Earlier this month, I experienced the time-honored tradition of celebrating another year tied to this mortal husk. I’m not one to make a big stink about it as I know far too many grown-ups who do, and I am not crazy about that look. I’m not able to muster any sympathy for the person who has to *gasp* actually work on their birthday! Nor am I excited to hear it’s your birthday week or month (unless your mother had a 30-day labor, in which case I’m more willing to throw a party for her maternal accomplishments than I am your birthday). At 38, I expected my day to look a lot like any other day– and it mostly did. There was work, a nice meal, and some quality time with family. That seemed to be the long and short of it.
But there was more. Through the exasperated suggestions of my loving wife, I came to realize that this birthday might possibly signal the onset of a mid-life crisis. Could it truly be? I can admit I’ve been going through some life changes, and I have been rediscovering myself stylistically– but isn’t that part of the normal ebb and flow of growth over time? How does one know they are in the throes of such a predicament? Well, much to my chagrin, there isn’t any sort of litmus test or brochure. So after an extremely short period of self-reflection, I figured why not do us all a public service and share some of my symptoms in the hopes that we might all collectively better understand this rite of passage.
The first thing that tipped us off was sudden and drastic changes to my appearance. Bleached blonde mohawks are badass. No one should be able to deny that much, but some people do. In fact, many people do. Walk down Cherry Street like you belong in Essex, England 1985 and not everyone is going to find your choice of hairstyle as sensible as you do… Which plays into the second thing I had to recognize: my fascination with the ’80s is less nostalgic and more a crippling yearning for the youthful exuberance and freedom of my childhood. It was a tough pill to swallow, but one that I managed to get down thanks to my Burger King Return of the Jedi commemorative drinking glasses.
A lot of people standing knee-deep in the mid-life crisis hoopla also find themselves making a flashy purchase– like a little red convertible or an expensive new gadget. In my case, I combined the two and went all in on a new electric skateboard. Indeed, it was my pre-order of the newly unveiled Onewheel Pint that really caught our attention and prompted that dreaded question, “What the hell am I doing?” Well, I don’t presume to know what I’m doing or where I’m going. All I know is I’ve got my Siouxsie and the Banshees t-shirt on, and I’m gonna carve up these streets on my futuristic skateboard like an absolute boss.