Brian J. Lets The Old Man Out

Ah, gentle reader. As you might know, I am one of those old men who thinks he’s holding the line on aging. Well, not in my popular culture knowledge. I’m certainly not listening to new hip hop or pop music nor watching the latest reboots of things I enjoyed when I was younger. I guess I’ve always had an old soul when it comes to that sort of thing. I’ve always read old books, whether capital-L Literature or old suspense and science fiction. But, still, I’ve done martial arts classes with people much younger than me, and I’ve had my children in school with children whose parents were ten years younger than I am. So I might have been fooling myself, but I thought as long as I had kids in school, I was young.

But, oh, gentle reader, the oldest has graduated from high school. And even before that event, I’ve been letting the old man out by expressing the way we did things in the 20th century. To whit:

  • On a recent visit to the dentist, I was confronted by a new hygenist who was young and pretty. And although I am happily married, it is the way of the Man to puff out one’s chest a little in this situation. However, at the end of the visit, she scheduled me for my next four-month-cleaning, and I said it was the easy one since it was in the same year. The hard ones were the ones that occurred in the next year, because I would not have the calendar yet upon which to write the appointment.

    Silly old man! In the 21st century, people put appointments in their phones nowadays. Although I do put appointments in a Google calendar for work, it’s still not my default for doctor’s appointments. I still write them on the wall calendar in the dining room. I’m the only one who does, though, so I never know what’s going on with my beautiful wife or my children.

  • One of the organizations for which my wife volunteers had a game night to bring together IT students from various universities with the members of the IT organization. She had trusted me to buy soda and water for the event, and I bought something like four cases of soda and a couple cases of water for the projected 30-60 attendees. I didn’t think it was too much, thinking college kids could easily drink three or four sodas over the course of a three-hour event.

    The treasurer of the organization brought along the big ledger checkbook for the organization to write an expense check for another member. “And a big bag of quarters in case we run out of soda so we can pop down to the vending machines,” I said, ever the jester.

    But the gentleman, older than I am and a manager/executive for many different firms in his career, pointed out that the kids used their cards at the vending machines. Of course they did. But I come from an age where Cokes were not quite a dime, but Vess soda could be had for a quarter from a vending machine.

  • I mentioned my brother got married. He and his wife also closed recently on a nice slice of land which has a nice pre-fab house on a foundation along with twenty-five acres of land which means he has accidentally on purpose, perhaps, but it’s nice.

    Also, it is a new address, so I wrote it in my address book.

    The address book was a gift I received when I graduated high school a couple of years ago. I wrote in it the addresses of high school friends and family members with whom I would correspond throughout high school and beyond (I still double-check my grandmother’s address in the book even though she has lived in the same place for a couple of years now.

    The address book itself now contains more scratch-outs than confirmed addresses, and an Excel spreadsheet maintains the shrinking Christmas card list, so it’s a more accurate and useful representation of street addresses of people with whom I regularly (annually) correspond.

    But I still put this address in my address book.

    Which makes me think I might need to update the centerpiece of the Family Bible as well with wife and children’s names. Which seems fitting as they’re about to head out on their own.

As if these examples enough were not enough to indicate I might be approaching middle age, the wedding videos and photos themselves did.

And I guess I might as well embrace it. After all, it’s not like I’m getting any younger or getting any more sincerely interested in the concerns of the younger amongst us.

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