You couldn’t stand him when you were a pimply teenager, then you became really good mates in your late twenties and thirties. Now you are starting to turn into him. You are becoming your old man.

I am becoming my father (one day at a time), and the problem is I’m starting to notice it more and more everyday. Some of the changes are physical and others are just quirks and annoying habits.

Here are the signs I am turning into my father. Perhaps the same thing is happening to you?

Let’s start with the noticeable physical metamorphosis.

Annoying nose hair

When you have to invest in a pair of tiny razor sharp scissors to hack away the bush growing from your nostrils, you are getting older, my friend. My old man has had hair growing out of his nostrils and ears since his mid forties. Thank God nothing is sprouting out of my ears, just yet, but the nose hairs are growing like indigenous wild Cape Fynbos. Hack them away and they just come back with furious vengeance!  Rupanzel Rupanzel, let down your nose hair…

Steady hair loss

It’s not chronic yet, but when I jump out the shower and run a comb through the thatch on top of my head I can see straight through what used to me a thick bush of pretty great hair. My old man is bald (like an eagle) so I have resided myself to the fact that it will happen sooner or later (hopefully it will hold for a few more years). The question is what to do when the day finally arrives? Go bald gracefully and with honour or pull a Wayne Rooney and Jacques Kallis?

The odd creaking bone

After being seated in his favourite couch the entire afternoon, watching sport, my old man would eventually (but reluctantly) need to get up (for a bathroom break or a beer. Or both). And when he did, something always creaked. “Bloody hell” he would mutter before stretching it out like Jane Fonder. I also do a little couch time on the weekend watching some football or rugby and on the odd occasion I’m feeling the same urge to use the Lord’s name in vain when a knee or hip creaks. Just another sign I am getting older.

Toe nails of steel

Have you ever looked at elderly peoples feet? Their toe nails have become weapons of mass destruction. Aimed at the right person & with the right timing, they are lethal. It’s becoming tougher and tougher to keep the piggies looking tip top and it requires much more of an effort. A pair of nail clippers used to suffice, now you can hear sparks flying from the bathroom as I take the angle grinder to the bad boys. When your toe nails starting becoming as tough as Rhino horn, you are getting older.

Pulling the “Back in my day” card

My old man once told me that he lost his school shoes, and his parents couldn’t afford to buy new ones, so he walked to school, barefoot, the entire highveld winter.”Back in my day, you only got one pair of school shoes, my boy.” The story isn’t true but it was one of millions of “Back in the day” stories I was fed as a kid. Now, I find myself pulling the same card when I am trying to make a point. You know you are starting to do the same thing yourself.

Sleeping in front of the TV

There wasn’t an evening my old man didn’t nod off in front of the TV. And if he hit a really deep, deep snooze, all types of ungodly noises used to start filling the living room air. The man could snore like a bear in hibernation! “Dad, wake up!” I used to bark at him. “Sleeping…I’m not sleeping, I am just resting my eye lids,” was his retort. Fast forward 25 years and it’s me nodding off in front of the TV. Can’t seem to help myself! It’s just such a pleasant, drooly type of slumber…

The Sunday paper

If there was one thing my old man did religiously, it was read the Sunday paper. After Sunday lunch he would position himself on his favourite couch and read every page of the Sunday paper. And it was an art he perfected. Pamphlets tossed out, sports section first, cross word next, back to the front page and then page by page until it was neatly stacked on top of 17 weeks worth of issues. It’s also become my thing. A couple of hours of quiet time on the couch on a Sunday afternoon reading the Times back to back.


“Where are the Goddamn car keys? We are going to be late!” This was my old man, flying into a rage because we had 15 minutes to get to sport’s practice and somebody had moved the car keys. “Dad have you checked your pockets?” hoping he had because that is where he stored everything, including a bunch of change (he always had a fistful of change in his pockets). “Don’t be absolutely ridiculous, that’s the first place I would have checked”. Low and behold out of his pocket he’d pull out the Nissan Sentra keys.

Now my forgetfulness hasn’t become nearly as chronic as this, but I am starting to lose my stuff more and more often.  Then, blaming everyone for not putting it in the place I always stored it…You know what I am talking about.

Bad driver hatred

I could tolerate bad drivers when I was younger and now I cant! I find myself getting pretty friggin worked up. Nothing pissed my old man off more than bad drivers “S&*^, where did you buy your license, lady?” as he stuck his middle finger out of the Nissan Sentra window. His theory was that driving is about applying logic. If it is raining, drive slower. If you are going to overtake, go faster. If you are going to change lanes, let everyone around you know you are, by using your indicator. People who couldn’t apply a little logic shouldn’t be driving. Full stop. I didn’t get it when I was younger (thought he was a bit of an asshole), and now I have become him. A true hater of the ‘poor driving’ kind.

Not putting up with crappy service

Super displeased, my old man once took his steak and placed it into his empty cigarette box (a 30’s box back in those days) and sent he waiter back to the chef with this “It isn’t a steak if you can fit it into a cigarette box, asshole.” He had a habit of causing an absolute shit storm in restaurants if he was displeased! And for his young kids, it was embarrassing. I remember trying to hide under the steakhouse booth seats just to avoid the piercing eyes of the floor managers.

But as I’ve gotten older I have realized that he was right! Shit service is shit service and you should say something if you are displeased. I’m starting to think that it comes with getting older and becoming a little more bulletproof. When you are younger you are worried about what people think, but you develop a kinda “I don’t give a shit, I’m unhappy with this service and I am never going to see these people again in my life” attitude as you get older”. It’s starting to happen to me.

It’s funny how as you get older you start becoming more and more like your parents. Sons become their fathers and daughters, their mothers. Just a question of time before your kids start turning into you.

Are you starting to become your old man?

Let us know what changes you’re beginning to notice below.


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