As time marches on, I refuse to get in line with the drum master. I have accepted certain realities, such as I cannot wear a Speedo at the beach anymore. Well, actually, I never could wear a Speedo, and if I could have, I would not have done so. But it would be nice to know that, if I all of a sudden decided to, I could wear one without looking like a baked potato on a tooth pick.

In my younger years, from time to time, someone might say I was good-looking, or handsome or the like. Now that was usually my aunt or my mother but, hey, somebody said it. As my father always says, “It does not matter if you are good-looking or not. It only matters if you think you are good-looking.”

He always reminded me of this concept by stating it about two decibels too loud — which by the way, is the manner in which he always speaks — whenever a certain overweight, not particularly pretty woman came sashaying into the country club like she was Beyonce. This woman had few redeeming features in the looks department, and she made up for her lack of looks by her intolerable attitude, magnified by a drinking problem. But she thought she was good-looking, so for her during her life, she was good-looking.

As time went on, people started to say things like, “You look good, for your age.” I had a “girl” friend who despised being told she looked good for her age. Kind of like my friend Larry Massey says about his golf game. He gets tired of people saying, “Good shot ... from where you were.” If you have to qualify it, maybe it is best you just leave it out altogether.

Alas, even the good-for-your-age begins to disappear, and instead you hear, “He gets around pretty good for his age.” I may be entering this stage, although I’m not real sure I get around all that good.

After that stage is the dreaded, “We are so glad to see you out tonight ...” like you are on a furlough from prison or something. Everyone is shocked you made it past 8:15 p.m.

Then we reach the final insult: “Is he still alive? I didn’t know he was still around.” I don’t think I have reached this plateau just yet, and just to make sure, I still kick it up pretty high every now and then, maybe not quite as high as I used to, but I’m still kicking. I’m still good-looking ‘cause I looked in the mirror, and I still think I’m good-looking ... mainly because I can no longer see much better than an armadillo.

So father time, take a back seat, I’m not quite through with my self-delusional vanity trip just yet.

Email T Gamble at wtg@colliergamble.com.

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