Is there a male menopause? As a man in his mid-50s, I have recently become aware of getting older. Increasing age has had a curious effect on my psyche. I am noticing, on an almost daily basis, that I am thinking, feeling and behaving in ways that are starkly different from my youth and earlier adulthood. I will share these experiences on this blog and hope others will join me in describing their own age-related quirks and oddities. I can't be the only one at this "funny age", can I??
Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of
thinking. At 56 years of age I believe it is time to review my life,
stock, make amends. I don’t believe there is a God or an afterlife, but who can
be certain of such things. So I’d like to play safe and acknowledge all my major
wrongdoings from over half a century of prowling the planet earth. After I’ve
drawn my final breath, if I find myself at the ultimate junction, I want to
ensure I’m ushered in the direction of the arrow labelled ‘fine wine, ale and
warm female flesh’ rather than the one indicating ‘fire, brimstone and a
perpetual knee to the bollocks’.
So brace yourself, here goes; my
Dad, I’m sorry I lied to you when
I was 9 and you asked me about my 14-year-old brother’s liking for tobacco.
Adopting my most sincere facial expression – chin jutting, eyes fixed on yours
– I swore that I’d never seen Tony puff on a single cigarette. Father, I
sinned. Your older child was smoking like a damp log on a campfire. Forgive me.
I know it’s no excuse but I had been bribed by my big brother; he’d allowed me
a couple of drags if I remained silent.
Mum, I’m sorry I lied to you when
I was 7. I was responsible for those giant spiders that infested our house. My
behaviour at the time would today have led to a hefty prescription of Ritalin. Forgive
me, for it was I who engaged in frenzied fly-murdering sprees (aiming for a
minimum cull of three bulbous blue-bottles a day) and stored their pulped carcasses
under a loose window tile; word most have spread through the spider community
that a ready-made feast was being served daily, motivating all the dominant eight-legged
creatures within a 2-mile radius to descend on our living room. And didn’t they
fatten up quickly; our window ledge soon resembled a scene from Arachnophobia.
And mum, it was not the cat’s
fault that your wardrobe smelt of piss in 1977 – it’s amazing where a semi-slumbering
young man will urinate after ingesting 12 pints of finest ale.
Mrs Fenwick, I wish to retract my
comment to you when you returned home to break up your son’s house party 39
years ago. With the maturity of middle-age, I can now understand why you might
have felt annoyed to discover muddy foot-prints on the Artexed ceiling of your
recently-decorated dining room, semi-naked teenagers in your bed, not to
mention the pools of vomit on the bathroom floor. You were never a ‘stuck up,
snotty cow’ so please forgive me for my foul-mouthed ignorance; again, the
demon drink may have distorted my mind. (Although come to think of it, you did
often carry an unfortunate facial expression, as if someone was wafting a turd
under your nose).
Jean, the cougar, please accept
my sincerest apologies for my failure to rise to the occasion, particularly
after that delicious three-course meal you prepared for me. I was good-to-go,
until I caught sight of your lady bits which, after churning out three children
–one of whom, at 20 years old, was my age – seemed discoloured and misshapen,
like a poorly-assembled tent flapping in the wind, and not at all like those of
my female peers. Please forgive me.
Jane, the lovely young lady from
Durham, you were totally right to deny me access to your inner treasures on our
first date. I was 20 years old, full of anger and resentment, and treated you
shoddily. And I’m sure you were far from being a ‘frigid slab of whale
blubber’; please forgive me.
I think that should just about
cover it. Oh wait. To the old lady I met last week in the frozen-fish aisle of
the local Tesco store: it was I, not you, who was responsible for emitting the
rotting-cabbage smell; it just slipped out when I bent over the refrigerators
in search of battered cod. I should never have accused you. Sorry.
Well, I feel lighter already.
Wine, ale and warm female flesh, here I come!
Photo courtesy of radnatt at FreeDigitalPhotos.net