BERRY: Forty-nine and holding

I am nine years older than my wife, Amy. She claims that she's never really considered herself younger than me. It has always seemed to her like we were the same age. But I think her perspective is beginning to change, and it all started last week when I turned 49.
Dec 5, 2013

Amy and I were preparing to go out and celebrate my birthday with my friend Todd and his wife Chris.  As I was shaving, I looked in the mirror and noticed my hair was touching my ears, so I reached in the bathroom drawer and exhumed my electric hair trimmer.  

I plugged in the clippers, fired them up, and felt the heavy pulsation in my hand. Vigorously, I laid the churning blades beside my head and cut a deep trench around my ear and down the side of my neck.

At that moment, Amy walked into the bathroom. The clippers were still vibrating in my hand and gray hair covered the sink and countertop like splotches of blood. Amy quickly covered her mouth with her hands, her eyes popped open, and she shouted, "Oh, my gosh, what have you done!"

"I was just going to trim it off my ears a little, but I guess I got carried away," I said. "It's OK, I'll trim the other side the same way and even it out."

"Noooooo!"  Amy cried.

“Well, then I'll just buzz it all off and start fresh,"  I said.

"No," Amy said, pleadingly.  "Just trim the other side a little and maybe no one will notice."

I folded my ear over to survey the damage. Behind my ear it looked as if I had a deep scar where the hair no longer grew. "They're going to notice,"  I said.

Amy just smiled a wry smile as if she had a horrible gas pain.

I did a respectable job of trimming the other side, and then I remembered that I wear glasses. I popped my glasses on and said, "Look, my glasses cover it up."

Amy looked at me, tilted her head a little, and as her gas pain rose in intensity, she said, "It looks fine."

I didn't believe her.

On our way to meet Todd and Chris, Amy and I stopped at the local grocery store just to return a movie to the Red Box. I parked, went into the store, returned the movie, and walked back out of the store.  It took maybe 45 seconds.

Once I was back in the parking lot, I headed toward a gold Toyota.  As I approached it, I realized it was a Camry and not a Corolla. Therefore, since I distinctly remember leaving the car running, I headed  toward a car with its lights on. When I realized it was a Cadillac, I scanned the parking lot and couldn't find my car.

That's when I thought maybe Amy had moved the car closer to the store to pick me up. I checked the cars close to the building and none of them were mine. The back of my neck was getting cold because of a lack of hair, and that's when the thought hit me, Amy moved the car.  "Ha ha ha," I thought. "That's really funny. Playing a trick on the old guy."

That's when I heard, "Grant. Over here."  

It was Amy, waving her hand, standing next to the car exactly where I had parked it.

Amy laughed all the way to Stanz Cafe in Grand Haven where we met up with Todd and Chris.  We enjoyed some great food, good conversation, and more than a few amber colored beverages.  If Todd and Chris noticed my unusual haircut, they politely chose not to say anything.

Later in the evening, my grownup daughters, Natalie and Hillary, showed up with their significant others to help celebrate my birthday.  Hillary noticed my haircut right away.  "Dad, what happened?" she gasped.

"It's OK,"  I assured her. "It's not a cut. It's not a scar. I simply attempted to trim my own hair."

Hillary, not being one to mince words, suggested that next time I need my hair trimmed, I should employ the use of a professional.  "Thank you," I said. "I'll remember that."

Then Amy shared the story of me getting lost in the grocery store parking lot right in front of Todd, Chris, Natalie, Hillary, and the significants. Everyone but me got a big laugh out of it and Amy went on to admit that she'd never really worried about our age difference until that very night.  

On my 49th birthday, I think Amy got a glimpse into the future of a husband with a hideous haircut with his nose in the air wandering through parking lots searching for his lost vehicle.

—By Grant Berry, Tribune Community Columnist



Get used to it bud, it's not likely to get any better as time goes on.

Barry Soetoro

Only eleven more years and you'll qualify to be a Dining Diva.


Yeowch....Lani, someone's being mean to the Dining Diva's.....


Any gentleman in the company of a group of ladies knows to sit there, keep his mouth shut, smile, and nod his head preferably up and down while moving it left to right; right to left.

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