It’s 2:30 am and my bladder awakes, stirs and informs me with little urgent pangs that we have to pee again.
I try to ignore him but my bladder (like all bladders I presume) is persistent, the pangs work to a throb and while watching the silhouette of the ceiling fan’s rhythmic spin I think about Wilford Brimley and his over-active bladder and realize the white-haired Quaker Oats guy and I finally have something in common.
A few minutes pass.
I submit. My bladder wins again ( for the second time in 4 hours) and I creak out of bed and stagger through a maze of furniture, misplaced firetrucks, puzzle pieces and a Ninja Turtle.
Now– I’m peeing in the dark because everyone knows (except for my children) that electricity isn’t free. And through my sleep-fog, as my bladder relaxes, as Wilford Brimely smiles and offers me a bowl of hot oatmeal… I whisper in the darkness… “Shit… I’m old”.
I’ve been 36 for two months. In NBA years I’d be a Geriactricsoaurus. A role player who the commentators would label a “savvy veteran”. The rookies would call me the “old man” and after the game they’d gather around locker curious to know what it was like to traverse through a snowstorm to a Blockbuster Video looking for a copy of Lethal Weapon 4.
Maybe I’m being dramatic– I know 36 is still relatively young but I’m closer to 40 then 30. And when that damn Time Hop app decides to show me how thin and spry I looked 10 years ago– I feel , well, old.
I take prescription medication everyday now, my knees forecast the weather and I have this growing desire to invest in a pair of all white New Balance sneakers.
All of my children recently celebrated milestones–Haley made her communion, Chase graduated kindergarten and Dylan is now potty trained and has better bladder control then me.
So over the last few weeks I have noted the subtle yet jarring moments that have made me believe I’m starting to get old…
1. A midweek nighttime event seems like the worse idea ever.
When propositioned with the a week night activity– a concert, a hockey game, an 8:15 Zumba class– my inner dialogue reads like this…Ok what time will I get home? If I get home at 11:30 that means I can be in bed by midnight (that’s without showering) so if I fall asleep at midnight that’s (using fingers) 1,2,3… 5 hours of sleep. Can I function on 5 hours of sleep? Maybe I can squeeze a nap during my lunch break? No, maybe I’ll just call out of work. How many sick days do I have? I think 3. Can I forge a doctors note? Crap I have to pee again. Maybe I really should go see a doctor? As long as I can get an appointment before 6 because Wheel of Fortune starts at 7.
2.When once simple movements become painful exhibitions.
Like when I lie on the floor on my stomach to watch Wheel of Fortune and before the first puzzle is solved my extremities go numb, as if I fell off a roof, and I panic and think I’m going to die before Pat Sajak ever finds out where the three contestants are from, what their professions are and what they like to do for fun.
3. Scoffing at the price of cereal.
Wife: Hey, when you go to the store can you grab a box Honey Smacks?
Me: (looking lovingly)Anything for you!
1 hour later
Wife: (sifting through the grocery bags) Where are the Honey Smacks dear?
Me: (Annoyed) Where? On the store shelf. And for $4.99 a box that’s where they’ll stay.
( Wife moves to the kitchen window and stares out the forlornly into the fading twilight and thinks deeply about her life decisions.)
4. Caring about the specifics of your insurance policy
At work last week I willingly attended a meeting about our new insurance policy. And get this–like Wilford Brimley would do –I read all the distributed material, even scratched some notes about the intimacies of my new insurance policy.
5. Calling your kids by the wrong name… all the time.
Me: (To my son Chase)– Dylan turn off the light. Electricity isn’t free son.
Chase (Dumbfounded) Dad, I’m Chase.
Me: (confused then annoyed) I don’t care if you’re Ben Franklin turn off the light. And hey, Dylan-Ben-Chase…whatever your name is…until you start paying bills around here I’ll call you whatever I want. Crap, I have to pee again.
Be well & stay young,
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