Will someone please tell me exactly when this happened? When did I cross the line from vibrant middle-aged man to…whatever the bleep stage of life this is?
Because there we were, the outgoing Sheriff and I, sitting around chewing the fat, when the conversation took a subtle but suddenly ominous turn. And it all started off so innocently too! All I did was ask him how the rigors of running a large countywide office had affected him over the course of the last eight years.
And it quickly went downhill from there!
“So how’s your blood pressure doing these days Pat?,” I asked, “Is it any better with the end in sight?”
“It’s not too bad – the medication has it under control,” he answered.
“They put me on Lisinopril,” I explained.
“That’s what I’m taking!,” Pat said, “It really works doesn’t it? And you only have to take it once a day!
“It got my blood pressure back to normal,” I nodded.
“Too bad it can’t do something about all the gray,” the Sheriff chuckled as he pointed pointing to his head.
“At least you have hair, Pat” I lamented.
“By the way, how’s your foot, Jeff? Are you running again?”
“Yeah!” I sneered. “But I can’t believe that after 30 years of hitting the trails, I actually came up with a stress fracture? That ten weeks off nearly killed me.”
“Hey! It’s a heck of a lot better than getting in a charity boxing ring with a guy who outreaches you by six inches,” the Sheriff responded.
“That reminds me,” I laughed, “How’s the broken tibia? Has it fully healed?”
“It’s fine now,” the Sheriff said, “But there are no boxing matches in this 57 year-old’s future,” he declared, “My wife is already threatening divorce over the last one.”
“I’m surprised you got in the ring, what with your surgically repaired shoulder and all,” I said.
“Go figure, “ the Sheriff chuckled.
“By the way, did they ever get your thyroid under control,” the Sheriff asked?
“Yeah!,” I replied, “But now, all I have to do is look at food and I gain weight.”
“Welcome to the club,” the Sheriff snickered.
“As if that wasn’t bad enough,” I continued, “I can’t eat spicy foods anymore. Well…I can, but my wife calls it cruel and unusual punishment. So every time I get out the kimchi, she threatens divorce.”
“You won’t believe this,” the Sheriff said checking his phone, “A county board member texted me at 12:30 last night.”
“12:30?,” I exclaimed, “Jesus! I start nodding off in my home office around 9 p.m. What were they thinking. Aren’t you in bed by ten o’clock?”
“Yep!,” the Sheriff said, “I need my eight hours.”
The Sheriff and I used to discuss manly things like 1967 Dodge Chargers versus 1968 Mustangs, not which pharmaceutical works the best, which body part hurts the most, or who has the least amount of hair.
We used to talk about coaching youth sports, running 5Ks, and young… um…things we don’t want our wives to know about, not the state of our gastrointestinal tracts!
Is this is what it all comes down to? Is it inevitable? Please tell me it doesn’t get worse! Whatever happened to going out with a bang instead of winding down with a whimper? I thought 55 was the new 40, not the gateway to some sort of slowly seeping oblivion.
Since physicists haven’t figured out how to reverse the arrow of time, upon some further reflection, the Sheriff and I decided that fighting back with toupees, facelifts, and shopping at Aeropostale just isn’t for us. Who wants to end up looking like Joan Rivers anyway – especially if you’re a guy!
So why fight it? Instead of following in the Welsh poet’s footsteps by cursing the impending darkness, we’re just gonna go right along with it.
First, we’re gonna purchase the uniform – white Jockey v-neck undershirts, plaid polyester Bermuda shorts hitched up around our stomachs, knee high black socks and faux leather sandals. Then we’ll buy two of those metal framed, plastic weave lawn chairs, head down to Florida, and sit by the condo pool in the shade while we discuss all of our various ailments.
We’ll even make those load grunting sounds whenever we have to stand up.