Monday, November 26, 2007

Mid-Life Crisis.

I was flicking through an old copy of Reader’s Digest when I stumbled upon the problem page.

I hate problem pages. I hate them a lot.

Usually, the ‘problem’ is so minor it shouldn’t warrant 15 minutes thought, let alone a letter. Then, the advice received is either so ridiculously obvious an amoeba would go ‘duh!’ Or, three, the advice just won’t work in real life.

For example, a mother wrote in saying that every time her 8 year old plays with a particular friend, he comes home acting like a monster.

Here’s my advice. Punish your kid for bad behavior and tell him he can’t play with that friend until he stops acting like such a sheep.

What did the ‘expert’ say? To ‘go to the kids parents, tell them you think their kid is being a bad influence and to ‘work out a solution’’.

Yep, because going to someone’s house and telling them they’re bad parents isn’t a great way to get punched in the face! If the kid is such a little bastard, chances are his parents don’t care anyway. Great, you’ve just turned a minor, everyday problem into a major feud.

Anyway…I digress.

The one that really caught my eye was from a wife who was ‘concerned’ that her middle-aged husband had just bought a red sports car. She thought it was a ‘mid-life crisis’ issue and wondered if she should talk to her husband about it.

Ok, let me let the ladies in on a secret. When it comes to males, ‘growing up’ is a myth. Every fully grown man out there is essentially a 14 year old in a man-suit. As we grow up physically, we become aware that we’re supposed to start acting differently, so we do…but it doesn’t mean that’s who we are.

Think of the stuffiest, most ‘responsible’ no-nonsense guy you know. See your 60 year old bank manager? He might be sitting behind his desk, the respected head of a major financial institution…but if he could get away with it, and be sure no-one would find out…he’d be outside with the bank’s partners, a twig for a gun, playing army.

Right now, you might be thinking ‘Not my man’, but yes, your man. See the toolbox? That’s a grown man’s toy-chest. He might tell you he bought that security system to protect the family and lower your home-owners insurance…but he bought it because it has buttons, lights and sounds, and he can pretend he’s a secret agent defusing an atom-bomb every time he punches in the code.

Ladies, you do it too. Guy’s might ‘waste’ money on things like tools and cars…but do you really need four hundred pairs of shoes? A make-up kit that weighs 100lbs? So many clothes you could kill yourself by putting them in a pile, climbing to the top and then jumping off? I hate to point this out, but while men swap their toy cars for real ones, you stop playing dress-up with Barbie and buy accessories for yourself.

So, anyway, back to the sports car. Here’s the deal. Every guy wants a sports car or its equivalent. It might be a boat, motorcycle, gigantic truck or our very own private workshop (read ‘toy room’). We’ve all wanted one ever since one drove by when we were five. It’s big, it’s loud and it’s shiny…we want it.

Now it comes down to simple economics.

What’s the difference between a 21 year old guy and a 40 year old guy? The answer is money.

At 21, we have no credit, no savings and probably working in a crappy job. By 40 we have a decent credit rating, savings and property to secure a loan.

In other words, guys don’t buy this shit because they’re trying to recapture their youth. It’s just we’ve all always wanted a big, shiny red sports car…and when we reach that mid-life point, we can finally afford one.


OzzyC said...

The craziest part is that women don't realize this!

The Girl said...

Ah the best words of wisdom I was ever taught... the older boys get, the more expensive their toys get.