It was about six months ago I turned 50 years old. At the time I took it in stride. It barely made a ripple in my psyche. Now I am starting to worry I may be having an issue and turning a half century old could be at the root of my current malaise. I don’t want to be a stereotypical gray-haired, pot-bellied father of nearly grown children who steps out of normal everyday life into a mid-life crisis but that may be where I am headed.
OK, even if I am going down that path “crisis” is way too strong a word. I am thinking I may be suffering from a mid-life truly-inconvenient-stage-of-life-in-which-I-use-words-like-malaise-to-describe-myself phase.
The first problem I face if I am going to fully jump in and have a mid-life crisis is I still love my wife. This makes it very difficult to chase young women in an attempt to recapture my youth. This brings us immediately to the second problem. If I were to recapture my youth in regards to chasing young women it would mean I would spend an inordinate amount of time staring at the phone with the particular object of my affection’s phone number clearly written on a scrap of paper in plain sight yet my finger is unable to dial the number because my brain has ground to a halt of epic proportion making it so I cannot read numbers or form coherent thoughts much less words capable of wooing. (That is probably another contributing factor to not being successful with the ladies. I use words like wooing.)
I’m sure those of you who have been reading my musings for the last few years find it unbelievable this silver-tongued wordsmith did not have any woman he wanted eating out of his hand, au contraire my mon petit chou.
My very first slow dance with a girl was like many other boys, in the gym of a junior high school. Everyone knows how that setting is just dripping with romance. If junior high school gyms had been around in Shakespeare’s time his greatest love scenes would have surely taken place with a basketball goal hanging dreamily over the heads of the starry-eyed youths. Also, like many of the boys of my generation that first slow dance with a girl…I probably ought to stop saying it that way, it implies my previous slow dances were with a boy…anyway, that dance occurred while the Bees Gees played over the tinny sound system and since it was a slow dance it was “How Deep is Your Love?” To this day whenever that song comes on the radio I am immediately whisked back to that spring night at Liberty Junior High and I have to fight the sudden and dramatic urge to jerk the steering wheel hard to the right and drive into the nearest tree. You see that dance didn’t end so well for me. We were silent for the first three minutes and 40 seconds. I was concentrating on at least approximating smooth steps and arduously avoiding direct eye contact for fear of…for fear of …just plain fear. Therefore I didn’t talk. Then she broke the silence by uttering these words which will forever live in my memory and dreams: “Boy, this is a long song.” My next slow dance was about six years later and the Bee Gees were nowhere to be found.
So, my mid-life crisis will not involve dancing.
Fine, what is the next best thing? Most men who start feeling that life has passed them by look to get into a racy sports car and drive as fast as they can to see if they can catch up with it. I am far too cheap to do that. Don’t get me wrong. I think it would be fun to have a cherry red convertible which goes from zero to fifty a heck of lot faster than I did. Then I think again and realize a convertible is only really a good idea in southwestern Kansas about seven hours a year. If the temperature isn’t arctic blast or oven hot the wind is blowing like it needs to get to Nebraska before dinner. There is sometimes an afternoon in late April when it would be perfect to put the top down and go bombing around town. I repeat, sometimes.
Well, it appears I do not have the makings of man willing to fully commit to a mid-life crisis. I guess I will have to be content with buying a new hat and moving forward with a fabulous wife and a sensible sedan.
Christopher Pyle will entertain other suggestions for how he could pursue a jolt to his current life at firstname.lastname@example.org.