Monday, November 14, 2011

His Old Soldier Won't March on Command

Posted By on Mon, Nov 14, 2011 at 8:07 PM

Dear Jack,

I recently went through a traumatic divorce. Well, not recently. When I look at the calendar, I see that it has actually been more than a year now since I signed the papers. But in some ways it feels like it still hasn't ended

Until I met Kathy. Kathy isn't her real name. She is younger than me by almost 10 years. When I first noticed her interest in me, I was shocked. She is, to be perfectly honest, the best-looking woman I've even known. I mean she is hot. Hotter than I deserve or that I ever thought possible.

Kathy is beautiful inside as well as outside. She saw something in me, something I didn't even know about myself. Because we were already acquaintances before she asked me out the first time, she was aware of the difficulties I had been going through. She's been extremely patient with me and my natural fear of getting too close to anyone.

We've been dating regularly for about a month now. It's been strange, to say the least, but in a wonderful way. It's been an amazing adventure. I feel alive again for the first time, I realize now, in years, since long before the divorce.

This past Saturday night. Kathy and I had dinner at her place. It was going to be a quiet night with wine and a movie, but it became so much more. And at the crucial moment, I failed. Big time. This has never happened to me before. She said it's ok, but it's not okay. It happens to men my age, she said. So Sunday night, I tested the machinery and it still wasn't working properly.

I haven't spoken to Kathy since. I don't want to hear her say it's okay again. I'm scared to death something is wrong with me. What if I have some disease? It would be just like God to strike me down at the moment I have finally found true happiness.

Weary Soldier

Dear Sad Sack,

First allow me to offer my congratulations and condolences on your divorce. Take it from an old campaigner, this too shall pass.

It is frustrating and frightening when that rugged old soldier, who has always done his duty so admirably, with such stiff determination, penetrating deeply into hazardous territory controlled by the enemy without fear of the consequences, suddenly fails to come to attention as expected.

At your age (which I have not disclosed), what you experienced is not uncommon, nor does it indicate a dire medical issue. A friend of mine with lower spine issues found that he was unable to perform while lying on his back. Something to do with a nerve being pinched. It could be high blood pressure or any number of other treatable medical problems. Don't be afraid to see your doctor. Or maybe you just had too much wine.

But I suspect your problem is you didn't have enough wine. You were trying too hard, my friend, trying to overcompensate for your low morale. You wanted it to be so perfect and you couldn't live up to your own expectations. One moment of doubt and suddenly your forces retreated in disarray. Try as you might to rally, you only turned retreat into rout.

My advice to you is to relax, forget about it. Don't build up huge expectations. Let things happen naturally and take your time. Don't think. Just be. Focus on your target and let the plane fly itself.

And if you're still worried, see our friend the pharmacist. He can do wonders for your morale.

Got a problem. Jack Waggon will set you straight: jack.wagg@gmail.com.

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