Posted by: guinness222 | April 15, 2007

The Phases of Life – Part II

Ok, for anyone who is not too depressed or who has not slashed thier wrists yet, or running down the street yelling “Not me! It ain’t gonna happen to me!” from reading yesterday’s Phases of Life Parts I & II here we go for today.
Oh, just as a very brief summary of parts I & II in case your scroll button quit working, it’s simple. “Yes Virginia,…we do eat dessert first, (or do we?)”

Phase III – or the “You better get your shit together” period. This starts out in the 35 to 45 year period. The darling little angels you’ve spawned seem to want to exercise thier rights to Phase I of thier own life, the carefree, wonderful period. But you in your “been there, done that” style, (substitute the word “wisdom”)try and save them from themselves, but guess what? They won’t listen! Does that really come as a shock to you? It shouldn’t. But I digress.
Soon you learn that adding sufficient antiacid tablets, (the damn food in this world is getting crazy, it must be the Jalepeno’s and other foreign stuff) , Ibuprofhen for the aches, and the “new” regimen of an 81mg. “baby” asprin daily, added to your Phase I multi-vitamin, B-complex and 1500 mg. Vitamin C (time released of course) are just barely getting you through most days. But then either one of your “friends at work”, or “the guy down the block” drops dead. You sluff it off. But your wife doesn’t. All of a sudden you start noticing the menu at home changes a bit. “Honey, are we out of butter? How come this “canola spread” thing is here, and why did they cut back on the number of rolls in that little frozen tin thing?” Or it may seem like you need a Safari guide to find the red meat on your plate, or you begin to wonder why you are growing gills after what seems like fish every night for a year!
Then one night, after dinner, as you loosen your belt a notch, (“No I’m not getting fat, the damn leather is shrinking, the belt is ten years old, but it’s my favorite!) Then you lean back in your recliner to see if both your socks are the same color. (Hey! It happens, it’s dark in the morning. When you’re getting dressed for work at 5a.m., because you have that damn report that has to be done today, you become acutely aware that turning on the light would most likely cause a sensation like a pillow hitting you in the side of the head and a sound, a sort of garbled angry mumbling from the creature of the black lagoon sort of sound, coming up from under the covers where you thought your loving wife, mother of your children, your beautiful idol of 20 or so years, your partner in everything, had leaned over from and sweetly kissed you good night last night!
Anyway as you try and convince yourself that it’s just the light that makes one sock look blue, and the other black, your wife comes in and says something like, “You know our health insurance covers a physical every year for you and you haven’t had one since we’ve been married.” (We are now entering the “selective era”of Phase III, that’s when wife begins to think hubby is going deaf, and hubby has mastered the focused concentrated stare of a the most skilled diamond cutter about to make the final cut, on whatever is blathering from the television) He grunts. (not being sure if it’s a “yes” or a “no” grunt, wife continues) “You know you’re not getting any younger” Now he’s forced to reply, “Ok, so call and make me an appointment.” (That takes care of that,…he thinks.) a week or so later he’s getting instructions on getting blood work done before the appointment and things like a colonoscopy before the appointment, as he’s getting toward fifty, oh and after the initial physical there will most likely be a “stress test” and electrocariogram. this is when the Phase 3 becomes full blown, and they try and kill you on a damn treadmill!
“Shit, what if I’m not ok?” “Shit, what if I am the next “guy at the office”!” And the panic mode sets in! You’re lawyer gets space in your speed dial, as does your stock broker, your banker, and your insurance guy,…what was his name? You’ve got them all jumping like a chicken on a hot griddle and you haven’t even got the blood drawn yet. That’s why this phase is the “You better get your shit together” period.
Three months later,…you are going back to church, the beer in the fridge is of the “Light” variety, the produce drawer is also crammed full of every form of rabbit food on this earth, and you now seem to see the “cholesterol count” on the label before you even see what’s in the can. But you are still a doubter,…”He’s just putting me on that cholesterol pill to get more free lunches from the drug salesmen, and how can I have high blood pressure, shit I’m so laid back I can crawl under a snakes belly without even mussing my hair!!” (Good news women, at this point the male ego is pliable, he may be a doubter,…but he’s not a gambler. He’ll take whatever the doctor tells him to and mutter something like feeling like “a damn guinea pig”. Smile inwardly as he still believes he is the first cousin of Superman!)
TV is now something that has become a reverse alarm clock. You turn it on, sit back and “poof” you are snoring (at least that’s what she alleges!) But you are now comfortable that you and her are really “mates”, she does Suduko stuff, you are trying to calculate in your head exactly how much you got coming when you retire (and it’s still in the “if you retire” background as you look at the mortgage payment, the cost of health insurance, a new car now that is almost twice what you paid for your first house almost 30 years ago! Yup, retirement is looking like dim!)
(Guys, beware of the dreaded “Red Hat Society”. It’s a club kind of thing for women over fifty. I heard one interviewed last week and the host asked her what they did and she said “We shop and we eat lunch out together several days a week” I’m not lying that’s what she said!! It’s not too late to consider a pre-nuptial agreement is it?)
Oh and yes you are absolutely right. Don’t throw out the old clothes they come back around every fifteen years or so, I don’t care what SHE says!
Well What’s his name married what’s her name and there’s a little kid who shows up three or four nights a month at the house, calls you Gramp Pa, that we have to “babysit for” while his folks (one of whom, the phase 2 man that supposedly is your son who is going bald, keeps calling you “Dad”!)
“Hey honey, screw it we could both be dead next week, let’s take acruise this fall.”
“But the savings we’ve worked so hard to accumulate,, we might need it to be more comfortable in retirement. You know you’re 58 now, and 65 comes around quickly.”
“Yeah,…I guess you’re right. Then let’s go out to that new Italian restaurant that just opened for dinner.”
“Tom, you know that’s going to aggravate your ulcer, all the acid in the tomato sauce, and all.”
“Well how about the Chinese place then.”
“Same thing, the MSG and the salt, plus a lot of that Chinese food is fried, and Lord only knows what kind of oil or fat they use,… not that they would tell you if you asked.”
“Shit, I’m only 57, what the hell happens when I hit 60????”

That will be the next Installment. (Cue the announcer!)

“Will Tom see 60, the Phase 4 of Life – “The Golden Years”. And then dear reader, there is Phase 5, that begins at 75 years of age. It’s titled from the early morning wake up comment of former “Golden Year Graduates”. It’s called the “Hot Damn,… I’m still here, ..you awake Honey, period”


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