2010-03-27 / Editorials & Letters

Lighten up: I’m planning my Midlife Crisis

By Dawn Weber

Life is short. Go topless.

In a car, people! I’m talking about convertible automobiles, here. Sheesh! What did you think I meant? Well, shame, shame, shame on you!

Folks now tell me I’m middleaged. Isn’t that nice of them? So I figure it’s high time I joined the crowd and bought a convertible. Sports cars, road trips, surfing, old friends, - these are the ideas I have up my sleeve. Happy, fun, reasonable craziness.

As you can see, I’ve been very busy here lately, planning my Midlife Crisis. Can you plan a midlife crisis? I don’t know. But I’m sure going to try. Better to plot the whole thing out as a nice party than to deny it’s happening and get blindsided by depressive old-age anxiety.

I am GENIUS. True?

Not far from it, judging by the tumble of female Facebook friends who responded to my news of planned angst.

“May I please come?” “Take me!” “I want to go!” - my fellow 40-something girlfriends replied. They turned my Facebook notifications box as red as a hot-flashedface on a steamy August night.

I’d love to take them. Gather them up and make a great big southbound convertible convoy. C’mon ladies. Let’s have us an Estrogen Festivus!

All their interest got me thinking: Why the need for midlife crises? What makes perfectly sane folks in their 40s and 50s chuck their old lives, buy fast cars and go bat-crap crazy?

I’m not sure. I’m just your average Wal-Mart shopper. But here’s what I do know.

Life moves too darn fast. WTH, I mean, heck? When we were young, days, months, seasons crept slowly past. Summer seemed like its own lifetime, its own entity, a book of empty pages. Nothing but promise.

Now, the older we get, the faster time goes. Blink - it’s Monday - again. Yawn - summer’s over- already.

Shucks - wouldn’t surprise me to wake up tomorrow inside whatever (Florida, please! Oceanside, please! Hi kids, love ya!) nursing home the children have picked for me.

Ah, I see! Now the Midlife Crisis Car makes total sense! Buy it, travel to places I love, do things I haven’t done. And drive it fast. Death won’t catch me - at least for a while.

Oh, and Death? Bite me.

Therefore I’m saving my pennies for a fast, convertible car, a trip down south with old friends and some surfing lessons. To complete the cliché, I may even tattoo or pierce something. (Mama never did let me get that second hole in my ears...)

Surprisingly, my husband was less than enthusiastic about my impending purchases. Seems he doesn’t see a real need for a third car that can only be driven three months per year. Or a vacation that I’m taking without him.

Men - can’t live with ‘em, can’t run ‘em over with your ragtop.

So I dropped the subject. Now, I just tell him that I’m going topless as much as possible this summer.

He seems O.K. with that.

Dawn Weber is a Brownsville writer, wife and working mother of two pre-teens.

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