Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Man O Pause..


All my life I was warned, that at some point my mother would explode in a bundle of hormone induced rages and hot flashes. So I prepared myself, scrutinizing her for any hint of irritation or mood change.

No one, not one periodical, not one Date line episode, not one Oprah intervention warned me of the change my father (and various other aging men in my life) would under go.

I had heard of mid life crises, men getting taupe’s, chasing after younger booty, driving convertibles. But I think that this image is either the world’s biggest myth, or it only happens to the rich white folks.

Most men just get really crabby as they age. And for the most part I think it’s out of their control. They begin to whine and complain about everyday things like heating costs and closing the door without a bang, or switching channels too fast, because it screws up the TV (seriously, I am sure Samsung tests for this…) They also begin to fly into crazy rages, where they get so angry they shake. Only what sets them off could be something as silly as not finding a lunch box lid. Perhaps it’s a disappointment that comes with an aging body, a body that once used to be agile and potent, now withering away under saggy skin and effort. I suppose for men a lot of their ego, is based on their abilities, and to see those abilities wither away is disheartening.

My dad has been one of the greatest men of my lives. He has sacrificed beyond measure for my family and I. Yet these days he ranges from unbearable to live with, to happy go lucky, sometimes in a matter of hours. I feel like there’s a cancer inside of him called age, that’s corroding the man he is. I wish I could reach inside him, Green Mile style and somehow suck it out. I am starting to pity my mum, who must be wondering what happened to the smiling, charming man she married all those years ago. Imagine working hard for forty/fifty years, looking forward to retiring with the love of your life, only to find that the toll those in between years took, have left such a significant mark. I guess that’s what they mean by better or worse.

13 comments:

Lene said...

yo, same thing with my dad. he's so depressing and salty. he's taken this "grumpy old man" bit too damn far.

anyway, email address is "straightfromscarbz@gmail.com"
better get at me b4 i quit that place. lol =)

Christie said...

My dad has been that way for years, since he hooked up with my step-mom. He just has no patience for me, my brothers, or my kids. Just her. Old men suck.

Jdid said...

could be a whole bunch of things. maybe he's upset about the hand life dealt him or he doesnt feel like he accomplished all that he wanted to. Could be that toronto is stressing him out, I think this place is hard on minority men to be honest.

blog Portland said...

Just as with women and estrogen, men lose significant amounts of testosterone as they age. There are a lot of topical creams that he can get prescribed which could do great things for his manhood and general attitude. Also have him stay away from lavender, tea tree oil, and soy proteins, as they promote estrogen production that hinders the effect of whatever testosterone he's still got.

Wow, I read way too many health periodicals.

Colonise This! said...

Makes me sad! Life's struggles can really take a toll. Perhaps lots of hugs and kisses and special dates with your mum might help.

unique_stephen said...

this post has just stopped me in my tracks.

Jumbie said...

I've been working since I was 12. I hate to think with age, I'll have to give up my independence,and rely on others to do the things I now do for myself.

It's nothing about sex, as most women think. It about trying to retain the independence and ability one had from youth for as long as possible. Some men choose rather asinine ways to do so, but not all, just a minority. Perhaps the publicity of the minority has given the view that all men do it.

I imagine the days when I may no longer be able to negotiate a flights of stairs, or lift something that today I take for granted, or run after a grandchild, or great grand as the case may be...

I hope when those days come, my family can love me enough to allow me some dignity.

Marika said...

I know it's not exactly the same thing, but I remember having a conversation with my grandmother when she was about 70 years old, and she confessed that she was bitterly, bitterly disappointed with her retirement. She was expecting it to be one big long weekend - she would paint, take long walks, read, dance, and relish all the things she loved doing as a younger woman, but didn't have time for. When she finally got to the age when she could she found that her body let her down - all those years of waiting had stolen her energy, her eyesight and her movement. She'd held out her whole life for that moment and when it finally arrived, she felt that her ability to enjoy it was stolen from her.

She was never terribly pleasant to begin with, but that was the icing on the cake.

My Dad has just turned 60 and he's retired 3 times already. Each time he does he drives himself and my mother insane, with similar behaviour to what you've described. Has your Dad stopped work altogether? Could it be that he's just not used to having nothing to do? After 40/50 years of making sacrifices for a family, I can understand how it might be hard to know what to do with yourself when you suddenly have the time to enjoy the spoils of your labour, but if you're not used to it, I can imagine it would be a shock.

GC said...

Sounds like your pop needs a spa day or a vacation. Maybe he needs a little pampering and a lot of ego boosting.(And I'm sure some grandbabies wouldn't hurt--why don't you introduce your brother to a nice young lady; I'm working on my brother too).

Bush Babee said...

I'm do not lie but the older my dad gets the more he's becoming a hippy.

He's into meditation and spirituality. Yes... a black 60 year old man into meditation. It's pretty scary.

Peace.

jay bee said...

i agree with portland: what your dad is experiencing is actually called "andropause". it can vary in degree and duration, and can be just as frustrating as menopause.

my dad's been in it for the past few years. it may sound funny, but it's no laughing matter... luckily for us, having a dog has helped quite a bit.

Leon said...

Your Dad's switching to Grandpa mode. Better get some kids fast!

Abeni said...

I guess aging is hard even for the best of us. Maybe he feels useless and thinks he no longer serves any purpose hence the crabbiness