my midlife crisis act 1: the car, the ex and the view from the rear view mirror

you are walking out of starbucks and there he is:  the ex.  otherwise known as the heartbreak kid.  mr. wrong. or maybe mr. what-was-i-thinking?  

I used to answer A, mostly because every day is a bad hair day for me.   And nothing makes a bad hair day the baddest than running into an ex.

the trumpster must run into an ex every day,  or maybe he's just gotten over worrying about it!

the trumpster must run into an ex every day, or maybe he’s just gotten over worrying about it!

sometimes i have answered B, hoping that the new dude will be so handsome, so sweet, so machismo that i will give off the “i am so over you” vibe. then this happened to me. . . .

“glad to meet you,” the ex said to the newly minted boyfriend.  “And let me introduce you to my girlfriend.  She’s a nuclear physicist.”

i stared at the drop dead gorgeous woman.

“yeah, right,”  i said.

“no, really, i am a phsyicist,” she said.  “i’m with argonne national laboratories.”

awkward!  and worse, i got a text a half hour later from the ex.

“he seems nice,”  it read.

nice?  what does nice mean?

most recently, I ran into ron.  he was my first post-divorce relationship.  he’s a doctor, devoted dad, articulate, funny, and I fell hard.  but he wanted a much younger woman and that’s exactly who was standing beside him on the sidewalk.  with the stroller.  in front of starbucks.  and the newborn.  i had three inch unwashed roots.  it had been a year and a half since we had run into each other.  but, again, bad hair days attract exes.

“oh, hey, fancy meeting you here,” he said.

did i mention he had a thing about cars?  ron could look at any car and tell you the make, the model, the year, and he always had an opinion about whether it was a car he would care to drive.  oh, wait, every man is like that!

“this a 2003 nissan 350z,” he said.  “great car.  i’m going to get one of those someday.  oh, uh, may I introduce you to my wife stephanie?”

we exchanged wary nicetameetcha’s. ron continued to stare at the car.  really, it was as if you had dropped a playboy centerfold on the curb.

“it’s really the dupont chromillusion custom paint job that makes it special,” i said.

“i didn’t know you knew that much about cars,” ron said.

“i don’t.  i just know my car.  it’s my midlife crisis.”

and it is.  it makes me feel younger, it makes me feel not so bad about being alone and about the kids going off to school, it says “you’ve still got it, arlynn” even when i can’t remember to get my hair done.

so i got in.  watching his dumbfounded gaze in the rear view mirror was a bonus.  To an already wonderful feeling about the car.  It attracts attention, as in kids asking if they can sit in the driver’s seat and have their pictures taken.  It makes me feel cool, which is always a good thing for a gal.   and it actually costs me less to insure than my suburban matron ex-vehicle the mini-coop.


you are walking out of starbucks and run into your ex.  what should you do?  pull the keys out of your purse and drive!

8 responses to “my midlife crisis act 1: the car, the ex and the view from the rear view mirror

  • Todd S. Parkhurst


    That is NOT you in the green shirt feeling up the car door. Your azz is not that fat..

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  • Cory Rickerson

    That was hilarious, Arlynn, thanks for sharing!

  • thelostkerryman

    Moral of the story- stay away from Starbucks.

  • Photograph Afficionado

    This made me laugh a lot! We’ve all been there…

  • Rachel Creager Ireland

    Okay, I read this when you posted it, but hadn’t seen anything from you in a while, so I came to see what was new on your blog. Then I watched the video for the first time, and wow, that really is a heckuva a paint job! I’d love to drive a car that looked like that!

    I think when he said that about you knowing so much about cars, I wouldn’t have been modest. I’d play it cool, with my signature smile and eyebrow raise, then drive away. Let him think you do know so much, and if he had given you more of a chance, he might have found that out about you . . . cause the life experience you have makes you a woman of depth, whose secrets might take a lifetime to discover . . .

    Anyway, I hope your absence from the blogosphere is a sign of you living life too fully to have time to write about it. Miss you.

    • arlynnpresser

      i’ve been involved in the second phase of my midlife crisis which has kept me away from the computer. but i’ve missed you too and hope to get back into the world. as for the dude, i saw the wistful look. it wasn’t for me but for the vehicle. still. . . .

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