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As I finished my one-half glass of orange juice with some pulp and a Little Debbie Donut Stick, I looked forward to a morning of golfing with a friend of mine. The shorts with relaxed-fit waistband, a moisture-wicking collarless shirt and white quarter length socks would be the preferred attire for the 18 holes as would be my blue Adidas spikeless golf shoes. Everything was at the ready, so I let the cat in, drove my golf cart out of the garage and headed for the golf course.

What a great day lay ahead. The morning air was cool and the sky was as blue as I had ever seen it. There was only a slight southerly breeze that would pose no significant threat to my Titleist Pro V golf ball's ability to fly over the sometimes water-filled creek on the eighth hole.

I believe quite certainly that the first hint of the trouble that lay ahead for me was first detected as I lifted my 70-year-old body from the golf cart seat. I sensed an awkward sensation coming from the backside of my body and immediately noticed that my Wrangler cargo shorts with comfort waistband were uncomfortably low on my derriere.

"Not to worry," I told myself as I have come to learn that many new abnormalities seem to pop into my life as I continue to age, and age and age. I told myself that after the tug I gave the shorts everything would be alright and, after all, a great day of golfing with my friend lay ahead. What golf swing would make its appearance that day and could I make a putt in excess of two feet. Those were more realistic concerns, not my shorts.

We began our round of golf, as one might expect, on the first tee box and I took aim down the right side of the grass-covered fairway. My slight and natural draw would certainly send the ball down the right side and, as it flew through the cloudless blue sky, that curve would bring the golf ball to rest somewhere near the center of the fairway; and so the morning of ball striking began.

With the passing of holes, the earlier detected issue with my shorts seemed to worsen. Not only did the pants fall when exiting my golf cart but there was the issue of picking up my tee after striking the ball. I can with no uncertainty say to you that striking a dimpled 42.7 mm sphere using only a piece of metal attached to a shaft is difficult enough without the added pressure of losing one's pants. The idea of possibly exposing more of me than I cared to surely inhibited and shortened my backswing.

I was particularly careful when retrieving my golf ball from the cup. Just what would be the best way to bend over to get that little white devil? I was afraid that a movement not carefully thought out might reveal more of me than desired. You know what I'm talking about. It's that time the plumber, while on all fours and with head inserted into the cabinet under the sink, exposed a little more of his posterior than anyone might care to see. I call it the plumber's nightmare as that image will surely reappear in your dreams later that night.

Rather than a masculine bending at the mid-torso my attempts to retrieve the golf ball more closely resembled a feminine curtsy. How humiliating but not as mortifying as the image of gravity pulling my pants down to the tops of my shoes!

As the holes passed and my obsession with my shorts became far more apparent, my mild of nature and polite friend spoke up. I believe it was on the sixth green, a par five with out of bounds on the right when we jointly acknowledged the problem. I needed to sink a long putt, maybe 25 feet or so, for par and, as I stood over the ball, all I could think about was the bending motion needed to retrieve the ball if it somehow fell into the cup. Well, as luck would have it the ball rolled across the grass and, after a slight bend to the left, fell into the hole.

As I walked toward the hole my friend briskly walked by me and said, "Here, I'll get that. Nice putt." "Thanks," I replied but I wasn't referring to the nice putt but rather the avoidance of yet another potentially embarrassing moment. The ball was casually tossed to me and once again my partner said, "Nice putt." Again I responded, "Thanks, just luck."

Then came the moment when the issue with my shorts was brought out into the open.

"You know what the problem is?" he asked.

"About what?" I asked.

"You know, the problem with your shorts sliding down. Mine do the same thing sometimes."

"I guess the shorts are a little too big for me."

"Nope, you lost your butt."

"I lost my butt," I replied as I laughed.

"Yeah, as we get older, our butts disappear. Mine fell off too."

"You know, maybe you've got something there. Much obliged for clearing that up for me."

More holes of golf were played and more tugs were given to my shorts but now that the issue was, so to speak, public knowledge, I no longer felt embarrassed. I played so-so golf as did my friend and never again were my loose shorts or missing behind mentioned.

I recently visited my doctor, my dermatologist, for my yearly screening. This visit took place after the golf course incident and I guess I was feeling a little nervous as I wondered what else, other than my missing behind she might discover. As is her practice, she carefully looked me over and announced her observations to her assistant who transferred her comments to a laptop computer.

I sat on the edge of the paper-covered table as she spoke. There was a spot here, a growth there and oh yes, a discoloration right there. It seemed there was some form of abnormality everywhere. Here a deformity, there a deformity, everywhere a deformity. I felt as though I might be better off living under a bridge.

Then she announced her conclusion. "You look good for someone your age." There it was, "for someone my age."

Well, what a magnanimous yet somewhat conciliatory compliment, but I guess it could have been worse. At least she didn't seem to notice, or at least didn't speak of, my missing buttocks.

Well, like most of the things in my life, I couldn't leave well enough alone so I went to, and stood in front of, a mirror. Examining my torso, upper body and legs, I searched for a place to where my derriere may have relocated. OK, I did have loose skin under my chin and arms, and my nose seemed slightly larger than it once was but those unsightly parts of my body surely didn't account for the loss of my rear.

Then I made a move to my right as to leave the room and it was at that moment that I discovered the location of the missing body fat. There was a time when the back of me protruded to the farthest point from my stomach but now, and this is a hard fact to admit, that part of me has spread from side to side, thus, causing my body to be wider, not deeper. I don't much care for the look but, then, what am I to do about it, especially considering that the unwanted transformation has happened to someone my age?

Stan Fine is a retired police officer and Verizon Security Department investigator who, after retiring in 2006, moved from Tampa, Fla., to Noel, Mo. Stan's connection to Noel can be traced back to his grandparents who lived most of their lives there. Stan began writing after the passing of his wife Robin in 2013. Opinions expressed are those of the author.

Editorial on 10/03/2019

Print Headline: For Someone My Age

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