It's one of the classic stereotypes of middle age: the balding guy with the dorky baseball cap, driving around in a classic Ford Mustang with the top down.
The car could be a Chevy Camaro, a Corvette, a Plymouth Fury, or even a brand new Mustang. Whatever the car is, you get the picture: a middle-aged man trying to recapture something of his youth. They can make fun of us all they want, but just like women and their new dresses and pairs of shoes and purses, many men genuinely feel better about getting older when they get to do it behind the wheel of a muscle car. Here are some of the things that prompt the so-called midlife crisis, and why a muscle car makes it better.
1) Hair loss - Losing hair is difficult for a lot of guys. Whether your hairline is receding or you have an actual bald spot in back, hair loss can really destroy your self-confidence, especially if you are single. So what if your hair loss triggered you to buy that shiny new (or beautifully restored) muscle car?
No one will be looking at your hair (or lack thereof) if they can't get past how great your car is! Just don't wear those poorly fitting freebie caps that a lot of older guys do, or you'll give the game away. If you have to hide your head under a hat, choose one that fits you well, preferably with a muscle car theme, such as Dodge apparel or Mopar apparel.
2) Bifocals - Developing far-sightedness on top of your near-sightedness is one of the signs that you are getting older. Taking off your glasses in order to read a menu -- or worse, pulling out reading glasses -- is a dead giveaway that you are no longer the spring chicken you used to be. Luckily, when you are driving a car, you don't need to worry about being able to see anything close up.
If you can't read the speedometer, don't worry about it -- you'll look cooler if you're going slightly too fast, anyway. Just don't go too slow, as there is no surer way to become the target for jokes about old men and their cars.
3) Unemployment/early retirement - Being laid off from your job is a difficult thing, especially if you have worked there for many years.
Unfortunately, with the economy the way it has been the last few years, a lot of middle-aged men are finding themselves forced to take an early retirement or, worse, looking for a new job in the first time in years (if not decades). But even if your previous employer doesn't appreciate your years of service, you deserve a reward... such as a muscle car.
Your wife may not appreciate the timing of your big purchase, but hey, at least you have a hobby to keep you out of her hair while you are home!
4) Divorce - After years of marriage, you and your wife are going your separate ways. Whether you are bitter because she left you or because she wasted the best years of your life, divorce can be difficult to deal with. If this is you, a muscle car is the perfect way to announce your reentry into the single life.
Chicks dig men in hot cars, you know, and you might be able to score one young and pretty enough to make your wife turn green with envy! But even if you don't, at least you will always know that with a little bit of care and attention, your car will NEVER let you down. Too bad we can't say the same for some people.
5) Empty nest syndrome - After spending the better part of your adult life raising your kids, they are finally out of the house. Suddenly your life seems so empty... No more shuttling kids to and from school and extracurricular activities (goodbye minivan), no more worrying about homework and curfews and part-time jobs.
You are ALONE. Why, you might be wondering, do they call this the empty nest syndrome, like it's a bad thing? And why do they claim it's a midlife crisis when you go out and buy yourself the car you've always wanted, but couldn't buy because of the cost of diapers and back-to-school clothes and saving for college? You've sacrificed a lot of your own life to raise your kids right.
Now it's time to have some FUN! What is a midlife crisis, anyway? Some people might define it as an older person trying to act like they are young again, but maybe it's really acting your age. After all, who better to race around town in a muscle car than someone who is old enough to appreciate the history and origins of this American icon?