Columns share an author’s personal perspective.
“The five B’s of middle age - baldness, bridgework, bifocals, bay windows and bunions.”
Middle age. Nothing prepared me for this, not even the old, wise men with all-knowing smirks and ever-present advice. But for those of you who have yet to attain the cringing, woeful status of middle age, I will not be so cruel. I will warn you. I will prepare you for the shock ahead. And you can start now by compiling your very own Midlife Starter Kit.
Sure, you could just grab some reading glasses, AARP card, a CPAP machine, some Fixodent glue, and maybe even some prunes and Metamucil - but that’s just scratching the surface. You are going to need a lot more than that if you plan on joining this elite club of suffering we call the Middle Age.
The Midlife Starter Kit
Cattle prod - You will need this device often, because you and your spouse will fall asleep during work meetings, while watching the six o’clock news, sometimes while driving and perhaps even while “making out” on your anniversary. Yes, I know this sounds shockingly cruel, but only if your wife gets her hands on it.
A “man bag” or fanny pack - Don’t laugh, this will come in handy for holding that Fixodent, hearing aid batteries, ankle braces, reading glasses, heating pads, assorted ointments and creams, medications ...
A chemistry degree - The sexiest lotion beside your bed is that tube of Ben-Gay, so you are going to need to know how to mix exotic sex massage oils with your arthritis cream without developing a painful skin rash or an explosive chemical reaction.
An extra copy of your high school yearbook - You will run into old classmates at the Piggly Wiggly, and have no idea who they are. See if you can order a pocket size version to fit into your fanny pack.
Prescription glasses on a chain around your neck - To help you find the prescription glasses you keep losing.
Adhesive name tags - For those reoccurring occasions when you forget the name of your grandkids, kids, spouse, dogs, etc.
Pill shooter - Trust me, you are going to get tired of swallowing all the pills, vitamins and assorted medications, and those new model, high-powered pill shooters are very effective. However, I would stay away from the high-powered suppository shooter.
Egg timer - You are going to need something to tell you when to take all those pills.
A gumball machine - You are going to need somewhere to store all those pills when your medicine cabinet gets full, so why not make it fun? Anybody got a quarter?
Giant foam hand - You know those giant foam hands you see at sporting events? They are great for slapping young people that say “sir” or “ma’am” and offer to help you cross the street.
New Balance sneakers - For running away from your wife at chore time - and when it’s romance time. Because she likes using that cattle prod.
Extra hair accessories - Middle-agers need a few more hair accessories that usual: a ball cap to cover bald spots, hair trimmers for those spots where hair isn’t supposed to grow, mousse or hair gel to make that comb-over stay down, and a pair of needle-nose pliers to get those hard-to-reach hairs you will find in your nostrils, ears and in the bathroom sink drains. And don’t get me started on what men need.
Stop-and-go juices - You know, like prune juice and then Imodium AD to stop the prunes.
Men’s health vitamins - Yes, that’s what I call those little blue pills, so mind your own business, kids or I’m getting out the giant foam hand.
Push-up bras –-Let’s face it: the older we get, some body parts start sagging, so I would recommend a sturdy push-up bra and maybe even some Spanx. And this isn’t a bad idea for the ladies, either.
Baby wipes - Don’t ask too many questions here, just throw them into your fanny pack and keep it moving.
Back scratcher - A lot of things are going to start itching and hurting, and you aren’t going to be able to see some of those body parts, much less reach them. Apply some Gorilla tape to the end of it, and it will help you put your socks on in the morning.
A younger lover - Rumor has it that some of you middle-aged folks, men and women alike, are responding to middle age by pursuing new, younger flames. While that’s not for me - that’s too much work - if you decide to pursue such an adventure, I recommend you take along your fanny pack, gumball machine and adhesive name tags so you don’t forget your new lover’s name.
Good luck, and see you at the class reunion!
This week, author Michael DeWitt partnered with pastor and humorist Brian Trent and the Trent Tribe to create a companion video to this column, entitled “Is This A Midlife Crisis?” Check it out at www.trenttribe.com.
Michael M. DeWitt Jr. is the managing editor of The Hampton County Guardian newspaper in South Carolina. He is an award-winning humorist, journalist and outdoor writer and the author of two books.
DeWitt column: The Midlife Starter Kit
Columns share an author’s personal perspective.