Sunday, May 20, 2007

Time Is On My Side

I should explain something to you expectant first-time fathers out there. Or even to you young men who may not be planning a family, may not even be married yet (but then why would you be spending time reading this? Get out there and live for the rest of us!). Babies, it turns out, are magnets for the ladies. Saturday night I found myself alone with GK, her siblings at their grandparents’ and her mother out drinking like a sailor on shore leave. I took my best girl for sandwiches at the Kwik-Chek (sorry, Harry), and found myself in a deli full of young Midtown women. They got one look at the bundle in my arms and suddenly I was 1968 Mick Jagger for just a few minutes. They oohed and aahed, stealing glances here and there and just staring full on at other times, whispering among themselves. I could have left with a number of phone numbers that night if I’d had anything to write with other than a crayon, and anything to write on other than a wet wipe. And if I weren’t married, of course. But those numbers could have come in handy, I think they were all babysitter age.

However, guys, things change. Things change quickly. While Saturday night I was swaggering up and down the aisles of a convenience store, browsing the beer and potato chips while waiting for my sandwich to be ready, and feeling the heat of young, nubile eyes upon me, Sunday found me putting a new toilet in our bathroom. The glamour never really stops around here. Those of you who know me, know how this went down and how I acted with me on my hands and knees in the bathroom all afternoon, practically face to face with this porcelain Petri dish, twisting and cursing the rusted bolts. After the debacle last week of the Volvo (still not fixed), I probably had no business taking the one toilet the five of us use out of the house. But I did. And I put a new one in and it works. I’d like to see Mick Jagger do that. I’d like to see him strutting around with Volvo grease underneath his nails (even though it’s been almost a week, and dozens of showers later, after hugging a toilet all afternoon I’m still telling myself this is car grease under my nails).

Brothers, you may see your future child as the end of your way of life, the end of being that hot young stud you’ve spent every day since you were 15 trying to convince yourself you are, but there’s no need to fret. Just gather up your baby one evening, leave the mother at home and stop in a place that the cool, young people frequent. You’ll find you’re suddenly the coolest one in the room. But then the very next morning you should take that baby and its mother to Home Depot because you're old now, with responsibilities, and you have no business being ogled by young college-aged girls. Unless they’re babysitters. Or plumbers.