old, cranky (yet mellow), and maybe senile

May 21, 2008

I have recently confirmed that I am old, cranky (yet mellow), almost senile, and getting more dangerous by the day.

Top 3 Signs That I Am Old, Cranky (Yet Mellow) and Maybe Senile:

1. I was on the receiving end of more than my share of traffic tickets in my youth. I’m pretty sure by the time I was 24, I had 10 speeding tickets, one for going 125 mph between Baker, CA and Las Vegas, NV. And I was involved in more than a few traffic accidents. I was hospitalized, towed, or mildly annoyed probably 5 times by fender benders before I was 18. I was IN a car that was totaled at least 3 times.

But after I married Kim, when I was almost 25, I went a solid decade without a ticket or an accident. I simply became a grandpa-type driver, with a spotless record.

Unfortunately, that’s all over. I’ve had 3 traffic tickets in the last 4 months, some with multiple infractions. It’s hard when you live on a 1500 foot mountain to go slow (40 mph for the speed limit? No way!) coming down, but that doesn’t explain how I got a ticket Friday going UP the hill on the motorcycle. Nor does it explain how I didn’t have my motorcycle license. Or a valid insurance card.

Nor does it explain how I was backing out of my parking space at the Lehi Maverick convenience store, and didn’t see the blue Ford Focus behind me. Um, whoops?

I am now, at the age of 42, exhibiting the kind of behavior you expect from someone 80 years old. Pretty soon I’ll be avoiding left turns, and stopping in the middle of intersections because I’m trying to wash a bug off the windshield by reaching out the window with an emery board.

2. I’m a pretty good husband. Hell, Kim once nominated me as husband of the year, and I got my picture in Good Housekeeping magazine. I am NOT making this up.

But the number one complaint I get from Kim, the thing that has been at the root of nearly every argument we’ve had in the last 10 years of marriage (I guess we didn’t fight the first 8 years)? That I’m distracted and not listening.

I disagree. I contend that while I may be distracted, I AM listening, I am just too distracted to remember what she said. Is that too fine a line?

This begs the question–what am I distracted by? Boy do I wish I could tell you. Sometimes I think it’s like that SNL skit, where Michael Jordan is talking basketball with the Chicago guys, and they’re all thinking “Ditka, Football, Da Bears.” And for me it’s “Bikes, Skis, Movies.” At least, that’s what I WANT it to be–truth is, I have no idea what I’m thinking. Maybe nothing?

The thing is, I can remember lots of stuff. I just can’t remember what Kim told me 5 minutes ago. The silver lining is, I can’t remember what ANYBODY told me 5 minutes ago. Shouldn’t that take some of the sting away?

3. Here’s the worst one, for me. I have MELLOWED. That is, as a teenager, I was once ejected from a church basketball game, not just from the game, but from THE BUILDING. I once made a girl cry in a pick up soccer game because she whiffed on a point blank shot in the box. And I used to ride my bike so hard blood would come out of my eyes and ears.

Is that what people say about me now? No. Now I’m “the shepherd.” Now I’m the guy you call if you want someone to show you a new trail, cuz I will go slow with you. And the worst part? I couldn’t go fast anymore even if I WEREN’T shepherding. Last night I played in my city league softball game (which is, in itself, a big clue), and in what should have been the last inning and the last out, I lost a line drive in the wind and lights, and allowed FOUR runs to score. 20 years ago, I would have KILLED myself on the spot by trying to swallow the ball. Last night I just laughed and jogged back to the dugout after the inning and shrugged it off. We lost.

Mellow. Code for OLD (and possibly senile).

11 Responses to “old, cranky (yet mellow), and maybe senile”

  1. Eric Says:

    I am reveling in the fact that at the same age you are experiencing the same symptoms and complaints from your wife that I am. I love my bride dearly (have to say that on my 20th anniversary) but mean her no ill will when I get so easily distracted that I can’t remember what she said 2 minutes ago. Do you also find yourself in the next room wondering why you are even there? I have to backtrack to jog my memory. I worry that soon I will have to tape a name tag to my chest at night just to remember who I am! Thanks for some great laughs!

    Eric
    Nine Mile Falls, WA – Great biking territory!

  2. bikemike Says:

    wait til yer 50, I SAID, WAIT TIL YER 50. wait, what were you talking about. oh, never mind. get off my lawn.

  3. KanyonKris Says:

    I blame computers. And the internet. And gadgets. And multitasking. And global warming. It can’t be me.

  4. Jonathan Says:

    Shepherd – Nice post…made me laugh this morning (not easy to do on a rainy Thursday). Glad to hear I am not the only one suffering from the “can’t remember what the wife said 2 minutes ago” ailment. Does Kim ever want go on for 15 minutes explaining wierd, illogical, creapy dreams she has? And then expect you to listen to every detail of it as she relives it. Well Gina does. So this morning I thought I would get back at her and explain a really lame dream I had last night. She listened to every minute of it. Or at least pretended to better than I do. Damn her….she is better than me in every way…..lucky guy!

  5. Rob Says:

    Do you find yourself stealing small things from the store?…batteries, gum…

  6. BotchedExperiment Says:

    back in the day I’d kill myself to keep up with whoever I was riding with. I gave no thought to the next hill or finishing the ride.

    Now I couldn’t care less about whether I can keep up, and my primary concern is the next hill and finishing the ride.

    Also, I’m afraid of crashing now. It has been sneaking up on me for the last couple years, and the fear has been associated with the fact that everytime I wreck even a little bit, I get injured and it takes months to heal up.

  7. mark Says:

    I was going to say something but had to pause to pull my pants up to my nipples. Now I can’t remember what it was.

  8. KanyonKris Says:

    Botch, I hear ya. As a younger man I’d bounce back from crashes, now a simple sprained thumb aches for weeks. On the plus side I can tell if a storm is coming.


  9. I am only 30. But recently I realized the tide was turning. I tried one of those new-fangled “riptsticks” that all the youth are raging around the neighborhood.

    I couldn’t do it. Not even close.

    I mumbled something about being awkward and dangerous and left the kids staring at me in bewilderment.

  10. brkeyes7 Says:

    you’re most likable when you’re cranky and mean. I don’t mean to say you’re not currently likable just more so when you’re cranky and mean.

  11. steve Says:

    dude, refer back to the blog about going to the light instead of trying the die hard left turn!!! You are definitely old, senile and maybe a little mellow.

    love ya bro


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