Inflexibility in old age: no more new stuff, please

Stubbornness adorns the mature man. He has already learned everything important. New ideas only disturb the inner and outer peace.

Old age is full of calm certainty Photo: Marcelo Chello/imago

At some point, the mature man comes to the firm realization that he doesn’t need to learn anything new, let alone experience it. After all, he has experienced enough, and, hand on heart, most of it was superfluous anyway and not particularly enjoyable either. Above all, however, the new is exhausting. At some point, enough is enough with the stress. What was the point of going to school for an agonizing eight or ten or even thirteen years plus overtime? That’s when it has to be good.

Vegetables, feminism, new spelling, intimate hygiene: no more new stuff, please! These modernist bells and whistles fuck my brain and make the world a worse, i.e. for me more confusing, shitty world. I know everything a man needs to know: how to pull a spark plug with my teeth, what makes chicks tick, and how to fire a bazooka. That’s enough.

Brandt or Straub, Geha or Pelikan, Beatles or Stones – I made the most important decisions in life long ago, the course has been set. Why form an opinion, I already have one. And it also fits every new topic – under a gentle hammer blow, every piece of the puzzle has still fallen into place.

My wife often says that I should please move. But I have moved before. I don’t have to move either. I already live. I don’t want to meet new people either, I already know some. Or rather, I knew some. When they started to contradict me, I unfriended them and blocked them. It was all still analog – you just exchanged a few slaps and then didn’t answer the phone anymore.

The aging man has it less easy than many think. The hormones go crazy, the andropause clown no longer understands the world. The wife is gone, and his best friend is the urologist. All episodes of the column "Andropause" are available here.

I’ve been accused of being inflexible, stubborn and obstinate in the past. I’ll take that as a compliment. Because stubbornness is not for nothing only one letter away from stubbornness. "Stupidity loses keys, stubbornness wins wars," my clever urologist Zbigniew quoted a Masurian bon mot just the other day, while he was carefully decalcifying my urethra with a hot knitting needle.

And he is right. Of course, I’m always right about everything. This is ensured by my life experience, which has the great advantage of being well and firmly preserved and not, as with so many young people, stirred up by permanent input and therefore permanently clouded. Even "discourse" and "arguments" are only synonyms for spinelessness and weakness in decision-making. Sometimes up, sometimes down. The flighty mice can cut a thick slice from my iron principles. With me, things are not like this today and like that tomorrow. But always the same. And yesterday.

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