The True Crisis in a Midlife Crisis

There’s no accounting for personal style. Not that I have it all going on, Lord knows I’m a mess, especially right now (which I’ll get to someday in future blogs). But in the case of some (not all) middle-aged dudes trying to find themselves, someone ought to remind them that a 25-year-old mentality does not look so hot wrapped in a 55-year-old body.

Case in point yesterday a 50-something white guy pulls up next to me at a red light, driving some sort of sporty, vintage convertible with the top down. Okay, fine. I get it. He’s finally able to afford the car he’s always wanted as a kid, so why should he deny himself such a treasure now? I’m totally onboard with that. Heck, I’m still holding out hope of someday living in an East Village apartment just like Monica’s on the TV show Friends, and being able to afford it on the equivalent of what she made as a cook in some dive in Hell’s Kitchen. (Hey, don’t burst my bubble. It can happen.)

But here’s where it gets weird.


The pasty white gentleman in the lane next to me (who obviously graduated from high school somewhere around the time Richard Nixon wished he’d never heard of a little B&B called Watergate) sported spindly salon-assembled blond dreadlocks, a “One Love” Bob Marley T-shirt that was obscured by a pile of gold chains cascading from his bottom-most chin, and a ball cap that read “Hurry Ladies!” Ironically the hat could’ve been either a come-on or a warning that the nearby women-folk better get the hell out of there pronto. Plus he had the Beatles’ song Obladi Oblada blaring on the radio, which by the way, isn’t even REAL reggae. And quick sidebar, since when does a true Rasta wear the Italian horn (i.e., the “cornicello”) charm? This guy had one dangling from his neck that was so big it looked like a giant gilded jalapeño pepper (the cornicello, that is not his neck, although his neck could’ve given a bulbous holiday ham a run for its money).

I’m sure Columbus wore this to the New World…which is how it ended up in Jamaica

I bring this up not because I have anything against middle-aged men. On the contrary I love them! I’m a middle-aged woman who prefers middle-aged men over any guy under 45. Call me crazy, but I like being in the company of a man who knows how to change the diamond needle on an RCA hi-fi AND gets my comedic references to My Mother the Car.

So I’ve never understood it when perfectly seasoned men (or women, for that matter) try to conceal the fact that they’ve endured a bit of mileage. To me that worn tread is the attraction. There is nothing more sexy than the world-weary ironic wisdom of someone who’s been knocked down to the bottom of the barrel, but then climbed back out and lived to tell about it. True, those people come with baggage, but honestly how can anyone of a certain age NOT have baggage? If the truth be told, we’re all just a bunch of airport luggage carousels of uncollected suitcases and rollies. I personally have several pieces that range in size from overnight bags to steamer trunks. And yet I’m still a fun person to be around in spite of (or maybe because of) my checkered past. Go figure.

Back at the stoplight I stared at the guy in the form of the freak show next to me, his dreads happily playing Ring-Around-the-Rosie with his crowning bald spot. Honestly, he looked like he was heading off to a Halloween party, but this is June so I had to assume he dressed himself that day in all seriousness. It was like watching a struggling ewe give birth to a two-headed lamb; you didn’t want to look but you couldn’t turn your eyes away.

As I was sitting there thinking about how hard it would be to climb out of that little sports car wearing a pair of Spanx under a formfitting cocktail dress that I paid way too much for, I recalled a great blog written by my friend and fellow blogger, Terri Spilman, at The Laughing Mom. Terri penned an award-winning piece called Why Midlife Women Don’t Drive Corvettes. As I was ticking off her reasons in my head, I couldn’t help but smile, which was a big mistake because my gaze was still in the direction of “Boob” Marley over there. Sensing my stare, he turned, grinned Cheshirely at me and winked.

Eww! He thought I was flirting with him! (Of course he did, you moron, why would he think otherwise if you were staring at him with a dopey smirk on your face?)

Suddenly the light was green. He was turning left and I was going straight. My window was rolled down and before he took off he shouted, “Like what you see?”

After throwing up a little bit in my mouth, I quickly replied, “I’m sorry, I’m blind. I can’t even begin to see what you have to offer.”

Then me and my decades worth of ironic, middle-aged wisdom confidently sped away.
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Stacy Dymalski is a stand-up comic who gave up the glamorous life of coach travel, smokey comedy clubs, and heckling drunks for the glamourous life of raising kids (who happen to be bigger hecklers than the drunks). This blog is her new stage.

For more of Stacy’s comedy check out her hilarious book Confessions of a Band Geek Mom available in paperback and on Kindle on Amazon.com.

28 comments on The True Crisis in a Midlife Crisis

    1. Blind would’ve been the minimum requirement to run off with this guy. Comatose or brain dead would’ve helped, too.

      Besides, you’ve got your girlfriends watching out for you. We’d never let you get that desperate. If you start making googlie eyes at a guy like that then it’s time we encouraged you to upgrade your vibrator.

  1. Loved this one, Stacy! I think I’ve seen this guy in my ‘hood too…hanging out with the group of 50-somethings who play with their motorcycles on my street every Saturday afternoon.

    1. Yes, they’re everywhere, but thankfully they’re the minority. Fortunately, most of the middle aged men I know didn’t go off the deep end when they turned 40 (or 50). Although I have to say, when I encounter a guy like this it’s just ripe “pickins” for my deeply disturbed comedic brain. Look! I got a blog out of it! 😀

  2. Ha, I don’t think anyone who has ever uttered the phrase, “Like what you see?” deserved to be looked at. The only time to ask that would be ironically. Like if a bearded woman yelled that at the circus crowd.

    1. Actually, I would put this guy in the same freak show category as a bearded lady at the circus, in which case his comment would have been totally appropriate. The ironic thing is, however, I don’t think he was being ironic.

      Thanks for your comment, Andrew! And thanks for stopping by. I hope you come back again soon!

  3. Watching my own sands in the hour glass slipping away being a security guard (because I’m now at the age where my age prevents me from gainful employment with the challenges to match my experience) at a Louis Vuitton in Vegas, I get to see a great cross section of what having money does to a person’s appearance, and it’s not always pretty (there’s more silicon and colagen flowing in this town than payout from all the slots). It’s all about the packaging and the demographic of what you are trying to attract. Simple market principles. You were likely not his demographic selection (thankfully for you) based on his manner of… dress. The next stoplight for him might have been different and more encouraging, if not the brass ring for which he was obviously searching for. Hope springs eternal (for many of us, an eternity).
    I might suggest though, if you are searching for that wise sage of iconic wisdom of the ages, who carries with him the battle scars of life’s endeavors yet has maintained that degree of male maturity women are constantly evaluating men for (level of maturity being relative, of course)… you might still want to upgrade your vibrator because a guy who understands your reference to “My Mother The Car” is likely struggling with… “Dragnet”… or “The Untouchables”.
    Life is not fair… as you ladies well know.

    1. Doug, I always enjoy your comments so much! First off, I would love to people watch with you some time at the Louis Vuitton in Vegas, because between you and me making commentary, I swear we’d have enough entertaining and pithy material to fill multiple reality shows! I’m picking out my dress for the Emmys as we speak.

      And second, I don’t think I was really this guy’s type because I’m too old. I had the benefit of good lighting at the time, plus I was far away and wearing sun glasses. Once he got a good look at me up close he would’ve said, “No thanks, Crone.” (BTW, I consider being called a “crone” a compliment.)

      And finally, yep, you’re right. Life is not fair, for men or women, when it comes to finding that certain someone. I for one am keeping a more open mind as I get older, mainly because looking in the mirror everyday is a constant reality check from my end!

      1. Yeah.. but the mirror only reflects the appearance and less of substance. Sadly… men tend to be driven by appearance; we are such shallow creatures (nature made us do it). Also… while we love our kids forever and would never have changed the day we had them… they are not generally valuable assets when seeking a relationship from another. I respect the struggle all single moms have in trying to be human.
        On the other hand… I have yet to see a smile on any man’s face as he pushes the baby stroller, older children in tow, while himself following his wife into a Louis Vuitton. Why is that?

        1. Nope, not an acronym, but a word. In traditional American culture “crone” is an old, ugly, withered up women (like the evil witch in a Disney movie). But in the Native American culture a crone is an older woman with wisdom. Young women looked forward to the day they became a labeled crone because then they were respected and revered as a one of the town’s sage advisors. I’m working on my Native American crone status. There ought to be some sort of merit badge for that.

    1. Thank you, Missy. I wish I could’ve got a picture. I thought about getting my iPhone out and capturing the image of this lovely creature forever, but the moment got away. It would’ve been the highlight of my Pinterest board.

  4. Funny post, as always. I see lots of middle aged to elderly men in “vanity” cars here, particularly in Scottsdale. These men don’t go for the Rasta look but instead have that overly tan, eyes pulled up a bit too high and plastic stiff looking mouth area–they’ve been under the knife as much as their wives. Who often accompany by women, their wife v. 2+, who are 10 to 20 years younger with over-inflated breasts. Every time I see those chests I wonder what it feels like to run into things with them…is it like being a bumper car? Seriously, if you have an allergy to silicone, Scottsdale should be avoided at all costs. 😉

    1. I’m sure Scottsdale is a cornucopia of capacious curves, all courtesy of the local plastic surgeons. But I didn’t realize the gentlemen were getting in on that reconstruction action, as well. I wonder if couples get a group discount? Or if they can get “frequent nip & tuck” cards. Have your chin or thighs sucked 10 times and get that annoying roll around your middle removed for free! (Honestly, I should be in marketing.)

  5. Love this! And love the new look here! I can just picture you sitting there lost in thought putting this post together in your mind (and yet a bit nauseous at the same time) getting caught staring at the guy. Baaaaahaaaaahaaaaa….. he probably got all excited thinking… “This hot Mamma wants me! My “look” is working!” I guess those expensive sports cars don’t come with mirrors!

    1. Actually, I’m pretty certain he would’ve considered me too old, even though he was older than me! I was far away and wearing sunglasses so I might’ve appeared younger than I am (also his vision is probably going, so that helped). Once he got a look at me up close and personal I’m sure he would’ve turned tail and ran. And in his case, that tail was so big I would’ve be able to watch it retreat until it disappeared over the horizon.

  6. First, thank you for the mention! And, I’m sorry if my words and your hilarious comment almost got you picked up by the Italian Bob Marley. I’m thinking the dreads were probably attached to the hat! I think it’s probably the equivalent of a vain flat-chested woman stuffing her bra. It was probably the highlight of his day – until you said you were blind. He probably thought you said, “Willl you be mine?” Great story!

    1. Actually, Terri, I didn’t mention this in the story (too many great moments to fit in one short blog), but he took his hat off while we were sitting there and the dreads were real. But the funny thing is, they encircled a bald spot on the crown of his head, so much so that it actually drew attention to his bald spot. I’m sure that’s a TOTAL turn-on to a 25-year-old woman, wouldn’t you say? Let’s hope he makes up for his poor judgement with money. Money can definitely make an old guy appear more attractive to a younger woman. Not the smart ones, but there are definitely some out there that would overlook this guy’s…um, personal style.

  7. Does anyone actually know how it feels to feel mentally older than about thirty? Perhaps a little more wisdom? The wisdom to keep one’s mouth shut.

    Phillip

    1. I know what you mean, Phillip. I may be a woman of a “certain age” but I still think like I’m 25. What kind of cruel joke is that? Mother Nature needs to be bitch-slapped for that.

  8. I always learn something here. I wasn’t aware that dreads would make me look like a hottie. Ob La Di Ob La Da, I knew about. (who doesn’t know songs about drag queen are hot?) Can’t wait to try out “the look” on all the wimmin.

    1. Just a heads up, Rich. We wimmins could do without the dreads on a balding head…and the attitude that goes with it. Just when I thought the “Hurry Ladies” hat was the topper, he took the hat off and I could see the dreads encircling his bald spot, which looked like a little pink oil spill. Lovely. However, I must admit it was comedy gold for me. Sometimes fate just hands me a joke and all I have to do is relay to the rest of the world. And I get all the credit! 😉

  9. I’m thinking these guys must all be friends, got together & decided what they thought was cool….otherwise you would think there would be a friend who would say “dude, you look rediculous!”

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