Daily Archives: August 22, 2012

Aging Benefits

Various web sites are fond of showing “then” and “now” pictures of various celebrities. The perky child star of the 1970’s now looks like (gasp!) a middle aged woman! She certainly didn’t hold together well! Now I’ve written on this before, but I’d like to add a slightly different slant.

I have the advantage in that I was never a “hunk” or any other highly sought after physical specimen in my younger days. Coming from good Polish-German peasant stock I’m short and, shall we say, solidly built. However, in my own defense, unlike most of my more physically appealing high school contemporaries, I was still able to hold my own in body armor and a weapon while in my fifties.

Which, of course, leads me to the subject of hats – which I’ve already written about as well.

(What do you expect; if there are only 8 basic plots for fiction writers, there is bound to be a limit on original ideas for bloggers.)

If I recall, I bemoaned the decline in the variety of hats with baseball caps being the predominate choice, and a commensurate lack of hat manners such as removing them indoors. However, if you’re a regular reader you know I have this annoying habit of always looking for the silver lining.

I found one.

While shopping with my wife earlier in the summer, the tropical shirt display was offset by an inexpensive white canvas fedora. I tried it on, half-jokingly – half hopingly and asked my wife what she thought. Her comment was that it was better than the (wait for it) baseball caps I usually wore. I began to wear the hat with the tropical shirts and claim I was channeling my inner Arlo Guthrie. I waited for the comments to start.

They did.

But instead of deriding comments, I got compliments. It seems that one of the advantages of getting older is that you can adopt the style you couldn’t get away with earlier. Only a very few young guys can wear a fedora – say a young Harry Anderson. The rest of us couldn’t, at least when we were young. But now, the playing field is much more even.

If you’re not sure of what a fedora looks like, think the first two Godfather movies. Almost every man wore a fedora with the occasional bowler thrown in for good measure. Still not sure – Indiana Jones signature hat was a fedora.

My grandfather wore fedoras almost his whole life, but back then, everybody did. When I was a teenager in the 60’s I wouldn’t have figured that I’d follow in his footsteps. But look at what happened.

If the websites had their way, they’d expect me to still wear bell bottom pants with a wide belt and a paisley shirt. I don’t think so. So there’s the silver lining. When you get and look older, you can adopt a style to your own liking.