From the cradle to the grave… challenges the aging male faces daily


As we age we are faced with new decisions every day. Just this weekend I cooked soup beans with ham hocks in the crock pot overnight. When I woke up Saturday morning Judy had already cooked cornbread. She told me the beans were delicious and she had eaten them for breakfast.

“Are you kidding me?” I asked surprised. “What about sausage and eggs, our usual?”

I thought for a moment and half asleep sipping on my morning coffee, I said, “Why not, somewhere in the world there are people eating beans for breakfast!”

There is a first for everything and this was my new decision. Have gas all day instead of after dinner. I had cornbread and soup beans for breakfast with a little sugar-free jelly on the cornbread.

Only a few years ago an older British couple, Dawn Brooke and her husband, made a decision to have another baby. They qualified as the oldest couple on record to conceive naturally. She gave birth to a son at the age of 59 with her 64-year-old-husband. Leave it to the Brits.

On that news, jokingly, I asked Judy if she wanted more children. She looked at me a little stunned. A quick decision was easily made on her part.

“Are you crazy?” she responded.

It seems the older we get the more we forget.

As we age we reach certain milestones in our lives. At an early age I recall some of the labels placed on me through my growth stages.

I was known as a: bouncing baby boy; little squirt, for obvious reasons; kid; pre-adolescent; teenager; good-for-nothing; young man; college boy; draftee; husband; daddy; mature responsible man; middle aged; grandfather and now am getting closer and closer to that revered stage of a ‘crazy old coot.’

Growing up male is fraught with pain and suffering. From our earliest memories we are told, “You’re not old enough to do that or wait till you get older.”

Now it’s, “You’re too old to do that. You’ll kill yourself.” What happened to all the good stuff in between?

I suppose I’m maturing at the correct rate. I try to wear clothes around the house now instead of a housecoat and underwear. I keep my nose and ear hair trimmed mostly. But I do have one problem that probably plagues most males in America. I forget to zip my fly on occasion. It’s not on purpose mind you. But it does happen.

Males have had the zipper challenge all their lives. And I bet there’s not one of us who has gotten up in front of the class to recite a poem or give a report that has not left his fly unzipped. Usually a girly giggle or your best buddy pointing south to warn you helped correct this malfeasance.

Leaving the barn door open is scary since it’s now known as one of the first signs of senility. That will scare a bunch of us.

How do you tell someone their zipper is open? What is socially acceptable? A soft whisper from the wife always works….”Hey stupid, you left your fly open again.”

Other notifications might me….”XYZ –Examine Your Zipper”; “You’ve got Windows In Your Laptop” (a modern variation); “You’re Flying Low”; “Elvis Is Leaving The Building,” and many more too numerous or embarrassing to mention here. It’s a gesture of kindness to let us know.

Once on a business trip to Chicago I stayed in an old hotel with elevator operators. I left for dinner going down to the restaurant. The elevator attendant looked at me and said, “It’s three o’clock.”

“No, it’s not. It’s 7 o’clock,” I replied.

“Sir, your fly is open,” he answered.

A gesture of kindness example for us aging males. Oh well, I’ll live with it and try to do better.


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