Monday, July 19, 2010

Don't flitch, it'll happen to you too

Monday, 19 July 2010 - Here's a mouthful... mid-life crisis. For men, a mid-life crisis is usually cured with a hot car, a bottle of "Just for Men", and a divorce. It's become such a reality, that it's almost cliche... You can bet your last dollar that every guy will go through this somewhere between 40 and 49. Guaranteed, bookies wouldn't touch that bet with a ten foot pole.

Research says that men go through a midlife crises out of fear.  Fear that they are losing their health (they aren't as able to clime Mt. Hood as fast), their attractiveness (the magnet isn't so powerful anymore), fear of aging, fear of not reaching their goals, and fear of dying.  Seems about right.  Fear of losing health can result in joining the hockey team, a football team, collecting sports gear, taking up running, learning the intricacies of beach volleyball (for the sport... seriously), and trade up their golf clubs.  As a result, and as part of aging, this brings on pulled groins and hernias, pain, strain, limps, bruised egos, and a larger than normal bar bill.

The fear of becoming less sexually attractive is good for the economy.  Sports car and motorcycle showrooms lick their lips when they see the solo 40-something male walk through the door.  They can smell the manopause for miles. Sex on wheels, 0 down, APR. The barber's business drops off a little, and the high priced hottie at the specialty spa salon is suddenly booked solid, and half her clients are men.  A rising market is men's cosmetic surgery - did I say rising?  Yes, there is even an increase in the number of male enhancement procedures, to say nothing of the happy pill market.  Divorce lawyers rake it in, and insurance agents get a bigger commission as the life insurance gets bumped up before the skydiving weekend in Honolulu. The midlife male is actually very good for the economy.  We shouldn't discourage this rite of passage.  We should market the hell out of it.  Manopause could really help with the downturn.

But what about women? Is her midlife crisis as predictable? Do women suddenly want a hot car, a 20 year old boy toy, and their college years back?  Typically, a midlife crises for women comes after her children are grown or gone off to Uni. Suddenly, she has the time to do the things she always wanted to do, is financially more stable, and her hormones are hooped.  Menopause (there's a word that makes a tonne of sense), brings on a physical line in the sand that causes the psychological crisis.  Have I lived my life the way I wanted to? Should I have done something different? Is it time to change my life?

Sadly, we just don't market the woman's midlife crisis as effectively. It gets wrapped up as an often negatively viewed 'MENopause', and instead of marketing hot sports cars, we market yam creams and hormone replacement therapies.  I'm guessing that you could really get more bang for the economy's buck by a new approach.  I'm pretty sure the best cure for feeling bloated is a wild diving trip to the Galapago's.  Hot flashes... best managed with a hot convertible Porche. Sagging boobs...  new boobs... but not just any boobs, the way too perky D's that scream sexpot... and for every woman between 40 - 49, all boobs come with a little lipo and neck laser.  You can jack the price of the puppies up, just value add. Sports equipment is easy to sell if you make it pretty.  Hell, we'll spend anything for the latest pink 3 wood, or flowery snowboards.  We don't flinch at the way too expensive ski jacket... if it's cute and makes us look hot.  With the hot flashes, we sure don't need too much padding in that jacket.  We'll even pay for the 20 year old boy toy... take him to Chucky Cheese, EB Games, Bermuda. The travel industry is missing an entire market... never mind kids, why not "hot young playthings fly free"?  There are websites out there that have figured out this market.  There are websites for affairs, little something on the side sites...

What doesn't seem possible during this part of the human condition, is fidelity and harmony.  How can you when you are so desperate to recapture something that is as elusive as youth, vitality, singledom?  Today is Flitch Day.  The idea was that the monks would give a flitch of bacon to any couple who could prove to a jury of their peers that they had lived together faithfully for the entire year. Seems even then the midlife crisis was alive and well and living in the 15th Century as not too many flitches of bacon were ever given out.  There may not have been any Lotus dealers, but I bet there was some pretty spectacular headdresses and super shiny armour with a capeline you could open... a convertible helmet if you will.

If you haven't hit your midlife crisis yet, don't worry you will.  While you wait for it to hit you, celebrate Hug Your Kid Day.  They'll move out soon enough, and you can trade in the minivan on something a little sexier.

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