Middle-Aged Married Men and the “Other” Women in Their Lives […and vice-versa]

article-2295638-18C52B2E000005DC-841_640x422

Houston, we have a problem.

Infidelity is an enormously complicated issue – or an enormously simple one, depending on how you look at it.

Nonetheless, the “faithful” continue to surge.

“…there are almost definitely at least 187,000 faithful spouses who would still vehemently argue that Houston has about 187,000 too many adulterers.”

http://www.houstonpress.com/news/should-the-ashley-madison-hack-have-houstonians-worried-7608927

Want the actual membership numbers across the fruited plain?

Check them out here:

http://247wallst.com/special-report/2015/07/02/10-cities-with-the-most-adultery/2/

If you’re interested in knowing where The Impact Team plans to dump the exposed member names, IP addresses, home addresses, and sexual predilections, check here:

http://pastebin.com/Kty5xBiv

~~~

So why did all this happen in the first place?

There’s always been infidelity. It’s not like it suddenly surfaced in the 21st century.

But why has it reached such epidemic proportions?

1] Is marriage, as an institution, dying?

2] Is feminism to blame?

3] Has sexual morality finally reached a point where its considered relative? 

4] Have couples who married in their 20’s finally outgrown one another?

5] Has the Internet contributed to cultural addiction to higher highs?

In my view, it’s all of the above.

~~~

If you ask older men why they stray, their responses are usually the same: “I’m no longer attracted to my aging and obese spouse [in so many words].”

If men are programmed to perpetuate and spread their genes, then the go-to female is going to be young, and probably, beautiful.

It kinda sells itself.

But this is also the most infuriating to women as both genders grow old at the same rates, yet women still prefer men within 5 years of their age.

Needless to say, this places them at a distinct disadvantage, as they often find it almost impossible to find suitable mates.

They either choose much younger partners [who usually play the role of gold-digger], or spend the rest of their lives in the company of female friends, traveling the world and finding new avenues of interest.

There are exceptions, but once women pass a certain chronological point, it’s over.

So how exactly do couples prevent this from happening?

They have to keep pace with one another.

When middle-aged men become bored with their middle-aged wives, it’s most often because they have fallen out of shape, and with it, the youthful vitality that attracted the men to them in the first place.

Most men understand – and accept the fact – that both genders age, but in cases I’m most familiar with, the man cannot accept the fact that while he is in the gym every day, she’s on the couch.

The once collegiate volleyball player is now a frumpy matron, which breeds resentment.

“I’ve accomplished so many things in my life and this is what I’m left with???”

He wants the woman he married, albeit a more mature version, while she just wants a place to rest her head.

Clearly, one of them has given up.

Even in cases where neither party was particularly athletic, but one decides at middle age to get in the best shape of his or her life, the expectation is that the other will do the same, rather than wallow in self-pity and divorce papers.

In the end, couples have to grow together…and in the same general direction.

They owe it to one another if the perpetuity of their marriages means anything to them.

But people do change, and sometimes, you just have to accept the fact that the woman you married back at Georgetown is not the same woman today.

This is where couples either sit down and renegotiate the terms of their marriage, or move on.

The rest split apart while staying married for the sake of children, finances, and the passive love one acquires after so many years with the same person.

Marriage, like aging, is not for the faint of heart.

It’s a battle to the finish line both literally and figuratively.

The question you have to ask yourself is…Is it one worth fighting?

Note: “Fighting” does not denote misery.

We do battle every day of our lives, and the suicide rate is still lower than than the murder rate by a wide margin.    

~~~

Latest Research Lists Top Age-Erasing Super Foods for Older Men [and everyone else for that matter]

age-erasing-treatments-01-bess431Got your attention, huh?

7-Age-Erasing-Super-foodsFocus already. Freaks.

 

For quick reference, I have compiled the list of the 40 top anti-aging super foods as chronicled by the Editors of Men’s Health.

They are as follows:

1] Almonds [Cholesterol, blood sugar]

2] Flaxseeds [Omega-3 fatty acids]

3] Tomatoes [Lycopene]

4] Sweet Potatoes [Glutathione]

5] Spinach [Potassium, magnesium and Lutein]

6] Rosemary [Carnosic Acid]

7] Wild Salmon [docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)]

8] Blueberries [Antioxidants]

9] Green Tea [Releases catechin]

10] Dark Chocolate [Flavonoids]

11] Tuna [Selenium]

12] Carrots [Vitamin A]

13] Dried Plums [Copper and Boron]

14] Whole Grains [Calms inflamed tissues while keeping the heart strong, the colon healthy, and the brain fueled]

15] Red Wine [Resveratrol]

16] Yogurt [Beneficial bacteria/Live and active cultures]

17] Avocado [Monounsaturated fat]

18] Walnuts [Omega-3s and anti-inflammatory Polyphenols]

19] Tumeric [Curcumin]

20] Black Beans [Anthocyanins]

21] Apples [Quercetin]

22] Alaskan King Crab [Zinc]

23] Pomegranates [Ellagitannins]

24] Bok Choy [Calcium, as well as vitamins A and C, folic acid, iron, beta-carotene, and potassium]

25] Oysters [Zinc, calcium, copper, iodine, iron, potassium, and selenium]

26] Broccoli [Calcium, as well as manganese, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron]

27] Kiwis [Potassium]

28] Olive Oil [Monounsaturated fats]

29] Leeks [Thiamine, riboflavin, calcium, and potassium, and folic acid]

30] Artichokes [Magnesium and potassium]

31] Chilli Peppers [Beta-carotene, which turns into vitamin A in the blood and fights infections, capsaicin, which inhibits neuropeptides (chemicals that cause inflammation)]

32] Ginger [Gingerol]

33] Cinnamon [Antioxidants]

34] Eggs [Protein, minerals and nutrients]

35] Figs [Potassium, manganese, and antioxidants]

36] Grass-Fed Beef [Omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids]

37] Mushrooms [Ergothioneine]

38] Pineapples [Mix of vitamins, antioxidants, and enzymes—in particular, bromelain]

39] Fruit or Vegetable Juice [Polyphenols]

40] Bing Cherries [Antioxidants]

For a more comprehensive breakdown of each, please read the following article:

http://www.menshealth.com/mhlists/age-erasing-superfoods/printer.php

SUMMARY

Most of you will notice that that you already consume a majority of the aforementioned food items, but it’s always a good idea to keep them handy.

Remember, your genes are only part of the picture where your health is concerned.

The study of Epigenetics has determined that we have a lot more control over our health than most of us thought.

Age-related diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, stroke and cancer were thought to be the inevitable consequences of aging, and that our genes were the main determinant.

But as the article below points out, your health is determined by “how you care for your genes with environmental, dietary and lifestyle choices that can influence how your genes behave.”

“Stress, diet, behavior, toxins and other factors may activate chemical switches that turn genes on and off and regulate gene expression. Several studies have shown that changes in lifestyle cause changes in gene expression.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-frank-lipman/epigenetics-research_b_862022.html

Obesity Rates Soar, But Not In My “World”

Tasteful-and-Fashion-Women-s-Sleeveless-Solid-Lace-Ruffle-Dress-Upper-Class-Work-DressesGenerally speaking, this is a fat-assed nation.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2015/06/22/americas-getting-even-fatter-startling-growth-in-obesity-over-past-20-years/?postshare=3281435059917189

But it’s not the nation I spend my time around.

Most women I know are smart enough to see the correlation between good looks and nicer neighborhoods.

No wonder they all look alike.

“Aging Gracefully” is a Contradiction in Terms

article-2505071-196094E800000578-8_634x811

How does she do it?

http://celebritypost.net/christie-brinkley-plastic-surgery/

No one ages gracefully.

Just compare a well “maintained” woman of 60 with that of a dime store cashier of the same age, and it appears to be two entirely different species.

SF Chronicle columnist Rob Morse, refers to what it takes to win the battle of aging as “ritual mutilation of the wealthy.”

But regardless what he and other social critics have to say about the sad state of today’s supposedly enlightened women, no one in their right mind is going to fall apart in front of their friends if they want repeat invitations to cocktail parties and galas.

It’s kind of like not owning the right shoes and handbags, for God’s sake.

Of course, unlike like shoes and handbags, the old mantra “you can never have too many” doesn’t work as well on the operating table.

The Beauty-Status Exchange

Woman Timing Speed Dating Event --- Image by © sven hagolani/Corbis

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/07/the-myth-of-buying-beauty/374414/

The Beauty-Status relationship is analogous to lines and performance in sports cars.

And speaking of sports cars, there’s always a faster one.

~~~

What I’m about to illustrate will probably irritate most women who resent objectification, but it may help mitigate the anger through acceptance that men are superficial first, human second.

THE MALE DEMOGRAPHIC

1] Big cities

2] Educated

3] Worldly

4] “Rich”

5] Baby-Boomers

Three [3] female body types and how men of the above demographic respond to each:

tumblr_me6fa8I7xd1rangyao1_500

 

While no one could possibly argue that this woman isn’t insanely fit, most would find her too muscular for cocktail attire.

Imagine her in Prada and the discussion is closed.

She’s out of place anywhere other than a gym, which is not where most of these men spend the majority of their lives.

She is also impossible to physically control, which challenges a CEO’s self-perception as natural born leader.

A plus-size model parades a design from the Rio label during the 'Hot in the City' Intimates show at the Sydney Fashion Festival on August 21, 2009. The festival aimed at the public profiles the comtemporary spring-summer collections of local and international fashion brands as these new season's looks arrive into stores throughout the city.   RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE      AFP PHOTO / Greg WOOD (Photo credit should read GREG WOOD/AFP/Getty Images)

A plus-size model parades a design from the Rio label during the ‘Hot in the City’ Intimates show at the Sydney Fashion Festival on August 21, 2009. The festival aimed at the public profiles the comtemporary spring-summer collections of local and international fashion brands as these new season’s looks arrive into stores throughout the city. RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE AFP PHOTO / Greg WOOD (Photo credit should read GREG WOOD/AFP/Getty Images)

Plus-sized women make such men feel inadequate and embarrassed.

What have they done – or not done – in their personal lives to enable such an abomination to evolve?

People will hurl conjecture right and left at galas and benefits from here to Monte Carlo.

She should know better, and he’s obviously a complete failure as a man, so yes, this physique is a FAIL.

SHARNI VINSON and Kellan Lutz at the Beach at Cronulla New South Wales in Australia

SHARNI VINSON and Kellan Lutz at the Beach at Cronulla New South Wales in Australia

While there remains a small niche market for this look – particularly among men who get off on physically dominating the look and feel of 12-year-old boys – it is less common than you might imagine.

Irina Shayk for Beach Bunny swimwear campaign Take Me to Rio-passion4luxury-19

Finally, we have what most men in the above demographic consider a woman prepped to sell.

She is fit, but overly so. “Toned, but not muscular” is the way is usually described.

Her bathing suit looks the way the fashion designer envisioned it on a woman, and furthermore, she would look great in basically everything “couture” on the planet.

Perceptions of him – his status, in particular – soars.

He’s now arrived and she gets the house.

Yea, there’s a downside to everything.

~~~

HOW TO MAINTAIN “OBJECT” STATUS

Women who go down this road know what they have to sacrifice in order to get it right.

First, they have to start out with the right facial and body structure.

There is some wiggle room here, so don’t freak out just yet.

From this point forward, the hard work begins.

Tenet #1: Counting calories is as much a part of life as breathing, preferably no more than 1200 a day.

For me 1200 calories doesn’t even cover breakfast, but whatever.

Tenet #2: In order to maintain the obligatory year-round tan and flawless skin, you need the right skincare products and 100% sunblock.

Understand that women do not tan at a pool. They tan at a salon. There’s a difference.

As for exercising, there is no such thing as running a marathon or any extended outdoor running at all.

It’s fine for teenagers, but once a woman hits her mid-20’s all the sun damage creeps in like a tsunami.

Tenet #4: All exercising must be done indoors – at “pump” classes, Pilates and yoga.

Understand that the look is “toned, but not muscular,” in spite of the fact that this makes no literal sense, since tone is muscle.

But women in “the know” understand the terminology well because they have the blueprint stamped into their DNA.

SUMMARY OF THE BASICS

1] 1200 calories a day

2] Spray on tan and sunblock.

3] Indoor exercise, only.

Got it?

WANT MORE?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3122739/All-day-s-work-Erin-Holland-furiously-flaunts-fabulous-figure-numerous-bikinis-impromptu-photo-shoot-friends-Fiji.html

2996D8FC00000578-3122739-image-m-25_1434203362809

Skinny, Lanky and Long: The Go-To Look in Certain Circles

1058-bless-ed-are-the-meek-Skeletal-Dress-for-Women-1

The Country Club aesthetic.

c6ed8335ac90b87095ce8acc81f0d23d

The athletic aesthetic.

~ ~ ~

I don’t know exactly where women got off track [or men became so fetishistic about anorexia], but the go-to aesthetic for successful older men appears to be very thin physiques.

I have several theories, which I know you just can’t wait to hear. [ahem…]

1] Many successful, older men were once wormy little bean counters nobody paid much attention to until they sold their shares of stock in the company they gave 20 years of their lives building, and then retired, divorced…and reinvented themselves as superheroes.

Such men prefer women who don’t remind them of what they once were, particularly now that they’re rich, entitled, and bigger than life.

Mindful of this, smaller women are less threatening, which feeds the man’s delusions of grandeur.

2] Successful older men who once played pro football and now own car dealerships tend to like physically small women because they crave control, and like knowing that the woman is submissive and willing to maintain the physique of a 12-year-old boy in exchange for lifestyle.

3] Couture fashion designs look better on small-framed women, which is a slam-dunk for galas, benefits and cocktail affairs of the rich and powerful where men parade their women like goats in Prada.

4] There is a notion floating around the collective unconscious of this socioeconomic niche that thin women are more cultured, educated, and generally speaking, intelligent.

This conveys to others in his world that she is in his arms by divine provenance.

In other words, if he didn’t himself possess the same qualities, she wouldn’t be with him.

5] Sex, Sex, Sex: Smaller woman make men look and feel bigger, which is a massive turn-on for men with control issues [most of them].  

And while there exists in smaller numbers a closeted fetish for fuller-figured women with big asses, but most of them keep such fantasies in the closet alongside everything else they keep in there.

As for the men who truly crave nothing but very thin frames, they like knowing they can throw them around like rag dolls.

6] Reflecting the psychopathology of this aesthetic, women tell their personal trainers they want “tone, not muscle,” which only makes sense if you’re in this culture zone.

What they mean by this is they want a long, lean, low-fat figure that sells well in country clubs, and has store clerks tripping all over themselves at places like Chanel.

Men in possession of such women want a comprehensive “package” that never changes for the rest of their mortal lives, that’s all.

~ ~ ~

NOTES

The woman in the second photograph is fit and muscular.

Unfortunately, her legs are too big for many high-end fashion designs, which means she can’t wear them; a clear breach of protocol.

Personally, the woman in the below photograph would be a slam-dunk for me, but I happen to like athletic women in Lycra because she could hold her own with me in a street fight against several assailants.

My perspective is obviously warped.

While Men Fight Their Way Up the Corporate Ladder, Many Women in Houston Fight Their Way Up the Social Ladder [usually fist-to-cuff]

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 14:  Comes With Baggage Founder Lori Levine shows off her one-of-a-kind orange HermËs Birkin at the Comes With Baggage Fashion Editor Preview on May 14, 2013 in New York City.  (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Comes With Baggage)

HermËs Birkin bag

http://nypost.com/2015/05/24/inside-the-bizarre-life-of-an-upper-east-side-housewife/

Wednesday Martin, author of Primates of Park Avenue, she found herself, she says, “going native.” She wanted to belong among the Upper East Side mommies who hired stylists and makeup artists for school drop-off and pickup, who got preventive Botox every three months, who perfected the flawless facade.

~ ~ ~

In many ways, this is the female version of my new book, Urban Dystrophy, now available on #Amazon.

Again, money is the buy-in, followed by a tightly-scripted narrative to which all aspirants must adhere – to the letter.

Think of it as high school all over again, but without the food fights.

Men know all about this.

In exchange for a residence at “900 Park Avenue,” women stand at the Devil’s Crossroads and relinquish their souls for a table at the right restaurant where people eat each other.

The ones who survive have the most checks on the list of must-haves.

Age comes to mind.

To wit, the author  refuses to reveal her age.

All we know is “I’m in my 40’s.” 

The reason for this is academic:

Not only are women expected to perform well under the scrutiny of white hot halogen, but because youth and beauty are expected to be indelible commodities, the farther away one drifts, the more perilous the journey.

No wonder Botox runs like rivers on the Upper East Side.

Mothers then pass these values on to their children, who attend the right schools, go on the right play dates, have the right tutors, and generally, explore all that “intensive mothering” can – and damn well better – provide.

People say celebrities are so different from everyone else, but when it gets down to it, money is what splits the herd.

When Will Fashion Designers Roll Out Syringe Cases for Affluent Testosterone Junkies?

 

 

a7e0cde1-a0c5-431f-9703-97e91e5540b3_three_eighty

syringe-luer-lok-3cc-23g-x-1-547237-BIG_0At this writing, designer syringe cases for testosterone users do not exist.

Yea, I’m shocked too given the availability and use of the drug among affluent older men, particularly the ones who don’t need it, but still can’t live without it.

Nonetheless, Baby Boomers like myself have become targets of a nationwide advertising campaign to dope us into submission.

In a way, it’s like the old Wheaties ads, but more expensive.

Get up in the morning, eat a healthy breakfast, shoot up, get on with your day! It all sounds so innocent, almost healthy.

No wonder I am literally surrounded by men my age who “supplement,” as it’s commonly referred.

Most of them use synthetic testosterone in conjunction with Human Growth hormone [HGH], while others “stack” other variants to the mix in order to maximize performance and build lean mass.

This is considered normal by many, and counting.

The objective is to bring testosterone and HGH mainstream so that no one will think twice about grabbing prescriptions every time they buy toothpaste.

It must be working because I’d hard-pressed to point out more than a handful of a single older men who workout like I do who DON’T SUPPLEMENT.

They know the risks, they can read.

“Swollen and painful breasts, blood clots in the legs, increased risk for prostate cancer, problems breathing during sleep (sleep apnea), change in the size and shape of the testicles, and a low sperm count.”

But their physicians, the antagonists in this drama, downplay the side-effects in order to keep prescriptions filled.

“Oh, just come in for a blood test every three months to check your liver and PSA levels and you’ll be fine. Who doesn’t want more energy, a better sex drive, and more lean mass?”

So a year later THEY stroke out and the doctor attributes it to over-training.

All testosterone products contain a warning label about the potential for blood clots, but nobody pays any more attention to it than they do warning labels on Bayer aspirin.

So now your doctor is off the hook and your legal war is with the drug cartels and insurance giants who can buy and sell you thousands of times, bleeding you so white with attorney’s fees you throw your hands up and surrender.

The only people who can win this war are the ones keeping it going: Users.

Stop using and they go away.

Otherwise, expect the process of demand and supply to run on all cylinders.

According to an article published in Scientific American, nearly 3 percent of American men aged 40 and older are thought to have received testosterone scripts in 2011 — three times the percentage in 2001. (If confirmed, the 2011 ratio could mean that perhaps two million older men in the U.S. have been given prescriptions for testosterone.)

In 2014, the numbers are probably twice that.

Here’s the article:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/increasing-testosterone-use-raises-safety-concerns/

As an older man who is literally inundated with chatter about “Low T,” I can attest to its allure.

More energy on less sleep, and a body from hell at age 60.

I dunno, it kinda sells itself.

One reader responded to this article with a familiar refrain:

“The problem is that the criteria doesn’t know what my testosterone levels should be for my age. The average testosterone levels are established for men between the ages of 18 and 80. I am not 18 nor 80 but one specific age. But the data show nothing about these numbers.”

As everyone in this game knows, the key to deciding whether or not to start a testosterone regimen comes down to the numbers.

In other words, what should my numbers be for someone my age?

This, my friends, is at the very crux of the controversy.

If the prescribing physician raises the baseline for what we’re told the Tes levels of a 60-year-old man should be, then we damn well need more testosterone. 

This well written Atlantic Magazine article below covers this controversy in more detail:

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/04/should-the-modern-man-be-taking-testosterone/274663/

SUMMARY

I’m not a member of the testosterone club.

I have to sleep 8 hours a night, cycle my workouts for maximum recovery, spend no more than 1 hour a day at the gym [rather than 6], and eat pretty much perfectly – no trash foods ever.

This is the price I pay for being my age.

My testosterone levels are well within the normal range, not the range of a 19-year-old.

I have to make peace with that.

I can only do what my body allows at this age and under optimum lifestyle choices.

The rest is up to nature.

If I choose to visit one of the well-known physicians here in Houston who write millions in testosterone and HGH prescriptions every year, I am sure to walk out with a full bag of goodies to remedy my “flagging health.”

Note: I currently hold the Texas State record for the RAW deadlift, within my weight and age division, through he USAPL, which strictly forbids the use of steroids.

POSTSCRIPT

There are a few men who have what is referred to as hypogonadism where the body doesn’t produce enough testosterone.

The condition is rare, but it does occur, and in such case testosterone supplementation becomes necessary in order for a man to live a full, healthy life.

I also know bodybuilders who simply cannot achieve the mass necessary to win contests without dramatically increasing testosterone levels.

It’s just part of that sport, but also a source of unbelievable acrimony from users in denial about the risks.

If you don’t believe me, go on any bodybuilding site and mention health risks associated with testosterone supplementation and you’ll end up closing your account until the vitriol calms down.

In the end, no junkie in his right mind wants to be told that crack cocaine is bad for his health anymore than an exercise addict wants to hear about the downsides of anorexia.

Middle Aged Men and the Young Women in Their Lives

woodyallen1

http://www.salon.com/2015/03/26

Before I delve into this incendiary topic, let me clear something up right away: I’m a card-carrying member of the Baby Boom generation and guilty as charged of dating considerably younger women for the better part of my entire adult life.

I guess you could say this makes me a veteran of sorts, and therefore, the target of hostility from those who assume I exploit and hoard youth.

But here’s a little secret:

It’s the other way around.

See, unless a guy my age is trawling ads on Cragislist, they women in question are trawling for us in places like grocery stores.

We don’t command young women the way we used to. We are either exposed to them over a period of time wherein they do their assessment and decide whether or not to go in, or they target us like snipers and then conquer us through unimaginably guile.

So we’re the victims if truth be told.

All we have is experience, more money – and a lot more appreciation – which appears to be straw that broke the camel’s back where dating young men is concerned.

But I gotta tell ya, it’s not a cakewalk, either. Young women are a lot like older women, just better looking.The downside is the raging hormones that more than balance the scales in many minds, lest you think its a panacea.

Notwithstanding, a lot of successful older guys I know just get tired of being reminded that their time is fraying at the edges, and what better way to obviate this unfortunate existential dilemma than to date women who remind them that tomorrow is not only worth living for…but that life may, in fact, be the dream we suspected back in the 70’s.

Either way, youth and beauty are like all-natural syringes of heroin, just more expensive in most cases.

If you can get past that, most would concede that you’ve reached the top of the mountain, and can now officially die with a smile on your face.

As for Woody Allen and everyone else with an appreciation of beauty – and the means to attract it [whatever that may be]  – women are officially adults at the age of 18.

And while I don’t know many men who would have an interest in a relationship with a woman that young, I don’t know a single solitary one of us who would fail to appreciate everything else about them.

Get real. Men are men no matter what you happen to think about our inability to complete a sentence in the face of beauty.

The Rich Fantasy Lives of Urban Middle-Aged Men…and the Cognitive Skills to Survive Them.

winners-never-give-up

Now John at the bar is a friend of mine
He gets me my drinks for free
And he’s quick with a joke or to light up your smoke
But there’s someplace that he’d rather be
He says, “Bill, I believe this is killing me.”
As the smile ran away from his face
“Well I’m sure that I could be a movie star
If I could get out of this place…” Piano Man, Billy Joel

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

1] Why am I not a rock star?

2] Why don’t I have my own syndicated radio talk show?

3] Why am I not taking Letterman’s place?

4] Why aren’t the phones ringing off the hook with glamorous acting jobs, TV appearance bookings, 7-figure book deals?

5] Why don’t I own a Gulfstream?

6] Where is my entourage?

7]\ Where am I?

8] Who am I?

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

If any of this sounds familiar, welcome to midlife, a precarious period in a man’s life, usually between the ages of 48 and 64, when everything you did in your life is now done and everything ahead is on thin ice.

While most of these items listed are exaggerations, the psychopathology behind them is everything but.

To combat this aberration of thought [self-persecution], I’d like to start an exercise I rely on to get me through the noise when it’s so loud I want to take up cliff diving.

First, I want you to put your hands on a Magic Marker. I prefer black ink because its more direct.

Then, get a large sketch pad which you can find at any Office Max.

Now, open the marker and draw a straight line down the center of the page.

On the left, write down the question you’re pondering; the one that triggers rage, anxiety and depression.

For our purposes here, let’s start with question #1:

#1] Why am I not a rock star?

For most of us, the right side of the column will look something like this:

a] Because I’m not a professional musician.

b] Because I chose to attend Business school in Rhode Island rather than sleep on the streets in Hollywood.

c] Because I’m risk-averse, in general.

Excellent. So now you’re answering your own questions and can now go back to enjoying your lunch.

#2] Why don’t I have my own syndicated radio talk show?

a] Because I’m not in the radio business.

b] Because I have never been in the radio business.

c] Because I had no interest in the radio business until “Rush Limbaugh” made me rethink that decision.

#3] Why am I not taking Letterman’s place?

a] Because Stephen Colbert just took it.

b] Because you’re not a stand-up comedian.

c] Because you’re not, nor have you ever been, in the television business, and therefore, neither you nor Mr. Colbert are in competition.

#4] Why aren’t the phones ringing off the hook with glamorous acting jobs, TV appearance bookings, 7-figure book deals?

a] Are you currently a professional actor? If not, scratch the first one. 

b] TV appearances usually involve people who either survived a jump out of a commercial airliner without a parachute, or those born into a celebrity families they can’t wait to tell the world about. 

c] As for “7-figure book deals” NOT involving celebrity gossip, you might ask yourself if you’ve ever written a book, much less taken a course in high school English. 

#5] Why don’t I own a Gulfstream?

a] Most celebrities cannot afford to own Gulfstream aircraft, so they buy timeshares in them.

b] The oil and gas company you’ve been working for has a fleet of 7 Gulfstreams. If you had become a Vice-President, you’d been flying on one yourself.

c] Most people who can afford to outright own their own jets were usually born into the money. The rest you can count on two hands.

#6] Where is my entourage?

a] You have a wife, three kids, two cats and a Labrador Retriever. Isn’t that enough?

b] Once you’re past a certain age the last thing you want is to be bothered by an entourage, much less anything – or anyone with their hand out. 

c] Entourages are for elite professional boxers who will probably blow through everything before they hit your age. Way before. I can name names you already know.

#7] Where am I?

a] By this, most middle-aged men are referring to where they are in the context of their lives and accomplishments. So start jotting down your accomplishments – without comparing them with people you don’t know, but can’t stop hearing about.

b] If you’re still healthy, reasonably happy, and financially secure at middle age, you’re a celebrity to anyone who is not. 

c] If you have a swimming pool in addition to everything else, you deserve a backhand from God.

And finally…

#8] Who am I?

a] I might suggest ancestry.com.

If this isn’t what you’re referring to, dial 911.