Tag Archives: Sweat

Growing Older, But Not Up

I think I might actually have grown up.

I fought against it for years and years (hence the title, based on a fabulous Jimmy Buffett song Growing Older, But Not Up, embedded here for your pleasure.) but I think the years might have eventually worn down my resistance.

This came to mind yesterday when I realized suddenly that I actually enjoyed mowing the lawn.

When I realized this, I’m almost certain I felt a ghostly dopeslap to the back of my head by my mom, reaching out from beyond the grave to try and pay me back for all the grief I gave her while I was a young dude and it was my job to mow the lawn.

I hated it, dudes. Sincerely, loudly and with great passion, hated mowing the lawn. I would do anything to avoid having to get out there behind the mower, sweating in the brutal Dallas sun and trying to cut a lawn that would only grow back as soon as I got done cutting it.

Which, oddly, was my favorite argument as to why I shouldn’t have to mow it. Sort of like why it was dumb to make your bed since you were only going to sleep in it that night and mess it all up again.

I’m completely ignoring the fact that I’m the one who makes my bed every day now, just because it looks nicer than does an unmade bed.

As a young dude, when I was forced to mow the lawn, I’d grumble the entire time and then do as poor a job as possible. I didn’t mow in straight lines. I threw in curves, loops, circles and, on one memorable

occasion, Abe Lincoln faces.*

All of which meant that, as soon as I was done an put the lawn mower away, I could call myself done only until either my mom or dad saw the result and forced me to go back out there and get it done right. Which only led to more grumbling and groaning.

Amber Rose is an American model and performer who is married to some rap star and is the first person who's picture appeared when I typed Amber into Google Images, otherwise I'd have no idea who she was. Sorry, Amber.
Not the kind of amber I was talking about, dudes to the left.

Somehow, over the years, I’ve changed, despite my best efforts to cast my personality in amber and never move on into adulthood. It’s sneaky, adulthood. And it snuck in on me.

When I mow the lawn now, there’s a certain sense of . . . satisfaction, I guess. A feeling that, as the blades of grass fall to my rotating cutter, leaving behind a smoothish, shorter line, I have accomplished something tangible. And, apparently, I’ll take that sense of accomplishment where I can get it.

Growing up, it turns out, isn’t one big step, but a series of tiny, incremental ones that you never even notice.

Who knew?**

 

Footnotes & Errata

* I was very, very bored.
** Yes, everyone. Everyone but me. Yes, thank you for reminding me.

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Summer Safety Begins Here

Take it slow, dudes. Take it slow.

Really that’s the best advice I’ve got for you right now. And it all has to do with summer being so very close to us here in the United States.

Sure it’s still early May and, for most of us, it’s still relatively cool, not yet kicking up the sweat-soaked, walking in a warm pool of wet air feeling of summer, but that weather is coming. And we’re getting the first breakthrough bits of it right here and right now.

To get ready, you’re going to have to take it easy.

By that, I mean you’re going to need to move slowly as you reacquire habits that, at the end of summer last year, were second nature and very, very easy.

For instance, by the end of last summer, I surely remembered every day to wear a hat when I went out of the house. Not to keep off the rain, but to keep off the sun. Being bald, I have no hair to shade my poor, helpless scalp. If I didn’t wear a hat, I’d get sunburned badly. Again.

Sure I remembered at the end of summer, but at the start? Not a chance. I remember one summer, probably in late April, I went to one of Sarcasmo’s soccer games outside. It wasn’t that warm. I didn’t wear a hat. I got so sunburned, I couldn’t sleep on a pillow that night. I felt like I was burning up. And then, after the pain finally went away, the itching began. Horrible.

All because I hadn’t yet returned to the habit of wearing a hat outdoors.

It’s the same thing with, for instance, shorts. By the time summer took its leave last year, you were used to wearing shorts outside, had a sufficient tan that you didn’t need to slather on the sunblock every single time you went outside for more than 10 minutes?

Now, though? With those pasty white legs? Even that darker skin isn’t going to protect you as good as it did after a summer’s worth of sun. Start slow. Put on a lot of sunscreen when you wear shorts. Make sure to put it on the back of your knees, work it up under the end of the shorts so you don’t expose untreated skin when you sit down. Wear sunscreen on your arms, on your face and head.

Nobody wants skin cancer, but getting a sunburn a couple of times a year is a good way to get a nice crop of cancers started. It’s not a good thing, dudes. To avoid a lot of the risk, just be covered — either in sunscreen or UVA-blocking clothing.

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Before We Begin. . .

So while we’re getting ready to get serious, I thought I’d check back in with Barry before we start the seriousness in a serious manner for serious people. Or something like that.

Barry? Over to you, Barry.

. . .

Barry?

. . .

What’s going on? Does anyone know what’s going on with Barry? Barry?

–ody well fix this thing before I come over there and stomp on your.  . . er. . . um. . . well.

Yes.

I can see we’re all better now. Thanks for handing back the mic, Richard. I appreciate it. I wanted to drop by and let you know about a horrific new threat we’ve been experiencing over at my house. It’s a little thing I like to call Manopause.

And, no, it’s not me going through this.

My 13-year-old son has begun suffering from a horrific disease that can, after extensive research and untold hours of imaginative leaps and counterintuitive logical progressions, be called accelerated menopause, rule 63 variant.

Yes, that’s right. He’s a teenage boy, suffering from a syndrome most notably known for affecting women in their 50s and signaling, among other things, the end of their childbearing years.

Now, I understand that you dudes might be a bit hesitant to accept this diagnosis for the reasons outlined above. I understand that. However, let me run through a couple of the symptoms and you tell me what you’re reading about. Fair enough?

My son is burning hot and sweaty and then, one second later he’s cold as ice and demanding a sweater. He might walk into a room whistling and feeling like he’s on top of the world, but within the five steps it takes to cross the room, he’ll sink into the most red-tinted rage imaginable. He’ll be playing nicely with his younger sisters until he snaps and begins berating them and searching for dolls so he can snap their heads off.

I do not mean any of these in a metaphorical fashion. Dude is suffering.

And it hurts me to watch it. I feel for the pain he’s going through, not having a handle on his emotions, feeling like his body is having a party and he’s going to have to pick up the bill. It’s inconceivable that he’s going through this.

Although, now that I think of it, I do not think that word means what I think it means. And I–

What?

No, really?

Huh. Well.

Ah, so it seems, if my wife the pediatrician is to be believed, that what the little dude is going through is perfectly normal for boys his age. Apparently it’s not Manopause, which would be a totally new syndrome that would need somebody to get out ahead of it and be the face of Manopause prevention and be on talk shows and sign lucrative endorsement deals and be invited to red-carpet movie premiers. It’s apparently puberty, which everybody knows about and goes through. And certainly doesn’t need someone going around warning people about it. Which is no fun at all.

Well, poo.

Even worse, if this is puberty and my oldest little dude is, indeed, going through it, that means this isn’t a one-time deal and I’ve got to face one more little dude and two little dudettes going through it.

Oh. Oh, my.

I need a vacation. 

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