Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A midlife crisis that’s not my own

Maybe it’s just the time of life that they start to hit. We all know I’m having a midlife crisis; I write a blog, for heaven’s sake. Here I am, one of the most private people on the planet, and I routinely do the equivalent of showing you my underwear on a daily basis. Obviously it hits all of us differently: some people lose thirty pounds, some people start torrid affairs or get divorced, some buy snazzy sports cars. My husband? He becomes an extreme weekend warrior.

I should have known something was up with the Brokeback Mountain trip. Really, the thought of warding off bears just to drink beer around a campfire doesn’t appeal to most normal people.

After that, he sought out one of the top golf pros in the area, took an hourlong lesson and started mumbling in his sleep about missed putts and long drives.

Then he went through a pumping iron phase and pulled muscles that I don’t actually believe exist. He'd get stuck on P90X infommercials for thirty minutes at a time.

Then he told me he wanted to get recertified as a pilot. And maybe skydive.

Now this.

Whit came home last night, later than usual, sweaty. Most wives would get pretty suspicious, but I know my husband, so I just looked at him and said, “What have you been doing?”

“Karate!” he proudly exclaimed. The guy was beaming.

“Jul, I just tried a karate lesson! It was awesome! The guy kicked my ass! He told me to punch him, and in two seconds I was down on my knees with what’s probably a broken arm!”

Oh, come on. Really?

Let me explain Whit to you. He’s tall, maybe a little over six feet. He played soccer in college, on a scholarship, so he was good. Since then, he’s tacked about twenty pounds (I’m so, so kind) on to his playing weight and what was once called “deceptive speed” has become a distinct mosey. Or lope – he’s kind of a loper. He goes nowhere fast, and does nothing fast, not even talk fast...he can still stretch out a sentence with a hint of his Georgia drawl. (Yes, we are totally night and day. I walk, talk, chew, run, and drink faster than he does. Sometimes he gets me a glass of water or a glass of wine and just stands there, waiting for me to down it and ask him for a refill.) I also don’t know him to have an aggressive bone in his body, so the thought of him doing something fast and violent is kind of funny.

Then, later last night, he gave himself away. He looked at me and said, “Does hair grow slower as you get older?”

“I hate to break it to you, honey, but where your head is shiny? That hair’s NEVER going to grow back.”

He was crushed. Poor guy was just waiting for something to sprout up there. But it was proof of what I already knew: he was entrenched in a midlife crisis. And I have no idea what precipitated it.

Maybe his office has hired a group of really athletic young guys (note to self: visit husband in his office more often).

(Uh oh, or maybe his office has hired a group of really hot young girls.) (In that case… note to self: visit husband in his office TODAY.)

It’s okay; this midlife crisis is as harmless as mine (except, maybe, for the skydiving part, even though he would probably even glide to earth s-l-o-w-l-y). It’s not like he’s developed some weird fetish or taken up a dangerous hobby. Could be worse, I guess.

So if you drive by my house and see a middle-aged ninja doing flips across my front lawn? Toss him a toupee and give him a hug. He’s harmless.


  1. It's dangerous reading this first thing in the morning - I'm still laughing. Tell Whit I'll give him a bear hug and a great reference for a fabulous toupee. Then he'll be all set to kick some....

  2. Aw, dude. I started TKD about eight months before I turned 40, and it is awesome. My neighbor made fun of me a few weeks ago, for my uniform. I threatened to kick his ass, and I actually could! Which kind of rocked all by itself.