Everyone hates getting old. Nobody looks at their reflection in the mirror and says, “I can’t wait until all this thick hair falls out,” or “oh, how I wish I had more wrinkles…” We all want to be young for as long as possible, or more importantly, we want to look young for as long as possible.
But on the other side, we love to tease and have fun at the expense of middle-aged men who go through the infamous “mid-life crisis”. We laugh as they go out and buy a red sports car, or when they wear old ‘70’s concert t-shirts. They seem pathetic; but are they?
Getting old is terrifying, and even more so for men. Sure, some men age with class and dignity, but the vast majority of men do not age gracefully. We get fatter, we lose our hair while it grows in other places we never wanted, and if we’re really unlucky, we will lose our teeth. Or at best, they turn a nice, healthy yellow.
It must be said that there is not greater fear among men than the dreaded impotence. This is a very humiliating experience and is often difficult to deal with. Sure, many men have some impotence problems in their lives, but for most it is not a permanent concern. When a man loses his libido he can feel like he is not a complete man. It may inadvertently affect a marriage, as men are often quite preoccupied with pleasing a woman. This lack of “manhood” may ruin a man’s life.
Impotence isn’t the only fear about getting old. For some men, their careers are what define them. They are their job and when they are forced to retire, they can feel insignificant and without purpose. When a man has no purpose, he has no identity.
How about if a man is impotent and retired? He looks in the mirror and what does he see? He sees a man who cannot perform as a man should, and he sees a man who has no purpose in the world. But what’s more, he sees an impotent, insignificant man who is now balding with a little more nose hair than he had a few years back. Nothing seems to be working for him, does it?
You’re still a man!
Can we blame this man for going out and buying a new sports car or maybe a muscle car from his youth? What else do you want him to do, talk about the “good ol’ days”? Why not let him putter around the garage listening to the music from his youth, when he had purpose, when he was “a man”. Let him enjoy riding around in his convertible trying to look young. He’s deserved it. He put in his time.
Mid-life crisis is not something to laugh at; it’s not pathetic. Trying to regain your youth is an admirable enterprise. It is a great way to shake the fears of getting old and try to feel good about it.