For a while now I've considered myself to be 'Middle-Aged'. Then last week I sat down and did the maths, middle-aged my arse, I'm 'Old'. Back when I was just middle-aged, I could have done the maths in my head, but now that I'm old, just like when pulling on my waterproof over-trousers, I'd had to sit down to do it. Half of seventy-four is thirty-seven, and that's a particular milestone that I passed almost a decade ago. I didn't notice old age creeping up on me, maybe it didn't creep, maybe it just pounced on me from nowhere. Ageing is a slow process that begins at birth, but becoming old is something that seems to happen almost overnight. Don't start shedding tears, because I'm certainly not. I'm still far too young to die from old age and being old actually comes with benefits.
When I was young, which for forty-five years I was, I often worried that when I eventually got old my mind would begin to wander. The truth is that my mind has started to wander, but thankfully I know the reason why and it's not an entirely negative thing. When you're old you think about sex an awful lot less than you you did when you were young and as a bloke, it's amazing just how much mental capacity suddenly becomes available for alternative thoughts. It opens up a whole new world of discovery and I'm now beginning to understand why so many men of a certain age return to motorcycling. It's not that they're trying to recapture their collective youths', it's just that for the first time in years they've had enough spare mental capacity to start thinking above the belt.
For example, I've been shaving for thirty-five years and while the first five years might have been purely voluntary, the following thirty have been a necessary pain in the arse. I've missed a few days here and there but it's definitely never been more than a week. For me, the itch of four-day stubble is akin to having facial haemorrhoids and no matter how much I loathe the act of shaving, it's an awful lot better than the irritating alternative. During the early years of shaving I experimented with various combinations of foams and blades before finally settling on a decent combination and turning it into a standard and familiar routine. Same time each day, the same number of facial strokes and the same temperature of water etc. It's a ritual, a subconscious OCD, an act that can be carried out on auto-pilot and as such allowed an additional five minutes to think about other things, probably sex. Now that I'm old, and clearly not thinking about sex quite as much, I once again sat down to consider the maths.
Over a period of thirty-five years, I've spent five minutes of each day painfully stroking my lathered face with a razor. That's more than forty days and nights and while that's a lot less time than I've spent eating, it's an awful lot more time that I've spent actually having sex. I'd thought that after spending so much time shaving, there'd be little left for me to learn about the art. But I was wrong. last week I picked up a tiny bottle of 'Shave Oil' made by King of Shaves. It actually costs more than a large tube of shaving gel and the price might deter many blokes from trying it, but don't be put off. It's a shaving revelation. Thankfully for us forgetful old folks, the bottle contains clear instructions for use. The challenge now is not to forget that I've discovered it .... and then not to forget that I've forgotten.