“Lyin’ Eyes” Reinterpreted

Don Henley was 28 when he and 27-year-old Glenn Frey wrote Lyin’Eyes.

The year was 1975.

The story goes that they were in their favorite LA restaurant/bar Dan Tana’s where they watched beautiful young women hitting on rich, older married men and decided to write about it.

From the vantage point of men in their 20’s, I can certainly understand their passionate disdain, as they felt entitled to the attention by virtue of youth alone.

Nonetheless, fast-forward to today’s urban world and I will comment on each verse from the perspective of an older man:

Henley/Frey

City girls just seem to find out early
How to open doors with just a smile
A rich old man
And she won’t have to worry
She’ll dress up all in lace and go in style

Comments:

City girls know exactly what they doing, which is why many of them are among the 1% without so much as a G.E.D., or discernible profession. 

Late at night a big old house gets lonely
I guess every form of refuge has its price
And it breaks her heart to think her love is only
Given to a man with hands as cold as ice

Comments:

I have yet to meet a gold-digger who was unhappy in a 10 million dollar home. Not one. Furthermore, most don’t care what’s in a John’s heart, or even that he has one, as long as she gets to travel. Put another way, it’s a symbiotic relationship.

So she tells him she must go out for the evening
To comfort an old friend who’s feelin’ down
But he knows where she’s goin’ as she’s leavin’
She is headed for the cheatin’ side of town

Comments:

Most gold-diggers cheat. So what? As long as the John doesn’t find out what difference does it make? She’s still faithful to the arrangement.

You can’t hide your lyin’ eyes
And your smile is a thin disguise
I thought by now you’d realize
There ain’t no way to hide your lyin eyes

Comments:

Most men I know set specific parameters like anyone running a successful enterprise. Applicants sign employment contracts and live within the parameters. 

On the other side of town a boy is waiting
With fiery eyes and dreams no one could steal
She drives on through the night anticipating
‘Cause he makes her feel the way she used to feel

Comments:

There will always be a boy somewhere waiting for pretty much anyone, anytime. It’s obviously not enough, so she parses.

She rushes to his arms; they fall together
She whispers that it’s only for awhile
She swears that soon she’ll be comin’ back forever
She pulls away and leaves him with a smile

Comments:

Unless he figures out how to make a bundle, he’ll only be a fleeting screw. Of course, most young guys who make a fortune when they’re young tend to go through women like water, so now who’s crying?

She gets up and pours herself a strong one,
And stares out at the stars up in the sky.
Another night, it’s gonna be a long one.
She draws the shade and hangs her head to cry.

Comments:

This is the funniest thing I have ever read. Her head is sitting in a $20,000 french armchair with a glass of champagne. Nice try, though. 

She wonders how it ever got this crazy.
She thinks about a boy she knew in school.
Did she get tired or did she just get lazy?
She’s so far gone she feels just like a fool.

Comments:

Lazy? Are you insane? Women like this work their butt’s off to live like this. What? You think money just falls from trees?

My oh my, you sure know how to arrange things.
You set it up so well, so carefully.
Ain’t it funny how your new life didn’t change things?
You’re still the same old girl you used to be.

Comments:

Most insightful verse in the song. I’ve never known a gold-digger to change his or her stripes. 

As young men, even they could see that people are what they do.

How Gold-Diggers Parse Love

10906284_10101678129372187_5245319915480882154_n11

The following account is real.

I bring this to you not because it news, but because it’s not:

~~~

Man:

Did you ever really love me?

GD:

Honestly, the first year of our relationship I was very much in love with you. We traveled all over the world, stayed in beautiful hotels, dined at great restaurants. It was wonderful. Then your business went downhill and we stopped doing things.

Man:

We stopped traveling but we still did things. 

GD:

What things? We mostly stayed at home and watched movies.

Man:

So you were in love with the lifestyle.

GD:

You were the lifestyle.

~~~

Understand that many men are simply incapable of falling in love with any woman who doesn’t satisfy an exacting set of physical standards.

The problem is that gold-diggers have those standards etched into the fabric of their DNA, so they hold all the cards.

And people wonder why so many affluent older men become trapped in vicious cycles of defeated expectations, as they try to get “perfect” women to love them for who they are.

In my world, fortunes come and go every day, mostly under these circumstances.

Aging is a weird thing. We learn more about a lot of things, but the basics never change: love, lust, money, but in the reverse order.

 

Hair Loss Triggers Depression in Older Men [and women]

older-man-with-hair-loss-data

Fact: 75% of all men will suffer some degree of hair loss by age 60.

Fact: 50% of all women will experience some hair thinning by the age of 40, three-quarters by the time they are 65.

This is particularly bad news for Baby Boomers who make up the 51-70 demographic [1946-1964].

According to Dr Asim Shahmalak, Britain’s most respected and best-known hair transplant surgeons, hair loss can have devastating psychological consequences.

“Men and women alike, although it is mainly men who suffer, go through a series of psychological stages when their hair thins, he says. Broadly speaking these can be characterized thus: Shock – Denial – Anger – Depression – Acceptance, not dissimilar to any other life-changing episode.”

He goes on to tell the story of Mark Oaten, then a rising political star, who became mired in a sex scandal.

“Mr Oaten did not condemn the media, nor point to the pressures of life in the Westminister bubble, as he might reasonably have done and many before him have.
Instead, in an unusual and highly thought provoking response, he laid the blame for his behavior squarely at the door of a mid-life crisis occasioned, he said, by the loss of his hair.”

I’m not making this up.

Writing at the time in a compelling dispatch for the Sunday Times, Mr Oaten identified the loss of his hair as the trigger behind the increasing anxiety in his personal and professional life as an MP.

“Any television appearance would result in a barrage of emails, not about the issues I’d raised but about my lack of hair,” he admitted.

“Whether supportive or not, they all asked what had happened to my hair.”

He went on, “It’s perhaps not surprising that I became more and more obsessed by its disappearance. For me it was a public sign that my youth had ended.”

The loss of hair for men and women can be deeply traumatic. And trauma, however hard to gauge, can influence both happiness and behavior. No one should underestimate the affect hair loss can have.

‘Baldy’, ‘slaphead’, ‘bone dome’, all harmless banter, right? Hardly. The language of the schoolyard extends well beyond the boardroom.

I’m hardly one to argue in favor of political correctness, but people need to get a grip on the essential vulnerabilities human beings carry, especially things like hair loss, over which they have no control.

Self-confidence is of paramount important to well being. And once that confidence goes, it can be hard to regain, leaving both professional and personal life badly exposed.

According to Dr. Shahmalak, patients readily admit to worrying constantly about their thinning hair and tell him about the impact on their social lives:

“Innocent comments can be misinterpreted, the eyes of their friends seem drawn to their temples, everyone else has a full head of hair. Why not them? I don’t exaggerate.”

In a society where image has become so important, hair is crucial.

It also can be tougher for modern men than for previous generations because of the high number of mid-life relationship break-ups and divorce. This coupled with greater independence for women, and men are now under pressure to keep looking younger in later life.

This scenario isn’t without crosscurrents, however.

Having very short hair is often seen as more masculine – and there are some suggestions that baldness is linked with heightened virility.

There are plenty of poster-boy role models for the nervously-thinning male.

But if people fear the worst about getting bald, it can become part of a wider mid-life crisis, says business and social psychologist, Michael Gutteridge.

If a man has strongly identified with his appearance, then losing his hair can feel like a threat to his identity­ as it means he stops looking like the person he thought he was. This is more than just vanity.

 Dr Gutteridge says that it’s becoming increasingly common for business leaders to have cosmetic surgery, reflecting their need to send a visual message that they are still young and energetic.

Politics comes to mind.

Did you know that in the United Kingdom, no bald headed party leaders have won a general election since the television era began, perhaps reflecting the potent cocktail of associations that connects hair with power, attractiveness and vitality?

Even businessman and presidential candidate, Donald Trump, made reference to it when he stated, “it’s extremely important for all men to maintain a good head of hair.”

As for his hair, I’ll abstain from further comment.

 The Future Looks Good

Barry Stevens, general secretary of the Trichological Society, says in the foreseeable future there will be an effective way of preventing baldness using “tissue engineering” and cloning technology.

This would mean cultivating hair-growing skin from an original sample, which would be grafted back onto the scalp.

“This isn’t pie in the sky, there are tens of millions being pumped into research into this,” says Mr. Stevens. But once an effective technique is developed, he forecasts that this will become a massive industry.

I could have guessed that myself.

Mr. Stevens has been working in the hair industry for four decades and he is strongly dismissive of much of the hair loss merchandising on the market, particular products that claim to “re-grow” vanished hair.

Hairr transplants work for some people, he says, but little else is worth the money.

 “People are getting conned every day, charged thousands they can’t afford, going to hair clinics where they’re sold magic pills and creams that don’t work. I’m sickened by much of the industry, it is corrupt, full of charlatans.”

“If there were a safe and effective drug for re-growing hair it would be available from doctors, rather than adverts in the backs of newspapers,” he says.

But there is certainly a massive market for such hair revitalization, with an estimated 5.5 million websites dedicated to hair products.

This is because even though men might say they don’t care, losing hair can take the scissors to their self-confidence – and they’ll spend a great deal of money trying to turn back the tide, says Mr. Stevens.

It might not be apparent for many years, but the 100,000 hairs on a youthful male head begin to reduce in number almost as soon as men reach their teenage years.

The rate and extent of the hair loss is governed by genes, and Mr. Stevens says it’s a myth that men should look to their mother’s family for an indication of how their hair might recede.

Like hair color, patterns of balding can be inherited from either side of the family and from several generations back,­ which is why brothers can have completely different amounts of hair.

But what should a balding man say to a hairdresser? Honesty and a good close crop. The comb-over or any other cunning coiffure is not going to fool anyone.

Comments from men around the globe taken from an article published recently in the BBC:

I used to have long hair all my late teens and twenties and early thirties. So to discover it thin on top and receding a little, I have now shaved it with a razor. People are used to it now, but deep down I hate it and am depressed about it. I don’t want long hair for my age, but just a good head of hair so I don’t have to shave all the time. I don’t like any photos with me in, so I guess it’s a major problem with me. I have less confidence and think I’ll remain single.

Andy, Scotland

I used to have long flowing locks a la Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain in the ’90s now at 29 I’m a virtual skin head. I put it down to too much hair dye, late nights and a diet of fags and black coffee in my late teens and early twenties. I used to get far more abuse walking down the street because of having hair than I do now. A bald head makes you look well’ard!

Rob, Norwich

Isn’t hiring rent boys rather an odd way to assert your masculinity?

Chandra, London, England

Had a ponytail for a long time, then my hair began thinning on top. Created my own ‘Millenium Dome’ at the start of 2000, clipping it short all over and bald on top. Raised cash for charity too. It’s much easier to look after, I can trim it myself without small-talking with hairdressers about holidays, and it doesn’t bother me at all, though it gives my mates much amusement. Also it’s something to rub when you need to think hard! But you need a baseball cap when it’s very hot or cold. Anyone going bald – just get over it, it’s no big deal!

Jason Mills, Accrington, UK

I have two sons 20 and 23, both lost almost all their hair in their teens as did their grandfather. It hasn’t affected their attraction to the opposite sex, so I think these precious males have to accept that they just aren’t as attractive in middle age as they were in their youth – with or without hair.

Janet Georghiou, Windsor

As a balding man of 25, the concept of having a’solar panel for a sex machine’ on top of my head certainly appeals!

John Ferguson, Edinburgh

I’ll admit that I am slightly torn about the issue. Although part of me would love to salvage the few strands of hair left on my head and even get a few extra ones, at the end of the day, this ugly mug I was born with is mine, whether I like it or not. And I am not entirely convinced that a full head of hair would magically transform me into any kind of Adonis.

Steven, Shrewsbury

I was bald by the age of 21. Many women find it sexy, I find it convenient to clean-shave once a week rather than pay ridiculous amounts of money to have a hair-cut once a month. Never got me down, since I was never a stud so I have built my confidence based on my brains, not on my looks. Never really liked my hair anyway since it was curly and unmanagable.

Elias Kostopoulos, Athens, Greece

I’ve recently joined the bald gang as I approach 30. I had long hair for over 10 years, something crucial to a fan of heavy metal, but like life, it’s something to accept, deal with and move on. Buy yourself some hair trimmer and get with enjoying life, you ain’t dead yet!

Dave, Southampton

I started to lose my hair when i was in my early 20’s. I used to have a great head of hair and first noticed it thinning at the front when I was 21. By the time I started Uni at 23 it had become noticeable. Friends and family were kind saying it was my imagination. It really upset me and i used to wonder why it had started so young with me. I was always conscious of it and it nearly destroyed me. One day at around 27 years old i shaved it and i felt relieved. I did not have to hide it any more and was out in the open. I do think that it has harmed my chances with girls. I am not bad looking and never had to try too hard. Now I’m bald I have to try ten times harder than I used to. I have to develop all kinds of strategies. Its hard work!

Richard, London

I have two sons. One 48 years with a mass of hair. The other 39 years with a bald head. Their father/uncle/grandfather/grandmother/aunt/myself all have very thick hair so for some reason my youngest son has different genes. I must add that he has not had a problem with his lack of hair, unless he hides it well.

Doreen Whittaker, Surrey

I started losing my hair very early on, in my early 20’s. It did have a depressing affect on me, as I thought that I was no longer as attractive as I had been. Looking back, I can’t believe what an arrogant and vain prat I was. The turning point finally came when I bought some electronic clippers and shaved it all off. I felt better, there was no chance of me resorting to a comb-over and my self-esteem went up again. I’ve never looked back since then. And I’m getting married next year!

Marc Jones, Chingford, London, UK

I agree that we must be honest about baldness. You can’t really fool anyone. Sure it is great to have a full head of hair, but most men don’t after a certain age. I’ve seen all sorts of silly cures here (Malaysia) and nothing works, snake oils and all sorts. The key is to look at yourself in a positive way … be bold and bald … some find this attractive! It is also far more comfortable, a close crop makes me feel better than a length of locks. There is plenty of successful bald men, just stay away from british politics though.

Bill, Malaysia

It’s perfectly acceptable for a man to lose his hair, whatever his age…. provided he keeps what’s left very short. The men that attempt to cover it up, just highlight the fact and draw attention to it! A lot of men look more attractive with a shaven head.

Rachel, Southampton

What an absolute load of tosh, using losing ones hair as an excuse for insecurity. I started losing my hair in my early 20’s and just accepted is as part of life. It’s caused no crisis the conscious effect it had was it made me go for a shorter hairstyle. Now some 30 years later that I’m almost totally bald I just have my remaining hair cropped every few weeks. People who have ‘issues’ with hair loss are, in my opinion, using the hair loss as an excuse for a deeper insecurity.

Paul Ostermeyer, Milton Keynes, UK

My partner has a bald head and looks better now than he did as a youngster. I find it very attractive in a man. It’s a bold statement and although not always a choice for men, gives them more masculinity to their image. If your bald, don’t cover it up. There are lots of women like myself who adore the look!

Angela Ross, Sandhurst Berkshire

At 49 my hair is still long and thick. I have the most negative comments about it from balding or bald males. Do I care – nah!

Martyn Hlman, York

Summary

 In my world, having a full head of hair pales in comparison to having a full load of cash. Financial security renders the issue moot. And while having both is better, I have never once heard any woman complain about her husband’s hair loss when travelling on a private jet.

Furthermore, when assessing a dating candidate, most women I know look at a man’s financial shape, followed closely by his physical condition, and pretty much ignore the rest.

In the end, they just don’t care enough to make a difference. In fact, a little hair loss may be just what the doctor ordered as it will make whatever the woman feels a bit insecurely about balance the scales.

The “Old Man” and the Motorcycle

Memorial-Day3-580x464Nothing quite says midlife crisis like the Harley Davidson Motorcycle, right?

Another day, another stereotype.

I’m accused of being in the midst of one for many reasons, not least of which being that I have a young girlfriend.

1] It’s all about money.

2] He’s intimidated by women his own age.

3] He’s a narcissist who can stomach his own reflection.

yada yada …

It never ends.

Not to bury the lead, I don’t own a motorcycle – but I find it interesting on many levels.

For one thing, I like it’s group nature. It’s an activity – and for many, lifestyle – that people of all socioeconomic backgrounds can share.

And it’s also damn manly in the traditional sense most men think of it. Think Steve McQueen in The Great Escape.

I think of it as an antidote to the PC virus.

I’m also drawn to the sense of adventure, hanging out with a bunch of guys who, after decades of work, family and Little league, are finally able to bond once again over beer and broads.

It’s an adult rite of passage where the holy “hog” unlocks the key to death with dignity for all, the penultimate send-off into oblivion, finger in the wind at the Devil’s Crossroads.

Come on, tell me you’re not intrigued.

One last shot at youthful defiance.

Don’t tell me you don’t watch those old Zeppelin videos on YouTube in the dead of night.

A 2010 market study by J. D. Power & Associates discovered that the average motorcyclist in the United States is a man who is about 50 years old, and Forbes Magazine confirms that the “sweet spot” for motorcycle buyers is the mid 40s to the early 50s. The problem is especially acute for Harley Davidson, as the 109 year-old company has a customer base that is almost as old as it is. It may just be an urban legend that Harley handlebars are now designed to comfortably support a beer belly during a ride, but it makes sense, given the fact that most older men [not to mention younger men] are out of shape.

Nonetheless, “Google” searches turn up ad after ad of sexily clad young women and handsome, fit young men to fuel the fantasies of middle-aged guys. Motorcycle manufacturers lure older buyers with a promise of a return to their youth and vitality: Male bystanders watch with a mixture of respect and envy, as the women of the town are smitten by the eye candy rolling into town. The riders wink at the ladies and act like the masters of all that they beheld, since they could now afford the luxury of motoring slowly through town.

Yea, and everything else in the universe is also reduced to a cultural stereotype.

My point in all of this is, WHO CARES?

If a guy wants to ride a motorcycle after spending his life chasing the dollar let him have his 2nd Summer.

I agree that Harley’ are loud and obnoxious. So is my stereo system.

Getting older is a drag, folks. We’re gonna act out.

This is because there’s not a damn thing we can do about universal absolutes, so we will absolutely, positively garnish the journey to make the ride smoother.

I might add that many guys ride for charities, raising lots of money for good causes. Others just for the hell of it. So what?

These guys are tough enough to deflect your punchlines, ageist stereotypes, and general ridicule.

Time Magazine in June of 2014, wrote “It’s bike night at the Harley-Davidson Museum near downtown Milwaukee . . . bike night in Milwaukee sure looks like Old White Guy’s Night.”

Green with envy.

~~~

Life is supposed to have a beginning, a middle and an end. The same ones, usually.

But for many, myself included, the story arcs are backwards.

Rich Men Prefer Skinny Women: New Research Exposé

street-style-leather-moto-jacket-over-the-shoulders-paris-fashion-week-ray-ban-wayfarer-sunglasses-layered-necklaces-simple-white-dress-peek-a-boo-bra-metallic-waist-thin-belt-small-chaiSs I stated many times before [on this blog], wealthy women prefer to date their financial equals and those withing a few years of their age.

Men? Not so much [on either count].

According to researchers at Chapman University in Orange, Calif., a new study to be published in the January 2016 edition of the peer-reviewed academic journal “Personality and Individual Differences,” validates what I have always believed, that men with more education had strong preferences for female partners who were “good looking,” “slender,” and “younger.” Some 95% of men with an advanced degree said it was “essential” that their partner was “good looking” versus 77% of those with a high school education or less, and 84% of those men said it was essential that their partner was slender versus just 12% of those with a high school education or less.

So what does it all mean?

A depressing confirmation of the worst gender stereotypes that suggests the dating game has not progressed much in the last 100 years? And maybe 1000 if you want to get technical about it.

Using an example from the animal kingdom, “Female bower birds select males with the nicest nest, and in many insects, the female selects a male who offers her a nice gift of prey he has captured.”

Translation: Women prefer nice neighborhoods with swimming pools, just like insects.

Furthermore men prefer slender bodies, which are associated with youth.

As the body’s metabolism slows as one grows older and, slender physiques could represent fertility for men.

I might also add that, beyond the specter of fertility, slender women look better in Chanel and are easier to physically dominate, which is a big deal for many.

The study may help people understand why the advertising industry (and society) puts so much emphasis on women being thin. And it may also throw light on why men strive so aggressively for higher income and assertively negotiate for raises.

Their income clearly affects not only their ability to pay for dates but also their likelihood of attracting a beautiful young, slender partner who looks good in Chanel.

As we all know, men are more visual than women and women have a stronger need to be taken care of both emotionally and financially.

So people with desirable traits are in a position to be more selective.

The study found that both genders reported nearly equally that being with someone physically attractive “to them” is important, which is at least hopeful because it allows for physical imperfections — not the unattainable physical flawlessness we’re bombarded with every day in the media.

Nonetheless, I have seen men with more money than God check each and every line item and then choose the more perfect human female the planet has ever witnessed. Of course, what people want and what they actually get are two different things.
If, for example, a man wants a physically flawless woman with a warm heart, he usually gets only one of them. There’s only so much you can expect from a mating dynamic based on a cold-blooded exchange of commodities.

REAL WORLD PREFERENCES OF AFFLUENT OLDER MEN AND THE WOMEN IN THEIR LIVES:

1] Slender women are preferred because they look best in designer apparel.

2] Slender women are preferred because they look better educated, and thus, more sophisticated.

3] Slender women are preferred because they are easy to physically dominate.

4] Slender women are preferred because in more sophisticated circles, image is everything.

5] Slender women are preferred because the chances of them becoming obese down the road are far less probable. 

Notice I didn’t mention anything whatsoever about character.

This is because men with money assume that women who crave it will just fall in line.

And while they appear to do just that, their reasons for doing have more to do with attracting even wealthier men who expect the same thing.

Is Youth, In Fact, Wasted on The Young?

1251869-pink-floyd-reunions-617-409Hardly.

Does anyone actually believe that a bunch of rich and entitled Baby Boomer rock stars could create The Dark Side of the Moon?

The following is a list of 10 Boomers who followed a similar fate:

1] David Bowie

2] Mick Jagger

3] Eric Clapton

4] Robert Plant

5] Jimmy Page

6] Bob Dylan

7] Billy Joel

8] Elton John

9] Alice Cooper

10 Neil Young.

Obviously, there’s something to be said for youth and immortality, in spite of the contradiction in terms.

The Most Annoying People In The Gym […and a few good ones thrown in for good measure]

Old-Guy-LiftingI found this article on t-nation.com about gym etiquette amusing, so I thought I’d share it with you.

Most of it targets the behavior of all age demographics, so I’ve slightly twisted it in the direction of the Baby Boom.

Many are cliches pushed to the extreme, but many cliches are extreme without having to be pushed at all.

Here’s the article:

https://www.t-nation.com/powerful-words/10-most-annoying-people-in-the-gym

~~~

1] The Misplaced Crossfitter

After enough testosterone supplementation, many Baby Boomers – both men and women – re-emerge as adolescents and hit the gym like banshees, attempting complex exercises like box jumps and weighted wall balls they see performed by people half their age on Youtube. They attempt to perform them publicly as if no one will notice the sad realities of their efforts. I witnessed one 50-something guy jumping up and down like a Wallaby in what appeared to be a trance. When I asked him what he was doing he just smiled and hopped away. I discovered later on that he just received his first testosterone injections a week ago, and like someone stuck in Purgatory for 30 years, was euphoric over his discovery of a portal back to planet earth.

2] The Phone Zombie

Many older guys use gyms as workplaces. I’m still not convinced they aren’t suffering some psychiatric disability, the whole thing a pantomime played out using a dead phone. Relevance is found in some of the most unlikely places. Whatever the issue, they are certainly consistent, and therefore, memorable. In fact, offering even the vaguest description will elicit a knowing response. In deference to one man in particular, he is having an actual conversation with someone on the other end of the line, but he is so often on the phone that he is now clinically deaf.

3] The Newbie Steroid User

Most of these people begin a steroid regimen to drop body fat without having to spend hours in a gym. They also hope to revitalize their flagging sex lives which certain physicians’ promises of restoring them in exchange for $30,000 a year. Most of these people drop out of sight when their PSA levels rival the national debt and/or they lose a pile in a market downturn.

4] Just About Anyone Doing a Kettlebell Swing

Most older men have no idea what the hell they’re doing in the gym. Without help from a personal trainer, they are like cattle on the edge of a cliff in a hurricane. They’re painful to watch and there is always the temptation to offer guidance. But it has been my experience that guidance is often perceived as a kind of narcissistic wound to men of hubris and resources accustomed to people’s fear and respect in the workplace. Physicians who should know better are some of the worst offenders, as usual. I could get into the irony here.

One old dude threw a cable grip in my direction.

5] The Dumbbell Rack Blocker

I am guilty of this. There are times when I use one end of a dumbbell rack to perform single-arm pulls. But I am also aware of who’s around me. If I see someone lingering near the rack, I’ll move. The point is that many gym newbies [read: older guys who’ve spent their lives in offices and are now on gym floors at the insistence of their primary care physicians] are slow on the uptake, and even indignant towards anyone expecting them to budge.

6] The Bros

I work out around a bunch of older men and women who were – at one time or another – gym addicted. Most of us are now in recovery, but this still doesn’t stop us from spending two hours a day enabling one another. We make a lot of noise when the weights get heavy, but the experience is cathartic, and, in our minds, fine as long as we don’t technically kill anyone.

7] Mr. Octa Set

Some guys attempt to commandeer a 1000 square foot area of the gym in order to perform a particular routine. Most of them are the usual suspects: Affluent and entitled Boomers who are used to having things their way. Fortunately for people like myself, I am comfortable ignoring their boundaries and leading them back to therapy without much in the way of tact.

8] The Crappy Personal Trainer

At my health club there are a few personal trainers who spend more time discussing personal issues with their clients than training them. But this is not the fault of the trainer. When a client is will to pay $100 and hour of someone’s time, they run the show. Of course, the trainer can always fire the client, but it doesn’t make much financial sense as you can imagine. I do happen to know certain personal trainers who won’t train clients that aren’t serious, but I have found that they tend to work less hours.

9] The Talker

My gym caters to an affluent clientele, many of whom are trust fund babies who’ve never held a job, and therefore, have no concept of boundaries. The rest are either psychiatric outpatients or narcissists who’ve never seen a therapist.

10] The Creeper

True story: One day I was in the gym on the stretching mats when I noticed an older man with his junk on full display. A woman next to me happened to notice it at the same moment and immediately deflected her young daughter’s attention avoiding what would inevitably become full blown PTSD. Anyway, I’m not certain whether such men are exhibitionists or just plain senile. I can envision a police interrogation where the officers just shake their heads when the man starts babbling incoherently about the stock market when questioned about a sexually perverse act. Long story short, I reported the incident to the management and I’m told that he now wears undergarments.

 

Okay, so here are three of my own Pet Peeves:

 

 11] Old Ladies With Too Much Perfume

This one is self-explanatory, but thankfully easily remedied over a private discussion with management. I have, at times, felt almost enveloped in what smells like scented mustard gas as my lungs cry out for mercy at the handiwork of a mortician.

12] People Who Read Newspapers While Performing Leg Presses

At more upscale health clubs, this is a commonplace practice. The idea is to be in the gym as directed by one’s primary care physician while also getting a little of what the client wants, which is to not be there at all.

13] People With Antisocial Personality Disorder

Maybe it’s just me, but I see health clubs as urban ecosystems that run according to the sum of their constituent parts. Saying hello is not going to kill anyone. It’s common courtesy if nothing else in an environment filled with people you see every day.

With this in mind, there is one particularly cross older man with a distended midsection that he attempts to conceal with 5x t-shirts pregnant emblazoned with messages of anarchy. He never speaks, never blinks, and always stares straight ahead like a zombie zeroing in on a kill. This guy typifies APD and should be referred immediately to the nearest psychiatric facility. Thankfully, the only other people who come across even remotely this way are cross fitters who relish the outcast model.

 Okay, now for the most awesome people in the gym!

11] Elderly People

Older men and women who go to the gym religiously have the respect of everyone. I’ve never heard a single negative comment or complaint unless the person in question farts, in which case the whole age thing comes up.

12] The Quiet Beasts

Most bodybuilders I know are quiet beasts. They are men of few words [in the gym], focused, serious, and only cordial under duress. I don’t particularly like them [in the gym], but I do admire their determination.

13] Women Who Kick Ass

There is nothing more inspiring than women kicking ass next to us. Taking this a step further, I would prefer a gym filled with nothing but buff women in tights. I mean just for the inspiration and all.

14] Fat People

It’s hard to beat on a fat person when they’re in the gym trying to climb out of their bodies. It’s a Promethean task no one takes on unless their lives depend on it.

15] Injured and Disabled People

God bless these people for getting back into the world and fighting for their dignity. They’re a lesson to all of us to be thankful that a couple of inches off the waist is all we have to accomplish.

A FINAL COMMENT ON OLD PEOPLE IN THE GYM

Everyone understands the inherent grumpiness seen in the aged, but no one appreciates it. From a psychiatric perspective, you have to understand that many of these old men were once “somebody:” Heads of companies, surgeons, lawyers and so on. They had the respect of their peers and their community. No one questioned their validity, their relevance. This is why many men refuse to retire. The rest face a downhill slalom into invisibility and irrelevance and what you see in their sour demeanor is the loss of something they spent their lives building. I feel sorry for these men. While they go to the gym to stay physically relevant, they’re dead everywhere else.

What Constitutes “Wealthy” to Urban Boomers

boomer-crop-600x338

Living paycheck to paycheck while making a combined $500,000 a year is considered “normal.”

No Seriously.

Financial Samurai ran an article not long ago titled “Scraping by on $500,000 A Year.”

It was a good start in defining “wealth” against “expenses” in big cities.

Here’s the aforementioned article:

http://www.financialsamurai.com/scraping-by-on-500000-a-year-high-income-earners-struggling/

~~~

In any major metro area of the United States, a reasonably priced older home in a reasonably nice neighborhood [read: reasonably nice, not top of the line] starts at around $1,000,000.

Anything less is either a small condo or a tear-down.

I know, right.

In order to qualify to purchase one of these homes, you’ll need an income of approximately $300,000 no matter what anybody tells you to the contrary, including yourself.

It also warrants noting that 6000 ft. lots are priced somewhere in the $850,000 range, and with construction costs for a custom home on the same lot running about $1,200,000, you have to double your earnings.

You’ve now in over 2.1 million and haven’t forked over a single electricity bill, not to mention property taxes that will run in the $55,000 range…and I haven’t even started calculating the cost of a gold-digger.

This is why so many homes around here [and in places like, say, Beverly Hills] are held in family estates, and then gifted to offspring in the form of nest eggs.

All the kids have to do then is cover are property taxes and upkeep, which means they can get by on $250,000, as long as they don’t have kids, own $100,000 cars, or take vacations.

Hell, private school education alone rivals property taxes, so you can see where this is going.

No wonder people who earn $500,000 consider themselves upper middle class.

Of course, if they earned $500,000 in income and had 5 million in a diversified investment portfolio, then they’d most likely consider themselves upper, upper middle class.

Doing the math, they’d be looking at a yield around $400,000 on the 5 mil taxed as capital gains, and $500,000 taxed at 39%.

Now they could take three vacations and still save the $7300.00 at the end of the year.

As for Financial Samurai‘s breakdown…

FS-500K-Student-Loan

Interesting breakdown, but that “$7300” left over wouldn’t have a shot in hell of making it to the savings account for most people I know.

Why?

Because 3 vacations a year for a total of “$18,000 a year” is a joke. It’s easily twice that amount.

Round trip business class tickets alone from Houston to Los Angeles are in the $1500 range per person.

Hotel rooms in the “One king bed, no sitting area” will run $685.00 per night, with small suites starting in the $1700.00/night range at places like the Beverly Wilshire in Los Angeles.

You also must accept the fact that miscellaneous expenses are going to fall in the $1500.00 range even if you don’t happen to wander into Barney’s.

You can see where this is going.

HOW THE “AFFLUENT” SEE REAL WEALTH

The following is a letter copied verbatim from the web from a very successful couple.

While some of it may shock you, it’s representative of how many in my general demographic see real wealth.

“I have no idea how anyone could live on $500,000 a year. I make $1.0 million a year as an equity partner in a large international law firm and through real estate investing. My wife makes $1.5 million as a cosmetic surgeon. We live in DC. We have 2 kids. After all of the taxes, childcare, mortgage payments, car payments, etc., we are literally living paycheck to paycheck. Our house is about 2.5 million, nice but not exorbitant. We each drive 911s and we have a farm in the country and a house at the Eastern Shore. Again- nice, but hardly movie-star living and there are many people who have much nicer farms and shore houses than we do. I think that to live comfortably in a high priced area like DC, you really need $4 million a year. This will allow you to save some money and live an extremely comfortable life style. Fortunately, we are relatively early in our careers– early 40’s. Within the next 3-5 years, we will be at $4 million. There really is not a moment to lose in this game if you want to live comfortably without worrying about money.”

You can’t make this shit up.

Now you know why $500,000 a year is chicken scratch.

LESSONS LEARNED

1] Be an equity partner in a large international law firm or investment house.

2] Be a successful plastic surgeon.

3] Be an a-list celebrity.

4] Be a world-class pro athlete.

5] Be a member of the lucky sperm bank. 

Louis Vuitton Appeals to Upscale Baby Boomers With Music

Bowie

http://superhypeblog.com/music/how-louis-vuitton-appeals-to-upscale-baby-boomers-with-music

Baby Boomers are the generation born between 1946 and 1964.

If you’re a member, you’re somewhere between the ages of 51 and 69.

So juveniles by today’s standards.

Many of us sit squarely in the middle, which means we’re either in – or fast approaching – our 60’s.

We’re in shape, financially independent, technologically savvy.

What better than to appeal to an affluent demographic that has become increasingly larger and more important as our population ages?

In an historical context, we’ve set new precedents, as people our age were, at one time, either dead or walking billboards for Mr. Rogers.

That was then.

Now, thanks to designers like Louis Vuitton [and others, like John Varvatos], we can finally buy clothing that feels the way clothing felt back in the days when we were young, rebellious and filled with hope and promise.

It was a brilliant move.

Louis Vuitton has strategically positioned itself as a classic, upscale choice for the affluent Baby Boomer generation.

No wonder my wardrobe collection looks a lot like it did back in 1978.

Brace yourself for an Aspen makeover, as people start looking a lot like they did back when when they couldn’t afford it – not to mention good concert tickets to see David Bowie.

Okay, so in addition to Vuitton, here are my top favorite designers for men [in no particular order]:

Vince

Alexander McQueen

Belstaff

Dolce  & Gabbana

Armani

Prada

Gucci

James Perce

John Varvatos

Maison Margiela

Saint Laurent

Hudson Jeans

Ralph Lauren [Black label]

…and of course, Converse.