Monday, April 2, 2012

I Used to Be Hot

There was a time in my life when I marveled at the fact that I had friends going back ten years. Now, I have friends going back as long as forty years (at least that is as far as I will admit). I am not bothered by this; however, I will never get used to having friends my age who are grandparents. How in the hell did that happen?

When you don’t have kids, your sense of time is a bit off. For example, when my friend Johnise’s daughter went to college and cashed in the matured savings bond I gave her mother when she was born, I was befuddled. I am rarely befuddled; dumbfounded, yes, but rarely befuddled. How could she be that old, and how could a savings bond I bought be mature? Where had the years gone?

The mirror is not a good indicator of aging – unless you’ve really let yourself go. In that case, I can’t help you. You’re done.

The first time I realized how much I had aged was when I had to renew my passport five years ago. After comparing the photo from my twenties to the one of me in my early … never mind which decade, I spent the next two days studying my face in the mirror and saying, “When did that happen? How did that get there?”

I have one thing going for me as far as aging, and one going against me – kind of a blessing and a curse. On my mother’s side, we don’t age drastically and tend to look younger than most people our age. On my biological father’s side, the men have not lived past fifty-eight. So while we continue to look youthful, we make a beautiful corpse.

“Wow, look at him. He looks younger than I do, and he’s dead!”

“He’s better looking, too!”

Aging for average people is easier. For beautiful people, aging is hell. These are the people who keep plastic surgeons in business. Lately, I have observed a new trend in Hollywood facelifts. There is a surgeon out there who is making everyone look like Donald Duck. I was watching Happily Divorced last week, and Morgan Fairchild was a guest star, but I didn’t know it was Morgan Fairchild until she spoke. Her cheeks were puffed out, her mouth had a permanent grin, and her eyes were slits. The same thing happened when Delta Burke was a guest on Drop Dead Diva. Barry Manilow has also taken a trip to the same doctor, but his results are the most drastic. He can no longer open his mouth! I am a fan of Barry Manilow’s, but the last thing a man should do is get a facelift. They just come out looking like old lesbians.

My how times have changed. In the 1970s, Aunt Dorothy’s sister got a facelift, and they pulled her so tight that she couldn’t close her eyes. Now, they pull someone so tight, they cannot open or close their mouths either.

The strange thing is none of these people look younger or even better. They look scary. What do they see in the mirror? Do they have an urge to go pantless in sailor suit?

My friend Frank has a neighbor who is in her sixties. We were heading out one day, and he stopped to speak to her. I could tell she never had any work done. As he drove away, I remarked that she was a very attractive woman. He agreed. Sure she looked her age, but she looked fantastic. She had aged gracefully. We both commented on how she had obviously had no work done and shouldn’t.

Now, all of us have that moment, as I mentioned above, when we realize we no longer look eighteen … or twenty-nine.

Do you want to know how you’ll look in ten years? Look at yourself first thing in the morning. You hate me now, don’t you?

When I first came out, I must have looked good because every guy over forty would buy my drinks in a bar. Having a Jewish liver, it didn’t cost them much. The first time I had to buy my own drink was the last time I think I went out to a bar.

I figured I was no longer young and hot. In the gay world, I was considered middle-aged. I had turned thirty!

Unlike many gay men, I accepted my new status and moved on. The thirties are a difficult time for gay men. You are no longer a boy toy or fresh meat or that term I hate more than any other – a twink. You also aren’t old enough to be a daddy.

Then, your first gray hair comes in, then another and another, and all of a sudden, twenty-year-olds, who just a few birthdays ago wouldn’t give you a second look want to be your boyfriend. Oy vay.

Strangely, I have never been attracted to twenty-year-olds, even when I was one. I always liked men in their forties. However, I am still attracted to men in their forties, which concerns me because I don’t want to be the eighty-year-old troll who inappropriately grabs forty-year-old men. Wait a minute. My genes say I’ll be dead long before then, so I’m cool.

I asked my friend Danny what was the stage between Daddy and troll, and he said, “Last week.”

The forties are another strange time. This is the last decade when you can tell people your age, and they say, “You don’t look that old.”

Until …

You hit forty-nine. That is when God plays a cruel trick. Until forty-nine, the aging process is quite subtle. A slight change here, a slight change there, then BAM!

You look in the mirror one day and scream, “What the fuck!”

That is what happened to me. Despite all the years of moisturizer, night creams, and sleeping in a vat of formaldehyde, in one year, I aged ten years. I knew I had aged rapidly when someone asked me how old I was and when I told him, he just nodded.

At first, it was difficult. I wore a veil whenever I had a social engagement, and I only used twenty-watt pink bulbs in my house. As a matter of fact, I avoided all situations with bad lighting, and I never, I mean NEVER, looked down. This is when you go from being versatile to being a strict bottom. Believe me, you’ll look better. If not, then you will never have sex in the daytime again!

However, I soon learned to accept my aging face. But there are times …

The other day, I ran into an old friend from more than twenty years ago at an event, and we were having lunch with a bunch of other people afterward. While we were catching up, someone asked him how we met. He relayed to them the story and said, “Milton was in his twenties then, and he was hot.”

To which I replied, “Yes, I used to be hot.”

Instead of smiles, I got looks of pity.

Then, I swigged my Geritol with a vodka chaser and ordered another – a double.

If you no longer look in the mirror, follow me, join my email list, tell your old, old, old friends.

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