This series of blogs is NOT for men. If you are a man and are reading this blog, do what you do whenever you open bathroom drawer that is full of tampons. Slam it shut and run out of the room screaming.
You are about to discover for the very first time anywhere the truth as to what we deeply twisted, incredibly neurotic, middle-aged men are really going through, as we age.
You did not hear any of this from me, got it? I wasn't even here when I wrote this. If this gets out that I spilled the beans and blabbed, then I will be drummed out of the men's club of men, which is terrible because there is a big ceremony that goes with it. Medals will be ripped off, my saber will be snapped in half over someone's knee and worse: I will no longer be able to wear the uniform of aging men: high-waited pants and extra-large t-shirts that create the uncanny illusion that you have the body type of one of those creatures from Yo Gabba Gabba.
Why am I betraying my gender and writing to you and not directly to my fellow man? Because (A) I feel for you, I like you and God help you, most of you have to live with us and (B) most men simply do not have a sense of humor about themselves. The truth is, we work very hard to maintain our image. You may not know this, but we meet every Thursday at 5:00 to butt heads like rams during rutting season and watch Neil LaBute movie marathons. Just telling you that makes me want to throw back ten beers, subscribe to Maxim and reach for my downtown twin boys like a way too frisky monkey).
I wrestled with the title of this blog because I wanted something really nice and feminine that would really rope you ladies in. Earlier rejected titles included, "Jane Austen's Book On Middle Aged Men" (whoever the hell she was), "Oprah's Book of The Month Selection on Male Aging," "The Viagra Manologues," and the regrettable "Low Man On The Scrotum Pole."
Why write this blog series at all? Well, you women have Nora Ephron's book "I Feel Bad About My Neck" while all we men do is look at perfect body pictures in Men's Health magazine while wanting to slit our wrists with the subscription cards. (By the way, the only cards that actually work are the ones, ironically, that come inside "Psychology Today.")
The truth, although we will never admit it publicly, is that we fifty-something baby boom guys are every bit as self-conscious about aging as you are and we do not want to talk about it. That is why up till now there has been no book that explains in graphic comedic detail how we feel about the fact that our bodies are now Shmoo-shaped and our that a certain part of our nether region has suddenly taken on the weight and appearance of a Brunswick bowling bag.
Look, I'm really happy to share all my deep dark men secrets but I can only do so much. Once you are fully empowered with all the good stuff that you'll be getting from me, then I'll need you to do that thing that you do whenever you want us to hear something. You know how the drill: You say something in jest, we get totally pissed off, sulk and roar, then you get mad at us for acting like jerks, which makes us buy you like a diamond hat. Then after make up sex, while we are spooning with me on the wet spot (on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays) we suddenly reveal something about ourselves, tearing up like Michelle Bachmann's husband at a One Direction concert. And whatever it is we ultimately reveal is exactly what you were making fun of three days ago when all this started. I know this is an arduous, completely exhausting process, but trust me it's not fun for us either. Besides you get a diamond hat out of the deal and we get nothing, so quit complaining.
Who are the men I am writing about? You know who we are. We are the ones who show up at the gym wearing t-shirts that are the same length as the sweaters worn by Alvin of The Chipmunks fame. We are the ones who squint so hard when we read that we resemble comedy legend Miyoshi Umeki (Mrs. Livingston) from "The Courtship of Eddie's Father." We are the men who wear Hawaiian shirts to concerts (giving us the same unfortunate appearance as "From Here To Eternity" star Ernest Borgnine) and we are the men who cry like middle-eastern women at a Hamas funeral when The Rolling Stones sing "Angie."
We are a total mess... and completely hilarious. To level the playing field, throughout the book, I am going to reveal all of my own inner most secret thoughts and I am going to make fun of myself endlessly because I do happen to be one of those guys who actually have a huge sense of humor about myself. I have been a successful sitcom and film writer for over 25 years and in that world, trust me, you learn really fast that your life is a repository of things worth making fun and if you don't make fun of it first, somebody in the writer's room will do it for you with the all the zeal of a ferret devouring a half-eaten DiGiorno frozen pizza at the bottom of a garbage pail.
Hey, nobody said that comedy was pretty.
What prompted me to start writing this blog in the first place? Put it this way. When I was young I used to look a lot like Paul McCartney, the cute Beatle.
Now, at age 54, I suddenly look like Shelley Winters. We're not talking the early Shelley. Not even the one in Lolita.
We're talking "Poseidon Adventure" Shelley.
Sometimes, with the shower running hard so no one can hear, I will stare at myself in the mirror and do a line from the Poseidon Adventure:
"You see, Mr. Scott? In the water I'm a very skinny lady."
And I'll be damned if it ain't "Poseidon Adventure's" Belle Rosen staring back right back at me.