Thursday, November 13, 2008
My Inner Old Fart
Back in the mid to late nineties there was a ridiculous pop psychology trend that encouraged us to nurture our “inner child”. It was a warm and fuzzy concept that taught many of us to take better care of ourselves. According to this theory we should spend some time comforting ourselves physically and emotionally everyday. Supposedly its good for the soul and mental well-being. It was the perfect kind of stuff for Oprah and her ilk to tout on their talk shows on “up with people” days.
Personally, I don’t think I have an inner child. I may have had an inner child once but I seem to recall putting him up for adoption or sending the brat off to reform school years ago for being a pesky nuisance. I couldn't tolerate the whining and tantrums that went on inside my head. If anything, I believe that I possess an “inner old fart.”
Our inner child is supposed to be nurtured and comforted. Our inner child should be allowed time for play, fun, and frivolity. My inner old fart doesn’t usually want to have anything to do with that kind of stuff. Comforting my inner old fart usually means stirring up a big pot of pinto beans and a pan of cornbread. Nurturing the old SOB means simply wrapping up in an old afghan and kicking back in my creaky old recliner and falling asleep while watching the second or third cycle of whatever news magazine is repeating on CNN.
This particular “old fart” personality trait is difficult to assimilate into my social life. I have to work so hard when I’m “out on the town” to pull off the dashing, charming and clever gay man bit. I know that I should just be myself. But, can you imagine the kind of frumpy broken down derelict I would attract if I let my inner geriatric freak flag fly? I can’t do that. Despite my elderly disposition, this cowboy still has a hankerin’ for the young ponies and wild stallions (but to my disappointment there’s really very little ropin’ and ridin’ goes on ‘round these parts).
The clothes and dry cleaning budget to disguise the real me gets darned expensive. When nobody’s looking, I’m a sweat shirt and pajama bottom kinda guy. Elastic waistbands are our friends. Fortunately, the body is still in a younger time zone than the attitude. But, I’m not going to be taking any chances by slouching around in something that makes me look ready for the nursing home while hunting for hotties.
I’m glad I’ve gotten that off my chest. They say confession is good for the soul, so now I consider myself purged. After that and a tall glass of prune juice the job will be complete.
(illustration credit, Henry "Hank" Brown at flickr)