Saturday 22 October 2016

Midlife crisis: Pass me the pipe; I've given up on life

Published 29/06/2015 | 02:30

Denim dilemma: A simple thing like finding a pair of jeans I like is causing untold grief - and don't get me started on modern music
Denim dilemma: A simple thing like finding a pair of jeans I like is causing untold grief - and don't get me started on modern music

You get middle aged like you go bankrupt. Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly. I feel like I'm having the equivalent of a middle-age growth spurt at the moment. Things are coming at me thick and fast every day. There is, for example, the jeans issue. I have come to that time when I need new work jeans. Normally, this is reasonably straightforward. I find some navy jeans - not too skinny, not too wide - and I buy several pairs of the same ones. And then I don't have to think about it again for a year or two. And I don't need to think about it in the mornings. I just grab any one of them. This allows me free to focus on which shirt to wear. Obviously, if I could wear the same shirt every day I would. But while you can wear the same jeans to work every day without inviting comment, if you started wearing the same shirt every day, questions would be asked.

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This desire for a uniform is probably middle-aged in itself. But I have come up against another problem. I can't find any suitable jeans. I am now slimmer than I've been in years, so technically I should have my pick of jeans. But you'd be surprised. Unless you are willing to pay a fortune, it's very hard to find a straight pair of dark navy jeans. They are all either too wide or too skinny. Or there is some form of fading or whiskering or generally dirty look about them. Or they are made out of rigid Japanese selvedge denim that you're not supposed to wash for six months. Or else they are the soft American variety. We used to laugh at yanks and their soft jeans. Now we pay premium prices for them.

And it strikes me that either the whole world is wrong about jeans or else I am wrong. Usually I am confident that it is the rest of the world that is wrong. But in this case, it doesn't really matter who is right or wrong. I might be right but I haven't got any jeans. This obviously leads on to a kind of an existentialist crisis where you start thinking that maybe it is time to graduate on from jeans. But to where? I'm damned if I'm wearing a suit. And I'm too young for slacks. And while I have some chino-like jeans, I'm not willing to go the full chino. I know the young crowd have taken up the chino, but on a man of a certain age, it's like admitting defeat.

I'm currently making do with two pairs I bought in GAP and after after I had them altered, they shrunk a bit after the first wash. I'm sure no one else is really noticing this given that all men are now going around bet into clothes that are too small and too short. But I notice. I'm even considering cords!

As all this was going on I was having another crisis. I have realised that the time has come for me to give up listening to new music. I barely know who any of them are anymore and it all just sounds like crappy rehashing of stuff I lived through the first time out. Like with the trousers, I'm not sure where that leaves me. Do I go jazz or classical? In the meantime I am kind of sticking to what I suppose are called heritage bands and the odd good recommendation of something new. But it's been a while since I've heard anything new that excited me. So maybe I should just put on my cords and go to a jazz club.

And where will that jazz club be? In a village by the looks of things. That's the other disturbing development. I am becoming a devotee of village life. We are renting in Sandymount Village at the moment and I've never been happier.

I have even started having a pint in the village pubs, and we go to the village restaurant, where I have pretty much the same thing all the time. I even 'pop out to the shops' in the village. We went to the family fun day at the village green last weekend where junior participated in a race. I've actually started thinking that I could be happy living in a village down the country. Though my wife does point out that a village down the country could be a different prospect to a village that is half an hour's walk from the city centre.

So this is how it happens. This is how you drift into being old.

I'm basically turning into a character in a gentle Sunday evening programme on ITV, who lives in a village, wears cords and likes jazz. Now I just need someone to commit a crime so I can solve it in a whimsical fashion.

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