These days I’m trying to figure out how I want to look as an older guy.
But I’m not gay!
Not that there’s anything wrong with that!
You see, I’ve begrudgingly begun to accept the fact that I have more than entered the “post-cute” phase of my existence here on the planet. I simply no longer have it within my power to be cute!
I can’t affect cute, I can’t imitate cute, I can’t in any manner conjure or implore cute. True, I can think cute and I can even act cute, but I can never again BE CUTE!
So, I’m spending an inordinate amount of time checking out plus 60 year old guys in an effort to figure out which one among them whose looks aren’t liable to cost anyone their lunch I may best repackage myself into resembling. It’s a daunting task.
And when you tend to spend your time staring intently at a lot of men, well, some may quite naturally think you’re looking to find a partner for Sunday brunch with waffles and ice cream followed by an afternoon of antiquing.
“That’s not a bad looking man,” I thought to myself the other day while staring excessively at an older dude who looked a bit like the actor Donald Sutherland. Yep, distinguished gray beard, professorial look, and I think … uh … he just winked at me!
Wondering how I might look in a very gray beard, I realized I’d probably more closely resemble Roy Rogers' sidekick Gabby Hayes than Donald Sutherland. “Maybe if I dye it like Pierre Robert so only a gray patch on my chin remains,” I pondered, referring to a legendary Philadelphia radio personality who’s been dying his beard in that fashion since before the British Invasion and when I say the British Invasion, I mean the first one.
“Hi,” said the professorial chap as he cheerily approached me. “Couldn’t help but notice you looking me over!”
“Oh, uh, hi,” I said. “I have to tell you I’m not gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with that!”
“Nor am I,” said pseudo - Sutherland. “I just didn’t want to disappoint you.”
Didn’t want to disappoint me?
No, Hawkeye, I only want to resemble you, notride you like a steer!
I’ve got to find a way to do this more subtly, I thought. Not so easy when you’re gazing admiringly, taking notes, and mapping out the cosmetic, tonsorial, and surgical steps necessary to emulate the appearance of someone standing less than 8 steps away!
A bit later, I began scrutinizing as one would a specimen under a microscope a rather regal looking oldster with intriguing facial structure a la a less dissipated Malcolm McDowell.
He gave me a quizzical look, then a smile.
“I’m not gay,” I assured him as he sidled on up to me. “I just wanted to see if maybe I could affect cheekbones like yours with a bit of make-up….."
“Don't be upset, my friend,” he replied warmly. “I am gay, very nice to meet you!”
“Oh … oh... good….” I stammered. "I mean no, no ... I’m really NOT gay! Not that there’s anything wrong with that!Uhhh, umm ... meeting any nice gay guys?"
Unflappable as usual, I managed to stop just short of agreeing to a romantic dinner with him in order to allay what seemed an emerging sticky as hell situation.
Gee, I’m sorry I used the word "sticky." Not thrilled about my use of the word "emerging" either!
But he turned out to be a very nice guy. He even let me take his picture so I could review it later in an executive session with my stylist.
Frankly I’ve just got to get better at all this surreptitious scrutinizing. Or maybe just accept the fact that however I look is how I’m gonna look?
Hey, check out that guy over there! Looks like the older Cary Grant!