Recently, a most horrifying discovery was foisted upon me: my eyebrows contain more gray in them than they do brown.
Yikes! how does that happens, being I’m not yet old?
After all, at 64 I’m just entering the second third of my life.
Apparently, others – such as my wife – have known of this solemn condition for quite some time and have kept it from me; obviously not wanting to burst my bubble by saving me from the knowledge that Father Time has been schlepping across my face for years.
“Honey,” I said while examining closely in the bathroom mirror the wiry, frizzy, randomly-aimed, string-like gray filaments that inhabit my lower forehead, “Did you notice that my eyebrows have turned gray?”
“Yes,” said she, in the same manner that one would respond to the question, “Did you notice that I have a nose on my face?”
“You’re just realizing it now?” she asked.
Sheepishly – and somewhat defensively – I responded, “Uh, yeah. I don’t pay too much attention to my eyebrows. Besides,” I added, seeking a rationale, “I wear glasses; the frames hide them.”
Trying to be empathic (but failing, I might add), she continued, “Your hair has been gray for twenty years. What makes you think you’d keep those Groucho Marx caterpillar-like things forever? You’re getting older; things change.”
She paused. “By the way, how come you’re just noticing them now?”
“My play,” I answered, as if that would clarify everything.
“Your play?” she echoed, perplexed.
“Yes, I had to wear make-up when on stage. I don’t normally do that. Staring that closely at my face, I noticed my eyebrows.”
“Oh,” she said. “Welcome to what women deal with,” and left the bathroom, leaving me alone to examine my facial terrain. Not willing to tweeze them, I did opt to trim them. Despite my years, I absolutely refuse to look like Andy Rooney used to; a bridge too far.
Okay, I get it. I’m aging – but I’m still in denial.
After settling myself down, I realized that on the grand scale of changes, at least I’m not exhibiting some of the other changes that men “of a certain age” go through. As evidence, I point out that my pants are not hitched up to my nipples, I don’t have to trim nose hairs, and my left ear still seems to be somewhat in proportion to the size of my face (the right ear is another story).
To further justify my “youthful persona,” may I call attention to the datum that I’m relatively mischievous; a trait not necessarily associated with “old men.”
As confirmation, I actually considered sneaking up behind a young man with his pants strapped mid-thigh and yanking them down – because “when I was a kid,” we picked up our pants and he needed to learn a lesson and golly gee willikers, I was going to teach it to him! (This of course, negates the fact that when I was his age, I wore tie-dye bell bottoms, a puffy “pirate shirt” with a sash, and possessed what looked like a small bush of – brown, not gray – hair atop my head.) One might think yanking down a young man’s trousers to certainly be inappropriate and most likely foolhardy — especially when one compares my age to his — but really, how quickly could he run after me when he has to use one hand to hold up his waist band? See, further proof I possess fully my mental faculties. Ta-da!
Of course, if I’m going to be honest, there are — limited — troubling spots rising on my horizon.
I do have hordes of crinkled Kleenex crammed in every pocket of every pair of pants I wear; I’ve been known to become cranky if I have to eat dinner after 7:00; I shop at certain stores on “senior savings day,” – and I know when they are; I wear oversized slippers at night that slip-slap against the hardwood floor as I walk; I really do enjoy Brussels Sprouts; I can go from one room to the next and have not a clue what I was looking for upon arrival; and — the pièce de résistance – I know where every men’s room is located in every business along every highway between here and Los Angeles (not that I need to, you understand, but “just in case” I’m traveling with a male friend…)
About the author: Scott “Q” Marcus is a THINspirational speaker and author. Since losing 70 pounds 24 years ago, he conducts speeches, workshops, and presentation. He also coaches individuals and consults with companies on how to implement and handle change. He can be reached at www.ThisTimeIMeanIt.com