Like fine wines, leafy trees and store-bought mayonnaise, men change with the seasons . . .
Goal: To acquire expensive toys from my parents, play until they make a loud cracking sound. Catchphrase: “Poop!” (Best when spoken loudly, and in the presence of guests) Deeply held belief: The shadow on my bedroom wall is NOT a vampire — but why get up and force the issue? Thing you’ll never do: Girls, who are essentially boys that didn’t turn out right.
Goal: To break my parents’ stranglehold, and fully express my awesome identity. (Note to self: Find “awesome identity.”) Catchphrase: Any loud gastric event, followed by a snicker and: “Did you hear that?” Deeply held beliefs: My folks probably aren’t Satan, because Satan would dress better; cafeteria chicks dig a guy who can fit four Ding Dongs in his mouth; I am one pimple cream away from buying beer. Thing you’ll never do: Begin a sentence with “when I was your age . . .”
Goal: Use my education, skills and life experience to make this a better world. Also: Sex. Also: Bag a job with good pay and time to hang out. Also: Hang out. Also: Focus! Catchphrase: “Is the game on?” Deeply held belief: The new tattoo rocks!; marriage is a wonderful institution, capped by a lavish reception, a night of unbridled passion and 30 years of living death. Thing you’ll never do: Commit.
Goals: Financial security; a 40-hour workweek that lasts only 40 hours; arriving at work without fingerprints or baby spit as part of my office ensemble. Catchphrases: “Am I in this meeting?” and “Stay out of the left lane, you withered old geezer.” Deeply held beliefs: Nirvana awaits once I pass the baboon ahead of me on the company organizational chart; my hair is not “thinning” so much as pacing itself; never teach your son the word “poop.” Thing you’ll never do: Pay off the mortgage; get my kids into college.
Goal: Come to terms with the southern migration of bodily landmarks; find out what my teenager enjoys and suppress it; reconnect with career ideals. (Note to self: See if I wrote those down anywhere.) Catchphrase: “. . . I know I came in here for a reason . . .” Deeply held beliefs: College makes kids forget how phones work; 50 is the new 40 and can pass for 30 if my mirror has low-watt bulbs. Thing you’ll never do: Be a child prodigy.
Goal: Your 80s; decent range of motion. Catchphrases: “WHAT?!” Deeply held beliefs: My doctor enjoys the prostate exam WAY too much; a 40-year-old tattoo is pretty much a liver spot with eyes; the shadow on my bedroom wall is not the Grim Reaper — but why get up and force the issue? Thing you’ll never do: Surrender the left lane.