I turned 50 last year, I am looking 51 dead in the eye in six more months. It has me worried. The reason why is based on trips to Walmart, any grocery store, the hardware store, The DMV, Doctors offices, and just pumping gas into my minivan. While I am at any location really there is a growing number of people growing old. A lot of these older people (older than me I am pointing out here) are men. The majority of them have somehow, in someway have decided to wear (with very slight variations) the same outfit. Its as if there is a store that caters to grumpiness, never ending stories of working on their car, garage, boat, cabinets, memories of war, and the last pork chop they ate.
The outfits seem to consist of: jeans, coveralls, work pants (if you say dockers they will slap you for being a sissy), a dress shirt (normally plaid, printed in some manly fashion without looking to frilly), suspenders (seems to be a MUST HAVE item) a belt (I guess the suspenders are a back up just in case the belt goes out or visa-versa), and a hat.
The hat seems to open to interpretation just as long it does not have fruit on top of and is completely void of a bow or ribbon included. Baseball cap seems to be a nice popular choice just as long as you wear it like a real man and stop trying to look like a rap artist, or someone with a mental problem. What is inscribed/written on the baseball hat seems to be important also. Letting people know your a war veteran and that you were Killing people in foreign lands while they were still nursing will get you some serious nursing home Cred.
Bowlers, Pork Pie hats(Think Walter White from Breaking Bad), Fedora’s, and even Richard Petty style cowboy hats can be acceptable wear. If your stuck in traffic behind a slow moving vehicle chances are good the driver is a old man in a hat (or he left his hat at home).
What confuses me is 1. when exactly did these legions of old men decide to start wearing the same outfit? And 2. Now that I am getting older am I required to follow suit? When exactly do I start turning the garden hose on the neighbors kids?, Complain about the meatloaf at the local cafeteria?, start smelling like I poured a entire bottle of Old Spice on myself?, Have a handshake that feels like Solid Rock?, tell stories of the car I put back together with nothing more than a piece of wire and a can of WD40?, threaten to put my foot up someones wazoo?, smack people on the back of the head just for being a dumb ass? The questions never end.