The optician took the glasses I was trying off my face. “There’s some more frames that you might like over here,” he said.
Turning to his assistant he said, “Can you get the Harley Davidson frames from the window display?”
I chuckled to myself. There is little I can think of that is less “Harley Davidson” than a pair of glasses. But, I suspect the iconic American motorbike manufacturers know their market. I figure that they sell more easy riders to mid-life crisis mid-level executives from Vermont than to the Baja California chapter of the Hell’s Angels.
A few days earlier I was leafing through one of those mail order catalogues that offer special, one off bespoke gifts. I found a page that offered leather bracelets for men with the option of metal beads on which you could have messages, names or words engraved.
“Hmm,” I thought, “they’re quite cool. I could have beads made up with my children’s names on.”
Later the same day I was wandering past the local parade of shops where, somewhat incongruously there is a tattoo parlour.
And that’s when it struck me:At the grand old age of 43, I suppose I am slap bang in the middle of the Harley Davidson demographic. My receding hairline and fast fading physical prowess should signal the onset on foolish behaviour. However, I am completely confident that I can resist the lure of the adrenalin and denial fuelled trappings of a mid-life crisis.
Whilst a bespoke leather bracelet with my children’s names engraved on stylish yet manly silver beads may be cool, it isn’t what a man having a mid-life crisis would do. A man having a real mid-life crisis would get a tattoo.
Mid-life crisis man wouldn’t be looking a Harley Davidson glasses frames; he’d be buying a Harley Davidson motorcycle from the attractive blonde saleswoman wearing the inappropriately short skirt.
And why wasn’t I getting a tattoo or buying a motorbike? Was it because of my iron will and modest self-confidence meant that I had bypassed the whole mid-life crisis thing?
I’m afraid not. The truth of the matter is that I’m chicken. I’m yellow bellied. A real man would buy the bike and get the tatt. I hanker after the lifestyle they represent but am just too scared to have a proper mid-life crisis.
Later that day, after ordering a very sensible pair of Gant frames from the optician, I decided that I would go for a run. As I set off, I heard a whining noise behind me. I glanced over my shoulder and saw an old- aged woman in a mobility scooter behind me. To my horror, she was catching me. Now, I may not be a real man but there is no way I’m going to let an octogenarian overtake me when I’m out running. I re-doubled my efforts and just about managed to stay ahead of her.
Now, it isn’t as bad as it sounds. I was powering up quite a steep hill at the time which conclusively proves that I’m not getting old. And if anyone points out that so was the old dear in the mobility scooter, I’ll have to buy that Harley Davidson. She’d never overtake me on that.
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