Sunday, November 20, 2011

Velcro Wallets and the Quest to Become a Man

Last month, I officially became a man.

A bold statement, yes, but it really happened. In a Macy’s to be exact. No, sicko, it’s not what you think. Ugh, what’s wrong with you?!? May I remind you that I have a seven-month old child, one that looks just like me, which should be enough to prove that I have gone all the way at least once. No, I became a man in a much more visual sense.

After twelve years, I stopped carrying a Velcro wallet.


Maybe I came to see that a Velcro wallet looks ridiculous while wearing a tuxedo or that there isn’t a designated slot for a driver’s license. That’s because most people who carry Velcro wallets are 14. Velcro wallets are only designed to hold video store membership cards, “Buy 10 Tacos Get 1 Free” punch cards and the $20 bill your stepdad gives you every Friday after school. Or perhaps I finally caught on to how embarrassing it is to pull a Velcro wallet out when paying at a nice restaurant.

“Will that be all, sir?”

“Yes. My compliments to the chef. The caviar was divine.”


I’m not sure why it took me so long to trade my canvas wallet in for a leather model. Perhaps it was fueled by my desire to hang on to a simpler time. That brief period when I could drive to Miami with friends knowing that we didn’t have to be back (or anywhere for that matter) until the semester started. But I like to think that I finally got a new wallet, an impulse buy in the aforementioned Macy’s, because I realized that I’m not the same person I was when I was 18.

Sure, being a grown up sucks sometimes but it beats the hell out of being a kid. And while it was fun spending every Friday night in the 90’s at my friend Drew’s house trying to find something to do in Muskogee, it is much better talking to Drew today about careers, marriage and kids. I don’t care what Taylor Swift says. I want to grow up. And I want a wallet that proves it.

This declaration was on my mind as I moved my contents from canvas to leather. Apparently, a good purging was long overdue. Thanks to Netflix, I really don’t have a need for my Blockbuster card anymore. An insurance card now fills its slot. This Fossil trifold is a nice reminder that, while I haven’t yet arrived, I am making progress.

Darwin was onto something. Evolution is a good thing. Sure, the good ol’ days are good ol’ days but who wants to live a stagnant life? Do you really want to be the person you are now when you are 40? 50? 60? Sometimes I feel like things are not progressing as fast as I’d like but I promise you this, I better know a little more, be a little wiser and tell better stories in ten years than I do now.

I have a feeling that you agree with me. How do I know? Because I’ve had a lot of conversations with people in their 20’s recently, smart people ready to trade in their proverbial Velcro wallets, and all they talk about is making the wrong decision. We 20-somethings are obsessed with making the wrong decision. But here’s the beauty of it all. These same people go on to prove that these very decisions propel us to becoming the people we want to be.

What’s the point?

I’ll take wisdom over youth any day.

Screw you, Ponce De Leon. I want a new quest. I’m ringing the bell on behalf of growing up. Let’s go earn the wrinkles and gray hair we’re destined to inherit. Let’s be men and women that are going somewhere. We are the ones that are saving for retirement and owning our mistakes and waking up before the sun does every once and awhile. Let’s promise each other to be different. Not solely for the sake of being different. Aiming to be different is for kids. We just want to be better.

A daunting task, I know. But if we start today, time is on our side. Where does the quest begin? I’m not sure. It’s not always clear. But I know this. The armada has reached the shore. It is time to take that first step. It is time to…

Sign up for the seminar. Sign up for the 5K. Sign the petition.

Learn a new word every day. Learn a new language. Learn to juggle.

Take the job. Take the GRE. Take guitar lessons.

Repaint the dining room. Reevaluate your faith. Redo your budget.

Stop smoking. Stop eating fried food. Stop swearing so much, dammit.

Ask her out. Ask her to marry you. Give her a baby, already.

Buy a house. Or an engagement ring. Or a road bike.

Or maybe, just maybe, it’s time to buy a new wallet.

1 comment:

Diana said...

Excellent and oh so true. Enjoy and learn from every passage . I am so enjoying my serene sixties .