Midlife crises are funny: everyone knows when they are likely to happen, yet they always seem to take the victim by surprise.
Men seem to get blindsided the worst (or maybe they just deal with it more hilariously). One month he’s happily plugging away at a dull office job in his gray slacks and blue oxford button-down shirt, the next month he’s building a treehouse in the middle of the forest in full Aztec war paint, or cruising coast-to-coast on a Harley Davidson covered head to toe in studded leather.
Yes, when the midlife crisis hits, it hits fast. If you know a middle-aged man whose soul is boiling with angst, take a look below. We’ve got just the stuff he needs to simmer back down and come to his senses.
After spending a couple of decades in a cubicle, office, warehouse, or other typical work environment, many men experience the unmistakable yearning for freedom and self-expression of the artistic life. If they missed the boat early on, this is the perfect time to pick up a musical instrument. The great thing about a travel guitar is that, well, it travels. So if he travels for work, he doesn’t have to leave his rockstar alter-ego in the basement back home. Now he can finally live his dream of going on tour with the band, even if it’s just a one-man band.travelerguitar.com
Mid-life may feel like a terrifying trap, but the wise know that it’s really just a prison of the mind. Un#@%! Yourself by Gary John Bishop helps the reader see that by dismantling the imaginary shackles one by one. This might be just the thing he needs to snap out of it before he does something regrettable.amazon.com
Many a midlife crisis is brought on by a feeling of crushing existential boredom — the feeling that life is unbelievably dull and that’s never going to change. Not tomorrow, not the next day…never. For someone suffering from this particular form of midlife torture, just getting out and doing something that tricks the primitive lizard brain into thinking it might die at any moment might be enough to shake a few brain cells loose (in a good way). Ideas for adventure gifts are virtually endless. Skydiving and bungee jumping are classic choices that you can find just about anywhere — if they have the stomach for it. For speed freaks, NASCAR offers a variety of in-car experiences, from ride-alongs to the chance to get behind the wheel and take on some of the most famous race tracks in the US. And if you’re stumped for ideas, Cloud 9 Living offers a long list of adventure experiences in various locations.
Airbnb Gift Card
A vacation is another tried and true midlife crisis remedy. But it’s important to respect the opportunity for your recipient-in-crisis to choose his own destination. One despairing soul may want to sit by the pool for a month at a resort in Cancun, another may want to go yurt-hopping through Mongolia. He can do either one with an Airbnb gift card (yes, really).amazon.com
Martial Arts Classes
Even men who don’t want to beat each other up still want to know how to beat each other up if they ever change their minds. If your man in crisis never learned how, then local martial arts classes can help him feel manlier and more competent — not to mention help him get in better shape and develop camaraderie with his fellow trainees.
Sometimes, it’s just being an adult that’s bumming him out. A full size arcade game cabinet loaded with all of the best classic video games from the height of the arcade era might help him escape back to the glory days of childhood for a minute. Or he might just disappear into a black hole in the basement for the next six months.amazon.com
New Motorcycle Helmet
If he’s already taken things into his own hands and bought a motorcycle to “break free from bourgeois society” or whatever, then show him he has your full support by getting him some badass accessories. A motorcycle helmet from Deadbeat Customs will keep his melon safe and help him stand out on the road from all of the other kindred mavericks seeking freedom on two wheels.deadbeatcustoms.com
Tiny Backyard House
Everyone knows the feeling of needing to get away. How about a little mini retreat right in the backyard? This is taking the concept of the man cave to a whole new level — but who knows? It might be just the project he needs to get untracked.amazon.com
Funny Fake Business Cards
If all else fails, a brand new identity may be in order. Or even a few of them. Heck, why not one for every day of the week? Secret Agent one day; Pet Exorcist, Hand Model, or Getaway Driver the next. Give him some time to work through his identity crisis with a dozen new options he’s never considered. One of them is bound to stick.amazon.com