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Aging is a funny thing. I have nothing but the most sincere admiration and respect for people who manage it with grace and dignity. When we are young we really don't ever think about aging, which may be a good thing, when we deal with aging people we never consider that it is a condition from which we will eventually suffer. When we are young older people are a little like aliens from another planet, a kind of race of people who were born older and were never young. It isn't really a conscious thing and it may very well be some kind of device inherent in nature that lets us enjoy youth and not be disheartened about ever being old ourselves. When we are young, we are immortal.
While I was house sitting for my brother I had the dubious pleasure of watching cable TV, which he has and I do not. My son, Chuck and I were watching a show from England where a trio of middle aged British gentlemen drive and critique cars and generally behave as if overpriced, overpowered, incredibly fast automobiles were some kind of cultural icon that define male humanity and measure the value of a society. Don't get me wrong, I like this show and admire beautiful machines and I even enjoy the three goofballs who are driving them even if I find them slightly ridiculous. What I can't stand are the commercials.
I gather that it is assumed that this program is watched exclusively by males, even though there are a significant number of women in the studio audience. Apparently, they are either superfluous window dressing or just made an appearance hoping for .05 seconds of fame on camera, I have no idea which, but the commercials are most definitely aimed at men, and they are appalling.
How many older, retired sports figures can they pay obscene amounts of money to appear on camera and announce that they are taking some crazy drug to fix their problem with low testosterone levels? Evidently, they are legion. They must all be desperate for money. Personally, I doubt very much if I would appear on national television and announce to the world that my testosterone levels were something less than adequate, but maybe that's just me. It would seem that in our brave new world of rampant exhibitionism that it is not much of a problem for macho ex-athletes.
I'm guessing that by employing these old, macho sports figures the manufacturers of these drugs are attempting to deliver the message that if a bunch of tough-guy football players suffer from low testosterone the average schmo shouldn't feel ashamed about it. I mean, we all know that those guys have more testosterone than anybody, right? So these guys come on your screen and with a big, happy smile, tell you how taking this miracle drug has restored their youthful ability to bulk up with manly muscles and vastly improved their love lives. The first time I saw one of these absurd commercials I about choked on my iced tea. I found it amusing in a pathetic kind of way.
It stops being funny when the voice over guy starts listing the side effects. They are rather horrifying. The bad things that can result from taking these drugs take more time to list than the entire rest of the commercials. The worst one I heard was that men taking the drug should not come into contact with pregnant women or children. Really? They never bother to tell us what will happen if they do. So, if you are some old guy popping these medications you can go the the gym and get all brawny, and play around like Don Juan, but you don't dare hug your pregnant daughter or hold your grandchildren in your lap? Is that what it means? If so, that is just crazy. Personally, I'd give up looking like Conan the Barbarian and being Rudolph Valentino if I thought for a second that I might be a danger to pregnant women or any children, unborn or otherwise. On the other hand, I'm not a man, a fact for which I felt infinitely grateful while watching these commercials.
We women have to suffer through endless commercials about how we can spend money to look younger and more beautiful, or how we can deal with bone loss and hot flashes, or regulate our digestive systems. The ravages of age and loss of youth and beauty has been our cross to bear for countless generations and our ridiculous obsession with it has made many a cosmetic company filthy rich, but I can't recall hearing anything about the importance of staying away from pregnant women and children while eating yogurt or slathering expensive creams all over your face.
I can't help thinking that it would be so much better if we just accepted that time is relentless and aging inevitable and try to be healthy and fit as we can. When you age you get gray hair and wrinkles and lose muscle tone. Such is life. Oh, and guys, your testosterone levels go down, even big old macho football players. Man up and deal with it. At least you'll keep your dignity.
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