August 20, 2006

Mid Life Crazy

Everywhere I look lately, all I find are articles and shows talking about the differences between men and women. Nothing new in that, I know, but science just seems determined to find some absolute proof in why we women act the way we do, and why you guys are, well, messed up. Okay, I'm projecting here.

This article in the Washington Post is reviewing a new book out, and the author uses both medical and observational techniques in her work as a physician to explain what most of us already know. Women like to talk; men don't like to cuddle. She delves into the testosterone and estrogen thing, and the fluctuation in these beasts that women spend their lifetimes both celebrating and lamenting. We are not high maintenance - we are complicated.

The onset of middle age brings its own backpack of new nonsense, as explored in this piece from the British Independent. It nicely delves into what I've often heard men try lamely to express, namely, "What the hell is happening to her?!".

The journalist notes the perfectly acceptable occurence of women hitting 40, and deciding they've had enough. They want a different job, they want a different body, and they want a different husband. I put in that part about 'perfectly acceptable', by the way.

Let me explain it this way: Women spend the first half of their life sucking it up. You take care of everyone around you, from mate to kids to parents to siblings. Then, you hit 40 and figure it's your turn. The problem is not with the women, it's with everyone else who used to think you were so dependable. Fooled ya.

I see the reverse thing with men, all convertible-mid-life-crises jokes aside. Take jeans. When a guy is in his early 20's or so, he discovers a brand of jeans that fit just right. And he just keeps wearing them and wearing them and wearing them. He doesn't even try them on when he buys them, and while he may go up a size or two over the course of his lifetime, guys don't mess with the jeans that are working for them. Why would they?

Women stick to a formula for most things as well, but mostly out of necessity. Like the female of most bird species, we have to dress it up a little more, while the males come more decked out to strut right out of the egg. Women get bored with the same old thing over and over again. Why wouldn't we?

So, is there such a thing as a mid-life crisis? We've accepted, even expected them, from men forever. But it appears we women have an actual chemical note-from-home that entitles us to one. Do I condone it? Well, I certainly recommend it. You go around exactly once. And you have no idea how long or short that loop may be. I say love who you love, take care of your kids, and don't forget about yourself. It's too easy to do, and the women who are too scared to take a chance become the martyrs that nobody wants to sit next to at family functions.


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