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She Walks Out the Door

Marc Munroe Dion on

Women, we're told, fear age. The crows'-feet, the frown lines, the sag and wrinkle. There are entire industries devoted to helping women retain the appearance of youth.

And us? Us men?

We're not supposed to care. We get old. We get wrinkled. We get bald. We get fat. We don't care.

"Guys can always get a younger woman," my wife says.

I do not own a yacht. With my limited resources, I'd be lucky if I could get another cat.

She doesn't talk much about getting older, and, as far as I can see, she hasn't.

Me? I complain about my age all the time, and I watch her walk out the door in the morning, and I watch the terrible news.

You wouldn't have wanted to fight me when I was 35, or even 45, but a high school boy could clean me up in a fistfight now, and I think of manual labor jobs I had in my 20s, and I wonder if I could last the day now.

Why I think about those things, I don't know. I only fought when I couldn't get out of it, and I only had those bullwork jobs when I was in school. I was a reporter and newspaper columnist for nearly 40 years, and neither job requires much tug and haul.

 

But still, I grew up in working-class communities, and I learned the gospel, which says that a man is his strength and his bravery, that we're built to protect and defend. It doesn't go away when you learn it young.

I have a pension. I have Social Security. I have stocks. I had a good career, and I'm still writing for money.

And I watch her go out the door, small, blonde, smart and beautiful, and I want to chase after her like a dog chases after a tennis ball.

And I pet my cat's gray, chisel-shaped head.

"She'll be back," I say.

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To find out more about Marc Munroe Dion, and read features by Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com. Dion's latest book, a collection of his best columns, is called "Devil's Elbow: Dancing in the Ashes of America." It is available in paperback from Amazon.com, and for Nook, Kindle, and iBooks.

 

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