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Cornelius News

The Jon show: Here’s to mid-life [yay]

MODERN DAD | By Jon Show

Dec. 13. I celebrated my 26th birthday with friends by going to Cajun Queen in Charlotte, where I ordered the BBQ shrimp appetizer and a bowl of etouffee – because that’s what I always order when I go to Cajun Queen.

At some point my brother decided to raise his glass and, given his history of wildly profane toasts, it was, and remains, the most eloquent thing he’s ever said in the capacity of public speaking.

“Here’s to being closer to 30 than you are to 20,” and then he slammed a Voodoo.

My gosh, that sounded old.

I turned 46 last month, which means I’m closer to 50 than I am to 40. Which means I am firmly entrenched in middle age, so it’s time for a midlife crisis, right?

At 16 you learn to drive. At 18 you register to vote. At 21 you can drink and at 25 you can rent a car. I strongly believe in structured age progression. I’m in my midlife, so it’s time for my midlife crisis.

Ask Google

The problem is that I never envisioned myself as a midlife crisis guy. I like the year, make and model of the car I have and I’ve never really been a car guy. I like the year, make and model of my wife and I’ve never really been a ladies guy.

So I turned, as I always do whence confused, to the internet and Googled “ideas for a midlife crisis.”

One link suggested that I should consider “buying wild and wonderful things.” I don’t really like spending money on anything so the idea of going on a buying spree doesn’t really appeal to me. Plus all the items listed are stuff I don’t need or want.

Another link suggested trying a new hairstyle. If you think my hairstyle is a choice, you’re wrong.

Yet another suggested trying new hobbies. I took up fly fishing this year but I don’t think anyone counts fishing as a midlife crisis unless your fishing buddy is a 23-year-old social media influencer named Patches.

With Google failing to produce any leads I started reading about midlife crises in general.

One blog post called it an “opportunity to reevaluate your life,” but I don’t like reevaluating anything. Once I make a decision I don’t like to nitpick it. Plus I like my life and reevaluating your life just seems like a way to make yourself unlike it.

Quiz Show

Maybe a midlife crisis isn’t for me? I googled “am I having a midlife crisis” and the following link appeared: “Take The Midlife Crisis Quiz: Are You Lost & Not Sure Why?”

Even though I tell my wife I have a great sense of direction, the truth is that I’m often lost and never really sure how I got there, so I clicked on it and took the quiz.

Q1: How do you feel going to work on Monday morning?

There were five multiple choice answers and, “Fine, I mean it’s work,” wasn’t an option so I chose, “Happy, I like my work.”

Q2: How would you best describe your current romantic relationship?

Again, five options but, “My wife is currently annoyed with me,” wasn’t on the list so I chose, “It’s going good.”

Q3: Which words describe your feelings about life right now?

The options spanned the spectrum from Happy to Angry and I can relate to all five on any given day. All of the Above wasn’t an option so I chose, “Motivated.”

Q4: How often do you make time for personal reflection and growth?

Uh, “Never.” I’m middle aged. I would have assumed this was inferred.

Q5: How often do you volunteer for humanitarian causes?

I do a lot to volunteer to help people in the business community but I don’t know if that counts as humanitarian work. I chose monthly.

Q6: Do you feel inspired and enthusiastic about life?

Totally depends on whether or not my kids have failed to flush the toilets before they go to school. This morning was a good day. I chose, “Yes.”

Q7: Do you know your life purpose and what you’re here to do?

Man, that’s a little heavy for an online quiz. I clicked, “I’m still discovering my life purpose.” Is that bad? You know what you want to be when you grow up? Good for you. I don’t.

Making the grade

I submitted my answers and received a grade of 81 on the test. Underneath my score was a button labeled, “Improve Your Score,” but I was happy with my results. I’d say a B minus isn’t bad for a guy who hasn’t taken a test in almost 25 years.

Plus I wasn’t giving them my email address, which made me question the entire exercise. How much do you know about middle-aged men if you really think you’re getting their email address at the end of an online survey?

The more I thought about having a midlife crisis, the more I realized I was trying to shoehorn myself into an tumultuous emotional existence that I’m clearly not mature enough for yet. I guess I’ll just try again next year.

Here’s to being closer to 50 than I am to 40.

My gosh that sounds old.

Jon Show lives in Robbins Park with his wife, who he calls “The Mother of Dragons.” Their 10-year-old son is “Future Man” and their 7-year-old daughter is “The Blonde Bomber.” Their dog is actually named Lightning.