Male Mid-Life Sucks

Posted: August 17, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

June 16th, 2010

There. I’ve said it.

I know it seems ungrateful and politically incorrect and I’m not the type of person who looks at the glass as half-empty. But in my mid forties, being a guy is starting to get to me.

What I learned from watching Lifetime Television for Women in the eighties and nineties was that middle-aged men were parodied in sitcoms and advertisements — everywhere in our culture. They were balding, a little overweight, a little insecure. They had to buy a sportscar (preferably red) and flash it in front of women too young for them. They turned their secretaries into mistresses and made an embarrassing shambles of their longtime relationships. Growing up, I learned mid-life men were a mess.

Flash forward. In 2010 I hear that thirty is the new twenty, and forty is the new thirty, blah blah blah. That’s okay for Sex and the City; for people who can afford to live the flash and set the rules. I’m not like that. I am a part-time writer in Western NY in my mid forties. My parents have passed away. I AM the next generation. And I need help.

I need help understanding the changes in my body; the swings in my mood; the bleakness of my passions.

Take one example. Nose hair. It’s something you really don’t think about. EVER. I know I never did. Now it’s an almost daily annoyance. It grows in droves, tickling the exterior edges of my nose over and over (and over). I trim it. It tickles the inside of my nose. I yank it out. My eyes tear.

I long for some male guidance. Audible wisdom in the presence of a silent God. Maybe from somebody like Fred Rogers. AFTER he takes off the sweater…hanging out backstage, just him and me, talking man-to-man. In my fantasy, we talk, we laugh, we have a beer…and somehow, over a period of days and weeks of our talking, it all becomes bearable. The voluminous nose hair, the bare scalp, the paunchy midriff, and all the rest of the stuff that only he and I can talk about over that beer.

Because the beer encourages us to show our fear and courage beneath the bravado; because the beer makes us honest and thoughtful; because, somehow through the homophobic haze of this culture, the beer teaches us that men need men.


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