‘Tis a silly name really. Larry. When I was young, I preferred it to Lawrence, but in my dotage have reverted to that name because it sounds classier. Let’s face it, unless I go to great lengths to change it, the name is mine forever. Larry. Just try to tell people you are Lawrence. They look at you as if you’re a toffee-nosed pretender and say, “So, is it really Larry?” I hate that. Legally I’m Lawrence. Socially I’m Larry….happy as Larry, late as Larry, Larry the Lamb; in league with all the hapless Larry characters who have graced our televisions over the past decades. I have not met a Larry under the age of 50.
There are some in America. The African-American (but not all are from African descent) population seem to have taken over the name for some reason. Maybe because it was available, the European Americans having abandoned the name long ago. Even some young lads are Lawrence or Larry. NFL and NBA players come to mind. Go on Facebook and type in the name, either version, and you’ll see for yourself. Within my demographic, white, Anglo-Saxonish, my name is dead. Even Bob is preferred over Larry. Oh well.
Which brings me to the point of this Blog….yes, there is indeed a point. My second Blog. Immediately after the first Blog was published, I asked my best friend to go online to see if it had indeed appeared. At first, she went through a list of expat Larrys writing Blogs from all over the place, even Peru. My first thought was, how dare they use their silly name (if it is their real name) to promote their ideas and flaunt their adventures. Imagine the audacity. It was pointed out that I was doing exactly the same thing really. Nonsense. Besides, no one wants to be told that. Don’t lump me in with those pretend Larrys. And I read some of those Blogs….Spelling? Punctuation? Syntax? Please. Don’t get me started.
My second thought was, where do all these Larrys suddenly come from and how old must they be? To those other Larrys and wannabe Larrys I say, keep the name alive at least, but please, some coherence and remember, less is more. Still, the best solution is for all you Larrys to leave it to me. I shall be the voice of the Larrys. Sounds selfish I know and blatantly self-promoting, but I will not have our name ridiculed further because some of us can’t spell, put a sentence together or at least have the aptitude to proof-read our own Blogs.
Enough said. I can’t tell any more if I was blessed with this name, being as it is so silly and marketable, or cursed so as to never be taken seriously. Time, in my case, seems to have supported the latter, but this Larry has decided to fight on for due recognition and hopefully a few accolades here and there. They say time will tell. I don’t have as much time as when I started. Younger, African-American Larrys may, but not I. My days wind down. I must have a voice before the end. It must be as Expat Larry.
This Larry worked in a music shop in London, England a few years ago. I was then in my 50s. One day a person came into the shop in a wheel chair, looking for an instrument he could play as he was just recovering from a stroke. We got talking and discovered we were both Larrys of the same age. He had been a fine musician once but the stroke disabled him. He no longer had the motor skills needed to play the guitar properly….my main instrument. We chatted about life and where it takes us. He said, “This getting old is shitty mate. You never think things like this will happen to you and then suddenly, here I am. For the rest of my life-like this.”
Makes you think. Poor bugger. I felt his pain…then I felt my own pulse. That could be me. I constantly have twinges here and there, my hearing is less than it once was as is my eyesight. My joints ache and I have to watch my weight, not an easy thing for a guy who likes his food, especially the sweet stuff. So there’s Diabetes and the Prostate to consider. You could worry about it all day or determine not to give in to ageing and make your mark. This Larry intends to do just that and be happy while I do it….until I explode or vanish.
We’ve all heard that life is short. Everyone says it, especially if a loved one or someone close has a bad accident, contracts a terminal disease or plain dies. The days do seem to go more quickly as I age. I fill those days with so much activity that the hours melt away. Here we are in the middle of March (nearly) and I have no idea where Christmas went. I don’t think this is a Larry thing. Everyone my age and older says the same thing. We are helpless in the onslaught of time passing. I remember the Beatles singing ‘When I’m Sixty Four’ when the song was brand new in 1967, 46 years ago. At the time I thought I’d never get there. It seemed eons away. And here I am, a minute later, turning 64 in 12 days. Paul McCartney who sang it is 72. He must have to blink several times to imagine where all that time has gone. Maybe he’s too busy to notice.
Back to all the Larrys out there. Good luck fellas. Hope you’re all happy. Keep breathing wherever you are and how ever old you may be. I don’t care what ethnic background you come from. A Larry is a Larry. Just leave the Blogging to me….please. I’ll try to speak for many of us. Maybe not the guy in Peru, but any of the rest of us in the Western Hemisphere (I can’t imagine Oriental Larrys….there are some but none actually born in the Orient surely….or from the Indian subcontinent) and maybe Australia, where, it seems, the term ‘Happy as Larry’ may have originated. The alternative is for you to Blog back and forth with me….share Larry stuff. What do you think? If you ever read this, I’m here. As for the rest of you, if you chance upon my Blog, treat a Larry to a coffee or preferably a beer and make him happy.