Aging acts upon us in an assortment of ways ranging from subtle to blatant. Aches and pains creep up on you almost without notice. They come so subtlety that when you realize that they are signs of aging, you are already old. Graying or loosing one's hair is the same way; before you really notice, it is already too late-as if you could have done something about stopping the process anyway.
On the other hand, sometimes aging hits with the force and effect of a B-52 carpet-bombing you. Everyone gets a year older each year, but those decade observances are real killers (perhaps, not the best word to be used in this situation). I just observed my sixth decade. That reality has been lurking in the recesses of my brain for awhile. When I turned fifty, I comforted myself that with the thought that while fifty was bad, it wasn't as bad as sixty. Then the emotional bomb exploded really close by when my kids said something about it me. Suggestion: if you have a parent nearing sixty or seventy, don't say in front of your parent what my kids said in front of me, "Hey, this is your sixtieth; we need to really do something special on your birthday!" When I heard that statement, it resonated like it must have when Methuselah's kids said, "Hey, pop is 969. We need to really do something special on your birthday!"
Then my wife continued the aerial assault on my ego and psyche when she said something about my glasses. She wasn't commenting on the bifocals, because she will have to get bifocals the next time she gets glasses. It was just one of those off-handed comments that brought me up short. She said something about them being dated and really large. Well, I thought about it while shaving the next morning. My glasses started to look larger than before. As I mulled over her comment about being dated, I wondered about why I hadn't stayed up with the styles of glasses. My only excuse was that I had gotten old like my parents and lost a little of the trendiness that I once possessed. Think about your parents; don't they wear things that are dated? Why? Do you think that they want quietly to be ridiculed by you and others? Of course not. They just got old and lost the touch. When they were your age, they were hip but not anymore.
Every morning since that fateful dated comment, I have looked at myself in any mirror that would reflect to me the truth. Each time, the mirror screams back for all to hear, "Dated." It became so bad that when traveling in Santiago, Chile, we were walking through a large American-like mall that contained a place to get glasses. For a moment, I wanted to yield to the pressure and just get a new pair right then and there. I wanted to look hip again by getting rid of my glasses that made me look like Harry Carey. Whenever, I see myself in a mirror, I think that I should start singing, "Take Me Out to the Ballgame."
The final blow came when I tested my wife to see what she would say about the color or lack of color in my hair. I said, "I'm thinking about coloring my hair just a little-just on the sides." I wanted her to say something like, "Color your hair? I'll kill you if you do." Or "Why would you ever do that; you look like you are in your mid thirties as it is. If you colored you'd look like you are in college." But, no. That wasn't what sprang from her pursed lips. What she said was, "Well, your mustache isn't totally gray. You could get away with it-if you did it gradually." I felt like everyone in my family was ready to order flowers for my funeral. Hey, I'm just observing a birthday-albeit my sixtieth!
My only consolation is that I shared the same birthday as George Burns, and I have every intention of surpassing his centennial plus milestone. I'll show them all; I am not as old as they think. When I celebrate my hundredth birthday, my youngest daughter will be sixty just like I am today. Believe you me; I won't forget how my family treated me when I was reaching that anniversary of my nativity. They are all creating bad karma for themselves; what goes around comes around-in time.
Several weeks later, I got my new, my less dated glasses. Even without coloring my hair, which is still an option, I think that new, more contemporary glasses make me look a lot younger. What do you think? E-mail me your opinion by clicking on the e-mail link under the pictures. I'll let you know the results of the poll.