

February 13, 2009
All of the happy, lighthearted people must have jobs that don’t require them to begin their commutes at five in the morning. I’m sitting on the metro and I don’t see a single person who would willingly point me in the direction of a garden hose should I burst into flames. I’m probably annoying them with the big stupid grin plastered to my face, but truth is, I love early mornings. If it wasn’t for evening family time, I would go to bed super early just so that I could wake up and drink coffee in the inky pre-dawn darkness. What can I say- I flat out dig the world at rest.

I view this eccentricity as yet another indication that I’m getting old. Now, I realize several of you will argue that turning 39 isn’t old, but you haven’t factored in years of Marine Corps service. Marines age similarly to dogs- every year you wear a tree suit, multiply by two. So that makes me about 60 and a hard living 60 at that. But it’s not just the actual number of years that tells me I’m approaching the top of the hill; there have been several other indications over the past few months as well.

For instance, I now own a pair of slippers. They’re not a cool pair of $90 Ugg‘s either. I’m sporting a pair with flannel lumberjack-patterned insoles. “Say hello to Grampa kids, but speak loudly his hearing shit the bed years ago“. This troubles me as I’ve never owned slippers. In fact until a few years ago I didn’t own jammies or any other night time comfort item- unless you count the occasional glass of Carlo. I was impervious to cold weather- you know the guy who amazes his neighbors by taking out the trash in the dead of winter wearing nothing more than a well worn pair of boxers. Now I have to bundle up just to convince my creaky-ass joints to get out from under the covers each morning. Obviously my blood is thinning and my circulation is slowing to a halt- that my friends is an undeniable sign of getting old.

Did I just mention creaky joints? I think I did but as I near 40 my memory seems to be failing me more and more. Oh Yeah, joints, which I’ll soon be smoking plenty of to ease my rheumatism. My joints don’t creak they scream. Twenty-one years of sleeping on the ground, humping a pack and wearing body armor have left me as crooked as a politician and as broken as our economy. My back and neck are riddled with arthritis and my knee caps and elbows float freely to and fro. But I’m hard headed and refuse to believe that this isn’t the same body I had in my late teens so I constantly test it just to see how jacked up I am. Here is a short list of thing I have tried in the past couple of months to prove my body is the same now as it was back then:

The worm- remember that fancy little break dance move form the 80’s? Yeah, I tried to show it to the boys one evening and all I could muster was laying on my stomach- I didn’t look like a worm I looked like a plank of wood yanked off an old barn door.

Sitting Indian Style (maybe I should say Native American style)- I told Connie I was going to try to get in this position and she called the paramedics before my butt hit the ground- good foresight, it took three full grown men and 6-percosets to get me off the floor.

Spinning in circles- Remember when you were a kid and you would spin in circles as fast as you could to get super dizzy- don’t try this as an adult. My spinning consisted of one fairly rapid 180 degree turn followed by a severe bout of nausea and confusion.

None of my tests worked out as I had planned- dead give away I’m getting old.

How about this one- I now wear glasses. I used to have bionic vision capable of amazing things. Now I have a pair of wire rimmed military issue spectacles strapped to my head so I can type a post about how old I’m getting- how ironic is that? I would imagine in the not so distant future I’ll need one off those helpful cell phones with the giant numbers so that I can punch in 911 when I slip and break my hip walking out of the Cracker Barrel or Bob Evans. Better yet, I wonder when my insurance will cover that snazzy emergency call button that alerts paramedics when I’ve fallen in the shower- you know what I’m talking about, “Help I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.” I‘veheard rumor that you can charge your IPOD with those things and that they double as a 4GB thumb drive when your not in the midst of a medical emergency- how useful. Speaking of insurance I got a no-shit letter from my insurance company last night wishing me a happy birthday and encouraging me to buy more life insurance. In what universe is that an appropriate birthday salutation? Happy Birthday Shane, you’re getting older make sure your family is taken care of before you kick the bucket! How friggin morbid is that? So instead of that anniversary “Matlock” box set I was thinking about I’m going to get an additional $14.99 worth of coverage and roll the dice.

My hearing is also shot but this was more of a consequence of shooting anti-tank rockets than an old age thing. Back in the mid-90’s they tried to convince me to consider hearing aids but my vanity would not allow it so I pretended not to hear them and walked out of the office. Maybe I should reconsider? With the way technology is today I could probably get some type of high speed space helmet that enhances all of my senses at once- I’d be like Spider Man only not so limber.

The last indication was the additional hair I seem to be sprouting in locations that should most likely remain hairless. What’s up with the extra hair follicles? I don’t strive to have an “Austin Powers” tuft of hair snugly nestled between my shoulder blades nor do I desire eyebrows that must be combed and gelled after a good gust of wind. Sure sign I turned one of life’s many corners was when my barber asked me if I wanted her to trim back my eyebrows. Holy shit woman that’s for old guys I’m just a kid, chill out with the brow clippers! Insulted, I pinned my eyebrows back away from my face and stormed out of her shop. It took me a week to come to grips with the realization that I would now have to fork over an additional $1.50 to keep my brows from intermingling with my “Magnum P.I.” chest hair- humiliating.

So there you have it a flattering look at an ageing guy. I know I’m not the only man going through this right now. I hang out with a crowd of dudes all about my age and we’re all faced with the same realization that we’re no longer 20 years old- but come to think of it when I was 20 I was as dumb as a wash cloth, what was so great about that? Maybe what I should do is just embrace the inevitable and age gracefully? Nope that doesn’t work either. I know, I’ll just bitch and moan a lot and tell people stories about what it was like when I was young- that’s a much better idea and it‘s the final indication that yes I‘m getting old..

Just a quick disclaimer before my Mom calls me up to yell at me:  I don’t really think I am old, because if I did that would mean that every single person older than I is really, really old.  And an insinuation like that my friends could make for a very lonely birthday.

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Dennis posted the following on February 13, 2009 at 8:11 pm.

You know what I’m thinking ! and it’s not Happy Birthday…cause that’s the end of March.

Pammy posted the following on February 14, 2009 at 1:35 am.

Happy Birthday to my fellow February birthday celebrator.

admin posted the following on February 14, 2009 at 9:13 am.

Pammy, actually my birthday is next month I’m just prepping for it. Looking forward to you coming out, line up those dogs and warm up your camera girl- Connie has the Margaritas ready!

admin posted the following on February 14, 2009 at 3:05 pm.

Ahhh, Dennis- how did I know you would jump all over this one. The king of refusing to grow old pipes in with a sassy comment. What’s it this week buddy ski jumping, hang gliding come on out with it what’s the new obsession that will ultimately lead to another shoulder surgery? love you guys- pet the baby for me and Con

Sherri Winstead posted the following on February 15, 2009 at 12:52 pm.

oh my gosh, I’m laughing OUT LOUD in my office. My husband walks in and I tell him “I told you to read his blog, now do it! It’s good for the soul and makes me laugh out loud more than anything else ever!”.

Daniel and I spoke about growing older recently, and the hair post just sent me over the EDGE man! I have tears in my eyes. My youngest (9) came in because he was worried about me – laughing so uncontrollably that is! LOL

Oh gosh, this was good!! My husband and I are both 35…getting there too.

Heather posted the following on February 18, 2009 at 2:36 pm.

I’ll have to tell Scott that you have glasses, too. He recently caved in and bought some readers. He actually walked out of the store because he was so mad that he needed them! Then realized he didn’t have a choice and went back in to make the dreaded purchase. He now admits that he really can see better with them, but it still makes me laugh!!! 🙂

Julie posted the following on February 18, 2009 at 3:53 pm.

The fact that I had to type in ‘gorilla’ to post this comment is icing to the cake! One year Keith’s dad got him an electric nose hair trimmer for Christmas – how’s that for having to accept you’re getting old?!

But seriously, you’re not old when you get hair in new places. You’re old when the hair that’s in weird places turns gray!

shane posted the following on February 18, 2009 at 10:35 pm.

Julie, that’s a fine gift I don’t know what your talking about. Connie bought me a friggin vacuum one year, I would have given a kidney for a nose hair trimmer.

Teri and the cats of Furrydance posted the following on February 18, 2009 at 11:17 pm.

Ok, you made me choke on my Wegmans Super Premium Cherry Armagnac Ice Cream, had to take my bifocals off and wipe my eyes from tears (from laughter not choking) and the anti-spam word is rockstar…Happy Birthday, Rock On!

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