Midlife crisis man

I am 40 this year. Even typing that seems almost unbelievable. However, despite attempts to brow beat my mother into admitting that she got my, and my younger sister’s dates of birth wrong way round, I have had to admit that I am indeed middle aged. I was the last year to do O levels so indeed I must be 40. Unfortunately there is nothing I can do about this. I have looked into cryogenic freezing but that seems ineffectual: I have tried to rationalise that I probably have about half my life left but it does not help. Even retirement is no consolation since as we all know by the time I am allowed to retire the retirement aged will be 120 and I am most unlikely to live that long. Death not life begins at 40.

In my despair my wife is no help to me. She has already just (she made me put that in) achieved middle age. Women, however, seem more sanguine about this ghastly state of affairs. Elenwe just cannot understand what all the fuss is about: she thinks I should just get on with life: well what’s left of it. However, it is clear: I must now have a midlife crisis. This is not a voluntary issue: it is like salmon returning to spawn, like wilder beasts migrating, like fundamentalists being dour; it is inevitable, even predestined. I am midlife-crisis- man (MLCM for short). The only choice is how I am to conduct this midlife crisis. There are a number of tried and tested options one can follow:

Firstly I could buy a motorbike. This option has benefits: motorbikes are relatively cheap; they allow transportation; they make scary noises and allow one to look manly. Unfortunately this is not an option for me. I am too small and weedy to control a big hard looking motorbike and a scooter would just look silly at my age. I could not grow a proper beard even if I tried; I am too much of a coward to ride a fast sporty motorbike. Unlike some men having their midlife crisis I am not so disenchanted with life that I do not fear death or serious disability from crashing the thing. As such the motorbike option was closed to me.

My next thought was swopping the wife for a younger model. This was initially quite attractive: after all the wife is no spring chicken herself (being older than me – ha got that one in when she was not looking) and, hence, an upgrade might be no bad idea. I toyed with the wife swop idea: I work with lots of young women. However, it was not realistic. I was not attractive to women when young so I have little chance now I am slightly balding, four eyed and weedy rather than just four eyed and weedy. I have lost acne and hair in approximately equal amounts. Furthermore getting a new wife would introduce so many other problems: I like my in-laws and they would disown me (a bit unacceptable of them but inevitable). My mother would be very cross (she likes the wife); the children would be cross. Finally and clearly least importantly I am desperately fond of old Elenwe: she is much prettier than I could realistically have expected to get; she is a very good cook and I do feel I got a good deal at the wife shop when I got her.

However, the wife pointed to the way out for the midlife crisis: I had recently had to buy the wife a new car. Here was the option for MLCM that I could seize: buy a ridiculous car. As such I trawled the internet looking for cars of suitable price and ridiculousness: Ferraris were dismissed; I am not that rich nor that extraovert. Furthermore having decided against the new wife idea I was stuck with the fact that she insisted on a car which could transport the offspring. Fortunately like so many middle aged men before me I discovered that Porsches have back seats. This was a revelation: my life was saved; my marriage secured; my self esteem salvaged (even if I look like a complete prat to everyone else). For the Ulster Prod they are even made in the Prod bit of Germany.

Hence, it was back to the car dealer. Second hand car dealers are cunning people: they can spot a weedy, balding man in a dishevelled suit a mile off; they may use drones like the US military in order to keep tabs on them. Certainly they must have had one following me after my last foray into their domain. At the car dealers I was told that no this was not a ludicrous idea; I would not look like a fool having a mid life crisis; of course this car (nearly as old as me) would be reliable and definitely it would make me seem youthful, attractive to women and lots of other things I have never been.

Trying out the car revealed some oddities: yes there was no real room in the back seats but the helpful car salesman explained that if you own a Porsche not only do you not age but your children do not grow either so they fit forever. The boot is rubbish and in the front but again a Porsche spontaneously cleans your clothes and feeds you as you drive so avoiding the need to carry shopping. The ride was a bit on the hard side but Porsche have an agreement with the government to improve all roads Porsche drivers drive on (how the car salesman knew this and I a political anorak did not is unclear but a second hand car salesman told me so it must be true).This car was becoming more attractive by the moment. Furthermore if the wife left me (let’s face it who could blame her) Porsches produce special chemicals which attract good looking young women in a special way and make weedy balding men look handsome and attractive.

Unlike most midlife crisis men I had a further advantage: the wife is very into cars. When I started going out with her more than 10 years ago she liked my then new and trendy (well trendy for a sad fundie) car: the first day she drove it she raced a fancy Mercedes from the Ballygawley roundabout. She has become a bit disenchanted that I had not changed it during all the time I have known her. Elenwe clearly felt that although her husband would look a total twat she did not care as she would get to drive the Porsche. I suspect the car salesman may have told her that Porsches also produce a chemical which attracts young men especially to attractive early middle aged women: well actually we all know that is actually true; Here’s to you Mrs. Robinson (yes I know it was an Alfa Romeo in The Graduate but Ulster’s fundamentalist toyboys would want a bit more reliability and Alfa’s are made in Italy: far too Catholic).

As such there was no escape. In reality even buying a Porsche would not solve the midlife crisis. In actual fact it would worsen it as I might then loose the wife forcing me to relearn cooking, tidying and other overrated bourgeois habits. Maybe I will look into hair transplants next; Or stand for election. I am a bit late for the latter: well for both actually.

This author has not written a biography and will not be writing one.

  • Mark McGregor

    Can I suggest a crisis option for you? Parade all summer in sandals and a Simpsons tie, go mad on the 12th – wear jeans 😉

  • pippakin


    Silly boy! Mid life has been officilly moved to fifty so relax and have a great birthday.

  • If its any consolation, I am 59 next week. I dont actually feel 59 and certainly dont look it. I have somewhat boyish good looks and a natural easy going charm which is actually quite attractive.
    Having never smoked or drank alcohol in my life….I am as fit as a butchers dog…..and could live to be 100……which in reality is quite a depressing thought.
    In all seriousness I advise you to compose a bucket list…..things to do before you die.
    In 1998 I composed such a list…….which still has about 4,933 things to do on it. But I did see Gettysburg, the Alamo, Antietam, Fontenoy, Little Big Horn, Fredericksburg, Route 66 and I did stand on THAT corner in Winslow Arizona.
    Alas my intention of sharing a hot tub with the Australian womens hockey team has not yet happened.
    Oddly I have decided to stand for election at the next Assembly. I have of course no intention of actually winning but the opportunity of actually pontificating on Hustings is not to be missed.
    I might stand for éirigí in Bushmills…..or perhaps TUV in Crossmaglen although neither éirigí or TUV are likely to be around then.
    I have also offered myself to the Human Rights Commission as a Commissioner relying on my record on conflict resolution.

    Alas the Middle Aged Crisis years are the worst. For me Middle Age started at 17…..I have lived my life backwards and am looking forward to Puberty when Im about 65.
    Middle Aged Crisis is followed by what long suffering Mrs FJH refers to as my “Victor Meldrew” years…..where you become increasingly irritable at small things……..like transferring a bank account from one branch to another (where Im better known) and they wanted to see my passport. The Asst manager was reaching for the panic button.
    The Victor Meldrew Years are followed by a kinda Relaxation at knowing that the entire world is crap and theres nothing you can do about it. Feel like Grandpa Walton and coming across as Grandpa Simpson. Seriously grandchildren are amazing. Allowed me to see the world in perspective.

  • joeCanuck

    I chuckled lots at that, Turgon. More of the same most welcome. Happy birthday.

  • As someone only very slightly behind you in the approach to becoming a MLCM thanks for giving me a laugh Turgon!
    Glad you haven’t gone for the Porsche, but I would recommend a Jag XJR! Serious power from that supercharged V8, room in the back and British of course.

  • Turgon, I too was 40 this year. I have a 10 day old daughter. Our first. Age is all in the mind old boy:)

    Fitz “In 1998 I composed such a list…….which still has about 4,933 things to do on it. But I did see Gettysburg, the Alamo, Antietam, Fontenoy, Little Big Horn, Fredericksburg, Route 66 and I did stand on THAT corner in Winslow Arizona.”

    I also did some of those in 2001 – perhaps we share an interest in the Civil War [american of course]. Gettysburg was breath taking and talking of taking – I took home a piece of the wall from Fredericksburg…

  • Oh yes Civil War (and of course the Jacobite era) is something of a life long interest. Gettysburg was totally amazing. The sheer size of it.
    Yet I found Fburg more subdued…understated. Also took some stones (from Maryes Heights) home
    A lot of souvenir type places in Sharpsburg which were too tacky for my liking.
    Hosted by re-enactor friends.
    Little Big Horn was a different occasion of course. Friends in Minnesota drove us.

  • Greenflag

    Congratulations . Look on the bright side . When my great grandfather reached 40 although he did’nt know it at the time he only had another 52 years to work and another 7 years after that to be amazed at the the new fangled idiot’s lantern in the corner which told the news of the day with pictures . Whenever Dev appeared on the news he stirred in his chair and reached down for his shillelagh to wave angrily at the ‘b*****d’ . Unfortunately on one occassion Dev stayed on the screen for just that few minutes too long and the ninety five year released his tenous grasp on the shillelagh and let fly . It missed the TV screen by a whisker but broke several panes in the china cabinet .

    May you live to 99 to do similar whenever they run documentaries on the least favourite politicians of your choice 😉

    Good idea to forget the Porsche . no point really unless they build an autobahn through Fermanagh with no speed limit . I recall with some mild pleasure driving at 250 kph on the autobahn in Germany .Of course when Germans ‘crash on the autobahn at that speed there are no hospital or medical expenses of any note – just the funeral obsequies . Saves the Germans a bundle on health insurance costs . I wonder could the idea take off here ?

  • The Word

    Jesuit self awareness, if I do say so myself.


  • Dewi

    Say “Friend and Enter” or something like that…

  • Alias

    I’m 45, and I don’t have a mid-life crisis. I don’t know anyone of a similiar age to be who has a mid-life crisis, either. Admmittedly, I don’t look too deeply since it usually involves worry about impending frailty and death, and I generaly avoid those less than cheerful subjects during polite conversation. I can’t say I know anyone worried about that. A few are worried about impending bankruptcy, and starting over with little energy and less hope, but I generally avoid those topics too because a friend in need is a waste of space, basically. I think you’re just neurotic, Turgon, and that you don’t really worry about impending frailty and death but that you do worry about it being something that you don’t worry about. You think you should worry about it, and feel abnormal if you don’t. Therefore you invent a mid-life crisis to fit in, so to speak. But who exactly are you fitting in with? No one is worrying about a mid-life crisis except you. And here’s a free beauty tip for you: use moisturiser after you shave (or just use plenty of water as your skin cools)- it’ll knock years off your appearance. Oh, wait… you skipped puberty and can’t shave. Nevermind.

  • Munsterview

    62 last Sunday : such children!

    Happy birthdays anyway.

  • PaddyReilly

    Look on the bright side. You will soon be old enough to join the young TUVers.

  • Drumlins Rock

    I must be having a crisis too, my name is on a Ballot Paper today, 🙁 questioning my sanity, hence up at 5 am to put up the early morning posters outside the more republican polling stations.
    Turgon, I could just picture you as Greenflags G Grandfather, with a blackthorn of course, shaking the stick at Robbo.

    FJH, your only 58? always thought you were at least 70 !

  • Cynic2

    Take comfort – 10% of people your age will live to be a 100.

    Scary isnt it!

  • Cynic2

    “my name is on a Ballot Paper today”

    Well good luck to you and yes, you must be mad.

  • Cynic2

    True story. I was in the menders a few weeks ago. Lying on the counter was a pair of very well tailored men’s suit trousers with a split backside seam. They were tiny – he must have had a 30 inch waste and very short legs.

    I laughed and said ‘God look at the size of those’ comparing them to my own pair which were a lot more ‘ample’.

    The mending lady laughed too and said conspiratorially “Regular Customer. Loves his clothes. He’s just turned 40 and bought a Porsche. Every couple of months in a hurry he jumps into it and splits the backside of his pants. Great for business”

  • DR, I suspected as much. Good luck! It’s a long day outside a polling station! VH

  • JAH

    Enjoy it! There’s worse to come 🙁

  • PaddyReilly
  • Drumlins Rock

    Will give you’s all a run down when all’s done and dusted, have to say I’m enjoying it so far, but its going to be a long weekend!
    Just a council candidate btw, and the “spare” at that, so not sure of the chances.

  • Drumlins Rock,
    Just want to say good luck to you today.
    One of the only people here actually prepared to walk the walk rather than just talk the talk. Fair play to you.
    I will take your observation that you thought I was 70 as a compliment. A tribute to my obvious wisdom.

  • Jack2

    Was a nice read Turgon.
    Though I find it odd that you mentioned the religious divide twice in a totally unrelated topic.

    Is it on your mind so much?

  • manichaeism

    40 is upsetting. However I had the most amazing time in my 40’s. I was 50 a few weeks ago and it hardly bothered me at all.

  • pippakin


    Congratulations! only think how fit you and your wife will be when you are fifty and running around after a ten year old. The forties are great. Life is just beginning.

  • Zig70

    Also hit 40 last year, didn’t like it one bit. I’m just starting to recover from my huff but what is worse, I’ve starting talking to a computer about politics, of all things.

  • Greenflag

    Saw a news item about that 110 year old Aussie the last survivor of those who took part in the war to end all wars -the 1914-1918 Great War . 37 million dead or wounded soldiers and other combatants in that insane conflict between the former imperial powers 🙁

    Ironically the last survivor who was born in England was nicknamed ‘Chuckles’ and apparently had no regrets and would go through it all again – I suspect he meant his life and not the ‘wars’.

  • Aontachtach

    Life definately begins at 40. I got married at 40 and have two kids10 and 5. I changed jobs and moved house. Went back to school and did the exams I should have done in the 70’s. I wouldn’t change it for the world…..apart from the grey hairs.