THE ADVANTAGES OF BEING A MENOPAUSAL MALE
I’m thrilled to have been asked by my Internet soul-mate, Marcia Kester Doyle, to contribute a guest post to her splendid ‘Menopausal Mother’ blog. But what topic would be suitable for such an esteemed host? In keeping with the maxim, ‘If you can’t beat them, join them,’ I opted to steal one of Marcia’s ideas. A few weeks ago she posted a hilarious list describing the advantages associated with being a menopausal lady. So today I give you the male version: the eight best things about being a 55-year-old man.
1. Hugging women
At my age, I can hug younger women without them believing I’m trying to get into their pants. And it’s true, I’m not. Honest! There are times when I just enjoy interacting with females. But then again, maybe it’s because I’m aware that, at a wrinkled and greying 55, I have more chance of winning Simon Cowell’s X-Factor than extracting sexual favours from attractive young ladies – not that I’m seeking such reactions (just in case my good lady’s reading!).
2. Answering quiz questions
Although not gifted with extensive general knowledge, over half a century of wandering the planet – usually, but not always, with my eyes and ears open - has endowed me with sufficient experience to correctly answer the occasional question on TV game-shows, thereby impressing members of the younger generation. So whether the jackpot-winning question is, ‘What was the first number 1 record by the Rolling Stone?’ or ‘Who was the goalkeeper in England’s 1966 World-Cup-winning team?’ I can give the (misleading) impression of being extraordinarily clever.
3. Hemorrhoid expert
Since my throbbing, bulbous friends pitched their tents deep within the crevice of my arse two decades ago, I have developed into a world authority on the subject of hemorrhoids. Whether you wish to know about the range of ointments available, the pros and cons of the surgical options or buttock positioning to minimize pain, I’m your man.
4. Pooing in peace
As my wife and two grown-up children are familiar with the eccentricities of my bowel – an enigmatic bit of tubing that randomly alternates between frenzy and stagnation – they no longer disturb me when I am sitting on the toilet. Therefore, I am able to spend a peaceful hour on my throne, reading a book or newspaper, without intrusion. Come to think of it, that’s probably why I suffer with hemorrhoids!
My hair may no longer be ebony, and my features droopy rather than chiselled, but advancing years have bestowed upon me a wisdom I didn’t possess in my younger days. When I’m criticized I’m able to laugh at my short-comings, in stark contrast to my 23-year-old son who responds to disapproval with a hissy fit and a life-threatening elevation in blood pressure. When out with my wife, and an attractive young woman wanders into view, I choose my words carefully; where once I might have said, ‘Wow, look at the arse on that!’ I now say, ‘That bonny lass reminds me of you, darling.’ (I suspect this change may have extended my life-expectancy!)
6. Kids, it’s payback time
It is a time of life when one can settle a few old scores, by punishing my grown-up children for all the hassle they’ve caused me over the years with their tantrums, thoughtlessness and verbal abuse. So when my 23-year-old son plucks up the courage to bring his girlfriend to our house, it just happens to coincide with me flicking through the family photograph album and passing around the snap of my 3-year-old son bare arsed on a beach in Corfu. And when my 19-year-old daughter invites her mates around for a girly night watching a video, I just happen to wander into the room, without trousers, loudly asking my wife to remind me what time the swingers’ party starts.
7. No more early arrivals
Many years ago, as a virile, warm-blooded young man, sexual encounters were characterized by plentiful energy, plentiful excitement, plentiful lust, but little staying power. Indeed, on occasions I arrived before I’d set off (if you know what I mean). None of that nonsense these days; no sirree! There’s nothing premature about me at 55 - although it might require the perseverance of a single-handed, transatlantic rower to deliver me to the destination!
8. Less laundry bills
There was once a time when I repeatedly changed my clothes. A fresh shirt and trousers were required each morning while socks exited my top drawer at a rate of two pairs per day. At 55, I’m a tad less fastidious. My Wrangler jeans can last a fortnight, a T-shirt about the same. And as for my boxer shorts, they tend to crawl off on their own after seven days of heavy-duty wear.
Yes, there are definitely some distinct advantages of being a menopausal male; for me, that is, rather than for those who have to live with me.
Gary Sidley is a freelance writer who recently opted for early retirement following 33 years of continuous employment in the UK’s psychiatric services, mostly as a clinical psychologist. Since retirement, his writing focus is shared between a humor blog (Bryan Jones Diary), humor articles for magazines, and criticisms of western psychiatry (his book, Tales from the Madhouse; an insider critique of psychiatric practice will be published later this year).
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