Back in February, I wrote a column about my consternation over turning 40 in seven months. Well, I know I was whining, but now that it’s actually happened and my 30s are really behind me, I have to admit: It’s even worse than I imagined.
You may recall that back in February, I wrote a column about my consternation over turning 40 in seven months. Well, I know I was whining, but now that it’s actually happened and my 30s are really behind me, I have to admit: It’s even worse than I imagined. For one thing, I swear to God there seems to be more hair coming out of my ears.
Granted, it hasn’t been all bad — for one thing, my co-workers threw me a little surprise birthday party at the office, which reminded me that I was one step closer to the inexorable specter of my own mortality. Plus, cake!
I’m just concerned that given the American male life expectancy of 73 — which is arguably worse news for John McCain than it is for me — I have a lot of ground to make up if I’m going to get my mid-life crisis out of the way before I start my serious decline phase.But how to do it? This is what I’ve come up with so far:
· Mid-life crisis car. Now, ideally I’d be going out today and shelling out a down payment on a 2008 Porsche 911 Cabriolet convertible (turbo, of course). But what is the appropriate down payment on a $136,000 car if you want your monthly payment to be … wait a minute … $88.50?
Instead of figuring that out, I’m thinking it would be better to “pimp” my current ride, if it turns out that isn’t illegal. So I’ll be the guy dropping off his kid at elementary school in the white Subaru Forrester with rear spoiler and a fire-breathing dragon airbrushed onto the hood. Plus, flames coming out of the tailpipe. (That’s not a special feature — it just does that.)
· Run off with a 22-year-old. This would be a huge mistake on many levels. For one, what would I talk about with a 22-year-old? I can’t even name a single character on “Gossip Girl.” OK, Blair and Serena, but none of the others, I swear.
Then there’s the fact that getting my wife to marry me (still not sure how I did it, but I’m not ruling out hypnotism) was easily the best thing I’ve ever done, among a whole series of less successful choices. My decision in 1998 to stay in newspapers rather than start an Internet search company comes to mind.
· Bungee jump. Part of me feels like bungee jumping is a little too dated to work convincingly as a mid-life crisis activity — it would be sort of like replacing the door to my study with strings of beads, if I had a study. Also, extreme sports are probably not the activity for someone who won’t drive without a seat belt because he’s afraid of the beeping noise.
· Mid-life crisis appearance change. This could be problematic, because the last time I had an awareness of what a hip wardrobe was, it consisted of a skinny leather tie and a loose-fitting teal blazer with the sleeves rolled up. Who knows what’s considered hip these days, but if it involves a lot of fitted tank tops or the word “thong,” I’m sticking with my extensive ensemble of knit pullovers from Kohl’s.
As for other appearance adjustments, I will admit that I’ve lost some weight lately, but that’s not related to mid-life anxiety but rather to the fact that I was starting to resemble Cartman from “South Park.”
· Career switch. Does anyone know of any Internet search companies that are hiring?
Or I suppose I could just accept the fact that things are going pretty well and I don’t really need to mark the entrance to my 40s in any sort of extreme way. After all, as long as you’re happy, what does it matter that your life is half-over and you’ve yet to drive a Porsche or become rich and famous?
Although come to think of it, if I were rich and famous, I could probably do all of the above. Except instead of the 22-year-old, I’d just have more cake.
Peter Chianca is a CNC managing editor and the brains behind “The At Large Blog” (chianca-at-large.blogspot.com) and “The Shorelines Blog” (blogs.townonline.com/shorelines). To receive At Large by e-mail, write to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line “SUBSCRIBE.”