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.
Every dinner party needs a little edge. After the guests have feasted upon the fine fare laid out in front of them and warmed their innards with wine, brandy, or some other fine spirit, it’s time for everyone to be reminded that ill-considered choices can indeed have bad consequences. But you see, the trick of this game is that the actions mandated on these cards only seem like ill-considered choices. They are, in fact, carefully selected and annotated experiments fully backed by science and reason, engineered to titillate and elicit grins and guffaws.
The Western world is in a crisis of discarded honor, dubious integrity, and faux manliness. It is time to recover what we have lost. Stephen Mansfield shows us the way. Working with timeless maxims and stirring examples of manhood from ages past, Mansfield issues a trumpet call of manliness fit for our times.
Hats have long been used as a means to hide a balding scalp, both from the painful effects of solar radiation and the equally loathsome fate of public judgment. But no longer are they merely for concealment. Thanks to the ingenuity of medical engineers, they are now also a means of treatment. What the hydroponic growth box is to the tomato, this cap is to the poor cranium suffering from thinning coverage. A dual-purpose fashion accessory if there ever was one.
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.
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.
After spending a couple of decades in a cubicle, office, warehouse, or other typical work environment, many 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 they travel for work, they don't have to leave their rockstar alter-ego in the basement back home. Now they can finally live their dream of going on tour with the band, even if it’s just a one-man band.
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.
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.
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).