ave you ever noticed how times change but you don’t? The concept of time hit me square in the head the other day at the dentist‘s. These great discoveries tend to happen where and when you least expect them.
I was sitting in the chair that has always looked like the type of chair you would find in any run-of-the-mill torture chamber, waiting for my teeth to be cleaned. I happened to look down at my feet and, because I was wearing sandals, noticed my toes were a bit green from having just mowed the lawn.
Glancing out the window I saw a beautiful summer scene with the trees full of leaves and birds and I remembered waiting in the same chair six months earlier for the same dental hygienist, (who looks about twelve but had just told me she was getting married). Back then I was wearing heavy winter boots and the scene outside was the dead of winter and the trees were filled only with snow. I had another reminder of the passage of time when I had to go get a new photo for my driver’s license.
Apparently I have changed so much in the last five years I have become unrecognizable to the State Government. When I saw my new picture I had to admit the Government had a point. I had less hair and there was definitely more of me. I had also developed some baggage under my eyes and chin and, even though I was tanned, my skin had lost its youthful luster. I was tempted to blame the camera but I had to face facts – it was time’s fault.
What was confusing was that, even though there seemed to be more of me, I knew that over the past few years I had lost pieces of myself all over the place. I knew this because my wife gets aggravated when I leave little pieces of me around the house. The other day she told me I was leaving “head chips” around the house again and that I should do something about it before she shaves my head.
‘Hell!’ I thought. ‘There wasn’t much left up there to shave.’This leads to another problem my wife has with me while she attempts to keep our home spotless. Over the past five years, I have been shedding to the point that my long-haired white cat and I are in constant competition. I think he is still beating me but what I can’t figure out is, why I am going bald and the cat still has all his fur?
Sock crumbs and toenail splints are two other items that my body has been shedding over the past few years. I try to buy the best brands of socks but my feet must emit some type of toxic acid that dissolves all known materials and, thus, destroys anything I put on my feet. At least this is what my wife tells me. As for toenail splints I try to collect them when they escape my feet but there are always a few of them that fall off with the sock crumbs.
While time tries to make us dress differently as we age, we have a tendency to hold onto the styles we grew up with and were comfortable with in our younger days. The other day my daughter visited us from Boston and, before we went out for dinner, she talked my wife into wearing a thong because her other underwear left lines in her pants. During the drive over to the restaurant and all through the meal I could see that my wife was uncomfortable.
She actually had to excuse herself a couple of times to go to the bathroom to adjust this, or reintegrate that. During the final stages of the meal I suggested that next time she try a form of “boxer thong” at which point my daughter spilled her wine and my wife gave me a look that made me want to hide all sharp objects as soon as we got home. I do hope she talks to me again soon!
Clothes are not the only things that have changed over the years. The color of clothes have also changed. I have always been very comfortable in the basic tans, browns and blacks. On occasion, when I felt adventurous, I would try a navy blue. Today all the clothes I get are bright red or green or colors with names that come out of an Atlas or a gardening dictionary. My daughter bought me a fuchsia-colored shirt for my birthday. I told her the color reminded me of the chemical Phenolphthalein that I use in the lab at school to test for pH. I do hope my daughter talks to me again soon!
Shoes and sneakers are two other items that have changed over the years. I am comfortable in a good pair of white Keds. I know they don’t last long and they are far from what is considered stylish but my feet are most comfortable when I have them on. Last year my daughter, who was still trying desperately to get me into the new millennium, bought me some “Glockenspiel” sandals that were supposed to mold to every angle of my feet and toes in order to give me the ultimate wearer comfort.
I can testify that they molded my feet. They wrapped themselves around every blister and cut they created. When I took them off I found calluses with blisters on them!
I have also noticed that even though our view of politics changes over the years the politics of our past usually remain the politics of our present. Judge Bork thought otherwise when he said: “When one is young one should be liberal in thought and politics. But, when one gets older one should change to a more conservative point of view. If they do not then they are simply foolish.” I guess that just makes me a foolish old liberal.
My wife just called up from the living room, so I guess she is talking to me again even if it is only to complain. She wants to know if I was the one who left “this” on the couch, whatever “this” may be. After counting my fingers, toes and ears I called back that it couldn’t have possibly been me but she should take a close look at the cat.
I guess some things never change!
Just another silly love thong by J. G. Fabiano
Jim Fabiano is a teacher and a writer living in York, Maine, USA
e-mail him at: email@example.com