It seems people like to throw the word iconic around for just about anything these days, from candy bars to TV shows to historical figures and although it may be a bit overused, there’s one guy the term might apply to. And at 88 years old, he’s going on tour this month.
Willie Nelson is on the road again.
Yes, I know, he’s pushing 90, but for some reason, I sort of don’t think of him as an old man. Maybe it’s the pigtails. Maybe it’s because he doesn’t act old, and as far as I know, he’s still smoking weed.
I guess it was good news for folks like Willie that marijuana was decriminalized in New Mexico last year, and come April Fool’s Day retailers can start selling recreational cannabis.
I don’t know if that’s what keeps him going, but as for me, I did grass a couple of times in the early seventies when I got out of the Air Force and tried, unsuccessfully, to become a hippie. My hippie period didn’t last too long since I never cared much for bandanas and beads, and I liked taking showers and having a job. The music was pretty good, but I could never afford the rock and roll lifestyle.
In the meantime, Willie keeps on keeping on regardless, but until I decide otherwise I’ll stick to my glass of beer with dinner. For those who don’t want anything alcoholic I’ve heard that kava gives you a mellow buzz, but I’ve also heard that it tastes like dirty dishwater.
But I digress.
Willie turns 89 in April, so there’s that. People say as the years add up, the less you look forward to being another year older, whereas when you’re young there’s a certain amount of pride and ego involved and you can’t wait to get older. So much so that you even count halves, like when you’re nine you can’t wait to add that one-half.
Of course, being old and being grown-up aren’t necessarily the same thing. The mark of a grown-up man, I’ve learned, is mostly a list of “don’ts.”
For example, grown-up men do not:
- Express impatience when your wife is talking to you by repeatedly glancing at your watch, tapping your foot, nodding your head rapidly, or faking a seizure.
- Yell anything at your kid’s coach or referee.
- Interject yourself into another couple’s domestic spat, unless the argument becomes so loud and violent that you can’t hear the game.
- Show vacation photos to anybody who wasn’t on the trip with you.
- Continue talking to a coworker after he enters a bathroom stall and sits down.
- Exclaim at the size of the dent your wife or girlfriend left on the sofa.
- Give your wife or girlfriend jewelry still attached to a piece of cardboard.
- Tell anyone, “Welcome aboard!” unless you’re on an actual boat.
- Talk incessantly at any social function about your grass, your septic tank, swamp cooler, downspouts, or the elm tree roots that are attacking your septic system unless your fellow guests are also homeowners and are fascinated by these subjects.
- Ask anyone older than age 6 to feel your muscles.
Pressing on, March is Women’s History Month, National Craft Month, Frozen Food Month, Irish American Heritage Month, Peanut Month, Red Cross Month, and Social Workers Month.
It’s also National Nutrition Month. It’s sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics who tells us “there’s no one diet that is right for everyone, so it’s important to follow a healthful eating plan that’s packed with tasty foods and that keeps your unique lifestyle in mind.”
Sure, sure, easy to say, but sometimes it feels like we keep playing the “what’s good to eat-what’s bad to eat” game. I just read that eggs, once thought to be bad, are now good. It all has to do with good cholesterol versus bad cholesterol. And the number of eggs you eat in one day. And the ratio of egg whites versus egg yolks. And whether they are hard-boiled or fried. Willie says he eats bacon and eggs for supper most of the time. I’ll just go with that. You’re as healthy as you feel.
When you get down to it, it’s as simple as the Tibetan proverb: “The secret to living well and longer is to eat half, walk double, laugh triple and love without measure.” Or, if I may offer Brian Wilson’s philosophy in the Beach Boys’ song Vega-Tables: “Sleep a lot, eat a lot, brush ‘em like crazy. Run a lot, do a lot, never be lazy.” He’s 79 and also touring this summer.
And oh, before I forget, happy birthday tomorrow, to the U.S. Constitution, born on March 4, 1789.
“We the people…” it starts out. That sums it up and I kind of like that.