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Date archive for: April 2013

My Midlife, Half-Hearted Crisis

My grandmother, who is twice my age, is always threatening to die. “Yep,” she tells me, in that matter-of-fact way that only wise old people can, “I’m about ready to take this show on the road.”

It amuses me when she says it, and saddens me. But it also stops me in my tracks because if her predictions are right, and my math is correct — then I’m officially middle-aged.

This is it. The notorious half-life point. The infamous midlife milestone that lands men in the bucket seats of exorbitantly priced sports cars and spins women into torrid affairs with beefcake boy-toy trainers, neither of which sound like torture exactly, but …

But over this?

Forgive me. I thought middle age would be different. With all the credit it’s given (or blame it’s bequeathed) for sending forty-somethings into existential marriage-busting, job-quitting, marathon-training tailspins, I just thought that becoming halfway-to-dead would be more dramatic. More disruptive. More electric.

I always assumed that balancing atop the very fulcrum of my own personal timeline would be all-consuming, wholly engrossing, 100 percent distracting. Maybe I secretly hoped it would.

Continue reading My Midlife, Half-Hearted Crisis

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Manhattan Made

Start spreading the news. I’m leaving today. I want to be a part of it …

I grew up in a big city with billboards and litter and bellowing horns. We lived in a concrete jungle with beggars and highways and smog — and we vacationed, naturally, in charming, palm tree-punctuated beach towns.

Now I live in this charming, palm tree-punctuated beach town. It’s lovely — a safe, peaceful, pretty place to raise kids. And yet a part of my urban-bred brain wonders if there’s something missing from the soul of children who don’t know how to hop a subway turnstile or sleep through the blare of constant, distant sirens. Are they too content? Too … untested?

So when the tourists began pouring into Santa Barbara for spring break, I dragged my family to Manhattan for a lesson in culture, congestion, and crabby cabbies. We needed grit, I felt. Too much sustained simplicity makes ya soft in the head.

But could two laid-back pups from paradise really glean value from a week in a city that never sleeps? Could my dyed-in-the-wool country mice ever truly appreciate the bracing bedlam of Gotham?

Most of what the boys knew about New York came from Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind”: “Yeah, I’m up at Brooklyn, now I’m down in TriBeCa, right next to De Niro, but I’ll be ‘hood forever. I’m the new Sinatra, and since I made it here, I can make it anywhere …”

Continue reading Manhattan Made

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Keep Your Skirt On
Wife on the Edge
Broad Assumptions
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