So I’ve just had my birthday and I realise that I don’t have a mid-life crisis planned.
After tweeting with friends about mid-life crisis’ I figure that a proper mid-life crisis must fulfil several criteria.
If you make a change at mid-life that works for you, then it’s just a change of life, an improvement that could have happened at any time you decided to try it – but for a mid-life crisis, it must be futile, ill thought out, a desperate grab at a lost youth and go some way to alienating you from others…. and generally be a short lived project before you return to what’s salvageable of youR life after the crisis is over…
With this in mind, the list was narrowed down into viable (even classic) mid-life crisis’.
Buying a motorbike.
The whole deal, along with all of the tight leathers (extra points for tassels). It would have to be the biggest, most bejewelled and outrageous Harley custom (or similar) or a razors edge race bike with lots of Z’s and X’s in the name – and possibly ending with the initials ‘TT’.
This would only be ridden during sunny days and garaged the rest of the time – under a custom-made cover. All the extras would be purchased for it, the chrome bits, the carbon bits, the sporty loud exhausts.
It would probably last a couple of years and then the iron horse would become a shelf for jars of nails, coat rack, old paint tins etc…
The kit car.
This is similar to the motorbike – although you never get to take it out of the garage. You get half way into the build… or maybe even just far enough to lean some wheels against the body shell to see what it will look like… and then your lose interest.
The engine will sit in the corner of the garage, the expensive tool box will sit full of unused tools, the carbs will sit on the work bench you made especially for the project.
The main body will sit for a few years in the garage before it moves into the back garden and rests under a fading tarpaulin. The larger spare parts will become one with the garden plants.
‘Nuff said. If you already had one, fair enough… but growing one does not make you Peter Pan.
Form a band.
Remember at school when you and your mates said “let’s form a band!” and then spent the next few weeks figuring out a name, have a rehearsal or two… maybe play an assembly… and then realise how it wasn’t such a cool idea after all…?
Well 30 years later it suddenly comes back to you! Sure, this is a great idea! You’ve always had a guitar knocking around the place, and sure you play it competently (whilst sporting the ponytail, of course), so why wouldn’t you get together with a few other delusional mid-lifers to form a bad. Somehow you just know that the world needs more mediocre middle-aged cover bands to play at dodgy pubs and village fetes and carnivals (if you can reach those heady heights).
That being said, there are some bloody good bands out there that started this way. ‘Some’ being the key word. If it lasts longer than 12 months, then it is no longer just a mid-life crisis!
Nothing helps recapture your youth like an injury from an extreme sport (this can mean ‘jogging’ in some people’s cases). Usually it involves tripping over your ski’s whilst trying them on in your bedroom, but you can tell everyone at the pub that you did it on a black run trying to save this kid who was showing off…. ah yeah, these kids!
Fair play to you if you take something up for the right reasons – after all, you reach an age and you need to take up some extra exercise to keep yourself in shape – but Super-X moto racing, skydiving, surfing, street luge…. these are not sports that you just go into halfway through your life…. Try tennis or badminton… or the typical ones of golf or squash.
Dress young, go clubbing.
Remember as a kid how you used to laugh at the guy who was as old as your dad and was well embarrassing coz’ he tried to speak cool like the kids and he dressed like he thought the kids dressed… which inevitably meant he looked like The Fonz… with a beer belly…. or a Ibiza DJ in Day-Glo shirt… with a beer belly… Well, that’s you now…. Don’t do it.
Whatever you do, if you do go down this route…. don’t then try to ice the cake by then going clubbing. It makes the whole sad package a whole lot sadder….
Buy a Porsche.
Yup…. nothing says ‘recaptured youth‘ like a ponytail flapping in the wind behind a balding head in a soft top Porsche…
Have an affair.
Getting a much younger girl on your arm (and more) is a fail-safe, 100% fool-proof way to recapture that feeling of youth that is slipping through your insecure fingers.
Hang on, what I meant was ‘having an affair is the fastest way to lose all the things you have managed to get up to this point in time, and piss the lot away, ending up with nothing more than even more regrets and the disrespect from your friends. You prick.‘
Have a break down.
If you don’t have the cash to spend on ill-fated hobbies, sports, tarts, dodgy haircuts etc, then you could just go for despair. Yes, life is slipping through your fingers, so let your stress build up and then strip naked in the middle of a shopping centre in rush hour and run around laughing. For added effect, cover yourself with your own filth.
It’ll get it out of your system quickly, probably won’t lose you as many friends as some of the things already listed above – and it may even get you some paid sick leave off of work so you can have even more time to reflect on how it’s all slipping away and you haven’t done anything with your life and …and… where’s that kit car magazine?
Don’t go too far though. Running around killing people isn’t going to help matters. Much like the running around covered in your own filth will only earn you more time to think about a wasted life, a prison sentence is going to give you WAY more of that time to regret your lost youth.
A lot of mid-life crisis moves are simply either redoing what you already did at school to be cool, but gave up on when you realised it wasn’t really cool…. or being financially able to do the things that you thought were cool at school, but didn’t have the cash to do them back then.
In these latter cases the idea never actually died…. it sat in your head for the next 30 years… and because it has always been in your head, waiting, it suddenly seems like a good idea as it fights for freedom in your middle-aged head…. It’s not…