Human Psychology says that what clothing a man wears is very dependent on the reward he expects to receive in return for any extra effort it takes to look a little better. In other words, the greater the potential of reward, the better a man will dress. However, there is a conflicting theory that says as a man grows older, he couldn’t care less what he looks like, regardless of the potential of reward.
Let’s look at an example. Given the potential to interact with the pretty girl (pictured), and the effects of aging, here are my observations on men dressing:
You are in the middle of some kind of fix-up project around the house, such as mowing the lawn, putting in a new fence, painting the living room, or whatever. You are hot and sweaty, covered in dirt or paint. You have your old “work clothes” on, and you know exactly the outfit I’m talking about: that old Boy George and the Culture Club t-shirt with yellowed armpits, the shorts with the hole in the crotch, and an old pair of white tennis shoes, the toes of which are grass-stained green.
Right in the middle of the most crucial part of your home improvement project, you realize you need to run to WalMart to get something to complete the job. Since you will have to inter-act with people, you will do one of the following depending on your age:
You stop what you are doing. Take a shower. Shave. Blow-dry your hair. Brush your teeth. Floss. Gargle. Put on neat, clean, leisure-lifestyle clothes. You check your face and your abs in the mirror and flex your biceps. You add a splash of your cheap cologne Aunt Margaret bought you for your birthday. You never know, you just might meet some hot chick while standing in the checkout lane. Actually, it turns out you go to school with the pretty girl running the register.
You stop what you are doing, put on clean shorts and polo shirt. Change your shoes. You married the hot chick who worked the WalMart register, so there’s no need to be prowling around. Wash your hands and comb your hair. Check yourself in the mirror. You still got it. To cover the smell of sweat, you add a shot of your AXE cologne – which you can afford now that you have a job. The cute girl running the register is the younger sister to someone you went to high school with.
You stop what you are doing. You put on a sweatshirt that is long enough to cover the broken zipper of your shorts. Put on different shoes and a hat to cover your mussed hair. Wash your hands. Your bottle of Brute cologne is almost empty and you don’t want to waste any of it on a trip to WalMart. Check yourself in the mirror and do more belly-sucking-in than flexing. The spicy young thing running the register at WalMart is your daughter’s age and you feel kind of creepy for just talking to her. You wonder how many guys think your daughter is just as spicy.
You stop what you are doing. Put a hat on to cover your hair loss, wipe the dirt off your hands onto your shirt. Change shoes because you don’t want to track dirt into your brand new sports car. Check yourself in the mirror. Swear not to wear that shirt anymore because it accentuates your man-boobs. The cutie running the register smiles when she sees you coming and you think you still have what it takes. What you don’t realize is that the T shirt you have on is from your buddy’s bait shop and it says, “I Got Worms.”
You stop what you are doing. Realize that you need to go to WalMart to get something you’ll need to finish the job. Don’t bother with your face or your shirt — why would you? You haven’t bothered to check yourself in the mirror since you turned 58. There is no need for a hat anymore, either. Hose the dog poop off your shoes. As you drive to the WalMart, you remember there’s a hole in your shorts and you hope you have some underwear on.
You forget what you are doing. Remember what you were doing. Start doing it again. Remember why you stopped the first time. You decide to wait to go to Walmart until you go in the house and get your prescriptions so you can have them filled at the same time. Don’t see, smell, or even care that there is dog poop on your shoes. The young thing at the register smiles at you because you remind her of her grandfather who recently passed away.
You stop what you were doing. Rest. Start again. Then stop again. Rest. Now you remember that you need to go to WalMart for something to finish the job. Go to WalMart and wander around trying to remember what it was you came for. Fart out loud and turn around because you think someone called out your name. Leave streaks of dog poop off your shoes from the front to the back of the store. Stop to talk to the decrepit, crotchety old lady that greeted you at the front door and discover that she went to school with you.
Courtney Stodden has us nostalgic for the innocence of Rebecca Black. Like Black, Stodden is a teenager with a really silly video that came out of nowhere and went totally viral. But Stodden’s video isn’t what made her famous this week. It’s her husband, Doug Hutchison, a 51-year-old actor who was in “Lost” and “The Green Mile.” Hutchison wed the 16-year-old last month in a quickie Vegas ceremony.
He posted their wedding photo on his website and it made their age difference even more terrifying. It looks like a prom photo outtake of a lecherous neighbor drooling over the chest of the high school popular girl next door. It’s the kind of photo that could get a man arrested, if he wasn’t so beloved by Stodden’s family.
That news item reminds me of the time one of the older deacons, Buddy, came to church with a spry, young girl on his arm. She was dressed in a shapely dress, and dripping with jewelry. She was probably in her late 20’s or early 30’s, very cute, friendly, and energetic. Buddy had been a widower for quite some time, so it was a shock to the other deacons to see him escorting such a pretty — and young — lady.
Filled with curiosity, the other deacons pulled Buddy aside and asked him, “Buddy, How’d you get that cute young thing to be your girlfriend?” Buddy replied, “Oh, she’s not my girlfriend, she’s my new wife.”
“Your new wife?” they asked in astonishment. “How did you talk her in to marrying you?”
Candidly, Buddy replied, “I lied about my age.”
“You didn’t lie and tell her you were 50 did you?”
“Oh, no,” said Buddy, “I told her I was 70.”
It was a hard decision to make, but the family finally agreed. Grandpa’s level of care requirements were greater than the family could sustain without disrupting their own lives. Making this kind of decision is tough; it makes you feel as if you’re callous, placing the importance of your own happiness above that of your parent, despite all the sacrifices they made for you in life.
So the family put a lot of time into finding the retirement center that offered the cleanest facilities, the most varied menu, the most interactive social environment, the most structured activity schedule, the friendliest staff, and the most tender-hearted caregivers. It was no trivial selection.
The day came that Grandpa was to move in to Happy Valley Retirement Center, and all the family came out. There were third cousins twice removed, and great-aunts by marriage on the father’s side, and grandchildren down to the great-great-great level. It was an atmosphere of celebration, and everyone wanted Grandpa to know they still cared. But eventually they all left, and it was just Grandpa and the staff.
One of the staff members noticed that Grandpa was leaning to the right in his wheelchair. “Here, let me prop you up with this pillow, sweetheart,” she said as she straightened his posture.
But then he started to lean to the left. “Well, sugar, now you’re falling over the other way! Let me get you another pillow.” And she put a pillow on his left side, wedging him in the wheelchair so he would remain upright.
Grandpa sat there a few minutes, then slowly started to slide forward in his wheelchair. “Oh my,” said the nurse, “We’re going to have to do something to make sure you don’t fall out and hurt yourself.” She went and got a restraining strap that, like a seat belt, would keep Grandpa upright and safe.
The next day, the family came to check on Grandpa. They were sure he would be pleased with his new living arrangement and all the attention the staff would shower on him. “How are you liking Happy Valley, Grandpa?” they asked.
“I HATE IT!” he declared loudly.
“Well, it’s clean, your room is nice, You’re getting good meals. What’s wrong?”
“It’s the staff. They’re mean to me. They’re trying to torture me.” he said.
“What are you talking about, Grandpa?”
Grandpa pointed to the pillows and the strap holding him securely in place, “They won’t let me fart!”
A Couple in their eighties were both having problems remembering things. During a medical check-up, the doctor tells them that mentally, they’re just fine. He advises them that if they’re having trouble remembering things, they might want to start writing things down.
Later that night, while watching TV, the old man gets up from his chair.
‘Want anything while I’m in the kitchen?’ he asks.
“Will you get me a bowl of ice cream?”
“Don’t you think you should write it down so you can remember it?” she asks.
“No, I can remember it.”
“Well, I’d like some strawberries on top, too. Maybe you should write it down, so as not to forget it?”
He says, “I can remember that. You want a bowl of vanilla ice cream with strawberries.”
“I’d also like whipped cream. I don’t want you to forget that, so write it down.” she says.
Irritated, he replies, “Dang it, woman, I don’t need to write it down! I can remember that simple thing: Vanilla ice cream with strawberries and whipped cream – I got it, for goodness sake!”
Then he ambles into the kitchen and she hears him getting out bowls and flatware. After about 20 minutes, the old man returns from the kitchen and hands his wife a plate of bacon and eggs. She stares at the plate in disbelief.
“I told you, you should have written it down,” she quipped, “You forgot the toast.”