Age Progression: Clothing makes the man

Published 11:22 am Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Every so often I receive an email that perfectly fits my lifestyle.

Such was the case last week when my good friend – Bobby “Keys” Eure – sent one entitled, “A Man’s Age, as Determined by a Trip to Home Depot.”

The set-up goes like this….You are in the middle of some type of project around the house: mowing the lawn, putting up a new fence, painting the living room or whatever. You are hot and sweaty, covered in dust, lawn clippings, dirt or paint. You have your old work clothes on….and men will know exactly what that clothing consists of: shorts with a well-worn hole in the wrong place, an old T-shirt with a stain from who-knows-what and an old pair of tennis shoes.

Right in the middle of this great home improvement project you realize you need to run to Home Depot (or in our case here locally, a visit to Wally World, Ace, or Eddie Harrell’s) to get something to help complete the job. Depending on your age you might do the following to prepare for a trip to a public place:

In your 20’s: Stop what you are doing. Shave, take a shower, blow dry your hair, brush your teeth, floss and put on clean clothes. Check yourself in the mirror and flex.

Add a dab of your favorite cologne because you never know, you just might meet a nice looking woman and strike up a conversation while standing in the checkout lane. And you went to school with the pretty girl running the register.

In your 30’s: Stop what you are doing, put on clean shorts and shirt; change shoes. You wound-up marrying the girl you met in the checkout line, so there’s no need for much else. Wash your hands and comb your hair. Check yourself in the mirror…you’ve still got it. Add a shot of your favorite cologne to cover the smell. The cute girl running the register is the kid sister to someone you went to school with.

In your 40’s: Stop what you are doing. Put on a sweatshirt that is long enough to cover the hole in your shorts. Put on different shoes and a hat. Wash your hands. Your bottle of Brute Cologne is almost empty so you don’t waste it for this trip. Check yourself in the mirror and do more sucking in than flexing. The cute young girl running the register is your daughter’s age and you feel weird thinking she is spicy.

In your 50’s: Stop what you are doing. Put on a hat; wipe the dirt off your hands onto your shirt. Change shoes because you don’t want to get dog do-do in your new sports car. Check yourself in the mirror and you swear not to wear that shirt anymore because it makes you look fat. The cutie running the register smiles when she sees you coming and you think you still have it. Then you remember the hat you have on is from Bubba’s Bait & Beer Bar and it says, “I Got Worms.”

In your 60’s: Stop what you are doing. No need for a hat anymore. Hose the dog do-do off your shoes. The mirror was shattered when you were in your 50’s. You check the hole in your shorts to ensure nothing is showing.  The girl running the register may be cute, but you don’t have your glasses on so you are not sure.

In your 70’s: Stop what you are doing. Wait to go to Home Depot until the drug store has your prescriptions ready. You forget the dog do-do on your shoes and the cutie at the register stares at you and turns up her nose.

In your 80’s: Stop what you are doing. Start again. Then stop again. Now you remember you need to go to Home Depot. Go to Wal-Mart instead and wander around trying to think what it is you are looking for. You loudly pass gas and think someone called out your name. You went to school with the old lady who greeted you at the front door.

In your 90’s & beyond: What’s a home deep hoe? Is it something for my garden? Where am I? Who am I? Why am I reading this? Did I send it? Did you? Who passed gas?


Cal Bryant is Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. He can be contacted at or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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