I’m trying to decide whether I’m having a mid-life crisis, a nervous breakdown, or a petulant fit. I googled each of them, but I couldn’t find any distinct definitions to help me figure this out. Maybe they’re all quite similar. Maybe I have all three at once, which I suspect would be novel.

Certain behaviors tend to come along with a mid-life crisis. They include quitting your job to weave rugs in New Mexico, buying a penis-shaped sports car you can’t afford, joining a gym you will never visit, having an affair with the most inappropriate person you can think of, spending a year’s salary on plastic surgery and hair implants, and acting like such a gigantic weasel’s crotch that your spouse has to chain herself to the toilet to keep from murdering you every night. If you allow that my wife only chains herself to a metaphorical toilet, then just one of these applies to me. Therefore, I’m putting mid-life crisis at the bottom of the list for now.

On the other hand, a nervous breakdown seems to be a short-term thing. It usually shows up as depression or anxiety. In my life, I refer to that as Tuesday. Therefore, I’m classifying nervous breakdown as “unlikely.”

So, I’m going with “petulant fit.”

Ten years ago I could optimistically say that I still had more years ahead of me than behind me, barring a catastrophic carnival accident. I can’t fool myself like that anymore. I heard someone say, “50 is the new 20,” the other day. I don’t know about him, but when I was 20 I had a lot less trouble peeing.

So my brain is telling me things like, “If you don’t go for it now, when will you? This may be your last chance.” Coincidentally, this is precisely the same sales technique used to peddle time share condos, so I should know better when I listen to my brain say this shit. But instead I allow my brain to lure me into an unnatural state. I have fallen into a state of “yearning.”

What the hell is “yearning”? It’s kind of like “wanting,” except that wanting is done with the heart, and yearning is done with everything from your belly button to your knees—yes, including those bits. What do I yearn for? I yearn for the things any adult my age desires: for people to read my mind and give me exactly what I want, to do whatever I love doing all day and for people to pay me lots of money regardless of how good I really am, to find so much variety and spontaneity in each day that I forget I’m just the same old me, and to have more sex than the Sultan of Morocco. The usual things.

I lack a solid plan for achieving any of this. I don’t really have a plan at all. I do have a disorganized collection of vague hopes, so I feel I’m well on my way. Even better, I envision that everything will be accomplished through the efforts of other people and without much inconvenience to me. What this scheme lacks in specificity it makes up for in warm fuzzies for me.

I do have one responsibility. When I think events are moving away from me securing everything for which I yearn, I must behave like a tiger with hemorrhoids and aggravate everyone around me to such an insane level that they start paying more attention to what I want. Then I can go back to aggravating them the normal amount.

And I will keep doing this. Relentlessly. Until I get everything I yearn for. 

Definitely “petulant fit.”

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