We men go through many stages in our lives. I am currently in the “I don’t give a damn what anybody thinks” stage. Now before you go jumping to some nasty conclusion, let me explain. When you’re a teenager, your whole world revolves around what the opposite sex thinks about you. Everything you wear, eat, do, etc., is predicated upon what effect it will have on the object of your desire. I confess to being woefully inadequate in my youthful attempts at being cool.
As married men, we “recalculate,” much like our GPS devices, and center our lives around our wives and children. Everything we do is focused on making life better for “the family.” About the same time, we fall prey to peer pressure. Not only must we make things as good as possible for our loved ones, we must keep up with the proverbial Joneses. We need to drive the right car, live in the best neighborhood, and hopefully send our kids to the best schools we can.
Then comes “empty nesting.” At last we can focus entirely on what makes us happy, oblivious to the wants and needs of our adult children (most of whom are doing a heck of a lot better than we are). It’s time for “us.” Vacations become more about where we’ve never been but always wanted to go, and the movies we watch are more geared to our intellect than to an arbitrary standard set for our children by society.
Finally, as we join the ranks of senior citizenry and AARP, we enter the final phase of our lives. If we’re lucky we are blessed with a grandchild or two. We can enjoy them for a few hours or days at a time, but they’re not our responsiblility. What could be better than that? No longer do we care what car we drive. All that counts is that it’s paid for and has GPS. Our clothing reflects our mood less than it does a fashion statement. Our lawn sprouts a weed or two, and there are almost as many leaves on the ground come spring as there were when fall caused them to drop from the trees. And we couldn’t care less.
And that brings me to the raison d’être for writing this piece. A few minutes ago, Becky informed me that a package had come. “Did you order anything?” she asked innocently. I scratched my head and thought for a minute. Then it hit me. With a note of excitement in my voice I replied, “It might be my new electric razor!” I was ecstatic. “But it’s too small,” Becky said as she handed the package to me. “Oh,” my disappoinment obvious, “I guess it’s just the extra blade I ordered with it.” Sure enough, it was. Bummer. And then, my voice swelled with optimism, and I said, “Maybe the razor will come tomorrow. Yee ha!”
There you have it, friends and neighbors, I have finally reached that stage in life at which the most meaningful thing happening is waiting for my new electric razor to be delivered—and actually looking forward to it.