Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Oh, for the Love of Wrinkles

“I worry she may leave me for another man.”

My husband has said that on a number of occasions. He has said it in front of our daughter, our friends, and his family. Oh, he doesn’t worry that I will take off for a sunny island with the neighbor’s dark-eyed, dark-haired, muscular pool boy or fly to Vegas with a blonde, blue-eyed stock boy from the grocery store. Nope, his concern is with a different type of man…thinning white hair, bit of a tummy, lots of wrinkles.

Yep, I just really enjoy being around men of retirement age and beyond. I like their stories. I like their stories the first time I hear them and the second and the third. I like their cardigan sweaters. I like the smell of Old Spice. I don’t mind hearing aids or false teeth or pants that ride just a bit higher than the waist. I even think dark socks with shorts is kind of cute.

It isn’t just my husband who knows this. My best friend, my mom, and my daughter have all given me the secret look that says “I KNOW you wanted to run off with him!” when we run into an especially dear older man. Just to be clear, I don’t really want to run away with them, but I wouldn’t mind coffee and sweet rolls and talk about “the old days”.

The last disc of Dark Shadows put me in mind of my predilection. Barnabas has been receiving treatments from Doctor Hoffman. These treatments are to restore his humanity. It never occurred to either of them that restoring a 200-year-old man’s humanity might also return his body to its true age. As one might imagine, Barnabas was not especially delighted to find that he was suddenly an old, old, old man. I, on the other hand, loved it.

I think Barnabas looked wonderful! His face was full of wrinkles and dark circles and bags. The skin at his jaw line was sagging. He had character. He looked as though he had lived two hundred years and could share the most wonderful stories if someone would offer him a comfortable chair and a warm drink. Maybe a quilt for his knees. The make-up was phenomenal. It was hard to believe I was looking at the same character. If not for the documentary piece at the end of the disc, I would still have doubts.

Alas, no one told Barnabas how rich his new old life could be. He craved a way back to his younger self…and he found it in Carolyn. She has become the new Willie and Barnabas has returned to his younger but less interesting self. Sigh.

But I do think I finally saw a few grey hairs on my husband’s head the other day…

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