The Large Man Chronicles
October 25, 2009
A Large Man Looks at 50
Today as I turn the big 5 OHH, I chronicle from my remote office on the 22nd floor in a Renaissance hotel. I’m in Nashville to do some work. This is not the way I would have chosen to spend my 50th birthday, but let’s be honest, I’m 50…it’s probably time to stop expecting fireworks, adulation, pony rides, balloons animals, and strippers. My family and I celebrated yesterday, my Face Book page is full of birthday cheer, and I launched a blog this week. I think we’re done celebrating this milestone.
As I always do on my birthday, and especially on milestone birthdays, I have taken some time to reflect on this blessed life of mine. Most new acquaintances and friends seem surprised that I’m 50 – that’s a good thing I guess. Many people have asked me how I feel…the simple answer is that I feel like shit. I don’t want to be 50. I realize that there is nothing I can do about it, and I won’t squander the rest of my days wishing I was younger. All I’m saying is that I don’t want to be 50. I’m not complaining about where I am, or what I am. Believe me I realize that I’m lucky to be here.
I’m not happy about 50, but I don’t want to be 20 either. 20 was tough. When I was 20 I never expected – in my wildest imagination – that I would ever reach 30, much less 50. Most people who knew me when I was 20 will agree with that statement.
My friends and I didn’t think that I would make it to 30 – not because of some rare genetic disease or defect…not at all. The problem I had back then is known as CRI: not a disease, but more of a condition.
CRI is the medical industry’s acronym for a condition known as Cranial Rectal Insertia. It affects a large portion of the male population aged from around 16 to about 35. Women (and girls) can get it too, but it’s rare. Some people never shake it and have to deal with it their whole lives. It can be very hard on a victim’s family as well. The saddest cases result from someone who has the condition, but never realizes it. In those cases it seems to affect everyone around the person.
You won’t ever see a telethon for CRI, there won’t be fund-raisers, 5 K runs, or marches on Washington demanding that more funds be allocated to research for a cure for CRI….there is some irony here because NIH did a study that showed more politicians suffer from CRI than any other professional sector in the U.S. It seems that nobody wants to acknowledge that a person can actually have their head up their ass.
I did, right up my ass… right up until about age 35 I had been a chronic sufferer. Wrecked cars, wrecked relationships, lost jobs, lost money, and lost friends. I was a nobody, going nowhere…v e r y slowly. The things that I did from Wednesday to Sunday while I was in my 20s should have killed me. Why it didn’t, I’ll never know. Perhaps God needed someone to eradicate the world supply of micro-brews and Buffalo style chicken wings. If that’s my purpose here, I have served it well. Just between us Large Man associates, I am hoping I have a greater calling.
The good news is that CRI doesn’t have to be a lifetime condition, and that’s what I like about being 50. That’s the good part about the aging process in general. Oh sure, I still have relapses, but they are fewer and further between, and a lot more mild at 50 than they were at 40… and 40 was better than 30. Until our government gets off their heads, (get it…heads) it looks like the aging process is the only treatment for this scourge on mankind.
30 years ago (age 20) on my milestone birthday, I was sitting on the side of the road with a broken car. 20 years ago (age 30) was nursing a broken nose….neither of those were great memories. CRI had a lot to do with how I celebrated those birthdays.
10 years ago I scored 2 touchdowns in a flag football game; I was strolling around my favorite pub with my favorite friends, A WIFE, and my new daughter – just 6 months old – wrapped up in a Baby Bjorn safely against my massive and chiseled Large Man chest. See…better…the aging process doing its work. The only person in the world smiling brighter and laughing louder than my little girl; was me.
Having a wife allows you to have somebody around you (all the time) that can show you where you are putting your head. Having children forces you to understand the ramifications CRI. This point cannot be emphasized enough. Men: read this paragraph twice!
Now I can’t sit here and tell you that just because I’m 50 I’m completely immune to CRI. I did it just a couple of months ago. Throwing that glass bottle into the wood chipper seemed like a cool thing to do. Last summer my trip down that steep hill on my son’s mini Razor scooter seemed reasonable at the time the idea came to me. It still happens, but at age 50 the episodes are shorter, and you get over them much faster.
So there you have it…I’m not “Jazzed!!” to be 50, but I am happy to be here. Right here, right now, with all of you ain’t bad. Now that I’ve shared another little tale, I’m going to Tootsie’s to eradicate some more micro-brew. Cheers to you all, and thank you so much for the birthday wishes, and especially for taking the time to read. I’m putting this toy away for a week or so to focus on revenue generating activities.
One last celebration thing: I did promise Dave Bartee that I would mention in the next Large Man story that he was the first to speak to me and wish me happy birthday on my actual birthday. The 1:30 AM call was much appreciated….a little difficult to understand, and not really a surprise (he never forgets)…but appreciated.
Until next time…