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This is a question Midlife Crisis

I've hit my forties, and my midlife crisis has manifested itself in old band T-shirts and a desire to go on camper van holidays. How has it hit you, or - if you are still a youngling - your elders?

(, Thu 2 May 2013, 11:55)
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I've got a theory...
... that my generation (early forties) and younger won't have mid life crises like they used to be. Here's why:

In the olden days (i.e. when I was a kid), blokes in their forties had often left school at sixteen or eighteen, or if they were lucky and/or posh had gone to uni. In any case, firmly on a track. They'd meet a girl, get married (quite possibly to one of the first few women they ever had sex with), and by their mid-twenties there'd be kids in their house. They'd get their heads down and pay a mortgage and start working their way up the ladder at work.

And then when they got to be about forty, in the mid seventies, their kids would be in their mid-teens. Girls would be flowering and bringing friends home. Boys would be getting girlfriends and bringing them home. Either way, these men would be reminded of the freshness of youth. Kids would getting independent, learning to drive, and taking advantage of new opportunities available to them due to increased affluence. At exactly the same time, their parents, who would by now be in their sixties and seventies and getting decrepit and dependent, would serve as a reminder of where their life was inevitably headed. Their wives, naturally, would be concentrating harder on running the house and possibly their careers than on making themselves look like sex kittens, and to top it all, after twenty years or so, their career would likely have plateaued. At this point, they'd look in the mirror at their greying temples and the beginnings of wrinkles, and they'd start to think about all the things they'd missed out on because they married young. And they'd think "this is my last chance". And they'd get a sports car, or a motorbike, and start wearing age-inappropriate clothing and chasing younger women, all in a bid to recapture something they felt they'd missed out on - an independent youth.

But for people now in their forties, the average age we got married - if we even got married at all - is much higher. More of us are delaying having kids, or not having them at all. We grew up in a time of relative prosperity, and the rise of Loaded and FHM were symptomatic of a society where it was acceptable for men in their twenties and thirties to behave like teenagers, playing computer games and buying toys and chasing women. Fundamentally, as a generation, we didn't miss out, because our adolescence was extended into our twenties and thirties. So we arrive in our forties and what do we find? We work indoors in an office, we always slathered on sunscreen, and we followed that skin care regime in "Men's Health", so we don't look that old. If we're married, our wives did similar and they look fabulous. Our kids, if we got any, are still toddlers or at least ten or under because we delayed breeding - and we get to play with their toys. And our parents, far from being decrepit, just Skyped us from bloody Thailand because their ludicrously generous final salary pensions mean they're better off than us. There's no such thing as a "career plateau" any more because there's not the same concept of a "career" - work is far more fluid than it used to be, hardly any jobs for life any more. Nothing about this scenario is telling us we have a last chance to grab something we never had, because anything we wanted, we had and to an extent still have. Also, in the event we find ourselves single and wishing for female company, the internet means meeting someone compatible and age-appropriate is simplicity itself.

My only vaguely MLC purchase was a left-handed electric guitar, which I bought, plonked about with briefly, then placed on a stand in the corner of my movie room, there to gather dust because I can't be bothered learning to play it. Other than that, at 44 I can't see the need for a crisis because life's been pretty sweet up to now, and the same goes for most of the blokes I know.

And yes, I know we're lucky.
(, Fri 3 May 2013, 9:20, 10 replies)
Is this a cry for help?

(, Fri 3 May 2013, 9:37, closed)
That was a very articulate, perceptive and well-reasoned piece of writing

...I think you may be in the wrong room.
(, Fri 3 May 2013, 10:40, closed)
^ that

(, Fri 3 May 2013, 13:04, closed)
^that x2

(, Fri 3 May 2013, 15:04, closed)
and a bit more

(, Mon 6 May 2013, 15:38, closed)
Just for you!
(, Fri 3 May 2013, 11:49, closed)
^ what moon monkey said

(, Fri 3 May 2013, 11:51, closed)
And well written. At 44 (and a half), I agree wholeheartedly.
(, Sat 4 May 2013, 13:32, closed)
Spot fucking on.
We're a bit older(53) but my and MrsScars did all that travelling/extreme sports/chemical lunacy by the time we were 35. LittleScars is now 17, and she's decided that the family holiday thing is over. So she booked herself into Scout Camp for a fortnight, and told us that we could go back to being idiots again. 10 days in Iceland doing 4WD trekking, woo hoo!
(, Sat 4 May 2013, 16:05, closed)

You, sir, have violated the first rule of the internet: Never post anything of real value.
(, Tue 7 May 2013, 8:32, closed)

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