Men of a certain age?
My husband’s there. And frankly, I’m not sure of the answer.
He’s philosophic. “I’ve had a good life, mary. Provided for my children. Now I want to be with you….away from the stress of work. In the woods. Feeling the dirt. You remember, I used to have a farm.”
But isn’t he feeling frustrated? That time is passing too quickly? That what he’s done so far isn’t enough. That you’re never really successful enough. Never loved enough?
And now he doesn’t have either the time or energy to fix all that? Or is that me…feeling about me?
And what about the physical? He still is strong. Stupidly so.
For a family reunion he decided to build a rope swing over our pond. He climbed to the top of a tree higher than the top of the big top. He sawed and shimmied and gasped and pulled out his Boy Scout skills with looping nautical knots. This took two days.
Then when the family reunion began and all the young bodied boys took to the air, he did too. Ending in a terrible explosion of awkward angles and body parts and a watery surface just too far down. He soared to a young man’s urging. a version of himself now lost in time and blood thinners.
He laughed about all that. Had a few beers. Cuffed my son for capturing it on film. But how did that feel? Like me caught dancing, in my mind so lithe; so nimble, in my body so stiff?
Does my husband sit down to put on his socks? Lean against something when he pulls up his boxers. Does he finish in the shower unable to remember if he washed his hair? Can he still squat?
Like me, does he worry about the same neck waddle thing that Norah Ephram talked about? When he looks in the bathroom mirror, does he slowly pull the sides of his eyes, eliminating that puffy layer of overlap? Do men consider facelifts?
And that balding pink spot that men get on the top of their heads. Do they secretly draw dots on it to imagine plugs?
Do men over 50 feel invisible….like women do?
Nothing gives away one’s age like the utilization of technology.
And, for an older person, technology can really be a buzz kill.
It’s a technical world. And if you’re over 25, tough to navigate.
Doesn’t a real man require a commanding role over his tools? How does he get that, if he’s typing a proposal on something the size of his credit card? How does he get that if he’s doing something as unmanly as tweeting?
It’s not like the old days when a timely phone call and firm handshake ensured the day. When young braves bowed to the mighty chief.
I’m not sure how older men feel. But, if it’s like for women, it’s not good. The body becomes a little less dependable. The world a little less needy. What you did isn’t what’s important now. What’s important now isn’t important now.
But, at the same time…look at him. .he’s smiling. Glowing even. Back in the woods. In the dirt. Calling his children. Loving his wife.
I’m puzzled by what men feel as they age. Maybe they just don’t see the hands of the clock as women do. I guess I’ll just have to ask.