My Wife’s Mid-Life Crisis

You’d never know it by looking at her, but my wife is about to hit a landmark, age-wise. I’m not gonna mention how old she’ll be, for fear of getting shanked in my sleep, but she’s closer to an AARP membership than she is to a her first legal Cosmopolitan.

Recently, she got a new hairdo, which, frankly, she should have done a while back because it makes her look all sexy and way younger, kind of like Jaclyn Smith in her heyday. If she were Asian. She’s been working out more, buying new clothes, and even talking about getting some kind of laser beams blasted at her tummy to erase the evidence of having two people living inside there for the better part of a year.

And to top it all off, she’s going out tomorrow to order a new car. Not a mom car. Not an old lady car. A Mini Cooper. A red one with stripes and shiny rims and a stickshift and a turbocharger.

I tried to talk her into getting something a little more practical. Something small and cute and sporty, sure, but something with backseats that grownups could sit in, or at least that you could put kids’ carseats in.

Nothing doing. She’s got her heart set on the Mini.

You might be tempted, at this point, to say, “Oh, man, Beta Dad, why don’t you cry some more about your first world problems. At least you can afford a new car, you and your big fancy doctor wife.”


That was uncalled for, right? I’m sorry I lashed out like that.

What I meant to say is that, although the Mini may seem like a frivolous car to own, I don’t begrudge my wife this indulgence. Because I remember the last car she bought, and how happy it made her. Just a simple, base-model VW Golf, but so road-sticky and quick off the line that it was a real pleasure to drive. And cute as a button. I remember vividly when we took it out for a test drive. I ran my fingers through my thick, lustrous hair and watched her pull on her plaid miniskirt as she adjusted the seat. We set off down a winding country road and I flipped on the radio to check out the sound system. I tapped my Doc Martens on the floorboard, keeping tempo with that new song, what was it called… oh yeah, “Tubthumping.” By the hot new band Chumbawamba. BECAUSE IT WAS 1997.

Yes, my wife has been driving the same vehicle that she got in medical school, 15 years ago. I think she has earned the right to treat herself to a fun car.

But when I ask her what I get for my midlife crisis–I’m 5.5 years older than her–she says, “Please. You got your minvan.

Photo Credit

Aiming Low is hosting the Non-Conference at Callaway Gardens, October 12-13, 2012. The conversation will be hot and the drinks will be cold. Can’t wait to see you!
About BetaDad

BetaDad is a fortysomething stay-at-home dad who is sometimes allowed out to build stuff out of wood or teach college students how to write. Most of the time he just chases his toddler twin girls around though. He Dad can also be found at his personal blog as well as Daddy Dialectic, Dad Centric, Insert Eyeroll, and Man Of The House


  1. Megan says:

    If she’s getting the original Mini, it does, in fact, have a backseat. Just sayin’.

    I LOVED my Mini and miss the hell out of it. We had the Cooper S – we got rid of it because it is a bit expensive to keep. But if that’s not an issue, it’s a blast to drive. I still get mistly when I think of it…

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    • beta dad says:

      When we test drove one (yeah, she ordered a hardtop S), we put the kids (in their kid seats) in the back. They barely fit. It was pretty funny when we pulled the seats out and there were goldfish and raisins all over the car.

      I can’t lie–I’m really looking forward to getting my, I mean her, new car!

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  2. I’m high fivin’ your wife, because that is my midlife crisis mobile of choice as well.
    I have it all designed via the mini cooper website. Silver with checkerboard racing stripes and a full sunroof. Sadly, I am not a doctor, so I cannot go out and order one. I have to wait until my pre-midlife crisis Jeep Cherokee breathes its last. But tell her to have a blast and to put that baby in high gear and rev it up for all of us midlife mini lovers out here!

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    • beta dad says:

      I will make sure she gets the message! She went to a meeting yesterday, and as usual, she had the ricketiest car on the lot. It wasn’t just doctors there either–all kinds of mid-level providers, social workers, and recovering addicts who were speaking there. Her car is not only old, but it also makes horrible noises. I’ll miss that thing.

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  3. Gen says:

    Oh my gosh that is awesome. My husband has joked with me about going out and getting me an old mustang like I had when I got out of high school because it was my favorite car. Only this one would be “cherried”. However that is not what I want now.

    I am not quite at my mid life crisis yet, but I guess I am close to that age. So I have chose the vehicle I want. And my husband has picked his out. I am not going to tell him he has to keep the mini van. =D

  4. DrLori71 says:

    Ah, I understand the allure of an impractical car. Mine was the convertible. Did you know you can’t carpool with a convertible. And getting 2 kids out of a 2 door car gets old fast. My kids never let me put the top down (Mom, it’s too windy back here!) and don’t get me started about the size of my trunk! So after many years with the convertible, I’m now eagerly awaiting the arrival of my new purchase – a nice practical sedan with 4 doors :-)

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  5. twobusy says:

    Personally, I was astonished at how much room there was in the back seat of the Mini. And man, that’s a fuuuuuuun ride. Good for her.

    (Although DrLori71′s point about 2 doors is a good one.)

    (Also: thick, lustrous hair? Really?)

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  6. MIster Eno says:

    This story takes me back to that GTI you had in college. Excellent, excellent car – great drive, even though it didn’t have first gear or motor mounts.

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