Happy Birthday humble
On Friday, Jan. 18, I have every intention of turning 77 years old. As 76 was different from 75, I can expect 77 to be different from 76. At 75 I could walk without teetering, but something happened to my legs over the past 12 months that makes me feel like I’m giving birth every time I get out of a chair.
It might surprise, or even disgust, young people to know that old people enjoy an occasional hug. But hugging at 76 is not like hugging at 50. At 76, cuddling in bed requires more planning than an assault on Bin Laden’s compound. You must first announce your intentions. Otherwise your wife might eagerly thrust her elbow into your eye and that’s the end of that. Or your heads might knock together if there is not some kind of agreed upon plan. Eyes are exceptionally vulnerable. This is why old people prefer to hug standing up: it is easier and with four points on the ground you don’t need a walker.
Old people cannot cuddle comfortably in bed because old people do not naturally fit together. Her chin is always hurting your bony shoulder or you are losing the circulation in your right hand. There are always two or three extra uncomfortable arms that you could do without. And what do you do with your hands? Nothing is where it used to be.
My wife Marsha and I have recently agreed that trying to cuddle in bed is like kickboxing in a steel cage with a skeleton.
Any old man will agree with what I’ve just said about the necessity of approaching the hug or cuddle with a great deal of thought to preclude the possibility of injury. But there is a danger in taking too much time in preparing for a hug because you are likely to think you were on the way to the bathroom and walk right out around her.
Robert Karl Skoglund is a longtime local writer, speaker and radio personality in Knox County. He lives in St. George. His commentary will appear in The Courier-Gazette from time to time. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He is online at thehumblefarmer.com.