A lady friend of mine told me a little while ago that she has never slept with a man over thirty-eight years of age as a matter of principal. Given that my friend is a good way past her man-age limit and that I am also likewise at fifty one well beyond her line in the sand I felt I had no option other than to find out why. She replied that something just happened to men after they reached forty, the main characteristic being they became grumpy, grumpy old men,she said she didn’t want them in her life and certainly wouldn’t sleep with one.
Though I didn’t make a fuss at the time her idea un-nerved me somewhat, does something happen to men at a certain age, do they become some sort of grumpy old fart, of course my interest is not altruistic, its self interest, am I a grumpy old man?
Since I became aware of GOM, Grumpy Old Man Syndrome I constantly check myself for the signs. I believe that we all have a duty to look after ourselves and I am determined not to let GOM ruin my life or prevent me from the fruits of carnal connectivity.
I could have just accepted the affliction when the first signs became evident, it began with involuntary noises coming from my voice box. I would groan and issue strangled cries when getting up from an easy chair, or when bending down to pick something up from the floor. The nosies might best phonetically be reproduced as “Arghhhh” or “Urggh” or a various combination, they had no substance in fact, not caused by any visible or sensed pain, just a kind of verbal accompaniment to the physical action, the sound is like a quieter version of the cry a wimbledon tennis player utters when hitting a particularly strenuous smash.
Other tell tale symptoms followed, berating people who cycled on the pavement, chiding people who drop litter, I have even picked up somebodies dropped litter and handed it back to them and instructed them to put it in a bin.
GOM is a condition that causes ocular disturbance, one classic symptom is encountered when looking at Policeman in the street, the images are corrupted by the brain until all Policemen look far to young to be in a uniform, another verbal twitches and utterances, Sentences are begun with repeated phrases, “In my day…….. I remember when………
I am not going to let myself be a victim of this malady, I am willing to take any action to counter it, whatever it takes.
One classic habit of the GOM sufferer is to take no interest in personal appearance, indeed more than that to go out of ones way in dressing badly, with no style. Gomies tend to purchase their clothes in Supermarkets or from bargain websites featured in the Daily Mail or Sunday Express. I am determined to fight the downward spiral towards full blown GOM syndrome.
I have found that advice from women can be highly effective in not making the clothing blunders of the Gomie, It’s a lesson I keep having to remind myself, I recently when exercising free thought purchased budgie smuggler swim wear, the classic purchase of a sufferer, it was only when my illness induced purchase was pointed out that I realised again that GOM was to blame.
Beyond that its a daily struggle, I tell myself that it’s mind over matter, to be positive, to think happy, even if GOM syndrome is there I don’t have to accept it.
It is Sunday morning, the sun is shining, I am determined to have a good day and banish any grumpiness, my son and I are walking towards Portobello Road to hunt out some man sized breakfast.
We walk and talk, the conversation centres on relationships, it’s a subject that we are both pre-occupied with, in our own differing stories, he is twenty one, I am fifty one, the thirty years between us is a lot, but the difficulties of relationships are just as complex. I would like to be able to give my son sound advice, but I have a sense that I may well be a bit of a Dinosaur, a creature out of time, then I think I am slipping into GOM territory, on our way we come to a house be-decked in Christmas regalia, I stop in my tracks, it’s early November, the decorations are going up. I become angry, why are they doing this? It is not Christams for ages, for a moment I fantasise about having a flame thrower and incinerating Father Christmas, the Reindeer the lot. Then I realise its my GOM and let it go.
I remember I was going to be positive, I decide Christmas is just Christmas, mental note to self, plan to avoid the whole thing.
Let’s be positive, lets move on, brekkie is round the corner.
We settle on a cafe, I begin to relax. Food does that to a man. A spotty be-spectacled youth comes over to take our order. He scribbles and does a sum, that will be eight pounds he says. I pause, Are you sure? It doesn’t sound enough. He recalculates and comes up with the same sum. I think you’ve made a mistake. We go over the order, oh, he says, I didn’t realise you were paying together. I am a little dumb-founded, this is the first restaurant I’ve been to where the waiter decides each person has their own bill.
But I let it go, We’ve both ordered poached eggs and coffee.Spotty waiter returns with two cups of coffee, there are no saucers, at the next table two people sit with their two cups of coffee, they have saucers, why don’t we have them? It’s not important in the great scheme of things, but it becomes the most important thing in the world to me at that moment.
I want my saucer, I say to the waiter have you run out of saucers?
I use my best sarcastic tone just to get my annoyance home.
No, he replies, Well, can we have saucers? Yes, if you want he says. His voice sounds astonished that I might want a saucer, I want to swear at him. I resist.
He duly returns with saucers, Do you want sugar he asks. I reply affirmatively. Again he trundles off and returns with sugar, but only one spoon. No matter, I let it go, one spoon is fine.
We drink our coffee, the waiter returns, we have run out of rye bread he explains, we have run out of wholemeal bread he adds. You can have white bread he says. Thats fine we reply. A few minutes later Spotty boy returns. He brings our poached eggs, they have been hard boiled. I am just slightly furious, my son asks the waiter for fresh eggs, I decide I am going to accept and just eat the over-poached eggs I have been given, this will prove to myself that I am not a grumpy old man. I tuck in, a few minutes later my sons new poached eggs arrive, they look great, the yolks flow like liquid sun as he cuts them open, I look down at my over-poached remainders, the grumpy old man fumes inside. This is going to be a long battle.