I recently read an article siting research that proves men are happier in midlife than women. No, really? It went on to further explain that young women start out relatively happy, but end up just plain miserable mostly because of unfulfilled aspirations.
I could have saved this team of geniuses a lot of trouble in arriving at the same conclusion.
Midlife is about looking back at old dreams and wondering what happened, how did I get here and what am I going to do now? Pay attention to that last question – it separates the women from the boys.
A midlife crisis for most women means coming to the cold, hard realization that her youth is fading. If she is or has been married with children, it means that those children to whom she dedicated most of her energy, whether she worked outside of her home or not, have flown the coop along with her youth. If she still has kids at home, it means that she is overworked, under appreciated and just plain exhausted all the time.
If she is entering menopause, just being in her own body is a roller coaster ride of highs and lows – hot flashes one minute, freezing the next, skipped periods for three months (halleluiah) and the periods from hell that seem to last an eternity, not to mention mood swings that make Sybil tame by comparison.
Contrast this to the typical middle aged man. When he looks in the mirror, standing naked in the classic body-builder's pose, he sees Adonis with a full head of hair, granite muscles and man-parts to envy. “I’ve still got it babe,” he says with utter confidence. And to prove it, he flirts with every young woman willing to puff up his ego and (if he’s single or otherwise available) flatten his wallet.
Midlife women look at young boys half their age and their only thought is too much work.
Men in midlife buy expensive sports cars and fast motorcycles that cost as much as a house. Women in midlife go on retreats where they are told that chocolate, sugar and wine are toxic to their aging bodies, are fed seaweed and tofu, and learn to embrace and honor their inner Crone.
Men retire and take up things like golf and rock climbing. They take flying lessons (if they’re adventurous) or restore classic cars and drive them to rallies (if they’re more the couch-potato variety).
Women retire and continue to clean the house, cook the meals and do the laundry. My mother lived to the honorable age of 87 – she washed the dishes for at least 75 of those years. She washed dishes the last night of her life. How sad is that?
Men become more distinguished with age, they fill out. In midlife women have sluggish metabolism, expanding waistlines and shrinking bones -- we get older, shorter and fatter.
Between their magic mirrors and Viagra, middle age men believe they are a hybrid of Greek god and Latin lover.
If that’s not enough to make you laugh, then bake yourself a fudge cake and wash it down with a bottle of good wine 'cause, honey - you need the fix.