Too soon old

Here’s a favourite saying of a Saskatchewan farmer I worked for in the last century: Ve are too soon olt und too late schmart.” A second-generation Canadian, the son of a German homesteader in the Peace River Country, he usually spoke with no remnant of a Teutonic accent, but the way I wrote that is how he said it. Over the years, I have had many occasions to recall the wisdom in the cliché.

For living proof of being “too soon olt und too late schmart”, I give you the way many of us senior St. Thomas and Elgin County males are prone to inattention when it comes to our dress and general appearance.

Let’s start from the top. I know I shouldn’t comment on hair because I still have it, and while it’s getting blonder again, it’s not all the way there (bet you can feel a but coming and you would be correct), but, guys, c’mon, people have been making jokes about the comb-over for at least 50 years now and some of us are not listening. Want to know what’s sexier? The Kojak look (all you young squirts can google that). Thanks to all kinds of men half our age, your local drugstore stocks a full range of razors and hair products to take it off, take it all off. Shave the snow off the chimney and show ’em there’s still fire in the furnace.

Moving down, it takes seconds to trim errant eyebrow, nose and ear hairs. It’s a personal decision, and if you people (oops) want to adopt the look of famous Antarctic explorer Roald Amundsen after he’d been with the penguins for months, be my guest. Just don’t expect too many right swipes on Tinder.

On to the crucial question of how many shirt buttons to leave open. Unless you are absolutely certain beyond the shadow of a doubt that the love of your life enjoys an eye feast of grey or white hair, the answer is simple and straightforward: One. More than one suggests a man with a too-obvious inkling for a small, fast convertible and a martini, shaken, not stirred.

Am I going to make a cheap joke about senior men’s underwear? That Depends.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a man with a substantial girth who has a size 36 waist in high school shall wear a size 40 pant in seniorhood by cinching said pant below a 52 belly. In most cases, it looks better than going high-waited, and we all do it, so it’s doubly acceptable. However, as we age, we lose some of our girth, and we tend to keep pulling the belt in, a notch at a time, until the waist of our pants bulges and creases in an unsightly way. If you’ve got $556,339.96 in a RRIF and a home that gained $150,000 in value over the last two years, maybe an investment of $18 in a tailor is not a bad idea.

As for skinny jeans or blindingly white running shoes, repeat after me, “Ve are too soon olt …”