Posts Tagged ‘age’

The Greatest Story ever told

Monday, December 13th, 2010

The Bible is the greatest story ever told.

When I was young enough and not able to express my own feelings about religion and church, my parents made it their personal agenda to see to it that I was brought up a good Catholic and that I attend church every week. Back then and now in hindsight it was probably not the right way to go about introducing me to religion. Forcing me to attend church just made me resent going even more.

Now, as an adult, I have my own feelings about my religion and beliefs, even though I still have a mother who every once in awhile lays the guilt trip on me about my lack of attending church regularly. That standing, I have always been fascinated about my Christan background and its roots beginning with God, Adam and Jesus Christ.

Being that we are now in the Christmas season, it is hard not to think about Christ and what he means to Catholics and Christians everywhere. With all the hoop-a-lah and shopping, the real reason for this holiday gets lost in marketing for new I Pads, phones and the latest electronics that our kids can’t live without

All of my adult life I have always believed in religion and had hoped that what I had been taught really happened, but being an adult I also questioned how incredible it would have to be if it were in fact all true. I know that as a Christian I am not supposed to question my faith but how can any person not think that it might possibly be just “the greatest story ever told”.

Just thinking about it all and how it was passed down for centuries almost seems like an impossibility that one story could live on for that long and not be based on truth and real events. It seems to me that people who believe without question are more at peace with their lives than those who don’t. There must be something to it.

Although I have always questioned my faith, I have always wanted to believe. When people would ask the silly question about one person I would like share a conversation with, I always chose Christ, even though I think I would turn to a sobbing ball of mush in his presence due to the awe of it all. It just seems to me that this life we have must be for some bigger reason than the stress and craziness we live with day to day. To believe strongly that someday we will be in a better place, would make this life easier to get through.

And so in closing, I think its probably better to believe and find that in the end there is no afterlife, than it is to not believe and find that there is a judgment day and I failed the test. So as the good Catholic that my parents raised, I should say that this year, I hope you  remember to keep the Christ in Christmas…God Bless!

Get glasses Alice!

Sunday, December 12th, 2010

At some point in life we all get to an age when our eyes start to become unreliable, especially in dimly lit restaurants.

Being a Regular Guy, I fought the good fight for the last five or six years, trying to get by without optical help. Always one for seeing (no pun) eye doctors, I was told that I only needed readers and that my left eye was only fixable with surgery. So on I continued, hazing cereal box labels, newspapers, and menu’s trying make sense of it all.Wearing glasses never seemed like an option because I had  great “walking around ” vision. Carrying glasses for reading was even worse because I don’t use a “man purse” and glasses on a chain were strictly for my sun glasses ( which is still fashionable to date).So what does the Regular Guy do?

Alice, its time for contact lenses. Changing eye doctors, I had hoped that this one would be able to offer the option of contacts to help with my reading debacle. Watching my wife use contacts, never seemed like a daunting task to me and I figured that I could master the art of lens wearing in short duty. Okay so maybe I had ideas of grandeur. As my wife has observed and pointed out to me, I have three things playing against me in mastering the insertion and removal of these wonderful optical  pieces. Finger tips that over the years have lost sensitivity ( from work), hands like bear paws ( piano fingers preferred) and last, eyelid slivers. These three things, if you have not figured it out, will make placing contacts in your eyes VERY difficult.

Needless to say, I stymied the assistant in the docs office for a very long hour, the first time I attempted to install my superior eye wear. Retreating back to the safety of my home, I enlisted the assistance of my favorite contact wearer, to teach my the ropes on how too install these little domes of magnifying wonders.

So armed with visions of expert techniques buried in my mind, I attempted a second installation visit with the docs asssistant. Being blessed with skills beyond most mortal men, I conquered the task at hand and left with contacts in place!

After putting in the lens, I should tell you, I felt like I was in my thirties again. I was walking around the office in wonderment of how much I could read and from such as distance. These things are incredible. I am a new man!

But alas, all good things come to an end. Contacts, as I already knew, must be removed every night and put back in every morning. What a bummer! So maybe I still haven’t really conquered the task just quite yet. Already I have ripped one lens, dropped another (and found it stuck to the soap dispenser bottle) and placed one in backwards (ouch),but I move on with the hopes that great vision is still within my grasp. Its only been three days and it hasn’t gotten much easier, but when I do get (the one lens) it in, seeing everything clear again makes it worth the effort.

Already I know the best thing about reading so easily again. Perusing a menu and actually knowing what I am ordering instead of ordering out of frustration or with the aide of my trusted sidekick’s vocal descriptions. Life is good!

Mild Hogs

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Hey, that's just not a safe riding style....

For those of you who never saw the movie “Wild Hogs”, you should if you want a good start to understanding why men ride motorcycles.

I can remember being a child and what my first impressions of motorcycling were. The thing I most remember is my moms cousins and their “motorcycle garage” behind their house. Back in the sixties cut up choppers were the thing to have and at any given time you would see a large variety of them at their garage.

As a child, you can not help to feel awe at the sight of tattooed men with all that iron and noise around them.  Even at this age I still find myself in awe, at times, when I am surrounded by motorcycles. It’s like being in the wild west without the guns.

But even though I have always had a love of motorcycles, it wasn’t until I reached forty or so that I truly appreciated what it does to enhance my life.

Having a motorcycle in itself doesn’t necessarily bring excitement and adventure. It is with whom and what you do with it, that makes motorcycling a great thing. Nothing else exemplifies this more than owning and riding a Harley Davidson. It is like belonging to a club with out walls and rules. It’s a fraternity with out the hazing.

The absolute best reason for riding is the people you meet and become friends with. Someone tagged it “male bonding” but I think that’s a load of commercial crap. Yeah we all get along, but I always think of bonding like a bunch of men sitting around singing Kum Ba Yah. That just isn’t happening. What happens is that the motorcycle becomes the common denominator that brings together men of all backgrounds. Doctors, lawyers, chefs, Realtors, electricians and so on, just wanting to do one thing. Experience life through simple transportation and being able to share that with someone else who can understand it.

A lot of people always ask me why we get together to take a trip and ride for hundreds of miles a day.  They think its boring because you have no one to talk to, like you would in a car. They can’t understand what reason we would have to go to Ohio, for instance. What could possibly be a reason to ride there. This is the one thing people don’t really understand about motorcycling unless they ride one. The trips aren’t about the ride itself but the friendships that come from them. The best part of the ride is always at night when you pull into a new town, and go out for a steak, some drinks, and laugh your ass off about the events that took place that day. There aren’t any phone calls from work, no bills to pay today, no kids to drive to soccer, nothing but you and that bike and your friends.

I just spent the better part of four days on a ride that rolled up 1200 miles. On that trip I got to spend time with my uncle, that I probably would never have done with out our motorcycles. We were all drenched in rain that was so heavy, we had to dry our boots on the heaters in the hotel rooms. I smelled the aroma of at least 12 different things that I would have missed if I were in a car. I got to act like a college kid again, when we all did shots of Vodka in a small cafe in State College Pa. I experienced roller coaster excitement on rte 322, where roads were cut out of the sides of mountains that were so steep that trucks had to ride their brakes just not to crash.

There’s a saying bikers have, “Ride to Live, Live to Ride.” which just about sums it all up. At no point in my life have I ever felt as alive or as free as I do when I ride.

So here’s to my friends “The Mild Hogs” and to another safe and successful trip…

The Regular Guy

Give ’em hell….

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

I am tired of the bull crap being dished out to me by politicians who are self serving and couldn’t care a rats ass about all the hardworking (Legal) Americans who just want a fair shake. Being that I am about turn fifty, AARP figures I’m next in line for a membership. Yeah well you can see how I feel about that….love to see the persons face when they open my envelope!!!.I’ve had enough.

Fifty ain’t so nifty…

Monday, April 26th, 2010

“Age is only a number”! I used to hear that all the time when I was a kid and visited my relatives. The “older” ones, would always say things like that when they talked about getting old.

Something that has always fascinated me about age is when I look at my parents, no matter how old they were, they always seemed “old” to me. I can remember when my dad turned fifty and we gave him a party. I thought he was so old then. Now I think I must have been nuts to think that because I am that age now and I still feel like I am in my twenties. Probably how he felt then too.

A big part of aging is definitely a mental thing. Unless you are ill or in very bad shape, getting older happens so slowly that its hard to believe that you are old. I know this because when I look in the mirror, I see a very different version of the man I see in my head. If it wasn’t for reflections, I probably wouldn’t believe that I was indeed as old as I am. Getting older always seemed at least ten years away from where I am at.

I do however know what reality is. As a man, I know when I got old. Although I believed I knew when it happened, I wasn’t sure if it was just me who felt this way. That was until this past Saturday night, when a friend of mine mentioned to me the same thing I had believed was the measuring stick for when a man gets old.

He said that he knew he was old now because young girls don’t notice him anymore. When he said that I couldn’t believe it. He just said what I had thought was the reason I was old. I first noticed it when being in a bar. Girls would say “excuse me sir” when they needed to get past me. And worse yet, they didn’t even look at me when they said it. It used to be they would at least make eye contact with you. My friend said he realized it was happening about two years ago. We compared notes and both figured that for a guy, it was a true gauge to when we get old.

I sit in the chair and get my hair cut. The girl is maybe 36 yrs old and shes talking about meeting a guy. Her parameters are that he has hair, teeth and no more than forty because that would be too old. Wow, forty huh?? I laugh about it and say something and naturally she says that I don’t look my age but the point was already made. Forty seems to be the cut off to being young.

So my regular guy friends, get ready. Age will creep up on you and blindside you when you least expect it. One day shes cutting your hair and the next day she’s trimming your ear hair. Life’s funny like that. It takes hair from where you want it and puts it where you don’t.

So in reality, fifty ain’t so nifty but it’s better than the alternative. Anyway, by my calculations, I still have at least ten years until I…. get old.

The Regular Guy…

I am now my dad

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

Middle age has a way of creeping up on you. One day you’re this young guy and the next day your not. The crazy thing about it is I realize it every morning when I look into the bathroom mirror that the man I used to be is no more.

When we are young, we tend to think that everyone else is old. For instance, when I was a boy in fifth grade, I had this crush on my teacher, who I thought was so old. Not old in a grandma sense, but older, like my parents. Looking back on it now, she probably was my parents age, which would put her around twenty-five. When I was twenty five, I thought my dad was so old. He was only forty-nine then, which is of course what I will be in less than a months time.

So how does it happen that one day we wake up, look in the mirror and we see our dad? When he was forty-nine, I thought he was old, but now that I am the same age, I don’t feel like I am old. It truly is a crazy thing. I don’t feel any older now than I did when I was twenty-five, but when I see my reflection, I have to believe that I am forty-eight. Looking in that mirror every morning I see a guy I think is some one else. I see a guy with a gray hair, love handles (that used to go away at least once in a while), hair in places that I never had it and missing from places I did. Maybe the most convincing thing about aging is how our bodies don’t just respond so fast anymore. Getting out of bed each morning takes a series of steps to insure that I don’t twist something the wrong way and wind up out of work for a week with a bad back. What used to be a jump out of bed is now a deep breathe and push up on my elbow to take the stress off my lower back.

I watched my dad age but never heard him speak about it until he was in his fifties. Him and his friends would joke about things like getting out of bed every night two or three times to pee. I just thought he was being funny or something and never payed much attention to it, but now its my friends who are saying the same things. With all the talk about prostate problems, its something our generation needs to pay attention to, and could probably learn a lot about from our dads.

People, especially young girls, treat you differently at this age too. Most young girls stop noticing men at about age forty. You can go to a club now and twenty- somethings walk by you like you are invisible. Waitress’s call you “sir” which at first makes you look around like she must be talking to someone else.  This is not really good for your ego. I hear women get really pissed when people call them “ma’am”.

Although aging is a tough pill to swallow, it’s really not such a bad time for the Regular guy. A lot of good things happen to you when you reach this age. You find that there are more things in life to laugh about, even if it’s something that drives you crazy. Your relationship with a woman is easier because you both have done most of the stupid stuff already and hopefully won’t repeat the earlier mistakes. Your kids are probably grown and now you have time for yourself again to enjoy the things that you couldn’t do for years. Your friends are different too. They are around more now then they were when you were younger and they are better now too. There is a sense of oneness with each other that is unlike when you were younger. I think its a feeling that we all came so far in our lives and that it’s good to have friends to share those experiences with. When you were young it was every guy for himself, but now it’s more like a “band of brothers”.

In my mind I am still twenty-five. I say twenty-five because that is the age that I think we become men.You leave the boy behind and people notice that. You start to get the respect that you have earned from your family, friends and co-workers. You are probably in the early stages of your career and feeling good about how far you have come. Your starting to aquire things like your own place and a cool car. You are responsible for yourself now and thats okay with you. I liked being twenty-five. It’s just the right age. Not too young and definitely not old. Your whole life is out there waiting for you.

You know the only problem with being young?  It is that you don’t realize that you are and how fast time will go by. I don’t have many regrets in my life and probably wouldn’t change a too much, because if I did, I would not have met my wife. When I was young I didn’t do too much except work. Building a business will do that to you. Luckily when I turned thirty-six,  I woke up and realized I needed to balance my life better. Since then, I have made up for most of the lost years I had while building a successful business. Today I can say that the balance is pretty damn good.

We learn a lot as we age and hopefully with all that we learn, we can make aging a positive thing. People say that men age gracefully so that’s a positive thing to look forward to. And I hear ARPP isn’t such a bad thing either. They make a five minute hair dye for men that is probably one of the reasons a man can age gracefully. If this is middle age we still have a lot of time left, so get busy! Don’t let the second half of your life slip by like the first half might have.

Being my dad is not so bad after all.