where wildly different is perfectly normal
Marry the person with whom you can have a midlife crisis
Marry the person with whom you can have a midlife crisis

Marry the person with whom you can have a midlife crisis

midlife crisis“It’s the days leading up to a full moon that lands on Friday the 13th, it’s Mercury Retrograde, I haven’t seen the sun in three days, the boys gnawed on my second-to-last nerve today, I’m PMSing to a level of crazy that is not healthy, and I’m out of anti-depressants. The pharmacy says they are on backorder and don’t know when they will have any.”

To Tom’s credit, he didn’t turn tail and run. That may have had more to do with the fact that he was about to climb into bed and less with spousal bravery. As it is, the look on his face was priceless:

“Someone save me.”
“Where can I hide the knives? Hell, all the silverware, even the plastic stuff?”
“I did not have enough wine at dinner for this.”
“I love this woman, but this may go above and beyond the marital vows.”
“I’ve never wanted a cyanide capsule under a false molar so badly in my life.”

His deer in headlights look was so perfect I couldn’t help but laugh, and my crazy dissipated a bit.

I’m sure we’ve all heard the tidbit about marrying your best friend, and while I did that and agree with that completely, I’m throwing another one out there.

Marry the person you can have a midlife crisis with.

Or rather, because I found the most inane grammar mistake the other day and it broke my brain, marry the person with whom you can have a midlife crisis.

Yeah, kinda hard to know that ahead of time, so I think we got lucky.

My aunt and uncle shared the “marry your best friend” bit, but it was something my parents shared when I was about J’s age that has really stuck with me. People are going to change throughout their lives, so if you and your spouse can find a way to change together and in the same-ish direction, you’ll be happy. Or something like that. It’s been 30-odd years, I probably have it all wrong, but it was something like that. If you can, change with your spouse and spouse change with you.

Tom and I are not the same people who married almost 18 years ago. Like a grizzled cowboy, we are worn, leathery, calloused in places that need callouses while still tender where it’s needed, with stories you just wouldn’t believe. We also have a collective squint and often grimace when we look out at the world. Like old grizzled cowboys, we walk funny, but that’s because my joints hate mornings and stairs and his back is a crabby troll that hates sunshine and rainbows and baby bunnies. But we’ve changed together-ish, in the same-ish direction. God knows we’ve both thought about walking out…many times…but we haven’t, we’re still here. Whether that’s because the rule (said in jest, but in every piece of humor is more than a nugget of truth) was “the person who runs takes the boys too” or because we were dedicated to each other depends on the day. But after 18 years we’re still here.

Having a joint midlife crisis.

No bikini babes, no hot sports car, no hair plugs (my man don’t need ’em). No frantic attempts at reliving a youth gone by, no spray tans, no trying to be people we’re not. Just a calm-ish midlife crisis by two people who’ve recognized they have changed, want to continue changing together, and are trying to figure out that future change hand-in-hand.

I’m sure Tom will bring the silverware back out any day now. Sporks are not terribly efficient.


  1. QH

    I married a man 11 years my senior, but (somewhat due to circumstances out of our control) we are both having midlife crises at the same time AND THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH BENZOS IN THE WORLD for this. (And homeschooling the GT kid and OMG I will never pay off my student loans–I’ve decided I want my amount owing at death to be on my tombstone–and if I see another online photo from friends’ exotic vacations I WILL completely lose whatever shit I have remaining.)

    So please, please, please explain how you have managed this dual crisis with equaminity because I’m envious. (Or maybe I just need the pharmaceutical industry to come up with a drug to counteract envy.) Do we need to take up drinking? It’s contraindicated on every other medication I take, but I’m willing to give it a whirl.


    Thank you for this post.

    1. Jen

      Beats shit outta me how we’re doing this. Didn’t say it was smooth or easy (crap, did I?), ’cause it ain’t. I lose my shit on a near-daily basis; I wasn’t kidding about the full moon/Friday the 13th/out of meds deal (update: still no prescription…sigh…). We just somehow manage to tag-team the shit-losing, so we’re not both down at the exact same moment.
      And wine. :/

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