The word “older” in this instance meaning old. The criteria being skin that sags, titties that hang further than mine(…that’s not too hard but) just so you picture him in your mind’s eye. Tan leather skin is a favorite of mine too, tells somethings about a guy, no rocking chair, he’s out there still. Unless you consider folks like my ginger-gene Grandpa, he far surpasses any other old guy I have yet met in coolness and badassery.
I work a day or three a week at an athletic club. I get all the fun parts and no responsibility, plus they call work a four to six hour shift…usually while playing games, rock climbing with kids or standing around with my hands in my pockets looking like I am somebody…the point is that I meet a lot of people. I go on my days off too so I wager that I run into three to five hundred different people a week, at least half of them of which are men.
I’d just finished my workout and had a realization; the most enjoyable group of people to be around is old guys. “Who you calling old?!” I can hear them saying it now. Mock offense but a little hurt too. Honestly though, they should wear it as a badge of honor. These guys, whether you run across them at the coffee shop as regulars or sitting in the hot tub before or after a hundred laps in the pool, they always have time for a smile, a wave… a story. There’s sure to be one who’s all too ready to pull quarters out of my kids ears or nose, worse out of my nose!!! How’d that get up there anyway!?
Recently, having just finished a run followed by 20 laps in the pool, (if you saw my cardio, you’d tell me to do 20 more…) I decided I deserved 15 or 20 minutes in the hot tub before retrieving
the monster my child from playland. I climb in as I am surveying the other occupants.
To my right are three old old guys, engrossed in a serious bitch-fest (the way old guys love to do) about the cost of stadium tickets in The Bay Area -vs- other cities. I smile. They don’t care, they just like to rant about how lunatically high the cost of arbitrary things (that most of us can’t justify buying) have become. They aren’t on a crusade to change anything it’s the joy of showing off their useless knowledge that has them in it’s grip for the moment. Except they also have a keen grip on economics and politics and they’ve been around a twirl or three by now and have something the rest of us don’t…perspective, as it relates to facts that they have lived through. So maybe their “useless” knowledge actually ties into all of it in a way more meaningful and scary than the rest of us can fully grasp…
To my left are two 40 something year old men. Planning. Planning something big, like renting a machine to make their own wine and splitting the cost with their entire bike racing team. Then they are talking about how much money the team has, what else they will get money from and where to spend it…One guy is really into it…he must be the leader…the other guy looks pinched, a little stressed. I can’t decide if he is having a code-brown or he’s just tired of talking…if it were me, and I looked like that…time to get to the restroom…
Between the two groups of guys is a lone…I don’t know…I’m guessing 30-ish year old. He just looks tired. I make the (knee) jerk assumption that he’s young, has little kids and a wife that is unrelenting. He’s still finding balance to this whole, overrated, “grown-up” thing…consequently he has nothing to say to any of us.
As I take my place on the bench the Old guys and the 40 somethings make gestures while talking that are inclusive to anyone within earshot. The big difference is the three old guys want some fun banter and the two 40 somethings want some validation.
A very young and pretty lady (to me she still qualifies as a girl but she is certainly over 18) in a bikini comes to the steps, she looks us all over and the sour look says we are all too old and boring to talk to and she sulks as she finds a spot on the bench.
Another lady comes to the steps. She has on a teal one piece suit and red hair, shoulder length, in two ponytails below and behind her ears. I know her from around the club, she has big pretty green eyes to match her suit and a radiant smile. She is close to my age, just a few years older. She is beautiful in her own way, though I know she is self conscience, she is very very curvy. A thing I know very little about on a personal level… about four inches shorter than me and roughly forty pounds more than me, she has a timid smile and looks nervous like there may not be a comfortable amount of space for her to sit and be warmed by the hot water.
Though it’s not required nor expected, one of the older men raises an arm, hollers out, “come sit over here–we’ll make room.” She beams as they all shift closer to me. When she sits he hands out a few gracious compliments about getting to sit by such a pretty lady, how she makes them all three look like they must be somebody. Aw.
I enjoyed getting to banter and be in their conversation but an outgoing girl like me needs no compliment to bring out her smile. My old guy group continues to wag their jaw about anything they can come up with and get each of our opinions. The forty year old guys lean over and ask me how the pool is…it’s overcast and barely 65…the pool is perfect and they know it, they just can’t think of anything else to talk about…
Though an old guy’s not usually very fast on land he might be a speedster in the lap pool, you never know. I know a seventy year old guy who probably runs as fast as I do(…except that’s not fast…never mind…) Chances are, even if you can win a physical contest (and you might not) he will still beat you with his wits.
Sometimes I think those old leather skinned guys sitting around coffee shops, on park benches, sandwich shops, Denny’s, and jacuzzis are actually on a crusade to change the world. Even if it’s just to get us looking each other in the eyes, having friendly conversations about things that get you to think.
I imagine that these are the same men I hear about who are torturing other men in the locker-room and sauna with their naked displays of gravity…I forgive them. 😉