Friday, July 18, 2008

Cruel Summer

So here it is, a couple of weeks into summer, and, well, you know that summer body I was supposed to have by now?

Clearly not happening.

Not this year anyway. I used to be in pretty decent shape. I worked out several times a week. I hired trainers to torture me every six months or so. I've donned headphones and run umpteenth miles on the treadmill. As a result, I've had the chance to watch men's eyes slowly gazing downward towards my chest during conversations, and had an inkling of what some of our better endowed sisters have had to endure. Frankly, I liked it.

However, two ruptured discs, gall bladder attacks and subsequent surgery and injuries to both knees and my right forearm all in the course of the last eighteen months have conspired to make me fall way off my gym routine. The fact that I've also come to hate my gym and everybody in it has not helped matters one bit.

I have a nearly seven foot tall pile of neatly folded t-shirts, none of which look particularly good on me at this moment. As their collected value is higher than some small nation's gross domestic income, clearly something has to be done. Of course, the fact that many of these shirts no longer seem exactly age-appropriate weighs on my mind, but none too heavily. I mean, what's the problem with a 54 year old in a skateboard t-shirt? Must I be condemned to a lifetime of Maude-wear?

But I waited a little too long. Oddly, even though I'm not all that comfortable in my skin this season, a whole lot of other people seem to approve of my newly acquired, um, coziness. A young man of my acquaintance, after I'd complained bitterly about my current shape typed: "well, get over it. I like you all broke down". So comforting.

I've noticed my popularity has only grown since I've added the avoirdupois. I may not be lovin' myself right now but a whole slew of guys seem to have a midsummer hankering for silver haired middle aged beef, if a bit run to seed. I'm not complaining.

In just a few weeks time, I'm heading up to the beach, and strangely, just when you'd think I'd be in a panic, I'm actually fine. I'm temporarily essaying that middle aged over-the-hill preppy look, and I must say, Bleeding Madras is my friend. As are seersucker shirts in Lily Pulitzer palettes. I'll still stomp around in a black motorcycle t-shirt or two, just to keep things interesting, but don't be surprised to see me decked out in Orvis, Pendleton or Vineyard Vines.

I seem to have received a new mantra:

Basically, I just don't care.



Blogger Ice John's World said...

What makes you feel comfortable is more important than what other people think about you. Besides, you are the "superdaddy" anyway. You will have lots of fans!

4:22 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Good attitude. Attitude's everything, right? There's always next summer to get whipped into shape. No harm in taking a summer off! Sounds like you deserve it after the last 18 mos.

1:50 AM  
Anonymous rangergeek said...

A chubby friend of mine tells me how he hates being objectified just for his extra weight. "They don't care what I'm like, as long as I'm fat." I hadn't known of that subculture before.

9:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Promise us all that you won't even consider pleated khaki Dockers. For the love of all things good and decent, don't.

I like your new mantra. But then, after hitting 50, I figure we get to make our own rules about practically every aspect of our queer lives, since there's so damned few of us.

6:24 AM  
Blogger Will said...

According to the latest Advocate, the older, silver-haired man is the new sexual icon. They say nothing about weight, but I don't see many of my overweight but still hot friends complaining about not getting laid.

In terms of you personally, I'm not surprised at all that guys are attracted.

8:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mate, with a face like that, who cares what the rest of you looks like? :)
The thing is to be healthy, happy, and look after yourself. Right? (Says the guy who goes to the gym 4x a week. I know. meh)
Anyway, come visit us in Sydney and bring those T-shirts. Guys dress differently...not as conservatively has they do in the U.S.

12:30 PM  
Blogger circleinasquare said...

You've never looked better; different,
but not better.

11:08 PM  
Blogger Homer said...

Umm, Mark, you are a very hot man...

2:14 PM  
Blogger Father Tony of the Farmboyz said...

I have a comparable stack of t shirts. There really should be a museum...

Let me put the coldest light possible on the physical you: yup. You still look good. Still doable. Still hot.

This issue merits so much more discussion: age-appropriate clothing. The benefits of clothing over total nudity in common congress. Self-confidence as an attractant. The new fetishizing of the silver-haired daddy. How we deal with fat, or how we deal with the inevitable droop of our assets. These things occupy a good amount of my thoughts. I am afraid to stop going to the gym. Afraid that if I do stop going, I'll be put on a burning raft and ritually shoved off into some sort of gay sunset.

9:22 AM  

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