How Not to Act Old: Men's Edition

"Dad jeans" and other offenses: A print-‘n’-save guide for your guy.

By Pamela Redmond Satran • Guest Writer
Photograph: Photo by iStockPhoto

If your man needs help not acting old – and he just turns the TV up louder whenever you try to tell him so – here’s a guide you can print out and, if necessary, tape to the TV or computer screen.

1. NO, YOU CAN’T HAZ CONVERTIBLE. OR MOTORCYCLE. What is it about turning gray and going bald that makes a guy hanker for a sportscar? This is one of the (many) cases where trying too hard to look and feel young just makes you feel older. And that goes double for motorcycles. 

2. DON’T BE THE BIG BOSS. In the workplace, you’ve got to stifle your old-school macho impulse to push everybody around, even if you actually are the boss. Effectively managing the young involves a lighter, more indirect touch. And if you’re tempted to fire them, don’t confront or scream: Just quit responding to emails.

3. FOLD THE CLOTHES. Sure, this tip is self-serving, but it’s only the most determinedly old-school guys who still refuse to do housework, and I’m not just talking manning the barbeque or throwing your own laundry in the washing machine and then expecting it to get itself back folded in your closet. Take full responsibility for half the housework, period.

4. NO DAD JEANS.  Mom jeans have a male equivalent: baggy, high-waisted, short-legged, purchased on sale for $19.99.  If you love jeans, buy yourself a decent modern version – or squeeze back into those authentically weathered Levis you wore to Woodstock.

5. STEP AWAY FROM THE GIANT PUMPKIN. Middle-aged guys have a disturbing tendency to take up odd and all-absorbing habits. Tracking down every version of every song ever recorded by the Grateful Dead, for instance, or mountain-biking to the mall. Baking authentic Indian breads, or growing giant pumpkins. If this is you, go back to watching football and downloading porn like any normal younger guy.

6. . . . AND THE WATERMELON. Maybe you haven’t caved in and ordered the Viagra prescription yet, but you may be seeking out more natural forms of, ahem, stimulants.  Like watermelon. And the above-mentioned porn.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, as long as you haven’t overlooked real love and great sex as erotic inspiration.

7. REAL MEN DO SO EAT QUICHE, AND BROCCOLI, AND TEENY TINY CARROTS.  If you haven’t renovated your diet since the days when Mom’s pot roast was your favorite food (and you insisted your wife learn how to make it, complete with butter-larded mashed potatoes), it may be time for an upgrade. Learn to love veggies, salads, whole grains, seafood. And save the pot roast – like the six-pack and the hot fudge sundaes – for special occasions.

How does your man act old? Comment below.

Want more How Not to Act Old? Click below! . . .

How Not to Act Old With Your Hair

How Not to Act Old at Work

How Not to Weekend Old

How Not to Act Old in Bed

How Not to Act Old On a Diet

How Not to Act Old at the Beach

How Not to Act Old With Celebrities

How Not to Act Old On Facebook

How Not to Act Old On Twitter

How Not to Act Old: Hot-Flash Special

How Not to Act Old With Emoticons

How Not to Act Old: Nostalgia Edition

How Not to Phone Old

First Published August 18, 2009

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