March 2011


What is Sexy?

A couple of weeks back I was down in Florida relaxing in the pool with some of my friends. Most of the guys were just back from the golf course and having a typical man’s conversation. By now you ladies know that means we were retelling our favorite old stories and jokes. Every once-in-a-while somebody would come up with something new. At one point my friend Tom told us about recently being in a local establishment with some of the guys. Before they left, the waitress suggested they come back later that night. She added, “We get a lot of Cougars in here.” (For those of you who don’t get out much, “Cougar” means an older woman who is looking for younger men) Tom told the waitress, “Hell, for us they’d have to be about 85.” We all thought it was a funny line and had a good laugh. His story, while funny, got me to thinking about this question: As we grow older, what is sexy?

Sex at the age of eighty-four is a wonderful experience. Especially the one in the winter.  

 – Milton Berle

Like any other time in one’s life, I’m sure the term sexy means different things to different people. We certainly know throughout history, one’s sex appeal has differed according to their culture. At one time in many societies, being overweight was sexy because it meant wealth and success. I could have been a king. Today,  influenced by the media, most young women consider sexy for themselves and other females to be pencil thin. For men, things don’t seem to have changed much physically. Being in shape has always been considered sexy.

As we age, does our definition of sexy change?  The answer is complicated. Having done considerable research on the subject of aging and sex for our book, The Best of Our Lives, it appears we seniors now live in a world unlike any in history. Advances in medicine have given us, on average, longer lives. Our lifestyles and technology are changing so rapidly, its difficult to keep up. Not long ago, reaching retirement age meant some very specific things. As far as seniors being sexy, society taught us to play down sexuality and had pretty definite rules on how to dress and act. Today, there are many seniors who still follow that script, and many others who have thrown away the rule book.

Attitude is Key 

Based on my research, it’s no surprise physical attractiveness and fitness are still important components for seniors to be perceived as sexy. Beyond that, a senior’s attitude toward life, male or female, is the most important factor. In other words, you don’t have to act young to be sexy, you just don’t want to act old. Seniors who only focus and talk about subjects considered to be “old” such as illnesses and age-related problems will probably be perceived as old and less sexy. Those who still aspire to accomplishment and look to the future, despite the real-life issues all seniors must confront, are often perceived as more youthful and sexy. One’s intelligence is also considered to be sexy in a senior. Other factors, in no particular order are, appropriate and polite behaviors, a sense of humor, good hygiene, dressing nicely, and being well-groomed.

Did I leave anything out? Yes. Wealth is considered by some to be very sexy. My father used to say, “It’s just as easy to love a rich woman as a poor one.” Of course, he would always laugh because when he married my mom, they had $63 dollars between them, and when he passed they had been married 65 years. The fact is, the comfort of security and an elegant lifestyle are often perceived as sexy. This, of course, should not be confused with happiness. While on a recent cruise, we could not help but notice one of the other couples who clearly had tons of money and became a major topic of shipboard conversation. At every event, dinner, and excursion, the wife was decked out in jewels and expensive clothes. She constantly proclaimed her boredom in every port because she had “been here so many times.” No amount of wealth could have made her sexy. Now for a test. Ladies, does this new $400,000 Ferrari SA Aperta Roadster make me more sexy?

Really? I guess it’s trade in time.

So what’s the point of this little exercise. Well, as I’ve discussed, there are certain qualities most people agree are sexy. It is, however, an individual preference. For instance, my wife is a very pretty lady, is very intellegent, and has an extremely positive attitude. Not surprisingly, I consider her to be very sexy. It’s interesting, however, that when she feels the least sexy, during her daily exercise and work out, I think she is very sexy. There is something about the effort she puts forth to stay fit that I find very attractive. 

In closing, let me share this with you. It’s from a website called suddenlysenior.com. I’ve condensed the poll results in their article entitled, What Older Women Want in a Man.   

At age 22:

1. Handsome 2. Charming 3. Financially successful 4. A caring listener 5. Witty 6. In good shape 7. Well dressed 8. Appreciates finer things 9. Full of thoughtful surprises 10. Romantic lover

Age 52        

1. Keeps hair in nose and ears trimmed 2. Doesn’t belch or scratch in public 3. Doesn’t borrow money too often 4. Doesn’t nod off to sleep when I’m venting 5. Doesn’t retell the same joke too many times 6. In good enough shape to get off couch on weekends 7. Usually wears matching socks and fresh underwear 8. Appreciates a good microwave dinner 9. Remembers my name on occasion 10. Shaves some weekends.

Age (let’s just say much older)

1. Breathing 2. Doesn’t miss the toilet  

Obviously, this survey was meant to be funny. But the question remains, what is sexy? Are you sexy? I guess its in the eye of the beholder. Deep down I guess everyone would like to think they’re sexy, we just hope others can see it. If only.

I want to thank everyone who reads my blog and also those of you who email me and/or make comments in the reply section. As always, if you find it worthy, I would appreciate it if you would forward this blog to anyone in your address book you think would enjoy it. Thanks.

Be sure to visit Trisha’s Dishes:

Meatloaf, Baked Beans, and Soup from Trisha’s Dishes

 

www.TheBestofOurLives.com

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People Are 

 

Can we all agree that people are crazy? Like most people, I used to think I was as nutty as the next person. Now, having the perspective of a senior citizen, I feel like a mere amateur.

Let me share some recent “crazy” observations:

Crazy Correctness  I’m sure you are familiar with the new politically correct way of coughing? You know, turning your head and coughing into the inside of your elbow. This has become so accepted, to not cough this way in public would garner the same ire as breaking wind in an elevator. Recently, while waiting for my mother in a doctor’s office, the guy sitting in a row of chairs behind me kept turning his head and coughing over his arm directly toward me. Great for the people in front of him, but not so great for me. Who started this nonsense? Some teachers now teach their young students how to do this, and I see people everywhere in public doing it. The fact is, most people I’ve seen can’t even reach their elbow to their mouth.  My thought: cough into a tissue and throw it away, then wash your hands. 

Crazy Criminal  On Saturday in New Jersey, a criminal decided to break the window of a car and rob the couple inside. Unfortunately for the criminal, twenty-three year old Jon Jones, a mixed martial arts fighter was just getting out of a nearby car. In no time, Jones had run down the unlucky thief and pinned him to the ground until the police arrived. Later that night Jon Jones won the Light Heavyweight Championship of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). You would have to be crazy to tangle with this civic-minded athlete.

 

Crazy Over-Reaction  Most of us have probably seen accounts of the horrible situation in Japan after the devastating earthquake and tsunami. Have you heard about some of  the crazy behaviors here in the U. S. concerning possible radiation? There has been a run on potassium iodine pills to the extent a $10 bottle of these pills is now selling for hundreds of dollars. Want to bet some of those bottles have Tic Tacs or M & M’s in them? For myself, I’ve taken a more reasonable precaution.  

Crazy Contract  I was in Florida recently and stopped by the St. Louis Cardinals training camp in Jupiter. Even though a game wasn’t to be played until later in the afternoon, there were dozens of fans and a flood of media. The reason: Cardinal star, 31 year old Albert Pujols had given that day as the deadline for the team to give him the contract he demanded or he would play out the season and become a free agent. St. Louis management did not give in, so Albert will probably be playing in another city next year. Oh yes, Mr. Pujols contract demand is 30 million dollars per year for the next 10 years. By my math, and I am a wizard, that’s 300 million dollars. Granted, he is the best player in baseball right now, but any team that pays him that much money is crazy.

Crazy Cop  Last Sunday, my wife and I were driving to church when a police officer pulled us over. He asked if I knew why he had stopped me. I told him I had no idea. He told me that looking back in his rear view mirror (about a quarter of a mile), he determined I had made a dangerous move when I passed a car. I explained the car in front of me was barely doing 40 mph, it was a 50 mph zone, there was a broken line, no cars coming in the other direction, I signaled and passed safely. He stubbornly maintained it was still a dangerous move. At this point, I very directly asked if I had done anything illegal. He paused and admitted I had not. I then asked, “What was dangerous?” There was an awkward pause, and he asked for my license. When I asked if I was getting a ticket, he responded with “No, but I need to check and see if you are wanted for any crimes.” I couldn’t help but ask the officer if he’d ever seen the Bill Murray movie Stripes. He said yes, so I offered the line, “Convicted, no never convicted.” Fortunately, he laughed and sent us on our way. I’m sure there were actual law breakers out there somewhere he could have been chasing, but maybe he was just lonely working on a Sunday morning. It was very odd to be pulled over, only to hear the officer admit I had done nothing wrong. In my mind, it was a waste of taxpayer money and a bit crazy. 

Crazy Dictator  This weeks crazy dictator award goes to, you guessed it, Muammar Gaddafi (or is it Kadafi, no one seems to know). This nutball has been around for a long time, but the world has tolerated him because he has lots of oil, money, and quite a few weapons. This guy is a certifiable whack job. How should we deal with him at this point in time? I have no idea. If the situation wasn’t so serious for the hopeless people in his country, it would be laughable that such a psychopath is still in charge. Of course, we have our share of loony tunes in our government, so perhaps we shouldn’t throw too many stones. God forbid we get into a war with this nut. Much like the nuclear panic folks, I think I better be on the safe side. Welcome Muammar.

Every time the world gets a little too crazy or complicated for me, I listen to this song. Maybe you’ve heard it. It offers a simple explanation. Click on full screen and enjoy.

YouTube – Billy Currington – People Are Crazy

If you like to cook or simply love great food, I invite you to visit the food blog of my beautiful and talented wife Trisha. Cooking is one of her many passions and she now shares her recipes.

Meatloaf, Baked Beans, and Soup from Trisha’s Dishes 

 

 

 

                                                  Come visit our website www.TheBestofOurLives.com

www.TheBestofOurLives.com

 

What’s in a Name?

Many of us retired folks now have grandchildren. One of the fascinating rituals you observe as a grandparent is watching your kids go through the process of choosing names for their children. For whatever reason, naming a child now appears to be one of life’s heaviest burdens. It is an agonizing process that often takes months and is sometimes not resolved until the very last moment.

Don’t get me wrong. Naming a child is a very important responsibility and I’m glad the young parents of today take it seriously. Of course, certain recent celebrities must have had one too many when they named their children. They have presented us with Apple, Ocean, Kal-El, Audio Science, Moon Unit, Pilot Inspektor, and my personal favorite, Moxie Crimefighter. Why the topic of “What’s in a name?” Let me explain.

With all  the devastating news from around the world this week, it’s been difficult to keep a positive attitude. While I typically look to the future for inspiration and motivation, this week I found myself in a reflective mood. For whatever reason I was remembering the twenty-plus years I spent coaching young kids in baseball. Most of them would now be in their 30’s and 40’s, and it made me smile to think of all the joy and wonderful memories from those years.

One of those boys in particular came to mind. It was long ago and well before any of my own sons were old enough to play ball. A friend called me one day and said he had just been contacted by an official in a  baseball league in which all the fathers (coaches) had selected their teams. A number of boys were not selected, and not surprisingly, they were mostly boys from single mother families. He asked me if I would help him coach a team so these boys could play. I said I would be happy to help and we coached those boys for the next two years.

One of these young boys, whose name I have forgotten (you will soon understand why), could not stop talking and asked a continuing stream of questions. It was obvious he simply wanted attention. He was quite small for his age and his mother had purchased a very inexpensive but much too large fielder’s glove. When he bent down to field a ball, I taught him to keep the glove on the ground to make the play. He actually did quite well and I always complimented him to build his confidence. As time went on, I told the team he was like a vacuum cleaner and nothing could get by him. Then it happened. One day I began to call him “Scoop.” Kids being kids, the rest of the team picked up on it and he was “Scoop” from then on.

My friend and I had a team policy that made sure all the boys got to pitch at least once during the season. One day late in the season, at a practice before Saturday’s game, one of the mothers asked to speak to me. She explained that her  son was scheduled to pitch on Saturday and he was very worried. I assured her he would do fine. She said, “No, that’s not the problem. You see, everyone, all the boys on the team, the kids at school, family and teachers now call him “Scoop,” and he’s afraid if he pitches, they won’t call him that any more.”  She went on to tell me how much more confidence he had and how he had stopped trying to gain attention all the time. Scoop’s mom was almost in tears. So was I.

What’s in a name? I’m not sure. Gaining an identity you’re proud of and having people who care is clearly more  important. I hope Scoop went on to great things. I do know on a grey and dreary day, when the whole world seemed to be coming apart, his memory gave me a wonderful smile. Keep that glove on the ground Scoop.  

Worthy Cause

If you’ve read my blog before, you know I don’t use it to promote web sites or causes unless I know they are quite worthy of support. For the last couple of years, our son David has put together a team of runners who raise money for organ donations. I’ve seen recent stories highlighting the large and growing number of people in this country who are in desperate need of an organ transplant. It’s heartbreaking for them, and miraculous for those who receive help in time. One of the stories I recently watched was about the NFL player Chris Henry. Chris was killed in an accident and his mother had the courage to authorize donation of his organs. They went to four persons in need of transplants, and ironically, our son David’s wife Michelle is a nurse at the hospital where those procedures took place. Please take a look at David’s web site, and if you can help, I know you will be helping someone in need. Many of you have given your support to David’s team in past years and he is very grateful. Thank you for supporting such a worthy cause.

                                                             Click Here:  Team Dean Minus Dean Plus 12

Have you ever had something delay you from leaving your home on time, only to come upon a highway crash. Did you wonder if that would have been you had the fates not altered your timing? What about your relationships? What role did timing play in that aspect of your life? In my case, I once stopped at a stop light in the town where I used to live. I’d left my jacket at a young lady’s house and went back to pick it up. As I waited for the light to change, I noticed a pretty young lady whom I had met on a couple of occasions crossing the street. She said “hello,” and I gave her a ride home. I also asked her out, but the date didn’t turn out so great. Many months later, I happened to be back in that same town and stopped at another light miles away from my previous stop. Guess who was walking in the cross walk in front of my car? Yep, the same pretty young lady. She said “hello” again, and once again I asked her out. Seven years later we got married and this year we will celebrate forty-two years of marriage. We have three sons and five grandkids so far. Talk about fate and timing. I can’t imagine what would have happened, or not happened had our paths not crossed in such a random way.

Life is all about timing. It wasn’t too long ago that my wife and I had a wonderful time traveling with friends through much of South America. We even sailed around Cape Horn and then north through the Straits of Magellan along the Chilean coast. Our final day was spent touring along the coast and then on to Santiago for our flight home late that night. One year to the day after that wonderful experience, I watched in horror the televised images of the devastating earthquake in Chile. One of those images showed the collapsed interior of the Santiago airport from the exact vantage point of where we had stood in line at the airline ticket counter. Today, we are once again thinking about the concept of timing.

This Fall, my wife Trisha and I were fortunate to travel through Alaska, Russia, Japan, and China. We became particularly fond of Japan and it’s people. One of our favorite stops was Sendai, the closest city to today’s horrific earthquake and tsunami. Our tour that day began with a visit to a Shinto shrine and was followed with an incredibly beautiful drive along the coast to another spectacular location. It was serene and picturesque. I can’t imagine the death, destruction, and chaos occurring there today. Had this happened only a few short months ago, given the time of day the earthquake struck, I’m convinced we would not have survived. At our last stop we even walked across a small bridge to view the sights from a small island. Timing is everything.

Regardless of one’s age, its important to be prepared for that day when the inevitable occurs. While it would make me very happy if everyone purchased a copy of our book, The Best of Our Lives, the fact is our publisher wanted us to put several of the book’s planning forms online and charge people for them. We didn’t like the idea and decided to put many of the forms on our website and let people download them for free. There is one form in particular, the Personal Information File, that I strongly recommend everyone download and complete. In this day and age we have passwords, keys to storage lockers, a myriad of personal files and papers, etc. Should you become incapacitated or die suddenly, how would your loved ones sort out the complex assortment of “stuff” you leave behind. Do yourself a favor and download this form today. If you are feeling particularly responsible and haven’t yet purchased our book; feel free. Simply go to:

www.TheBestofOurLives.com

Life is all about timing. Here are a few pictures of our time in Sendai. God bless the Japanese people.

Ups and Downs

As retired persons, we often have to deal with the serious issues of life and death. This week I received some very inspiring news. My good friend Lee has not only returned home after several months in the hospital and numerous surgeries, he is now getting around and tending to his website. Without all the gory details, he fought hard to battle life threatening circumstances and is looking forward to resumption of his busy life. I could not be more inspired and value the example both he and his wife have set. This news was a big “up” for me.

On the flip side, when writing our book on retired life, my wife  Trisha and I suggested retired folks keep life simple. In all fairness, we had purchased income property prior to writing the book. Without boring you with the details of our experience, let me further recommend you keep your retired life simple by never, never, never, never, never, ever become a landlord. Can you make money on your investment? Yes, if you are smart about it. But the hassle is just too much when there are so many other ways to spend your precious time. For me, it’s a big “down.” 

Another “up” this week was the launch of the space shuttle Discovery. Trisha and I were able to watch the launch with my mother Marty. It was a beautiful Florida day and the launch was spectacular. It was our fifth launch, and mom’s second. While the launches are still a big deal in Florida, I get the impression from the lack of news coverage, most people are not all that interested. It’s a shame. I think every school child, and for that matter,  every adult should have the experience of viewing a live launch at least once. I once heard a television pundit proclaim a shuttle launch as mankind’s greatest scientific accomplishment. I agree, and gave it a big “up.”

While the news stations this week found little time to report on the space shuttle, they did find time for the Academy Awards and Charlie Sheen. When they passed out the gene for being interested in celebrities and award shows, I must have been absent. While I know I run the risk of offending some folks, even in my old age I still can’t figure out why anyone cares who “wins” one of these many made-up award shows. Years ago, I happened to personally know a couple who were actually honored with their children at the White House for being the “Parents of the Year.” Ironically, what the President, and most other people involved in the award did not know was –  these folks had never bothered to get married. True story. I’m also reminded of the L. A. disc jockey who each year would call up people named Heisman, Nobel, etc., and ask them to send him a signed “award.” And poor old Charlie Sheen. It’s truly like watching a train wreck in slow motion. Big “downs” for me.

Back to the upside of life, while I hadn’t had the opportunity to go fishing for some time, last week my friend John (aka Capt. Sky) took me out on his new fishing boat. It was a beautiful day and while we had no trouble hooking fish, getting them on board was another story. The good news is we did accomplish our task and it was fish for dinner. Many thanks to the good Captain for a great day out on the Florida Straits. A definite huge “up.”

Life is definitely a collection of ups and downs. When you reach retirement age, it becomes even more important to pursue as many “up” days and experiences as you can. Make tomorrow an “up” day.

www.TheBestofOurLives.com