The Other Side of 50

Those suspenders aren’t so bad after all

By From page OSF2 | May 08, 2014

Almost everything I write is personal in some way. This column is a little more personal than usual. It is about a frequent subject: Adapting to changes.

One of the things that frequently happens when a person ages is the body’s configuration (shape) changes.

I have aged (fortunately) and with aging has come body changes. I am no longer that admirable example of manly beauty. Everything has shifted.

My bottom shrunk and my hips have almost disappeared. When this change started several years ago, I bought (on sale) four really nice belts, enough to last me my lifetime. Well, now the belts are too big. When I tighten them so they will hold up my pants, they cut off the circulation to my legs and lower body.

What to do? What to do? I don’t want to cut off the circulation to my legs and lower body, but I don’t want my pants to fall, either. I’d never get away with holding up my pants like the kids in the mall.

The solution? Suspenders.

I had tried them once before and they didn’t seem to work for me. This time, they seem to work. My old canvas color suspenders work just fine.

I jokingly told my doctor I would be going into the practice of external medicine – with a suspender specialty. He didn’t laugh. I thought it was funny.

Changes bring ideas about more changes. Some people have said, “Why don’t you get a blue pair to go with your blue shirt? Or red? Or have a set that will let you coordinate with anything?”

I have responded consistently that the canvas color is neutral and will go with anything. I will stick with that fashion opinion. I have made up my mind that I will be comfortable no matter how “country” I look – even if the next step is a pair of bib overalls.

You heard the one about Olaf the Minnesota wheat farmer who went to town every Sunday in his bib overalls? He bought two cigars, lit up one and put the second one in the front pocket of his bibs for later. Without fail, his neighbor, Bill, would slap him across the chest and crush his cigar. One Sunday, Olaf bought one cigar and one stick of dynamite. Lit the cigar and put the dynamite in the front pocket of his bib.

“Why are you doing that?” the clerk asked.

Olaf told him what Bill had been doing and said, “This time I’m going to blow his darned hand off.”

If I go for a bib, I don’t think I’ll buy dynamite.

I never thought I would wear out my Reeboks, but I did. So I walked down to Big 5 and bought a pair of walking shoes. They’re very comfortable. I also bought some heel cushions. Apparently, the way I walk is hard on my heels. So now I’m comfortable all over. A 5-mile walk? No pain.

Appearance has ceased to be a big deal. As long as I am clean and comfortable, I don’t much care how I look. I am going to have to learn the lyrics to those country songs.

Reach Murray Bass at 427-0744 or [email protected]

Murray Bass


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