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By Chris Frost
Oxnard-- Without a clear mindset this week, I thought that maybe I'd clean out the attic and put those thoughts to paper.
First things first, do you know what rules about getting old, (I'm 61) is that I am too old to worry about what people think about me. I remain the square peg trying to fit in a round hole.
I used to have a lot of muscles and could move things anywhere. My father used to call me Magilla, among other things I won't discuss, and now, well, moving anything requires a team lift. That's right, the J-Train and I, if we want to move anything, need to team up to get it done. When we moved to Oxnard, I had to swallow my pride and hire labor. That was an unheard-of idea only five years. Now it's my life.
My kids aren't here, so free labor is out the door.
I thought I needed to buy some weights, and I did, and I thought I could mitigate this issue in my life. Fast forward a couple of weeks, and the weights have stopped, and I smell like Ben Gay while I gobble naproxen because my shoulders hurt so much that I can't sleep. Like my kids say to me, and I'll repeat it again, I'm getting older than dirt, and I need to slow down.
As a diabetic, I also have to watch my blood sugar all the time. Too many times, I get caught up with what I'm doing, cleaning, writing, taking care of the animals, and I end up with low blood sugar.
That's when the J-Train needs to come in and fix the problem. Being married to me, a guy born with no filters is challenging enough. But when she has to stop her day to inject my glucagon, which raises my blood sugar when I lose consciousness, that is above and beyond the call. Of course, when I regain consciousness, she enjoys many unfiltered comments directed at me about how dumb I can be. I take the optimistic approach and rationalize in my head that we help each other.
Being stuck at home because of Covid-19 taught me one thing; we need to help each other where we can. When she decided to lose weight, I was her biggest fan. When she drops a pant size or dress size, I cheer her on. When she gets 100 percent on a test at school, I congratulate her and tell her that graduation day will be the best day in her life.
She worries about getting old too, but I remind her that some gray hair and wrinkles do not define the great person she is. Anyone who judges her that way is not worth the time of day and should be ignored. I have gray hair, a big gray beard, bags under my eyes, and, as a bonus, a bald spot on top of my head. The J-Train says that makes me look distinguished. I'm old and earned each gray hair. The J-Train calls it a girl thing. If it is, it's because men place value on the wrong things, but I can adapt.
Finally, my big guy, Travis, called me the other day and said he is having a problem with how mundane his life has become. You know, go to work, come home, eat, sleep, then repeat over-and-over ad nauseam. Much like me, as I've said before, he was born without filters.
My cure, settle down, meet a nice girl, someone who doesn't mind an unfiltered man, and build a relationship. That will break up the boredom.
It struck me that before my mother died, she always had a fear that one of her children would be alone as we grew old, and I was feeling the same way. To me, the cure to his problem is to walk up to a nice woman, shake her hand, or bump elbows in this world and say, hi, my name is Travis and take the first step. When he said there is no one in his city like that, I asked him if he met every lady. He said no, so I told him to stop being a putz use your best judgment and let people see what a great guy he is, like any old guy born without filters would say.
Having both my kids married and happy is this old man's best dream. With that, the attic is clear, and I sound just like my mother.