The odd world of texting etiquette. Did you just hang up on me?

The odd world of texting etiquette

This is the odd world of texting etiquette

Imagine that you and I were having a phone conversation and I suddenly, without warning, just hung up. Then, 3 hours later, I called you back and just continued our previous conversation like nothing had happened. You would think that weird, right? In fact, you would think that was downright rude. How dare I disrespect you like that. However, this happens probably millions of times a day (FYI, that number is not hyperbole. Over 6 billion text messages are sent in the U.S. each day.) whenever we engage in text messaging. You will be chatting with a friend and then… *poof*. They are gone. No “gotta run”, no “sorry, the wife just got home”. No nothing. Then a few hours later they will just pick right back up where they left off.

Man over Fifty thinks this is very odd behavior. Yet, apparently we’ve just grown to accept it. In no in-person social interaction is this tolerated. You don’t just walk away from another person mid conversation. You don’t do it in a phone conversation either. The only time it appears to be socially acceptable is in non-verbal communications. Maybe it stems from the fact that text messaging and other social media communications are offshoots of emailing. Most of us have been emailing for roughly 20-25 years now and we understand emailing etiquette. You get an email and you have X amount of time to reply to that email. The amount of time varies considerably, however. Is the email from your boss, your girlfriend, someone you haven’t seen in years? Regardless, we know that we don’t have to reply immediately, or even at all if we don’t want to. It appears we have taken that mentality and assimilated it to our instant messaging world.

They are gone. No “gotta run”, no “sorry, the wife just got home”. No nothing. Then a few hours later they will just pick right back up where they left off.

Yet, instant messaging is just that… instant. It’s not exactly like email. Although we do receive emails pretty much instantaneously, there isn’t the connection that we feel during texting. With texting, you are in a conversation. With email… you are, but you aren’t. You don’t feel that connection. It’s like writing an actual letter. Email feels like it takes times for the other person to receive, digest, and craft a response. Texting is more immediate. More in the now. I’m guilty of this behavior as well. However, I’m going to start making a conscious effort to bring good ol’ civility back to texting. From now on I’m going to announce my intentions to exit or pause a conversation via text. Whether the recipient appreciates it or not. It’s the right thing to do in this odd world of texting etiquette.

Sorry, I almost forgot. I’m going to go now. Thanks for reading!

The Cult of Celebrity and the Ticking Clock

The Cult of Celebrity and the Ticking Clock

With Superbowl LI in the bag, the long winter is officially upon us. I don’t know about you, but for me this decade of life seems chock full of deja vu. The names and feats of athletes, rock stars, politicians, and public figures seem all too familiar. Albeit spectacular at times, we’ve all seen a lot of spectacular at this point, and it doesn’t always hold the weight it once did. Celebrities grab our attention, but not for long. We begin to realize, while the distraction entertains, in the end it doesn’t matter much.

The Passivity of Celebrity Culture

I’m going to throw something out there, and you can decide if you want to reel it in. It’s easier to watch someone else’s successes than it is to build our own. So while the cult of consumerism keeps us dissatisfied, the cult of celebrity keeps us docile. There is nothing wrong with celebrating others’ accomplishments, and I’m not demonizing celebrities. It’s fine to watch your favorite team, singer, movie — we all need to relax and escape. But we have a problem when their accomplishments are put on a pedestal, and ours are neglected, or worse, not pursued. What I’m saying is that by overly focusing on celebrity, we give ourselves permission to slide, to be spectators instead of in the game. The time and thought we spend in adulation, or even envy, could be spent tangibly improving ourselves.

Cult Celebrity and the Ticking Clock

This matters now more than ever because we are late in the third quarter here, folks. We have 20 to 30 years left to make a dent, leave a legacy, see the world, and enjoy the people we love. But we can’t do it from the bench, watching someone else’s game. The accomplishments of others are admirable and inspiring, but they are not enough. Make a plan and think about what matters, and how you can realize your goals and dreams while you still have time. There will always be another big game, but there are only so many we get to suit up for.  Make sure you’re the MVP of yours. Godspeed, man over fifty.

How to choose the best jeans for a man over fifty without looking like Chuck Norris

How to choose the best jeans for a man over fifty

I miss my 20s… or 30s for that matter. All you had to do was walk into a store, rifle a bit through the stack of jeans on the table or in those little wall cubicles, grab your size, walk to the checkout counter and you were done. There was a 95% chance that those jeans would fit perfectly and for the other 5%, they still fit pretty good. You were golden. It didn’t matter if you had just finished a 6-pack of Old Style and eaten an entire large pizza by yourself, your body didn’t change that much, so you knew those jeans were going to fit. But, it’s a completely different story now. Don’t worry, however, because Man Over Fifty is here to show you how to choose the best jeans for a man over fifty.

Oh, how things have changed

As the decades progressed, the margin of error for jean fitting has narrowed considerably and the percentage chance that you could just grab a pair of jeans that were “your size” and walk out the door has plummeted. Now, we could say that some of that is because even men’s clothes have fallen victim to the sizing scam that has plagued women’s clothing for so long. That is manufacturers purposely sizing mens clothes smaller to play to our egos. So that 34 inch waste pair of 501s you just grabbed are actually 36 inches. However, we know that isn’t entirely true. It may be true for some of those fancy man jeans that some older men wear to try and hang on to their fading youth, but for most basic jeans appear to be sized correctly. That leaves only one culprit… us! We’re just not “sized” the way we used to be.

didn’t Chuck Norris have some jeans like that way back when?

So, what can we do

Well, fortunately over the past 3 decades or so we have seen a lot more choices. Relaxed fit, loose fit, baggy fit, etc.. They have all been a blessing for the aging male. Unfortunately, as comfortable as some of them can be, they don’t always get a thumbs up from the ladies in our lives. Let me clarify that a bit… usually just one lady. The other ladies in our lives: moms, sisters, coworkers, friends, even ex-girlfriends… they could care less. It’s just the one lady. However, you still want to be comfortable. I, for one, hate tight clothing. The older I get, the more uncomfortable it is. Give me a baggy pair of pants any day. So, what do you do?

How to choose the best jeans for a man over fifty

It’s simple. It’s the stretch jean. I know, I know… didn’t Chuck Norris have some jeans like that way back when? Yes, he did. And didn’t people make fun of them way back when? Yes, they did. However, what I’m talking about isn’t them. There are many on the market, but I’ve recently tried some Wrangler Midweight Stretch Jeans. Twenty bucks at Walmart. I got the relaxed fit (typically buy loose fit) and they were great. They have a 80/20 Cotton/Polyester blend, so that extra stretch compensates for the tighter, relaxed fit. Give them a try. You won’t look like a hipster, but you also won’t look like Chuck Norris either.

Let’s face it,  for most of us our days of buying Levi’s 501s off the rack are over. Some Levi stores now have these custom machines that analyze your body, take measurements to which custom jeans are created just for you. However, who has or wants to drop $300 on a pair of jeans. Hell, they won’t even have fancy bejeweled pockets! So, unless you have managed to remain super skinny and can still fit into skinny jeans, ala Mick Jagger, the stretch jeans are a great way to not look like a slob and still be comfortable. By the way, even if you can fit in skinny jeans, you shouldn’t. It’s not a good look for a man over fifty… Mick Jagger and Chuck Norris included.

How Hipsters ruined being over fifty, and what you can do to reclaim your eccentricity…

How Hipsters ruined being over fifty

I won’t claim to understand hipsters, I’m too tired to make sense of their irony-with-an-irony approach. What I will tell you is, I feel a little bit cheated by how hipsters ruined being over fifty. Think back, you remember it –you were just a kid, and you had an uncle or neighbor with the unusual mustache and the odd combination of clothing that completely lacked “modern” fashion sense. Something set him apart  — and he seemed pretty darn happy. He had a certain air of “yeah I’ve a lived a little, and I’m going to do what I want, I’ve earned it…”. He didn’t particularly care what you, or anyone else thought about his appearance, he kind of just enjoyed doing what he wanted to.  I always sort of looked forward to that day. It’s not so much about giving up, as not giving a darn what anyone thinks.

as opposed to a way that says you spent twenty minutes staging an Instagram post trying to look disenfranchised

The Great Heist

Then, alongs strolls the hipster, and slowly they steal each potential eccentricity from our tool box. They didn’t earn them, they just took them, and in a way that both mocks us and draws attention to themselves. They stole a lot of the pleasure that comes from getting to be a little eccentric in our midlife years. Now, I’m not saying this was an intentional slight against the middle aged man, merely a byproduct of their need to be different and make their own statement. But none the less, for me, it puts an impending damper on middle age. Awful facial hair? Check. Flannel shirts? Check. Suspenders? Check. Cardigans? Check. Oddly lapeled sports coats? Check. Hats for actual grown men? Check. Unusual out of date fashion? Check. What do we have left, men? Dad jeans? No thanks.

The most frustrating thing about it, is if you choose to pursue these things, you may wind up being accused of being a hipster or trying to look young. How very infuriating.

So, what can we do?

Here’s what I say: Do it anyway. But do it with unmistakable abandon and class that says you take yourself seriously — as opposed to a way that says you spent twenty minutes staging an Instagram post trying to look disenfranchised.  Take from the boys what rightfully belongs to the men. Make your own style and be 100% comfortable being yourself.  Revel in the moments of being as you want to be. Haven’t you earned it?

Helpful Information for Men over age fifty

Welcome to Man over Fifty!

Man Over Fifty is… well, about being a man over 50. We will provide helpful information for men over age fifty and discuss various aspects about being such a man. We’ll touch on fashion, or the sometimes lack there of amongst our brethren, sex (ditto fashion), lifestyle, music… pretty much whatever we feel like at the moment. However, we will try not to get too into politics, if any at all. It’s always a touchy subject, so we are going to leave it be. I’m sure we’ll find other interesting things to talk about. That is our goal anyway.