A male friend has been nagging me to write a “Put Old on Hold” book for guys and my usual response is, “I don’t understand the male psyche well enough to do that” to which he responds, “I don’t understand the male psyche either.” So I’m thinking, what do you want from me?
Really, guys don’t need a book to figure out how to Put Old on Hold. They just need an overbearing, nagging mother (that will be me) to tell them critically important things they ought to know and do, but don’t.
Let’s start here. A young man who even occasionally thinks about Putting Old on Hold (i.e. being a stud forever) has to put a leash on testosterone-fueled carousing and drinking. The “live for today only” mantra does not serve a young man well in the long run. You can’t beat up your body with a destructive lifestyle at age 30 (and continue to do so) and think that at age 50 you can be the incarnation of George Clooney. At age 30 it’s important to consistently eat a healthy diet and be in a regular exercise program so that at age 50 or before, you will have avoided arthritic joints, high blood pressure, obesity, and other issues that make you feel and behave like a cranky old reprobate.
By age 40 if not sooner, you may not feel quite as feisty as you used to because you’ve been slowly losing testosterone. You mistakenly attribute your “slowing down” to old age. Now is the time to take action. It’s time to get a comprehensive blood analysis (not just for testosterone) to determine what’s really going on in your body.
On television, drug companies hawk testosterone for “Low T” but by the time you realize you have low testosterone you could have been on a program to restore optimum levels as well as other vital elements your body needs to stay healthy and Put Old on Hold. With regular blood testing it’s possible to determine and maintain appropriate hormone levels as you age, detect and control excessive estrogen (that may be responsible for that unattractive belly), manage other factors that affect health and aging, and you can continue to rock ‘n roll while your peers complain about their prostate or other malfunctioning parts.
Here is something else to know: Most likely you can’t depend on a traditionally trained physician for diet and hormone advice. Nutrition education as well as natural hormone management training in medical schools continues to be seriously lacking. Do yourself a favor and find a naturopath to help you age with vitality. There must be a couple of naturopaths in your area. Interview them and see who makes the most sense to you. But be prepared: they probably don’t take insurance but if you are no longer blowing your discretionary income on babes and booze, you will probably be able to handle their fees. If you think (or your doctor has told you) naturopaths practice voodoo, remember these wise words from English philosopher Herbert Spencer:
“There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance -That principle is condemnation before investigation.”
Think about that counsel. You are intelligent enough to investigate for yourself. (That applies to all advice given here.)
Some more wise advice from your mother: Beards, mustaches and other hairy outcroppings on the face make an older man look 20 years older. When you look old, you think, feel, and behave old. Younger women are not attracted to a man who resembles their senile grandpa. You just attract women who want to “mother” you. And let’s not pretend we don’t know this: guys tend not to be the cleanest of God’s creatures. Beards not only look dirty, it is not inconceivable that they are hiding places for the remains of last week’s barbecued wings, or, heaven forbid, last Thanksgiving’s turkey gravy. What woman wants to get close to that?
The bearded old goat that shows up every Christmas in the TV commercial for DosEquis beer claiming to be the world’s most interesting man doesn’t look interesting or sexy — he just looks like an old codger hoping he can still get it on with young women with the help of some nasty tasting beer.
And about the hair on your head: A pony tail is for women or bikers. Get a buzz cut. Or go bald. Short hair (or no hair) will make you look more virile and more intelligent. And please, stop wearing your mom’s earrings, bracelets and necklaces. Most women don’t appreciate a guy who wears more bling than they do.
But wait – there is more! Take care of your teeth. If you have bleeding gums there is probably an infection and the bacteria circulates all over the body causing aches and pains that appear to have no cause. You can be in the best shape physically but if your teeth and gums are looking unhealthy you will know why you can’t attract the cute young thing on the treadmill next to you at the fitness center.
Finally, when “up there” in years, and fantasize you are hotter than George Clooney (or other reigning aging male heart throb), please don’t get grabby with young women – it’s either a pathetic sign of touch deprivation or that your brain is turning to mush. A better way to connect with another human being is to give your mom a hug and tell her you love her and appreciate all the sacrifices she made to raise you to be an upstanding, independent man. You may not have hugged her since the day she dropped you off at the kindergarten door, with you scared to death, tugging at her skirt, wailing “Mommy, don’t leave me.”
Now go to your room and think about what I’ve told you. When you finally realize I’m right, you will thank me forever. Of course, I could be wrong, but probably not.
Sorry about piling on the guilt. But what good mother doesn’t pile on the guilt? She only does it because she loves you. Be grateful.
There’s certainly a great deal to find out about this subject.
I love all of the points you made.
I often say, “If I had known how long I was going to live, I would have taken much better care of myself.”