Tequila is a wonderful drink. It is also like a horrible truth serum. It’s not the hangover that casts a pall of the following day, it’s the knowledge of those moments of truth that just won’t go away and leave you in peace.
What my friend and I realised on about the fourth tot of truth serum is that we are having mid life crises. The Chinese are always good for a proverb or two, and apparently the pictogram for crisis comes from two symbols, danger and opportunity.
Of course I did what any sensible person would do. I went to Google. The articles on mid-life crises are extremely similar to those spam emails that tell you how much God loves you, but if you don’t send it on to 200 people you will never get to heaven and burn for an eternity in the pits of hell. Each one ends with a nauseating sales pitch for some self-help book, hypnosis or incredibly costly therapy.
What I did learn it that it is terrible un-PC to call it a mid-life crisis. Nowadays we call it a mid-life transformation. It’s like puberty, backwards. There is an uncanny similarity between the symptoms of puberty and a mid-life transformation (I think I’ll call refer to it as MLT from now on, it’s too long to keep typing), but of course in reverse. You don’t get acne, you get liver spots. Your breasts don’t grow. They sag. It goes on, it’s just too depressing to keep listing them.
I found this list of symptoms. Most of these seem quite normal to me, but I’ve always thought that going to the gym obsessively is a sign of personal angst and impending doom.
1. Looking into the mirror and you no longer recognize yourself.
2. Desiring to quit a good job.
What makes a job good? The salary? Sometimes you just have the realization that your employers don’t give a damn about you, that you’ve given the shareholders vast pots of gold and you’d rather not die of a heart attack in your cubicle only to be discovered by the cleaners in the dead of night (Don’t laugh, this actually happened at my last “good job”). A good job should make you happy. If it doesn’t, I don’t care what age you are, you are having a crisis and you need to get out.
3. Unexplained bouts of depression when doing tasks that used to make you happy.
If you do anything enough it gets boring. Here’s an example. I love sushi. If I had to eat it everyday for the rest of my life, I’d hate it.
4. Changing or investigating new religions, churches or new age philosophy.
Definitely flaky. You need professional help. Not for your MLT, but because most cults will refuse you membership based on the fact that you’ve quit your job so you have no money to give them and are too old to marry the High Priest of Pedophilia.
5. Change of habits. Activities that used to bring pleasure now are boring. Unable to complete or concentrate on tasks that used to be easy.
Hence the depression on point 3.
6. It feels good to get hurt.
Sorry, but cutting is an affliction that teenagers and Emos (Goths with feelings) suffer from, not middle-aged women.
7. Wanting to run away from everything.
Like carrying on reading this list?
8. A desire to get into physical shape.
Definitely a sign you are going off the rails.
9. Irritability or unexpected anger.
We are women; we suffer this every month like clockwork.
10. Change in allergies.
Like a sudden allergy to fools?
11. Desire for physical -Free Flowing- movement (Running, Biking, Dance, Fast red sports cars, Sky diving, etc).
I’ll focus on the car. This is because for the first time we can afford it, thanks to the good job we just quit.
12. Exploring new musical tastes.
Listening to a new band is a sign of menopause. Stick with Dylan or the Sex Pistols.
13. Sudden desire to learn how to play an instrument.
Like an Uzi?
14. Sudden interest in drawing, painting, writing books or poetry.
Because we now actually have something to write a book about? Unlike Miley Cyrus aged 14.
15. Shifting sleep patterns (Typically to less).
Kids’ll do that to you.
16. Thinking about death, wondering about the nature of death.
It’s a flashback to teenage angst. Also you now have to deal with aged relatives dying and for the first time have to find out what goes into a funeral, how to choose a casket and where the hell to find a make-up artist for dead people? (I know one actually if you find yourself in need of her services.)
17. Changes to the balance of vitamins you take. Or taking dietary supplements for the purposes of extending life.
Somehow taking vitamins to help you study seems silly when you need something to slow Osteoporosis.
18. Excessively buying new clothes and taking more time to look good.
Yay, because our advanced age means more credit and we can buy stuff now. If looking good is a sign of a MLT bring it on.
19. Hair changes. (Natural changes in thickness, luster, color or Assisted changes in dying hair suddenly or shaving your head bald)
Britney Spears was not having a MLT. She was having a mental breakdown.
20. A desire to surround yourself with different settings.
Redecorating from beanbags and futons to actual couches and a mattress is progress.
21. Hanging out with a different generation as their energy and ideas stimulate you.
If you have children, you end up spending time with them. It’s part of parenting not the beginning of the end.
22. Restarting things, which you dropped 20 years earlier.
Um… like my filing?
23. Upset at where society is going. Experience a desire to change the world for the better.
OMG! You must be having a MLT, or you are just reading too many newspapers. Go out and buy Rolling Stone instead.
24. Feeling trapped or tied down by fiscal responsibilities.
Somehow, I doubt the reality of debt is synonymous with MLT.
25. Desiring a simple life.
Damn, I knew something was wrong with my desire to suddenly grow vegetables.
26. Excessively looking back to one’s childhood.
How bad were those hairstyles? And what the hell was my mother thinking letting me wear my jeans that high?
At this point I can’t be bothered to keep reading this pointless list, but I have to comment on the last symptom of impending MLT.
Are you ready?
27. Someone unexpectedly exclaims: “You are going through a midlife crisis!”
Now please pay me lots of money to make it all go away.
Perhaps I am having a MLT:
I have changed my job. I left the one that made me a nervous Xanax popping wreck and became a freelancer.
I’m not sure if I tick the death-defying behaviour box, but I have enjoyed ramping my son’s dirt bike.
I’ve made a hair appointment and am trying to make an effort to dress like Kate Middleton so that a definite yes on the MLT list.
Am I reverting to 20s type behaviour? I did go out last night and drink the best part of a bottle of Tequila, so yes.
Exercise frenzy seems to have past me by. It lingers in my head, but so far all I’ve managed is one cycle around the block that I needed two days to recover from.
Yes, I have made some outrageous purchases, not the boots, they were brilliant, but perhaps the 1976 VW Kombi wasn’t the best purchasing decision of my life.
Have I become a flirt? I don’t know, I work with women, but I did wear a low cut shirt last week and got excellent customer service.
Seeking out old loves is the joy of social media. Finding out the prick who dumped you for the cheerleader is fat, divorced and broke is astoundingly self-affirming.
Irresponsibility, like getting a tattoo? I haven’t succumbed to that, I did it when I was 18. Alright I did get a piercing last year, so I guess that counts.
Excessive reminiscing, it’s inevitable when you end up your high-school reunion and it usually takes the form of other people remembering things you are quite happy to forget.
Oh no! I am having a crisis, damn sorry, a MLT!
If last night was anything to go by, I think I am going to enjoy my MLT.
Periodically going out and having fun is awesome, what was even better was the 8 hour stint at Club Duvet when I got home. I have a VIP pass.