Gary Conkling Life Notes

Mostly whimsical reflections on life

Reflecting on Coothood

A friend proclaimed that I am officially a coot. While flattered, I believe such a high accolade is premature. I’m still practicing to become a coot.

hqdefaultYes, I wear sandals with socks pretty much full-time. Yes, I wear the same Ducks shirt every weekend. Yes, I carry on conversations with the dog. Yes, I prefer chicken noodle soup to chicken cacciatore. What’s your point?

I haven’t gone mad and bought a Harley. I haven’t taken up golf. I don’t mow the lawn in tight shorts and a wife-beater T-shirt. I haven’t mixed plaid pants with a striped shirt. There is plenty of room for me to grow into coothood.

My body isn’t a temple any more, but it also isn’t an urgi-clinic. I work out, when I wake up in time. I have all my teeth. My hair is gray, but still on my head. My flab has dimples.

Aging dulls your fashion edge and your foodie appetites. You begin to think of shopping for clothes at Costco as you once did at Brooks Brothers. Combing your hair seems less important than taming irrepressible nose hairs. A good salad at home seems more appealing than a big meal with rich food at a fancy restaurant.

Changing priorities aren’t all bad. It seems sinful to spend a wad on a bad movie when you can wait a few months and watch it for free on cable television. A glass of good wine can replace a larger quantity of almost anything else. A breast of chicken satisfies just as much, with fewer digestive complications, than a New York sirloin.

polls_crazy_old_man_mike_4332_878789_answer_1_xlargeSome things don’t change. I enjoy watching Carole try on beautiful dresses. Seeing stars shimmer on a clear night still thrills. Imagining a long stint in Italy remains an obsession.

I nap more often, but deny it. I wake up earlier, and go to bed sooner. I occasionally talk to myself, but I haven’t started responding yet. I still don underwear most days, unless I forget. Gabby Hayes is my hero. When I’ve got to go, I’ve got to go.

Maybe all that adds up to being a coot, or at least a dirty old man. I don’t know. Actually, I don’t care. Perhaps that is the truest sign coothood is in sight.

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2 comments on “Reflecting on Coothood

  1. John Platt
    April 14, 2015

    You didn’t touch on the “at least a dirty old man” characterization so I wanted to subscribe and research that aspect of your oncoming coothood in order to recogmize the warning signs.

    • Gary Conkling
      April 16, 2015

      What I alluded to was actually being dirty, not acting like a dirty old man. To be clear, I still shower every day. But occasionally I wonder why. That is my evidence of creeping coothood.

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