There are many signs that one is entering the Land Of Old Age.
Few are welcome.
Take the waist, for instance. At least among men, the waist is an ever-evolving location. A place that once seemed fixed is now, well, flexible.
The waist was once a perfectly good place at which pants would cling. At a certain point in one’s life, belts were a fashion accessory, not a living necessity. Suspenders were worn only to be trendy or campy.
Buttoned and zipped, pants hung effortlessly from the waist. Pockets didn’t pucker and leg inseams followed a near railroad-like route from crotch to cuff.
The waist was once fixed and unmovable. Even when pants were weighted like a deep sea diving suit with such ballast as keys (can’t have too many, even if the locks no longer exist), promiscuous change, wallet (aka portable filing cabinet) and an ever-handy though rarely used pocket knife.
The waist of youth functioned the way the French Maginot Line was supposed to: static, unmoving, impenetrable.
Unfortunately, both for men and the French, though seemingly a good idea, it wasn’t.
The German army defeated the French by flanking the Line.
Among aging men, experience shows, the waist moves in one of two directions: up or down. It also expands.
Following the downward trajectory and the waist takes on the droopy drawers appearance. One that gives new, robust meaning to the old expression, “The nation’s crack problem.” As though all such men suddenly decided to become plumbers. Or rappers.
The other direction, upward, and the waist settles in comfortably, just under the armpits.
In either case, the relocated waist demands sartorial reform. The addition of suspenders to the wardrobe, in one instance. And a revitalized interest in the long-forgotten zoot suit.
Any of this sound familiar?
If so, then you is old.
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