the circular runner

Growing Old in Department Stores…

In humor, life, observations, writing on December 22, 2011 at 9:22 am

The other day I hung out with my wife while she did her Christmas shopping. My initial idea had been to hang out at Starbucks and write while she faced the angry hoards, but she bribed me with a free lunch, and I am a food whore. There are many signs that I am getting old: I run slower than I used to, I sometimes ache a little in the lower back, I have to actually trim my nose hair, etc., but I realized my middle-aged status while with my wife. As she went off to look for her mom’s present, I zero’ed in on this comfy couch in the middle of the floor where I found another middleaged guy. We gave each other the man-nod, which can mean many things depending on context but in this case meant, “Ah, you too are stuck in hell until the female in your life releases you.”

That alone wouldn’t have proved my age. What did show me exactly who and what I am was the fact that as I sat there, I kept noticing the looks I was getting by the young women who frequent the store. I’d like to say they were looking at me the way a niece would her charming uncle, but I can admit that some of them were young enough to be my own kids. Either way, they were amused at the two old-ish guys sitting on the couch, waiting for their wives.

It’s a telling thing that Rites of Passage are no longer dramatic episodes in one’s life, they are gauged by visits to the mall. So I am no longer a kid waiting impatiently with his mom, or a boyfriend hanging with his girl. I am now of the couch-dwelling class. Hear me sigh!

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  1. I think there’s very little as charming in life as my husband sitting outside the dressing rooms while I try on things that I don’t show him because I don’t like how they look. But he sits there, with a beloved look of eternal optimism and patience, and then we both grumble about traffic and wonder how the economy can be hurting when there are so many people in stores spending money we aren’t supposed to have as we drive away.

    Merry Christmas.

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