I turned 50 last year and I’ve never had a midlife crisis. At least not yet, anyway. When I found out my ex had a paramour while he was still married to me and then he filed for divorce, I told him, “Buying a sports car would have been cheaper!”
Seriously, just as I finished homeschooling the boys after 17 years and the last two were about to head off to college, he decided to have a midlife crisis. Right at the time life was going to get much simpler and less stressful, he decided to complicate our lives exponentially to the tune of over $50,000 in legal fees. A sports car would have been cheaper!
Life isn’t a fairytale. It’s an obstacle course where we constantly find ourselves carrying our crosses. With Jesus, we can successfully navigate the course of life, carry our crosses to the finish line and hopefully hear, “Well done, my good and faithful servant,” when this life comes to an end. Jesus didn’t promise it would be easy, but He did promise eternal life to His faithful servants. That said, I still like to dream about fairytales!
Don’t all little girls dream of falling in love with a man who treats her like a princess? I know that I did. As I got older, I certainly realized, like most grown women, that fairytales don’t exist in real life. However, I always thought that I would find someone who at least cared enough to treat me like a princess some of the time. That never happened.
My husband liked to disable things just to mess with me. He was passive-aggressive like that. Whereas I just told it like it was and sometimes yelled, he stayed calm, but played games. Many times, he would disable my computers. Despite the fact that I used these computers to print lesson plans and lessons for my children whom I homeschooled. He would change the computer password and not give it to me or change the internet password and not tell me. When I would call him to see what was going on, he would hang up.
Often times, I’d call back over and over screaming, “What is the effing password? What the eff did you do this for?” and he would hang up. Because I know my ex is HIGHLY motivated by money, I would say, “Okay, if you hang up on me, I’m going to spend $100.” Didn’t work. He still hung up. He still hung up when my pretend bill got over 1k. I never spent the money- let’s be real, I was a homeschooling mom with 3 boys. When would I find the time to go shopping!? Finding time to pee without an audience was hard enough!
By the time he arrived home, I was at my wits end. A fight would ensue. I often said mean, horrible things during our arguments. He would later apologize for changing the passwords and restore them to the old password. Once, he went to disable my computer and thought better of it in the middle of what he was doing and tried to abort. Crash. The computer crashed. The hard drive that contained all of my childrens’ medical records was lost forever. He later apologized, but the records were lost and took quite a bit of effort to collect over again.
Stick with me, I have a point about mid-life recreation! One time, he was angry with me and disabled my car. I ended up being stuck at home with 3 children without a car to drive. Two of whom have serious, life-threatening illnesses, you might remember. I called and called to no avail. Once he arrived home, he fixed the car and apologized, but I was so beyond pissed that the apology fell upon deaf ears. I ranted and raved for hours. HOURS. “How could you do this effing shit? What kind of asshole disables his wife’s car!?”
After one of my surgeries, I was feeling awful and kept sweating. I turned the AC down and he would turn it back up. I asked him to please keep it cold because I was in pain and miserably hot. He yelled, “If you turn the air conditioning below 74°, I will disable it so you can’t use it!” Y’all, he was a passive- aggressive monster. He, of course, never saw anything wrong with his behavior. Whenever I had enough of his games and fought back, I was told that I was psycho, a horrible mother, an awful wife and worse. I was told that my yelling and ranting were worse than his actions that preceded my screaming fits.
He would place items of mine in the safe and change the safe code. Once I came home and he said, “I put some of your jewelry in the safe.” Knowing I owned very little jewelry, I was puzzled and asked, “Wait, what? What jewelry?” as I ran to the safe to see. “Damn it! You changed the safe code! What’s the effing code, you effing bastard!?” I screamed. Then I looked in my drawers and saw that he had taken my dead mother’s and my dead aunt’s jewelry. I went ballistic and screamed at the top of my lungs. He started video taping my reaction. I grabbed a bed post and pointed it inches from his face saying, “Give me my dead mother’s effing shit now! What’s the effing code!? Video tape this you effing, bleeping jackass!” He refused to give me the code and refused to open the safe. I became so enraged that I whacked the bed post against the bed and a small tip broke off. He screamed, “See!? You are PSYCHO! You PSYCHO bitch!” I retorted, “What!? I’m psycho? You continue to put my stuff in the safe and change the safe code AFTER promising you’d never change the code again and I’m the psycho!?”
To this day, he swears what he did was not crazy in the least. He said, “I’m just showing you that your stuff is safe with me.” I digress, back to the princess story. During one of our arguments, he swears I told him, “I’m a princess for a day.” I do not recall ever telling him that I was a princess, but this became a running joke among my closest friends. I’m probably the least princessy person on the planet. I rarely, if ever, wear makeup, own very little jewelry and spend very little time on my hair. I am, however, addicted to skirts.
I used to tell the hubster, as I affectionately called him, that he was lucky to have me. I didn’t get my nails done, did get my hair done, hate shopping for shoes and clothes, don’t wear a lot of jewelry and I think I/we always need more guns and more ammo. What more could a man ask for? The guys at the gun store used to tell him he was a lucky man because his wife encouraged buying more guns and ammo. <giggle> <snort> I was definitely not princess material.
One of my BFFs who was in my wedding is only a few days older than I. Did I mention that she’s older? We decided we needed to do something special to celebrate our 50th. Since she has an excellent sense of humor, she said, “We MUST have a princess party.” And that we did. Complete with tiaras. I’m pretty sure that I’m going to live to be 100, so for my non-midlife crisis, I spent a weekend as a princess at Biltmore in Asheville. What better place than Biltmore for princesses to hang out and drink a little wine!?
Which brings me to my mid-life recreation at age almost 51. Girl, if your husband dumped you for another woman and you are finally getting life back on track, it’s time to recreate yourself! You can be whatever you want to be! Make your dreams a reality. Be a damn princess if that’s what you want to be!!!
I was such a princess :sarcastic font: that I used to get in trouble every single time I got my hair done. I had to hear how selfish I was because it cost SO much. Y’all, girl hair is expensive to maintain! Guys are lucky- they can generally get away with an $8 haircut. And grey? Let’s not discuss how men look more distinguished with grey and women look, well, old. I rarely got mani/pedis. If I did, mercy me!! I had to hear about how awful I was for spending the money. Date nights turned into, “This dinner costs too much, we can’t afford it,” so we rarely went. It just wasn’t worth having to 1) force him to take me out by throwing a fit or having a nervous breakdown and 2) having to hear how I wasn’t worth the money it costs. Romantic getaways? I was such a princess that in 24 years of marriage, we spent 4, F-O-U-R, nights alone away from the kids.
My mid-life recreation includes learning to wear makeup. I’ve asked friends to teach me and I’ve YouTubed it and you know what!? Makeup is complicated!! I’ll get it down soon enough, though. A few of my friends taught me about jewelry and I’ve started building a small collection. I got my ears re-pierced because being such a princess all those years and not wearing jewelry, my earring holes closed up. <roaring laughter> I have started getting my nails done every 3 weeks and getting my hair done more frequently. I come home, relax and think, “Girl, life is good! You may be princess material after all!” The best part of this recreation story is that I don’t have anyone at home beating me down because I dared to take care of myself. Fifty is turning out to be a fantastic year for me and I have BIG plans for year 51 on planet earth.
Be that princess, learn to wear makeup, run that 5k, drink more cocktails and learn about fine wine. I’m making my way down my list and have decided to do something in the near future that NO ONE would ever believe that *I* would do. It’s going to be fantabulous. Maybe I’ll share it on my blog when I’m done.
I still haven’t given up the fairytale dream of finding the man who will cherish me and treat me like a princess, either. That may be the best of what’s to come!