Another Year, Another Wrinkle

I’ve got a birthday this week.  I turn 47.  And yet I don’t feel a day over 46.

Do you ever look at yourself in the mirror and wonder what in the hell happened?

Since when did my hair turn white?  Not only on my sideburns and around my temples, but the stuff is taking over my chest.  Out with the brown, in with the gray!

It’s like old man kudzu.  And I’m not excited about where it might appear next.

The older I get, the more grooming I do.  As if showering and shaving isn’t enough every day, I now have to hunt for rogue hair all about my being.

Oh there’s a thatch growing out of my nostril.  A pompom of fuzz protruding from my ear canal.  And the one, only one, standing fully erect right on the top of my left shoulder-blade.

My eyebrows remind me of the fringe on my grandma’s handmade afghans.  I could serve spinach dip out of the crevices in my forehead.  Not only do I need glasses to read the menu at a restaurant, I also can’t see my food without them.  Imagine my surprise when the blurry “carrots” I bit into turned out to be rutabaga.  YUCK.

My grandfather, Woodrow, had a forehead the size of Montana.  And as Spurgeon, the other, added years to his life, his ears expanded like a Magic Towel wash cloth.  What a future.

I pee all the time, and there’s a 3″ x 3″ patch of skin on my back that’s as dry as a bone.  “Oooooo Dad!  What is that?  Scabies?”

“No!  It’s not scabies!!  It’s dry skin – it’s called eczema.”

“You need to get that checked out.  It’s gross.”

My girls are outstanding at pointing out all my flaws.

“You’re belly is jiggly!”  “You have warts on your feet.”  “I didn’t know you could get pimples at such an old age.”

I’m thankful I had the opportunity to develop a strong self-esteem before I had girls nearing the teenage years.

They haven’t discovered the vein that’s popping out around my right ankle although they relish the opportunity to discuss the volume of lint that collects in my bellybutton.  “Pull it out dad, I need a new scarf for winter.”

Where does that stuff come from and why is it in my navel?  I feel like a dryer.

I’m like an old house that needs major repairs.  I’m just not sure I could recoup the investment.

Tinkle Tinkle Little Old Man

Posted by Danny

The older I get, the more I pee. 

I just don’t understand it.  Not only do I pee more, but it also takes longer to evacuate an equal amount of fluid.

In my younger days, if I stood before a urinal, I immediately started to go.  The only exception was at the Dean Dome at UNC.  They have long troughs – they herd you in and you stand shoulder to shoulder to the Tarheel next to you.  I stare at the tile wall in front of me, scared of what I might see if I turn my head the least bit to the left or right.  In those instances, I work hard to imagine something happy and peaceful, like my grandmother’s fried chicken.  It takes a lot, regardless of your age, to pee with dudes bumping your arms on either side.

But that’s not what I’m talking about.  Be it the Dean Dome or my own private toilet, I stand and wait.

There really ought to be some sort of iPad designed to hang from the wall behind a man’s toilet.  Might as well do something productive as much time as I spend there.  Sometimes I make a call – but then its awkward when I forget I’m on the phone and flush.

“Bruce, was that a toilet flush?”

“Ahh – I don’t think so…I’m outside, the wind is incredible here.  Gotta go.”

And I probably do “have to go” again, because it won’t all come out on the first try.

Sometimes I pee three or four times before I go to sleep.  Pee, lay down.  Man, I think I need to go some more.  Ridiculous!  You JUST went.  Go to sleep.  Dude, there is still more in there.  And back up I am. 

It’s never a false alarm.  Every time I’m in front of a toilet, something comes out.  It might only be a teaspoon full – but there’s pee.

I think there might be a catch in my urethra.  Sort of like when the yard hose gets bent and water won’t come out.

I knew I was peeing more than ever, but last year it became apparent how my bladder was changing. 

The family was on a road trip, and we pulled in to a rest stop.  Jesse, my father-in-law and I all approached the urinals at about the same time.  As I stood there, I heard Jesse – his flow was quick and strong.  He’d clearly had a lot to drink that morning, but his exit was clear.  His thirty year old self finished and washed his hands.

About that time, I began…

Dribble, dribble, dribble…

Flow… Stop.  Flow… Stop.

Dribble, Dribble.

Drop, Drop, Drop.

When I arrived at the car, Jesse was in the driver’s seat listening to music with another soda in his hand.

A few minutes later, the seventy year old headed toward the car.

And thus is life.  Twenty years from now, I’ll be the last to leave the bathroom.  Jesse will be in the middle and Michelle’s stinkin’ husband will be through and throwing the football by the picnic table with my grandson.

I never dreamed I’d spend this much of my life in a bathroom.  Maybe I’ll try standup Sudoku.

P90X HAS TAKEN OVER

Posted by DJ

Recently my Dad has been on this workout rant. I mean, he is always doing something to try and get rid of his flabbyness. Once he lifted cans of baked beans, other times he has come up with his own lifting patterns which I swear he just made up to embarrass me.

I wonder when he will realize there is just no use. He is a forty-six year old man, if he wanted to be big and buff he should have figured that out in high school.

But lately, he has discovered P90X. He borrowed it from one of his friends (I’m not sure which one, but when I find out they will pay, big time).

Here is the basic gist of this daily workout.  It is about an hour-long and consists of:

Some man named Tony Horton, who is ripped and has gorgeous abs, yelling at you through the television. Half the time you cannot even understand what he is saying.

Now when Tony gets tired, he stops exercising and just walks around and tells everyone else working out in the room with him what they are doing wrong. So helpful.

In this multi-disk program, you use weights and huge rubber bands, and occasionally a chair or two.

The point of this blog post is to let you know how embarrassing it is when I have friends over and your dad walks out into the kitchen (where our food is prepared) all sweaty and smelly and he starts having a conversation with your guest who is obviously disgusted. The worst part is his outfit. He either wears gym shorts or his underwear and a t-shirt with holes in it (which my mother tried to get rid of on multiple occasions, guess I should take that responsibility over).

I am not saying that it is bad that he is working out and keeping himself in shape. I’m just saying that he did not “go up a size in sports coats, because my arms are getting too buff.” You think he was kidding, or I made that quote up? Nope, dead serious this came out of his mouth with a straight face.

A Birthday Ode to Uncle Jesse

Posted by The Tanner Girls (well…with a little help)

Jesse, Jesse you are old, 

Like a piece of bread with mold.

You’re also funny when we’re sad,

And you buy us soda unlike dad.

You’re on sports radio throughout the day,

We finally get to see you at the Christmas play.

At 10PM on the couch you fall in-to a trance,

But out late at a wedding? You really can dance.

Your feet are smelly (and that’s not all),

You’re not a good shopper at Crabtree Mall.

You stay out late and party bunches,

But you still get up to make our lunches.

You crank the radio when you drop off at school,

We act embarrassed, but it’s really cool.

You help us with math  when we throw a fit,

Dad went to State, so he can’t do it.

So have a good day – go have some fun,

And remember we love you, you’re our number one!

Annual Physical = Anxiety

Posted by Danny

I changed doctors about a year and a half ago.  I’d been seeing this guy for years, he’d touched me in so many personal ways, I felt an intimate connection with him.  But he couldn’t remember my name.  It hurt.  So I made a change.

My new physician’s name is Brian.  I like him a lot.  He’s about my age – I think he understands some of what I’m facing as a 46-year-old man.

Even though he’s a great guy, I was still dreading my physical last week.  I get excited about a massage, there’s a woman named Shelva in West Virginia who gives me my annual rub down at Capon Springs.  Her hands are like money!  But for some reason, I didn’t have the same level of enthusiasm about my family practitioner.  

I had worked myself up – I struggled to sleep the night before.  The anxiety of someone I didn’t know poking and prodding all over my body just about undid me.  The words, “Turn around and bend over – this won’t hurt a bit” kept echoing through my head.  I could smell the latex glove.

I woke up early.  I wanted to make sure I’d done all of my business before heading to the internal masseuse.  I cleaned extra well.  I wanted be his tidiest patient that day.  I can imagine some of the conversations he must have with his nurse after certain patients leave the office.  I didn’t want to be the topic of their water cooler talk.  And if I was, I wanted it to be good…”Did you smell him?”  “I sure did!  Like Old spice!”  “Un huh.”

We all know why there is mouthwash in the dentist’s bathroom.  If I was Brian, I’d invest in a bidet.

The nurse entered.  “Are you having any problems Mr. Ham?”

“Anxiety.”

“How often does this occur?”

“Anally – I mean annually.”

“The doctor will be here in a minute.”

She didn’t tell me to remove my clothes.  At my other doctor’s office, I had to disrobe by now – down to my boxers.  I don’t want to undress in front of him.  That’s so personal.

He enters, “I’m going to listen to your heart first.  Take a few deep breaths.”

He’s a big guy.  Athletic.  Look – at –  those – hands!

“Sounds good.  You’ll feel a little pressure on your stomach.”

He’s going for my pelvis.  It’s coming…

“Let’s take a look at your feet.  I see you have several planters warts.”

He didn’t even look down there.  What’s up with that?

Now it’s recommended that caucasian men get a prostate exam at age 50. But I can do one this year  if you’d like.  It’s your call.”

My other doctor started those when I hit 40!  That’s not right.  Why did he do that?  I feel so violated.

“Uh, un, I’m good.  I would not like one of those.  Actually, my prostate is feeling in-credible!  Never felt better.  Healthiest prostate in Raleigh!  Everythings just fine with my prostate.  Got those warts on my feet, but my prostate is dandy, no warts there!  I’m thinking 50 is good.  Yeaaaaa, 50.”

I’m going to sue my former doctor.

It Comes with Age

Posted by Danny

I’m getting older – a  birthday coming up this week.  In ways its difficult to believe I’ll be 46.  But at times it feels like I’m 78.  The changes in my hair are an indicator of my movement toward the AARP.

The most random hairs are popping up in the most unusual places around my being.  These aren’t normal hairs.  These are hairs on steroids!

They’re hanging out of my nose.  They’re poking out of and growing around the outside of my ears, one random piece at a time.  One day I found a rogue brow hanging down into my eye.  I discovered it when I thought I had a piece of dust in my eyeball.  But it was not dirt.  A strand from my eyebrow curled across my lid, through my lash and was resting on my cornea.  His lone brother was growing out of a pore on my left shoulder.   

When one pops up in my nose, I know I have to trim.  I’ve not had luck with my blunt end scissors – they can’t cut butter and the thicker ends won’t easily fit into my nostril.  Sticking a sharp pair of scissors into my nasal passage freaks me out!  I’m afraid a kid is going to run into the room, bump up against me and the blade is going to get shoved up into my cerebrum.

So, I shut and lock the bathroom door and pray that there won’t be an earthquake during my olfactory organ grooming session.

The grays are becoming more and more apparent, especially on my sideburns (the fact that I still think sideburns look cool is yet another indicator of my destiny).

This summer while on the beach, I noticed that about 25% of the hair on my chest weren’t brown – I feel like a silverback gorilla – except in the front.

I’m having to get up 8 minutes early each day to make sure I’m all cleaned up.  It’s like checking for ticks.  In a few years, I’m going to look like Cousin It. 

It’s as if I am taking hair fertilizer.  Do they sneak that in the aspirin I ingest each morning to ensure that I don’t have a stroke?  I guess if my body gets covered with hair I’ll be warmer.  My circulation is slowing down so that could come in handy.

  • Tanner Tweets

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 11,940 other followers

  • Past Posts

  • Contact Us