Now I understand why they call her “Mother Nature.” Only a woman could be this cruel and enjoy it this much.
You see, I used to be able to ignore all the obvious data and obliviously make my way through the day harboring those vast alpha male ego-driven youthful delusions. But not anymore! Now I’ve been confronted with irrefutable proof that my family pack status is starting to slip.
And this new stark reality came in the heinous form of my 6-foot plus sophomore son standing taller than I do! I suppose this shouldn’t be too much a surprise. Considering what he eats, he probably oughtta be somewhere around 9-foot-6.
The truth is, for the past six months, I was clinging to my lofty perch by a scant half inch. Emboldened by every time I came out ahead of those back-to-back comparisons, I would proceed to shower my son with all sorts of short jokes.
The teasing was along the lines of, "you’re so short you pose for trophies" and, "you’re so short when it rains, you’re the last to know." But, despite my wife’s dire warnings that the shoe could soon be on the other foot, that foolish strategy is now coming back to bite me big time.
But the real problem is, having been so suddenly confronted with this terrifying prospect, I started pondering the possibility that I was slipping in other areas, too. So I decided, instead of operating in the blissful darkness, I’d actually turn on that morning bathroom light.
What I want to know is, exactly when did all that baldness set in? That’s not how I picture myself in my mind’s eye! In that realm, I’m still 25 with a full head of hair. To add insult to injury, I’m starting to grow hair in areas you really don’t want it. Two more years and I’ll be giving Yoda a run for his money.
And just when did my beard go from dark brown to bright white with no stops in between? Contrary to the popular belief, sporting snowy facial hair doesn’t make you jollier. In fact, I’d say it’s just the opposite.
Perhaps brushing my teeth in the dark would have been the better course of action.
But even if I do manage to avoid the mirror, there’s this impossible-to-ignore digestion-related turn of events!
For the better part of my misspent Rogers Park youth, I subsisted on Korean food – some of the best and hottest fare on the planet. So last Saturday I thought nothing of eating kim chee for breakfast, samosas with sweet and spicy Korean sauce for lunch, and cheese and onion enchiladas with mole sauce, refried beans and salsa for dinner.
The ensuing 2 a.m. acid reflux made me wonder if there really was something to the fire breathing creatures of Greek mythology. It took six extra strength Tums to convince my esophagus that I hadn’t swallowed paint thinner.
As you might imagine, there were other side effects as well, but given their semi-explosive nature, I’m pretty sure you don’t wanna hear about ‘em. Let’s just say I won’t be partaking of that culinary combination in the foreseeable future.
This curious and sudden inability to tolerate spicy food also has me questioning my prevailing theory that Twilight Zone-esque gremlins are adding four or five staircase steps every time I run three days in a row. If that isn’t the case, then please explain why six straight workout days used to be nuthin’.
And pray tell, exactly when did high school freshmen start looking like third graders and high school teachers start looking a lot like freshmen? My wife says it’s all in my head, but I’m not so sure. I think it’s some sort of liberal plot.
We won’t even go into the whole absurd bifocal thing.
And all of this introspective, maybe-I’m-aging turmoil started with a taller son. Children should never be taller than their fathers! It goes against nature and everything God intended. The scary thing is, I’m sure my son's got a few inches to go.
But even though I may have to face the fact that I’m the shorter one, it’s not quite time to put me out pasture quite yet. I can still best him in a foot race, and it’ll be awhile before he can beat me at chess. I’d throw in the notion I outweigh him, but you probably shouldn’t brag about something like that.
As if teaching my son to drive wasn’t bad enough, now he’s making me feel old. Pray for me folks. Because as far as this family goes, I seem to be hanging on by the skin of my teeth.