To All FOM’s

You know who you are. You’re a man of a certain age who thinks you’re still young. Trust me, mirrors lie. At least yours does.

And, again, you can trust me, I played a doctor on TV, the only thing stopping all the aches that envelop your body is the regiment of pills you’re taking. But that alone doesn’t make you an FOM. It takes a few more touches to get there.

It begins with something that pegs you a FOM a mile away. An unnatural hair color. What color is that? Newly Poured Tar? It has to be. Nothing shimmers like that. But that’s just the first level of FOMdom. The next is clothing. Or should I say, their great-great-grandchild’s clothing. I’m sorry, there should be a rule that says you have to be able to tell 2-Pac from Eminem without looking at your shirt. And then there’s the annoying habit of peppering their speech with words and phrases half remembered from 80’s rap videos. Videos, I might add, that you vilified when they were current.

But those are just the touches, the bait. The topper on the FOM souflee is when they are delusional enough to think the girl more than half their age is actually interested in them. Trust me, I’ve seen more girls cringe when touched yet smile when another round is slammed down. They’ll stay there until your money runs out or you’re so unintelligible and handsy that a friendly bouncer will pull you off them.

When that happens, here’s your badge. You’re now a card carrying Foolish Old Man.

And, you know something? I don’t even care about that part. If some young girl gets dressed for a night and decides to be groped by someone who graduated high school the year before her father started school, who’s to judge? But, when that FOM decides to brag about his conquest, yeah, that’s when membership is mandatory.

Sir, take your heart meds and let’s talk for a second. I was there. I saw her watching videos on her phone the entire time you were pawing and chatting her up. The only time she looked from her phone is when you traveled too far over her Mason-Dixon line or a round of drinks arrived. That’s not a conquest, that’s borderline assault.

Sir, let’s talk about hygiene for a moment. She: showered, powdered, perfumed. You: smell like the tongue of a soldiers old Army boot. You know the one. The one he got trench foot in. I saw you throw your arm around her and her ask the bartender for steel wool to scrape your sweat and age spots from her skin. I’ve heard girls talk about having to burn a blouse after such an encounter.

Sir, it is not 1967. It is not the summer of love. It is the winter of liver spots. Sure, shit happens, I’ve seen it. I had this actual conversation just the other day.

“I have a thirty-eight year old.” Nice. Appropriate. “And an eighteen month old.”

Think about this, when your second kid is in junior high school your first kid is joining AARP.

Sir, I know how you think that sounds. You’re head is filling up with,

“I’m such a stud! Everyone thinks I’m such a stud!”

But I can tell you from experiencing this conversation, from watching others experience this conversation and tell you that everyone’s stomach fluttered just a bit. A few openly rolled their eyes. Bile rose in some. Personally my eyes watered. And we’re all thinking the same thing,

“Ugh, that kids going to come out prematurely gray.”

Sir, the only thing you’re going to toss back and forth with that kid is the croup.

I guess my bottom line is, live your life as you see fit. You’ve worked hard. Put in your time. Done your duty. And all those other cliches people use to explain away their questionable behavior.

But don’t tell us about it. Some of us are trying to keep our dinner down.


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