Friday, March 30, 2012

Managing my mid-life crisis

The male mid-life crisis is a difficult subject to bring up around some people since it exists primarily as a physiological condition. Yes, us guys have to deal with such things like an unwanted horizontal expansion at the waistline or an accelerated retreat of the hairline we at least can exercise to fight the growing bulge or buy medicinal remedies to battle an asymmetrical war to keep something fuzzy on our heads. No, this is something that affects guys on a far deeper level, see I will be honest here and write something that should be self-evident, adult males never really grow up. Society, our jobs, and more importantly our wives may say we have to behave and act dignified and responsible but deep down most of us would like nothing better than tell the established social order to kiss our asses and fly off on some juvenile adventure.

For some mid-life crisis suffering guys, adventure comes in the form of a fast sports car. The thrill of going down an open highway with the accelerator pushed to the floorboard brings back carefree teenage days when their highest priority was getting a cheerleader with big boobies into the backseat of his car. Speaking personally for myself, while at one time I did own, what was to me, a very special sports car I was far more into slowly cruising Ocean Boulevard of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina checking out the young ladies. For reasons I cannot really explain the second I went five miles over the speed limit every fat deputy sheriff and fanatical highway patrolman in Georgetown county would be on my tail flashing their blue lights. Anyone who has to pay car insurance would know speeding tickets have a way of severely cutting into a person’s spending money. Since spending money for me is a still a hard thing for me to come by, I still relish taking life slowly.

Other guys dealing their encroaching mortality choose to fling all decorum to the winds and hook up with a hot young lady who at the very minimum could be their daughters. These individuals are nearly always very rich and can deal with such things as vindictive ex-wives actively seeking revenge. Thankfully, I am immune, on many different levels, from ever having that sort of problem. The most obvious reason is that I am married to a wonderful lady who is a tax attorney with many friends in both state and county government along with several law enforcement officials. Hypothetically speaking if I ever got caught straying (I know a few of you all out there are laughing over that thought) my butt would not be worth a pile of cold cow manure.

The main purpose for this ambling collection of mental brain droppings is that I have recently found myself pondering my own mid-life crisis. The growing list of daily aches and pains that hint at real old age, the increasingly frantic pace of American life, and my steadfast hate of suburbia have pushed me more and more into dreaming about a way to escape from it all.

Fast cars and young women will remain strictly in the realm of fantasies unless I win the lotto and since I have not bought a ticket my odd of winning are even worse than they usually are. Even if I did win with my wife being an attorney, any winning would have to be signed over to her a nanosecond after I receive them. Leaving me to believe it might be best to for me to avoid the entire issue.

I could go the route of being a narcissistic asshole but there are a multitude of those types around these days that have raised the trait to such a high artistic level I willingly bow at their accomplishments. Plus, I am such an easy going and laid back guy I just do not have required energy to stay constant at it.

Recently this lack of mid-life crisis direction has begun to bother me, I can understand being a slacker with the more time consuming and boring avenues of life but even though my choices are limited, I cannot neglect this important part of my manhood. Thankfully, the answer up and slapped me aside the head a couple of days ago as I was brazenly wasting time surfing the internet.

I have often dreamed of buying a sailboat and catching a nice wind that will push me down to the Caribbean but the more logical part of my mind has always quickly reminded me I have absolutely no experience at the little things like navigating an ocean going craft. The lack of money to purchase and operate this hypothetical craft has also been a bit of a buzz kill on any plan to emulate my hero Jimmy Buffett. Despite my closely related wish to be a pirate they have had a lot of bad press lately so just taking the first sailboat I come across would not work.

What I have found is that if I lower my sights just a little I probably could manage a smaller, more affordable, sailboat that would allow me to putter around the intercoastal waterway that stretches from New Jersey down to Brownsville, Texas. Made up of bays, inlets, salt-water rivers, and sounds it allows a wannabe sailor like me to travel very close to the ocean without facing the full force of the whoop ass it can put on some silly fool in a small boat.

My ideal little sailboat appears to be one about eighteen to twenty-foot long that has a small cabin with a bunk inside where I could catch a nap. Like I have said, I am not looking to cross an ocean. Just a small sailboat I can putter around in during the day and if my frustration level begins to exceed my capacity to manage something that would allow me to find a quite cove, toss out an anchor, and forget about the rest of the world for a while. As I have perused the websites dedicated to the selling of used sailboats of the size I am now interested the prices can range well within something that is at least theoretically manageable.

Now there are a few obstacles that I will need to find a way around, first and foremost I have no experience or even basic knowledge of sailing. The local community college does offer a sailing course with lessons on a nearby lake so that does not appear to be a showstopper. Other small issues are the costs of marina fees, repairs, and upkeep for a sailboat that I would insist remain on the coast. Continued funding for those expenses are trickier since college is quickly approaching for my son as is braces for my daughter, which one of those will ultimately cost the most is up in the air right now.

A more esoteric problem might come from the lovely Dragonwife who even now thinks I waste too much time contemplating my bellybutton fuzz, the tragedy of empty beer bottles, and the eventual fate of the universe. I can imagine how she would react with me trying to slip away down to Charleston to go sailing while weeds in the lawn need cutting, shrubs need trimming; walls need painting, along with a thousand other chores that are always demanding my attention. On second thought, maybe buying a lotto ticket and hooking up with some nubile young babe ain’t such a bad idea after all.


Sarge said...

Here I am in the middle of a huge change in my life and you are writing about sailboats and Charleston. However, I am buying a scooter. 49.5 CC to keep under the motorcycle licensing laws and save money on the gas I put in the suv.

But, back to your dream boat - Get
a bass boat and do Santee-Cooper.


Mr. Charleston said...

I've done a lot of sailing over the years and offer some un-asked-for advice. Get a power boat. You can't sail in the intracoastal and the boat pictured is way too light for safe sailing at sea. All of my friends with nice sailboats spend far more time motoring than sailing and if you want to putter (it's called gunkholing in the sailing world) up and down the intracoastal a small cabin cruiser is far more accommodating than a sailboat.

Windsmoke. said...

I reckon your having a crisis before your real mid-life crisis comes along :-).

John McElveen said...

BOATS Rock!! Keep the dream alive Bro. I'm gonna get a Boat myself!


Pearl said...

I have a couple mid-life crises you can borrow, if you like. :-)


Pixel Peeper said...

Hmmm...funny, because I've been contemplating buying a kayak for my mid-life crisis.

One of my co-workers has a boat. He always tells me that B.O.A.T. stands for "break out another thou$and."

lime said...

actually, like pixel peeper, i've had kayak fantasies for a couple years now. i have no interest in the whitewater nonsense, just the zen of finding a good paddling groove and keeping it going.

i love motorcycles and have been encouraged to get my endorsement but given the number of AUTO accidents i've had, getting my bike endorsement seems like tempting the fates just a wee bit too much. (though i hasten to add only one of the 5 accidents was my fault)

yeah, women have midlife crises too, only for this woman it's not because i never grew up. it's because i grew up too damn soon.

Joan Perry; Sidewalk Curator said...

I got a kayak last summer. Love it! Cheapest way to get out on the water. They make them light enough for one person to handle now.

Marja said...

lol I had a boss, a rich one, with a midlife crise. He had a new wife the age of his daughter, spiky hair and a micky mouse jersey. We made fun of him. She wore him out and the staff had to play tennis with her as he couldn't keep up lol
It didn't work out and we knew that the bubble had to burst one day.
When you one day got your boat and cruise around the oceans and run out of food stop at the nz coast and we buy you some lunch.
I stick to airplanes Much more convenient and it doesn't make you seasick

Randal Graves said...

I'm definitely a landlubber, but thumbs up to this post. I think it's a case of 'is this all there is?' and finding a way to break out of that.

Life As I Know It Now said...

When I die eventually of ripe old age, I hope, I wanna say I did about damn near everything I wanted to. If that's a midlife crisis then so be it :)

Bobby said...

There is nothing in the world quit like a sailboat. So peaceful.

Bobby said...


okjimm said...

My Mid-Life Crisis? Couldn't handle it.... so I took it to a outsource management company.

Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

Don't get a motor boat ("stink pot"). They are definitely a worse buy than a camper. And a Ravern-Haired Beauty would definitely be more expensive than a modest sailboat. I've sent you some email....

Tim Jones said...

In my late 30s while going through the same contemplations, I worried about the effects until a friend told me this. "You're young, yet, you have time for three or four more mid life crises." Shortly afterward I went to sea.

jadedj said...

I had a mid life boat when I lived in South Florida. Now, alas, I live in Nebraska. I sure miss that boat. And I agree with Mr. Charleston. Power is the way to go. Do it! Okay, yeah, or you could just dig a hole in the backyard and dump money into it, instead.

deafmutes said...

I've always wanted to learn how to sail since I can remember. Might sound dorky but it probably had a bit to do with listening to "sailing" and "southern cross".

If you are dead serious about a boat period, I think Joe Cool still has the 89 Sea Ray sitting around. Probably could be done with elbow grease, a bit of knowledge/research, and $1500 or less.

Also, a recommendation.

Akelamalu said...

Buy a lotto ticket and when you win you can buy a yacht! :)

Beach Bum said...

Sarge: Yeah, that would be cool except sleeping on a bass boat would be uncomfortable and might get me rained on. The small sailboats I'm looking at would have a cabin with a bunk. Ideally, the main objective is to get away from everyone by anchoring next some quiet sandbar.

Mr. Charleston: Good advice, and will take it into consideration.

Windsmoke: LOL!!! I'm always in a bit of a crisis mode here at my house.

John: Maybe we can do Lake Murray at some point.

Pearl: One at a time is quite enough. The hair falling out thing for me was bad enough.

Pixel: Several years ago my dad-in-law, before he passed away naturally, bought a huge pontoon boat. His daughter, my sister-in-law, in a fit of anal retentiveness actually figured out on a spread sheet that his boat spent far more time in the shop that on the actual water. Of course, he rarely used the thing, so much it was being used as a home for a family of squirrels.

Lime: AMEN!!! Yeah, I grew up way too soon myself.

Joan: That might be an option, can you store any beer on them?

Marja: I love reading books about people who sail across the ocean but the idea terrifies me.

Randal: Damn straight! This perpetual bullshit we call modern American life is some Mad Hatter-like nightmare.

Life: Actually if I had the money, Branson's Virgin Galactic would be on my list.

Bobby: I'm at least going to take the community college course. It will be a blast.

Jim: LOL!!!!!!!! All things considered I may have to do the same since I probably can't afford my own.

Doc: Will have to connect with you soon, expert advice will be greatly appreciated. Now, like I wrote, not looking for anything other than something to escape in for a day.

Tim Jones: Sounds familiar, it might be what I do.

JadeJ: In your experience, is it possible just to rent one?

Deafmute: While I am very serious about this I have to get my son off to college and my daughter in high school before I can even begin to work towards this goal. I'm just starting to learn what everything entails. Will check out the nimble boat site .

Akelamalu: Just for giggles I need to start buying one ticket a week.

Semen Rendi said...
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