I Don’t Get It

My favorite brother-in-law, Norm, has a saying.  When something puzzling happens (a pretty young woman goes by with her hair dyed blue … a movie makes no sense at all … we mention Facebook), he’ll look at us and with his best Steve Martin deadpan delivery, say I Don’t Get It.   Like Help Me Bob! it’s become part of my growing lexicon of family sayings and as I get older, I find  I’m saying I Don’t Get It more and more often.   That worries me because for years, I’ve had a theory: that the primary reason elderly people decide to check out of this life … provided they are fortunate enough to avoid a fatal illness … is that they get to the point where they’re saying I Don’t Get It about virtually everything.   They feel like strangers in a strange land.  So, as I accumulate things I don’t get, I’m careful to add new things I do get to my life as well, like texting and blogging and Twitter.

That said, my Inner Curmudgeon must be sated.  He’s gloating over his landslide victory over spirituality in The Spiritual Curmudgeon poll … where even my wife voted for a curmudgeonly rant (Et tu, Muriel?).  So, tonight’s rant is a  Top Ten List of Things I Absolutely Don’t Get.

Number 10iPads:  A few weeks ago, my friend, Marv, waved his brand new iPad at me from across the room at my Thursday Night Men’s group as if he’d just found the Holy Grail.  What is it? I said, always happy to pull his chain, It’s an iPhone on steroids, right? How about a Leapster for adults? But really, is it anything more than the product of brilliant marketing?  We are an easily led species.

Number 9Stadium Sized HD TVs:  Hello? Is there anything on TV worth all this real estate?  Do I want to see the sweat pouring off of LeBron James in high resolution (as he tanks in the playoffs)?  Do I want to see Steve Carell’s pores?  Do I really want to see Steve Carell, any size? The answer would be no to all …

Number 8: Video Games: Quite simply, get a freakin’ life!

Number 7Boot Camps: Here in Socal, they’re everywhere.  There are fitness bootcamps, salsa bootcamps, Christian bootcamps, troubled teen bootcamps and troubled dog bootcamps.  Please, if you want a bootcamp, join the Army!

Number 6: Rap Music: When I was a younger man, I promised myself I’d never say That’s not music about any genre.  If I’d known someone would invent rap, I might not have been so hasty.  I’ve tried to get it for as long as my ears and sensibilities allow but with violence, vulgarity, unintelligible (and often unintelligent) lyrics, and a monotonous beat, that’s not very long.   So, I won’t say, It’s not music but I will say, Can you play that somewhere else, please? Like Antarctica?

Number 5: Reality Shows: I know what reality is.  This isn’t it.  Why does anyone watch?

Number 4Taking Dogs Shopping: It used to be only at Petco.  Now it’s Target and the Mall … and outdoors at restaurants.  I’m glad you love your dogs but not everyone does.  Last week at Home Depot, I was licked by a Lab, sniffed by a Schnauzer, and nearly stepped in a puddle left by a Poodle.  Please, leave Woofie home or I’ll have to bring my Kitty shopping with me.

Number 3: Tattoos:   Here’s a news flash. THEY’RE A FAD!  With most fads … Nehru jackets and Baggy Pants (see Number 1) … you get to look at a picture a few years down the road and say, What was I thinking? But with tattoos, all you have to do is look in the mirror.   They’re permanent!  Or painful and expensive to remove.  And when you’re my age, the eagle on your chest may be a Rorschach Test on your stomach.

Number 2: Male Body Hair Removal:  The way I see it, one of the main advantages of being a man is that we don’t “have to” wear uncomfortable shoes, put on make up, spend hours at the hair dresser, or shave our legs.  Now every sports talk station in LA is pushing permanent male body hair removal with slogans like, Don’t be the hairiest guy on the beach anymore! How about this instead?  Be a man!

And the Number One Thing I Don’t Get: Baggy Pants:  You know the ones, waistline halfway down the butt, crotch at the knees.  It would be laughable watching men walk as if they were wearing diapers as they hitch up their pants every few steps, all the while affecting a tough guy saunter… if we didn’t get to look at underwear and butt cleavage.  Gross.  If I wanted butt-cleavage, I’d call a plumber.  Should it be illegal?  Probably not.  But don’t these guys ever look in a mirror?

There. That feels better.  And in case I’ve offended anyone, I’ll echo what my father would have said … I didn’t mean anything by it.

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4 Comments on “I Don’t Get It”

  1. undividing Says:

    This might be the wrong way to phrase my response to this particular post, but that’s freakin’ hilarious. I was laughing so hard at your comment about chest eagles turning into a stomach Rorschach – brilliant. It’s not just you, a lot of these things seem crazy to me too. My brother-in-law shaves his arm hair…that’s always freaked me out…what’s wrong with a man being hairy?


  2. I snickered my way through this post and am in agreement with each and every one of your points! A tattoo, in particular, is one thing I really dislike but find myself biting my tongue as I see so many friends of my kids who have tattoos all over their bodies. Thankfully, I have always had an aversion to needles so no one ever need worry that I could be swayed to pay someone to put a picture, in ink, anywhere on my body! And the pants too -I really don’t think a lot of those guys who opt for the baggy stuff have ever looked in a mirror. Time was when people tried to make themselves look their best not their worst, when out in public but that seems to have gone down the tubes too, hasn’t it?
    Excellent post and anyone who finds it offensive should also realize that old saying “The truth hurts!”

  3. territerri Says:

    I must have an inner curmudgeon too, because I found myself agreeing with you on most everything, especially baggy pants! I volunteer at the high school once a month and get my chance to see what all the kids are wearing these days. Now, I know baggy pants have been trendy for a few years now, but I’ve seen a new twist. The boys are no longer wearing long, baggy t-shirts or sweatshirts that at least cover most of what’s hanging out of the pants. No, I saw two boys wearing baggy pants, cinched below their butts, and tiny, tight little t-shirts. This left a very clear view of what was not covered by the pants… front and back. I was embarrassed for them.


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