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Monday, May 21, 2012

Aging Men and Babies

There are a lot of things to dislike and very few things to like about getting older. Most people will make statements like, “30 is the new 40” or “40 is the new 50” or “I’ve never felt better”.  All statements made to make themselves feel better about getting older, yet knowing there is nothing we can do about it, and knowing that as each birthday goes by, we are that much closer to death.

For men, aging involves hair migrating from places where we want it to places where we don’t.  It involves a belly that you don’t want and can’t seem to get rid of and the idea of an afternoon nap while a WWII documentary plays in the television sounds more appealing than hanging out with friends having a beer, or taking the motorcycle for a ride.
But worst of all is the pairing off and marriages of all your friends. Especially when you are not one of the paired off. As we get older, we meet significant others, we get married, and sometimes we get divorced. But it usually doesn’t happen until after our wives have popped out a few babies from their vaginas like Ping-Pong balls out of a Thai stripper.

In a way, babies are one of the ways we fight the effects of aging. Babies after all “are our future”.

A longtime friend of mine just had a baby. She’s cute, she’s sweet, she’s smart, and she is all he talks about. Of course, all new fathers think they have the cutest, sweetest, and smartest baby. But I don’t play in a weekly poker game with all new fathers, just this one.

My buddy, who hosts the game, is the one with the dart board in his game room and the liquor cabinet with the largest bottle of Gentleman Jack he is able to purchase. His game room still contains the dart board, the pool table, and the Xbox plugged into the 50 inch LCD TV. It just also happens to have a few newly added games, like the baby stroller and the toys that make noise each time anyone accidently touches them. And now, when flipping through Pandora Radio on poker night, he has The Muppets radio station saved into his Pandora app.

Thursday night is the night his wife takes the baby to bed early, and he gets to have a “boy’s night.” Boy’s night consists of about 5 to 7 regular guys who show up around 7 with $10 dollars in their pockets, maybe some beer or whiskey and an appetite for food that usually involves a lot of meat. Boy’s night is the night the baby daddies get a night off, and the newly married guys get a break from the “honey-do” list.

It’s spring in the Pacific Northwest, still cold, still wet, but not as cold or as wet as it’s been all winter long. The weather is warm enough to where I don’t have to head straight inside the house. A home my friend keeps so warm it turns us into lethargic slugs after a good meal, to where a nap on the sofa could easily be a replacement for the game.

“Hey fellas,” I say as I walk around the corner.

They all respond in kind, as we greet each other.

Conversations had, in the past, occasionally involved how poorly we thought the Mariners would do that season, or the hope that they might not “be as bad as last year.” But as of lately, the conversations are more about children, wives, kitchen remodels, or how someone needs to start going to the gym due to an increasing waistline.

A recently married member of the group, picks up where he was before I walked up, “So what should I do with the old doors. Can I just burn them? Or should I take them to the dump?” talking about the house he just bought and the remodel.

“Just bring them over here,” the host responds, “We can throw them on the burn pile.” He says referring to the massive burn pile on the edge of his 2 acres. The burn pile that used to be for parties where an occasional guest would get so drunk they might fall into the fire. And now was building up so high that if actually lite would probably result in helicopter with a water bucket underneath showing up to put out.

That reminds me, ”he laughs to himself, “After bath time, we will occasionally let the baby run around the living room before we put her diaper on.”

“Umm, hum.” I respond while listening to the story.

“After we gave her a bath the other day, we let her run out of the bathroom into the living room to play for a while. I went into my office to get some work done. The door was open and I hear the wife yell out.’ So, I go out to see what she is talking about, and the baby is over by the sofa squeezing poop through her fingers like a stress ball with the hugest smile on her face. And there is poop that she rubbed all over the sofa.”

I smile and nod as if I’m interested in the story.

"So now we put one of her cloth diapers on her right after bath time. That way, at least, her poop can hang like a hammock from now on.” He continues, “You know, I was the last person to think cloth diapers are worth it. When the wife wanted to use them, I said that’s fine but I’m using disposables. But those cloth ones are great. The poop doesn’t squish into them like you think it would, it just kind of sits on top, so all I have to do is dump the poop, and toss the diapers into a bag. I have the steam washer, so I can dump the bag into the wash, and they come out smelling nice and fresh.”

I have to interject at this point. “What on earth makes you think I would find this conversation even remotely interesting? I spend absolutely no time around babies, and at the moment I don’t even have a girlfriend, so there is no danger of me spending time around babies.”

He laughs and takes a drag off his cigarette, “So what do you want to talk about then?”

“I don’t care man cars, motorcycles, something interesting.”

Silence lingers in the air as we try to think of something to say. Instead he takes a last drag of his cigarette, drops it into the sand filled ash-can on the porch, and we both go inside to the other guys who are pulling up the game on the MLB app on the TV, hoping for that brief release from wives, homeowner responsibilities, and of course babies.

3 comments:

Coach McCrite said...

Very nice post.....you are a Cranky Monkey.

Been There, Done it Ray said...

Your time with babies is yet to come.

Foxynik said...

Procreating is for the weak, just another tradition people find themselves following to please society