We have all heard of the angry middle aged men stereotype. Hollywood has even recognised the concept with a movie, which spawned a sequel.
To be honest, I haven’t paid much attention to it up to this point. Sure, I have come across the odd old curmudgeon in the past, but that was usually in the professional space and usually they were really old, I mean, like seventy-five or something to my then twenty-five or thirty. I figured by that age you earned the right to be a little bit cranky having honed the ability to spot a fool and respond accordingly. I hadn’t thought until now what a younger version of an old curmudgeon might look like and how these curmudgeonly skills are actually acquired. Clearly, by the time you have earned the right to get away with being angry you have been through middle age anger training school and have obtained a Bachelor of Bullshit Spotting in the University of Life. And I’m OK with that.
Lately though, my life has been full of angry middle aged men, both on and off the professional field. Pure coincidence, some Godly test or this because of my own middle aged station in life?
Let me be clear about the type of anger I am talking about. It’s not an overt type of anger, there is no name calling, physical violence, smashing of china, just a seething resentment and mounting frustration. Guys, let me tell you it is apparent to most of the world. It’s in your tone, your general attitude and your demeanor no matter how well you think you have it hidden. And what’s more and this is the biggy, it is usually directed at those who have NOTHING to do with the source of your anger. Or maybe the connection is that these men are angry at the world and we fellow Homo sapiens, being part of the world, are entitled to see the consequences in all its glory.
Typically, men tend to think they can handle their mental and physical health issues on their own. And its great that you have the whole macho thing going on, but spare a thought for those of us who have to come within your orbit.
Which is why someone needs to invent an App for Angry Men, similar to the concept of Angry Birds. I am reliably informed by Geek In Training that Angry Birds is based on a bunch of birds going after the pigs that stole their eggs. Do these fine feathered creatures sit around seething in frustration and resentment, snapping at each other. No! They catapult themselves into the air and go after those piggy thieves, crash tackling their way through structures and generally dissipating a whole lot of negative energy, even if they don’t get their eggs back.
The App would feature an angry man character having lost his cheese. He would be catapulted into the air by a non-angry female to take the long journey to find his cheese, flying over a convertible, his grown children, younger men in their primes and a bevy of buxom beauties. When he finally finds his cheese, he will have to smash through a few structures to get to it, but the more arduous the journey, the healthier and riper his cheese will be.
In all seriousness, there is no shame in taking a little time out in middle age in working the issues through. It is a period where many men, and women for that matter, feel a loss of control. The fact is a lot of things at this stage of life, inevitably change and if you try and resist, then someone will definitely move your cheese whilst you are busy pouring all of your energy into that resistance. Rail against the world if you must, but channel that energy into something benign, like a punching bag. A true punching bag in no way resembles a human being. We are more curvy and generally more witty.
I hope all my friends in the blogosphere are doing well and enjoying the various seasons, summer for you Northerners and winter for us Southerners. I have been reading your posts and ruminating, but just had to get this one off my chest.
Angry men to the left of me, frustrated men to the right… stuck in the middle with you.