The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

18 December 2007

Fair to middling

La Shawn Barber throws out the question:

Are you now or have you ever gone through a so-called mid-life crisis?

I have my doubts about the very existence of such things, if only because I question the timing.

And maybe so does La Shawn:

Or: Do you think "mid-life crisis" is a bunch of bunk, simply an excuse to justify doing crazy/wild/weird/immoral things?

Wait a minute. These things need justification?

People do things like that, yes. And sometimes they do things like that at the approximate mid-point of their lives, based on how long they (or we) expect those lives to be. But I think that the idea that there's a syndrome of sorts, something that compels us to act on things we might not have acted on otherwise, simply because we've reached X/2 number of years, is a bit dubious: it's a convenient shorthand, nothing more.

Or look at it this way: if you're too young to be having a mid-life crisis, you're just sowing some wild oats; if you're too old, you're doing the second-childhood thing. Same actions, different label.

And this being La Shawn, after all, it's not like she's doing something wicked: she's merely wondering if her sudden interest in music is a sign of the Dreaded Crisis. "Doesn’t this typically happen to people in their 20s?" she asks. Well, what if it does? Life isn't Logan's Run; there's nothing that says "Okay, you've passed 29, you must put the following things behind you." (Well, there's Paul in 1st Corinthians, but an interest in music doesn't, or at least shouldn't, qualify as childish.)

Besides, I keep a copy of Hanson's "MMMbop" on iTunes up here, just to perplex people half my age. Because, you know, I can.

Posted at 8:02 AM to Almost Yogurt


As an existentialist, my whole life is a single, lifelong midlife crisis.

Posted by: Brian J. at 2:13 PM on 18 December 2007

Pffft. I simply refuse to grow up.

Posted by: unimpressed at 6:30 PM on 18 December 2007