Natalie has me working out. Okay, it’s something I should be doing regardless because I have a tuxedo to squeeze into in fourteen weeks and I need to lose about, I don’t know, seventy pounds. In my defense, I am thirty-six. Honestly, I didn’t ever think Natalie was going to get here and I started treating my body like rental car you know you won’t be getting the deposit back on. I put cigarettes out on the dashboard. I stop by throwing it in reverse. I drive to Hazard County to just experience the scenic countryside and ridiculous amount of incomplete bridges. I essentially did the same thing with my body except with cheeseburgers and random stuff wrapped in bacon.
So Natalie wants me to live longer, blah blah blah, so we joined this gym. It’s a cheap gym frequented by lots of old people (I do live in a retirement community). While doing my forty minute treadmill walk, Zune playing my favorite podcasts, I noticed something weird about old people.
They don’t have workout clothes.
Of course this isn’t all of them. It isn’t even most of them. Maybe just one out of five I will notice on a treadmill wearing jeans, a golf shirt and leather belt. They do have sneakers on, a towel and bottle of water so it wasn’t like they didn’t know they were coming here. But a leather belt… who wears a leather belt to the gym? I was walking the other morning and there was a guy with Charles Darwin beard and camouflage pants. Not shorts… pants. Another day I saw a woman with sweatpants and a button blouse.
This leads me to the conclusion that maybe the first sign of senility is the inability of old people to dress themselves. My friend Jessica once called me years ago to tell me her mother, who I never thought of as old, was wearing two different shades of pastel green (and she argued she shouldn’t even be wearing one shade of pastel green, let alone two). She was convinced at that moment her mother was losing her mind because this is something she never would have done years prior.
I have pictures of my father wearing a plaid shirt and pants, wait for it, two different colors, two different plaid patterns. Granted, it was the seventies but understand my father was fifty-five coming out of the seventies. My father never owned a pair of jeans (or dungarees which is what he called them… and I apologize if I spelled that incorrectly since nobody has used that word since 1940). He wore dress slacks and suspenders and a T-shirt most days. On special days he wore that old dude shirt Cuban men wear with the ruffles and four pockets. He owned sneakers but most often wore sandals… with dress socks.
But probably more often worn by people like this douche here:
Not wanting my father to be a dork, I immediately went out and bought him a proper baseball cap. Something nice by the good people at Nike. His only request is the back be ventilated so his head could breathe. Nike caps with cheap plastic venting are a lot harder to find than you would think.
Luckily my father never owned any pastels which is a testament to my mother knowing where to draw the line. I never understood the deal with old people and pastels. I understand jeans were work pants in their day and they are still wearing what was fashionable when they were in their prime but was there some point ever where everybody wore pastels? Someone told me this was common in the seventies but I don’t see old people in bellbottoms and jackets with ludicrously wide lapels and stitching that looks like it was done with twine. And even if they did, my father never walked around with a fedora from 1940. Nobody really smokes pipes anymore.
I wonder in thirty years and I going to be wearing wildly inappropriate clothing. Is my daughter going to buy me new clothes because no seventy year old man should be wearing knee-length cargo shorts with an inordinate amount of pockets. Am I going to have to look at seniors buying Metamucil with one hand while holding their baggy pants which expose their adult diapers with the other? Eighty year old grandmas with butterfly tattoos on the wrinkled small of their back wearing hot pink shorts with the word “juicy” accenting their varicose veins and translucent skin?