Monday, April 4, 2011

Mid-Life Crisis is a Bunch of Crap

A few days ago I found myself needlessly roaming around a world import store.  Actually I shouldn't say, "needlessly".  I'm never caught dead shopping for anything other than groceries without some sort of purpose.  I had found some Italian coffee syrups for a friend's birthday and did not want to go back to my car right away.  My boys had just been to a video game shop and were discussing in great depth the art of destroying battle tanks.  I needed a break even if it meant "shopping" per se. 

So there I was, in a store on pay day, when it suddenly occurred to me that this place had some really cool stuff.  Imagine my joy as I walked along the aisles and found beautiful, bright, beaded purses and funky, dangly earrings, and all sorts of things I'd love to buy; however, with money being as tight as it is, I settled for the $20.00 Indonesian purse and $4.00 earrings made from who knows where (probably the back office). 

After 40 minutes of leaving the boys to discuss the joys of video battle games, I came back to the car wearing/carrying my new found exotic treasures and the first thing out of their mouths was, "you look like you're trying to be a teenage hippie."  Nice.  Brats.  For once I buy something I like, and they accuse me of being a sixteen year old flower child.  "Stop talking about battle games in front of me or I'll make you take that stupid video game back!"  There!  That will teach them to hurt my feelings. Hmmmfff!

Was I trying to look like a teenage hippie?  Was I going through a mid-life crisis?  After all, I am starting guitar lessons this week.  Who does that at 44?  I've come a long way from the days of plaid skirts and ruffled blouses. What was I trying to prove and to whom?  Nothing.  After deep and intense consideration during the long ten minute drive home this was my conclusion...

Mid-life crisis is a bunch of crap.  There's no such thing.  The reason that 40-somethings start buying funky clothes, or fast red cars, or get their noses fixed, etc.,  is because these are the things they wanted to do when they were young and for one reason or another couldn't.  For instance, I was too self-conscious to be that liberal hippie in high school.  I was too uptight.  I was afraid of what my conservative parents would think.  I was a pleaser.  I couldn't branch out on my own.  My first husband was a long-haired, hippie pagan dude so in a way, I suppose, I was challenging my 12 years of Catholic school upbringing.  Unfortunately for him I didn't consider the ramifications of what I was doing.  I wasn't ready to face my skeletons.  I married him for the wrong reasons and tried to adapt him to fit into the same conservative environment that I was raised into.  Wrong.  Divorce paperwork.  Sign at the dotted line.  I'm so sorry.

It's sort of the same thing with people getting nose jobs and fast cars.  It could be the self-confidence factor or now just possibly because they can afford it.  People in their 40's aren't worried about getting older.  I believe they have the opportunities or the self-confidence they didn't have when they were younger.  The only questionable factor is the men who leave their wives for younger women.  This one baffles me.  Are these guys idiots?  I mean, really!  Do they truly believe younger women find their receding hairlines and muffin tops attractive?  These young ladies (???)  know that the older guys can afford to give them stuff.  That's all.  Here's the real stupidity factor - the older guys' wives, even though our boobs may not be as perky, we totally have it going on in the bedroom.  40 year old women know what they want and how to get it.  So in my opinion ladies, if your man leaves you for a younger woman, don't mope.  He's the ultimate loser.  You get the house, the kids (well, sorry), a really good financial settlement, and you can totally go out and be a Couger.  The secret is out - 40 year old women are hot! 


Pat said...

I have to disagree with you here Breezy. There is a midlife crisis. Studies have been done on happiness. Guess which decade in a person's life if by far the unhappiest? You guessed it. It's the 40's. That's the decade when many of us realize that the dreams we had growing up are not going to happen. There's just not enough time. So, when people are unhappy, some tend to reach out to find short-term happiness in the things that they CAN change. Well, I'm not going to be a vet, but I can get a sports car. Well, I'm not going to be a CEO, but I can join the country club. Well, my wife is already treating me like I'm 80, So I'll go get a new wife as well. Depression makes people do things that they otherwise wouldn't. When you begin to feel dead inside, many people will grasp as anything to feel alive again. Skydiving anyone?

Leigh Ann said...

I agree w/Pat to a point. 6 out of my mom's 7 brother's divorced their wives and left their families for much younger women once they hit their 40's. When I hit 40, I realized that I had been in WA for 10 years and it was very apparent that we were never going to move back to CA and it depressed me to no end. But I got involved in the PTA, I made sure my hub & I have date night, I hauled my sewing machine out and started making curtains and things to improve our house. I went out of my 'norm' to find things to make me happier w/in the life I had. I think everyone has 'that point' that they get to, it's all in what they decide to do with it that matters. :)

Bri Potts said...

Do we have any 40 something's out there who agree with me???

Brenda said...

Well, I'm not 40 yet, but I would still like to weigh in on this. I must say that I agree with both lines of thinking. There is a mid life crisis that happens. A lot of people, like Pat said, reach a point in their lives when they take stock of where they are. How far they've come, how far they have to go, the dreams that did or did not come true. I've felt that already in my 30's. I have a t-shirt that says "This is not the life I ordered".

However, as Bri said, a lot of us reach a level of financial status that allows us to live more freely. We learn that we are no longer our parents' children, but our own grown up person. We start to live without restraints.

Perhaps it is the fact that we usually do not have babies at this stage in our lives. Our kids have reached a point where they can be more independent and therefore giving us the opportunity to do the same. Taking guitar lessons, learning to meditate, taking a retreat, reconnecting with your spouse.

Unfortunately some people go bonkers and leave their spouse, have affairs, spend too much money, etc.

Again, as with everything in life, balance is key.