Thursday, November 30, 2006

.....yep, it was just me

I couldn't get anyone to argue with me, so time to move on.

Except for a few twinges here and there I've not had a problem with getting older. I am 44 years old. All it really means to to me is that for the next 11 months I will be able to remember how old I am without having to do the math. (Next year, back to subtraction). And except for when I look at old pictures of myself, as I will have you do just below, I don't really notice day to day the changes that time has wrought. Well - I do have ONE extremely visible sign of the aging process - a receding hairline.

Here is a picture of my family. I am 17 in this picture:

olden days

Notice the full head of almost shoulder length hair, parted down the middle. (For those who don't want to guess, I'm the one who didn't hear the guy say "say cheese".)

And here is a wedding picture from a few years later. I am 21 in this picture:


Notice the full head of hair, despite the military haircut. (for those who don't want to guess, I am the one without a clue. This is a life-long attribute of mine.)

And here is a picture from last Christmas. I am 43 here:

Laura & Bob

(for those who don't want to guess, I am the one thinking "take the damned picture already, I haven't opened my presents yet.")

As you can see, my hair line has moved significantly. The first picture has been in my wallet since it was taken. As you can also see, from that first picture, I come by this follicular impairment honestly. All I've had to do all of my life is look at my dad to see what I was going to look like at any given age in my future. I've had time to get used to it.

I've harbored a secret aspiration for much of my adult life. I think I've the makings of a damned good grumpy old man. The symptoms are starting to appear - I have no patience for some things that kids do (I HATE, with a passion I didn't know I was capable of, flip flops. Who in God's green earth decided it was okay to wear those damned things everywhere? I'm not talking about sandals, I'm talking about what folks a generation back from me called shower shoes. When I was a kid I wore them to the beach once a year and promptly lost them. But, I digress.) and actually I don't have patience for a lot of what anyone else does either. Right now I am tending toward the kind of grumpy old man like Walter Matthau in the movie Grumpy Old Men. When I was younger I thought it'd be kinda neat to be a grumpy old man like Gabby Hayes in almost every B western ever made - but I didn't want to play second fiddle to a cowboy nor do I want to pull all of my teeth. I enjoy chewing.

There is one thing that I wasn't really prepared for. It too is hair related. I have a single eyebrow hair that grows straight out of my face. IT is waaayyyy longer than the others. IT is currently 1 inch long. As my eyebrows aren't particularly thick people can't really see IT. The only other person that knows about IT is my wife. (At least she is the only one that has said anything about it. We won't mention what she said, though.) What the hell am I going to do with just one long eyebrow? I would really love to have Jack Elam's eyebrows. That would at least help me with the Gabby Hayes type of geezer. Thick and bushy, you'd need hedge clippers to cut 'em back.

But that isn't all. My lengthy eyebrow has a cousin. I have another, just like it, on my ring finger. The hair on my hands and fingers isn't thick, it is fair and somewhat sparse. Except for THE hair. IT redeux sticks straight up instead of lying down with the others. IT redeux is currently about 1 inch long.

(We won't even talk about nasal hair. I didn't realize they go grey and get longer too).

On the bright side, maybe this is only the first step on the road to geezerhood. It's a small one, but there's hope. Anyway, these are the only two I know of. I'm afraid to look anywhere else.

P.S. The vest I'm wearing in the Christmas Picture? I made it last year for the season (duh!). I am now going to publish this and go home to work on this year's vest. film at eleven.

8 deeply creased, dogeared comment(s):

De Aufiero said...

so, Happy Birthday? or are we just talking about getting old?

Yeah, I'm reading. What can I say? I'm not ready to put up the tree.

I say, Amen! to becoming a grumpy old man, but Eeeww! to the bushy eyebrows. Be the well-groomed geezer with natty vests. Trust me.

Thailand Gal said...

How about HL Mencken instead of Walter Matthau? Now he was the penultimate curmudgeon, THE grumpy old man!

And... you ain't old enough yet to be a GOM.

Good try though. :)



meno said...

You aspire to be a grumpy old man? Baby i think you're there! :)
Mu husband has the few mutant eyebrow hairs also. I think he pulls them out occasionally. I just noticed today that he has a white nose hair sticking out. HOT!
Getting old is a humbling experience, gotta just go for the humor in it.

Bob said...

De - got your tree up yet?????

Chani - you've gotta leave me somewhere to go, I can't start at the top! And it is never too early to start, it takes years to master the fine art of grumpy-old-manness and I am ALWAYS striving to do my best.

Meno - thank you, both you and my wife have reached the same conclusion.

urban-urchin said...

You made the vest? That's impressive!

My husband gets white ear hairs. Eww. Gettin' old isn't easy.

Antonia said...

I love this post for so many reasons. Great photos, especially the big family shot at the top.

Ian aspires to those eyebrows too. He has about two IT hairs on each side. And hairs growing out the top of his nose. Why does a man need hairs on top of his nose?

Bob said...

urban-urchin: I need to take a picture of this year's vest. It is a bit tamer. No ear hair yet - thank goodness. I am having trouble enough with those I do have.

Antonia - The first picture was the last "Olin Mills" professionally posed picture of my family. I was moving out to go to college and Mom got all Mom on us and bought a package. About 5 years ago I got 1 hair growing out of the tip of my nose. Never again. Eww. I thought only babies got wierd hairs like that.

Mother of Invention said...

I get a surprise each time I look in the mirror! Somehow I expect to see that 3o year-old who has long since disappeared! I just want a glimpse of her! I better get used to the reality of turning 53 (Yikes! I said it!)on Dec. 22nd!