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.
15 thoughts on “Saturday Soapbox: Angry Men – There Should Be An App For That”
Great blog! I wonder if these men are feeling left out of the discussion. They feel themselves to be “victims” (aren’t we all?) because no one is paying any attention to them. But the App is a great idea!
Thanks Hugh. I think there’s an element of what you say in middle aged male frustration. It seems to manifest itself differently in women, maybe because we expect to become invisible at middle age due to societal norms, so less of an ego issue for us. Food for thought, thank you.
Well done…well said,
Thanks Jots. I’ve been thinking on this for a while. Still not sure how to react to it.
I know what you mean and you didn’t get out of control while you got this off your chest. Bravo. Nice post.
Ha, Tess. I have definitely learned that you have a better chance of conveying meaning by staying in control. I really am interested to see how other people have responded to this in their lives, for there is no use responding angrily to ager.
Over all I think we live in an angry world and a lot of people are crying in frustration to be heard. Anger is not the domain any gender or age. I have found it easier to reason with angry men than angry women.
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I know I am one, but I would have to agree with you on the angry women issue. You’re right, everyone wants to feel valued either for who they are or what they can contribute. Once again, thanks for your perspective, you have given e something to think about.
thank you, thank you, thank you!!! You have written what I have wanted to write, but have hesitated since my family reads my blog and my church ladies read it and I didn’t want to garner any comments and such! Anger and men is just too much. You hit the proverbial nail on the head in your description and I, for one, am grateful for what you have written. Move over on that soapbox, I will join you and be happy to have a kindred spirit in this. But, since we are on opposite time zones you can stand on the soapbox while I am sleeping and visa versa. Thank you, you will be in my thoughts and prayers… DAF
Wow, DAF… I’m actually channelling you! Very relieved to think I’m not alone in all of this. Now if you could just give me some tips on how to respond to it.
And more than happy to have you on my soapbox. We could turn into a song “A Soapbox Built For Two”. You’re in my thoughts as well. Hope the move as settled down and you’re enjoying summer and your new environs.
Judy, I’ve missed you. I hope you are well. It reminds me of the Billy Joel song “Angry Man.” If you recall the angry young man turns into an angry old man. So, he must have been middle aged crazy as well. The App for that is to walk away. Take care, BTG
Aw, shucks BTG. You always know the right thing to say :). Walking away is not really an option here, have to deal with these people. Maybe the App for that is WordPress and the panacea is to enjoy the company of wonderful bloggers.
Judy, thanks. One of our fellow bloggers, I can’t recall whom, noted the “just smile and be silent” approach. ” She said it was particularly effective when someone is trying to bait you into their rant or argument. If you know the person, you could add a few comments to season such as “that’s too bad” or “I wish you well in working that out.” Keep it between the straight lines. Take care, BTG
I LOVE this idea…I’m thinking about hubby when he has a bad day at work…sorry, but it’s not my fault loose the attitude and tone. I’m thinking about hubby when he’s convenced his rights on the road out weigh those around him cause clearly they’re in his way and not the other way around. An app….yeah, love the idea…when you invent it, let me know!
Cool comment, thanks Sandy. Hang in there, sister. One day the menfolk will learn to channel their energies in more positive ways. You’ll be first on the list when the App goes live. What do you think about the concept of bonus points for particular insights in the form of spousal hugs and kisses?