The old man in my mirror looks strangely familiar.

May 26, 2009

I’ve decided to start treating Viking Woman like the goddess she is. After all, there’s a very good chance I’ll need her to say nice things about me at my funeral.

A column in the May 10 Sunday Star-Times’ Escape section noted how, here in New Zealand, women tend to outlive men. It has something to do with how inhabitants of Planet Man tend to carry our extra baggage — at least the physical part — around our waists, which sets us up for all manner of weight-related diseases, most of which are quite capable of putting us in the ground.

The solution, short of moving to a country whose stats show its men live longer than women, is to eat less and exercise more. I know, that doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun but then, come to think of it, neither does heart disease or cancer. Or, you know, staring up at the inside of a coffin lid while the worms chew on your pink bits.

Death does tend to take all the fun out of life. Literally. I believe it was Woody Allen who once said, “Dying isn’t the worse thing that can happen to you. Just the last.”

It’s funny how this whole circle of life thing works. You go from having no concept of death, to thinking you’re both immortal and invincible, to buying life insurance so your young family is taken care of just in case, to reading obits and muttering, “Well thank Christ I lived longer than he did.”

I know it’s coming. The Grim Reaper. The Big Chill. It’s something we will all face eventually, no matter how well we treated our spouses or how many times we said no to chocolate and reached instead for the broccoli. Just as coaches are hired to be fired, we are born to die.

I don’t usually make a habit of dwelling on the morbid, unless I happen to be reminded by a newspaper column that men my age are little more than tubby time bombs, with hearts set to explode at any minute, and arteries clogged with enough grease to fill a bucket at KFC.

Most days, my brain still thinks I’m 17. Unless I’m blogging, and then it thinks I’m 12. And then I stumble into the bathroom of a morning, eyes not yet focussed by caffeine, and wonder what the heck my grandfather is doing staring back at me from the mirror over the sink.

I’m getting older and, to tell the truth, I’m not exactly thrilled about it.

Eventually, male menopause will take its toll. My metabolism will not just slow, it will curl into a ball in a closet and refuse to come out and play. I’ll need to start timing my meals. Muscle maintenance will suddenly require my attention when I’d rather be doing something else.

A doctor will have to insert his finger into a certain body cavity on a regular basis to ensure my prostate isn’t swelling to the size of a volleyball and demanding to be called Wilson.

As the years march past, I’ll lose the rest of my hair. My teeth will tumble out. I won’t be able to see or hear or have control over my bladder. My muscles will moan and my sinews will scream and my joints will . . .

You know what — bugger all this talk of doom and gloom, of drool and gruel.

The chances of me growing old and feeble are directly proportionate to how loudly I snore in Viking Woman’s ear. At the rate I’m going, one day very soon I will wake up in Heaven wondering why there’s a pillow over my face.

Wait a minute — is that why women live longer than men? Note to self: sleep in spare room. It will be beneficial to my health.

***

When I’m not annoying the love of my life, I’ve been as hyper as a latte-slurping chihuahua in my efforts to market the ebook edition of Brown Girls.

I’ve Twittered the living bejeebers out of the book, submitted it to be reviewed at the blog site Working Girl Reviews, formatted the manuscript to be sold via amazon.com, and am about to download it to a website operated and monitored by Harper-Collins. I also do my best to have my blog mentioned as often as possible on condron.us in the hopes of attracting buyers to http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1937.

All that spent energy and, to date, I’ve sold the grand total of zero books.

So now I’m old and poor? Perfect.

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4 Responses to “The old man in my mirror looks strangely familiar.”

  1. Brenda said

    How despressing, I say (but not do) eat healthy and exercise, but then of course you are older than me.

  2. I love your blog. Highly entertaining and made me smile. 🙂 I wish you great success with your book sales.

    • bitemymoko said

      Thanks for the kind words, Elizabeth.

      It’s strange/somewhat depressing how effortless actually writing a book is compared to trying to market/sell it.

      It’s starting to dawn on me that the Kings and Grishams of the world need not worry about me replacing them on the best seller list any time soon.

      Take care
      John

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