Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Mid-Life Crisis

I feel a mid-life crisis coming on. Oh, I've had them before. But the beauty of this one is I sense it's coming. Which means I can proactively plan how it will manifest itself. So much better than impulsively driving off the lot in a canary yellow 911 convertible Porsche one can't afford then regretfully looking back when the first bill arrives and telling one's husband, "Sorry, it's a mid-life crisis!"  Or boinking the 24-year-old hot gardener ala Desperate Housewives. Luckily (for unsuspecting hot gardeners everywhere) we don't have a garden. And, truth be told, if I was going to impulsively buy a vehicle I can't afford it would be a 2011 black Audi Q7 with a fancy entertainment center so the girls would watch non-stop episodes of Dora and stop barking orders at me while I drive. Such a purchase doesn't scream MID-LIFE CRISIS! as much as it screams SOCCER MOM!

So the big decision is how will I choose to play out this particular mid-life crisis. I think I have an idea: I will become a vegan. Wait, stop. I know it's not very mid-life crisis-y. But it kind of is if you know me. Mid-life crises are supposed to be about engaging in uncharacteristic behaviors, right? Well, there is no group of humans I am more unlike than vegans. What is a vegan anyway? I suspect it's a vegetarian who no longer felt they were getting the proper accolades for selflessly saving the animals and decide to step up their annoying eating habits a notch. (Not fish, though. Fish are fair game for vegetarians. Why are cows worth saving when it comes to a species to slaughter for one's own consumption but not fish, one wonders?)

I don't see myself ever being friends with a vegan. What would we do? Where would we go out to eat? What would we talk about? Yoga? I bet vegans are too spiritually cleansed to watch the Bachelorette. They are probably munching on some tofu right now blissfully unaware that the worst Bachelorette in the history of the franchise chose boring JP over adorable Ben. Gwyneth Paltrow is a vegan. Need I say more?

If I fully commit to becoming a vegan I suppose I'll have to look up exactly what I'm not supposed to eat.  I consume about one whole cow per week so instead of evolving into a vegan I might become one of those people who only eat what cavemen could eat. Cavemen liked cows, or at least the prehistoric version of cows. That might suit me better. That seems easier as before you put anything into your mouth you need only ponder, "Could a caveman have eaten this?" Take a Twinkie for example. I don't think Hostess was invented in the Paleozoic era so the answer would (sadly) be no. I'm not sure when pinot noir came about but I have to believe an ambitious caveman (or cavewoman, no sexism here) who was hulking about the region that is now Sonoma, California accidentally stomped on some grapes, brought them back to the cave and discovered the mixture went nicely on the palate with the beast they clubbed earlier that day. So red wine is in.

I am open to ideas about this midlife crisis by the way. My only criteria is it can't be bad for my family or children. So schmooping the gardener, if we in fact had a garden, would not pass the "no harm to the family" criteria. Running off to Italy for five months with a man I meet on the Internet to retrace Elizabeth Gilbert's tracks in Eat, Pray, Love is similarly disqualified.  Plus I think women who aspire to do that are unoriginal harpies (the tracing of Gilbert's tracks part at least). I mean, really? The world is a big place -- make up your own damn itinerary, people!

On another note, I always thought my little crush on Daniel Craig was a joke. But when I learned he married Rachel Weisz I was actually ever-so-slightly disturbed. Not crying disturbed. More mildly irked. It was at that point, as I experienced my mild irk-ness, that I'd wished I had a therapist. What a great session that would be! I pictured myself sitting across from Gabriel Byrne from In Treatment (I totally would pick a therapist I slightly wanted to sleep with so he could diagnose that transference thing) and he would lean in, adorably engaged as I described my angst.

I'd play it up. In the session I wouldn't convey "mildly irked" but instead feign "extreme distress." He'd perhaps ask probing questions like, "Do you often have unrealistic fantasies about unattainable men you don't know?" I'd end the session bawling on the couch in a fetal position as Gabriel tried to talk me down while prescribing some anti-psychotic drugs. Oh, have I mentioned I don't believe in therapy? It's mainly because I think most therapists are even more f---ed up than the rest of us and they are simply trying to work out their own mental health issues ON OUR DIME. If you are a therapist reading this, no offense. But I'm right, right?

In conclusion, I am assuming if you are a vegan, a vegetarian, a therapist, a woman who wants to take an excursion to Italy, India and Bali in that order, or perhaps even a gardener, I've offended you.  Why so sensitive!?!


  1. Missed you! Hmmm, a mid-life crisis. I think you should contact Andy at Bravo and convince him to do a Chicago version of Real Housewives and star on it. I am watching part 2of the RHONYC reunion and I can't think of a better place to work on your midlife crisis, no?

    Hope to see you at BlogHer!

  2. I am crying laughing, or in an abbreviation you most likely hate LMFAO.

  3. I'm offended because Elizabeth Gilbert stole MY travel itinerary, more or less. I have been on record for years as wanting to visit all the countries that start with "I" (seemed like a reasonable number with good geographic diversity), but now when I finally do make it to Italy/India/Indonesia, everyone will just assume I'm stealing from her. Which is not quite on-topic for your post, but close enough.

    I turned 40 last month, and the only thing keeping me from a mid-life crisis at this point is the fact that I decided I get a 5 year do-over. 7 years of disabling illness, 3 of them tied to pregnancy or toddler, and no end in sight ... the universe owes me a few extra years. But let us know if you come up with any good midlife crisis plans, in case I need them down the line.

  4. Oh my Gawd, you are such a talented, funny writer. I love the first suggestion - Real Housewives of Chicago. And I'm a therapist, (or used to be). I kinda just made your point, didn't I?