I need to refill my Lipitor prescription so I walk into the local Rite Aid with Ann in tow.
“I’ll check my blood pressure while you’re waiting,” Ann says.
Ann’s blood pressure is perfect, but she has a strange fetish. She likes the crushing feeling of a blood pressure cuff on her arm. She also like Indian burns. In case you’re wondering, she’s exhibited no other masochist tendencies – at least not yet.
Ann settles in to the blood pressure machine with a big smile – like a little kid getting into one of those crappy rides you find in supermarkets. Luckily for me, there’s no line at the pharmacist’s counter. I hate waiting in line behind people with obvious rashes and hocking up bio-hazardous phlegm from their lungs.
“Have fun, honey,” I call to Ann. “This will just take a minute.”
The clerk behind the counter is a very pretty, dark haired young woman in her mid twenties. I smile at her. She smiles back, enthusiastically.
“Hi,” I say. “The name’s Dublanica. You’re holding a prescription for me.”
“Yes, sir,” she says, her eyes never leaving mine. They’re very pretty eyes. “Let me get that for you.”
The girl goes over to the pharmacist and mumbles something. The pharmacist, also attractive and in her early thirties, looks over at me and stares. When she realizes I’m watching her, she too breaks into a big smile. “You still got it, Steve,” I say to myself. “You’ve still got it.”
I’m pleased as punch. It’s been a while since young women have looked at me admiringly. But I can’t help but wonder why I’m getting all this extra attention. I haven’t really changed much since the last time I was here. Maybe it’s because I lost five pounds. It could also be the grey coming in nicely at my temples or the two days worth of facial hair making me look all edgy and rugged. Maybe it’s the shorts I’m wearing. Every woman I’ve ever dated has told me I have nice legs. Sure, a potbelly is perched on top of them, but hey; flaunt what you’ve got.
“How’s it going honey?” I call over to Ann.
“Oh” she says, squirming delightedly in her seat. “It feels wonderful.”
“You’re a strange chick.”
The clerk returns with a plastic bottle and a sheaf of paperwork. Again, she looks at me with a look that I interpret as lust.
“Here you are, sir,” she says. “How would you like to pay?”
I give the girl my card and, as she’s running it, I look over at the pharmacist, catching her eye. She blushes. I am a sex machine.
Ann comes over to me, rubbing her arm. “How’d you do?” I ask.
“110 over 70,” she says. “Perfect.”
“Good,” I say. Mine’s higher, but not by much.”
“You need to exercise more.”
“Tell me about it.”
“Oh my God!” the pretty dark haired girl says, covering her mouth.
“What’s the matter?” I ask.
“Oh,” she says. “I’m so embarrassed.”
“When you came over here I thought you were talking to yourself. I didn’t see your girlfriend over there.”
I look at the blood pressure apparatus. The workers can’t see it from behind the counter. Oh dear.
“So I told the pharmacist,” the girl continues. “I’m so sorry. We thought you were odd.” In back of me I can hear Ann chuckling.
I feel my ego deflate. These pretty women weren’t looking at me because they thought I was attractive. They were looking at me because they thought I was nuts.
“Well,” I say, trying to mask my disappointment. “When I was a kid, if you saw someone talking to themselves they were crazy. These days they’re just probably talking on the phone. Hard to tell now.”
“I’m so sorry, sir,” the girl says, handing me my receipt.
“Don’t worry about it,” I say. But I want to scream. “Why the hell didn’t you keep all this to yourself?”
Clutching my bottle of cholesterol lowering meds, Ann and I walk out to her car. I’m very quiet.
“What’s the matter Steve?” she asks. “You look sad.”
Now this is a sticky wicket. How do you tell the woman you’re going to marry that you’re upset that two attractive young women didn’t want to jump your bones?
“It’s nothing,” I say, shaking my head.
“No,” Ann says. “Something’s bothering you.”
I know the cornerstone of all relationships is honest communication, but I could end up on the couch for this. But Ann is very persistent so, against my better judgment, I tell her what happened.
“I understand,” she says. “No matter how old you are, you want to be thought of as attractive.”
“It’s just depressing,” I say. “Young women act like I don’t exist.”
“I think you’re being too hard on yourself. I’m going out with you, right?”
“You’re eight years younger than me,” I say. “But I’m talking about 25 year olds. I’m not saying I’d act on it, but it’d still be nice to be wanted by that group.”
“And what would you do with a twenty-five year old?”
There are a couple of answers to that question, but the truest one works it’s way past my more piggish visions. “Nothing,” I say. “I wouldn’t know what to say to them.”
“There you go.”
“But if I was George Clooney or Bruce Willis…that would change things. “
“You think those guys are happy?” Ann snorts. Uh oh. Banishment to the living room is imminent.
“Maybe not,” I say, knowing they’re probably ecstatic.
“Well, I think you’re sexy,” Ann says, patting my butt.
As we walk out of the pharmacy I see my reflection in the sliding door. My face is flushed from the summer’s heat and the sight of my stomach makes me feel like a beached whale. There’s grey in my beard to boot. I feel old. Maybe I should go back inside and get some Just for Men. What I should do is get my ass to the gym. What Ann sees in me, I’ll never know. But as Hemingway once said, “You never understand anybody that loves you.”
We get in the car and start driving back home. But I’m still shaken.
“But they thought I was nuts,” I whimper. “Do I come off as crazy?”
“If you were crazy,” Ann says. “You’d be cute crazy.”
“That’s not helping.”
Ann pats my thigh. “Hush, dear. Hush.”
If it’s any consolation, Steve, I’M 25 and this happens to me all the time too. Especially in the retail world, you’re interacting with young people who are extremely bored MOST of the time. They see just about anything out of the ordinary and you’re the light of their day. It doesn’t mean they’re into you though :-/
I think the trick is accept that SOME people find you attractive and you will never really know why. And, unless you’re Clooney, etc, accept that MOST people won’t even give you a second glance because attraction is a complex, highly time-dependent phenomenon.
Another good one. A reflective person never runs out of things to write about. Time, maybe, but not topics.
You’ve got yourself a good woman. What do you care about what kids think? And face it, anybody under 25 (at inimum) is a kid?
That game’s over. A new and better one lies ahead.
Steve, you are funny (as in a compliment). On July 6 we took our 30-something guest from Seattle past the downtown Kansas City branch (Central) library which, as you know, is in a refurbished large bank building.
Unfortunately we did not have time to take her inside as she had a 5:00 PM flight. Nevertheless she, like you, was very impressed because she likes restored old buildings.
On July 7 on a solo trip to Barnes & Noble on the Country Club Plaza (which I hope you were able to see also – the Plaza itself and not B&N since they all tend to look alike) I sat in a comfy chair skimming through Waiter Rant. It was fascinating to read in your P.S. Insights, Interviews and More that the Kansas City Public Library’s downtown Central branch hosted your first author appearance. Thank you for writing that you hope other authors will get to see it.
You are a published author and have appeared on tv.
You have managed to pull a woman way out of your league.
Seems to me that you are already doing pretty good, and, honestly, would you trade it all to be back the way you were when you were 25?
Hush dear – she knows.
Yeah, welcome to my world. You old fuck.
On top of going to the gym more you should probably cut out the Lipitor. I’ve been reading a lot of stuff on how the drug isn’t great for you (can cause fatigue and chronic muscle pain) and that it doesn’t extend your life at all.
If you do a little research you can find out more about this.
This guy writes about it a lot and even has a cool documentary you can watch on NetFlix: http://www.fathead-movie.com/
Here’s a nice little article as well: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/559885/posts
“There are a couple of answers to that question, but the truest one works it’s way past my more piggish visions.”
In addition to Lipitor, perhaps you should be taking Lexitor, for writers suffering from ungrammatical use of apostrophes.
Yes. Being stared at is a double-edged sword.
You are a perfectly attractive man. I realize what you’re going through very well, though. I’m a 31 (in a week), happily married woman with two kids, and I live in Southern California, which is he Mecca of super hotties. To say I feel inadequate is a supreme understatement. My husband could be Johnny Depp’s double. I am definitely the less attractive of our duo. But something he said to me a few months ago really boosted me. He told me that my fiery nature, passion and honesty was what really made him love me, and that those qualities of mine will never fade. An attractive outside will fade eventually, but the little quirks of yours that make people really love you down to the bones never go away. Dark side and all.
I go into a medical supply place. I’ve just started wearing a suit regularly and I’m still getting used to suspenders. I feel like an old man, but I think I look sharp.
So I’m standing there and the clerk is, like in your story, very happy to see me. She steps away fro a minute and comes back in with another lady, very attractive, who apparently likes the way I wear a Joseph Banks.
My sales guy finally waves me over. As I walk in, he nods at my crotch.
“Your fly is open.”
Since I’m wearing suspenders, I’ve lost the habit of belting and, thusly, the habitual zipper check.
I’d been to six other places before I got there. I just thought I was popular.
Act on it!
You should definitely buy a blood pressure measuring machine. As a present for your girlfriend.
One evening when you feel like it, tell her that you have a sexy surprise for her. Ask her to sit down naked in her favorite armchair, blindfold her and then CHECK HER BLOOD PRESSURE!
Steve, for what it’s worth, if we were both single and you were geographically convenient I’d probably go out with you. You are cute in the nerdy older man sort of way.
If by some chance you wound up dating me or someone else my age (23), you’d feel like a million bucks… right up until someone referenced something that predated us. My fella is 25 years my senior and when he introduced me to the family he was about to burst his buttons with pride. He joked that his family was like a cross between “The Beverly Hillbillies,” and “Deliverance.” He deflated quite quickly when my response was, “What’s ‘Deliverance?'”
The first time you had to tell a girl what the screaming chicken is,the novelty will be gone.
I surprised your girlfriend was as nice to you as she was, lucky you, Most women wouldn’t be so supportive. Anyway, it all sounds rather mild for a mid life crisis.
Awwww… You’re adorable. And if you weren’t young enough to be my… uhmmm… much younger brother…. I’d think you were crazy sexy. 🙂