True Love, Pt. 2
To any 30-something (or 40-something, or even 20-something) single woman wondering where all the good men are, I have to deliver some bad news: they are not at 24-hour fitness.
Overheard in the lockerroom today was a conversation between two prototype samples of the most selfish species alive, the single 30-something man. It went something like this:
Guy #1 (who I thought was gay): No way, man. Not while I'm trying to get established at work. You want some whining woman, a couple of whining kids? No.
Guy #2 (hidden Greek letter tattoo? perhaps.): Sure, I hear you. I asked my grand dad how he stayed married for 60 years. He said, "I do what she tells me to do."
#1: Yeah. They order you around. And then they get fat. What is it? They gain 5 lbs. for each year of marriage?
#2: And kids! Who wants a couple of those screaming kids? You gotta pay for them, and your whining wife, telling you what to do. Not me.
#2: I hear some guys say it's okay.
#1: Yeah, but they're the exception, not the rule.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the future hope of the species.
Meanwhile, I continue to age. Yesterday, I happened into Nordstrom's to do some child-free browsing of the men's department. It was laid out in front of me -- every aspect of sartorial manhood, as presented by Nordstrom.
I started in suits. I am going to Las Vegas for a wedding this weekend. The always-evolving Dr. Bando will finally make the plunge, glitz-style. I will trot out the same suit I wore the last wedding, when Greg married his girlfriend of 17 years, Tracy. They now have a child, and I have the same suit. It's not even a suit. It's a sportcoat and pants, circa 2001, bought the last time I had a job that came with an actual salary.
Nordstrom suits are staid, conservative. No way was I at home in that department, and no way do I have enough of a need for nice shirts and ties to browse that section. I moved over the the parallel casual departments, "Men's Sportswear" and "Brass Rail."
It is popular now in advertising circles to refer to children ages 9-12 as "tweens," but what about the not-quite over the hump 40-year-old? Do I sift through "sportswear," and emerge looking as if I am about to go golfing? Are pleated khakis and polo shirts appropriate wear for a guy with no income? Or do I go to the "rail," and risk looking like someone's dad trying to be hip. I could just stand in that department and announce loudly how stupid it is to spend $169 on a pair of jeans. Would that be correct behavior? Or maybe just scoff at how present-day styles reflect those of the 70s and 80s.
I have no idea. My dad once told me that all men choose their style during their senior year of high school, and then carry that style with them for the rest of their lives. If that is true, it's time for me to stock up on argyle sweaters and saddle shoes. Hmm.
Again, this aging thing.
I just finished reading a good biography of original punk pioneers The Clash, and have taken to driving around with "London Calling" playing on my 6-cd changer. "Good for me," I think as I roll into the Jawa's school's parking lot. "No 60s dinosaur music coming from this kid's car."
Well, no. Instead we've got 80s dinosaur music. And my joy when the 3-year-old Jawa began singing along with the Pixies was probably no different than hippie dad's when he crammed Janis Joplin down his own jawa's throat. Nobody wants to feel old, I guess. We all want to think we're somehow "different" than those other middle-aged dads. Again, I blame the hippies. Before they made youth their own personal lifelong entitlemant, it was okay to get old. You were supposed to be a square when you were 40.
Of course, it could be much worse. We could be aging single guys, thinking they've got it made.