I have noticed over recent weeks that I have been sighing a great deal.
Not with sadness you understand. This expelling of air is a totally
involuntary action and seems to be linked with nothing more than having
moved in some small way.
It’s as if I need to make a comment about how old I am starting to feel
but can’t find the words to fully express it; and so I sigh.
What made it slightly worse is than I have noticed that my dad does the
very same thing and has done so for some time.
Then, last week, whilst in the supermarket I overheard someone describe me
as ‘That old man’.
They meant no ill by it and I took into consideration that they were
merely a teenager and thereby new little about life.
I am just under a thousand hours from my fiftieth birthday so I really
don’t want to be know as ‘that old man’ at this stage of my existence.
I ask my wife whether I deserved such a descriptor and she was supportive
to a point but reminded me that I am technically in my fiftieth year and
about to start my fifty-first. Not being interested in technicalities I
ignored her comment.
Ignoring the fact that I was ignoring her Mrs M went on to ask what
description I would have liked them to use.
I thought for a moment and then conceded that I couldn't find one that was
both accurate and didn't cause me offence.
Describing me as 'that middle-aged guy' might have been truer but it still
would have marked me as older than I want to be. In truth the word old,
from the teenagers perspective was accurate.
I suppose it’s mildly better than ‘the fat guy!’
I mistakenly said that last sentence out loud to my wife and she chuckled
as she pointed out that I was taking comfort in grading the possible
She was right: I was performing mental gymnastics trying to work out
whether it was better to be called balding than old.
I made the mistake of asking Mrs M what words she would find acceptable
This was not a bad thing in and of itself but because it lead to my bride
asking the following question.
'How would you describe me?'
'A beautiful lady' I said, hoping that would put an end to it.
'Lady' she commented sounding a little disappointed 'that makes me sound
'Well you are married to and old man' I replied.
Then as if we couldn’t find any more words my bride and I sighed at thevery same moment.