Fair warning. I’m about to pose a completely sexist question. Ready?
I know it will get me into trouble. I’m going to ask it anyway because I want your help … and maybe because I have really poor survival instincts.
Saturday was the Fort Herriman Days Parade. My family staked out our section of curb and watched businesses, politicians, beauty queens, singers, dancers and horses go past.
As parades go in my book, it’s the best kind. I’m not in it, I don’t have to direct traffic around it, and people throw me candy. As long as I’m in the shade, being stuck on a curb doesn’t get much better.
On one side of me during the parade were my oldest granddaughter and her teenage boyfriend. They were holding hands. On the other side was my wife, whose smile after 40-plus years still lifts my heart and puts light into my world.
Here’s the thing — even though we’re both in love, my daughter’s boyfriend and I take “slightly” more interest in the beauty queens than we do the marching bands, the firetrucks and the rodeo horses.
OK, it’s a lot more interest. Way more. Truth be told, we’d rather watch female royalty floats than a car full of politicians or just regular clowns.
I understand the situation of my granddaughter’s boyfriend. He’s young. I can see testosterone leaking out of his ears. I even remember how that felt.
When I was young, I was a slave to this drug. There was no escape. The habit followed me around school, work, church, dreams, everywhere. That’s what being young and hooked on T does to a guy. It makes him an idiot.
OK, here’s my question. When will I get to the point where women stop having this effect on me? I’m old, dammit. Shouldn’t I already be there?
I qualify for Medicare and, in some professions, mandatory retirement. I fall down with a lot less effort than I used to. My driving skills are under increasing scrutiny, and teenagers bug the hell out of me.
The list goes on. My wife won’t let me climb on anything taller than a chair. I can’t hear half of what I used to, and a few days ago I stared for five minutes at what I thought was a rare motionless bird on my lawn that, upon closer inspection, turned out to be a pile of dog poo.
According to my doctor, I possess the same level of testosterone as a stuffed animal. Even if I were a cretin and interested in cheating on my wife, I wouldn’t have the interest nor the energy.
It would require lot more effort than it would be worth, even if I didn’t get caught. Which, since I can’t keep my mouth shut, I definitely would. But I’m not inclined in the first place, so twisted lust isn’t it.
Even so, I want to know, why is it at my age and deplorable condition that the sight of females — age doesn’t matter — still makes life seem like something special?
I’ll be in full-on grouch mode, wondering how bad a nuclear holocaust could really be given the horrible state of the world. I mean, really, why not blow it up? In fact, if my finger were on the button —
Then some little girl will smile at me, a beauty queen waves, or an older woman laughs out loud, and I’ll remember, “Oh, yeah, that’s why.”
I still don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s witchcraft. But since I can’t imagine a world without whatever it is, I don’t care. Keep doing it.