I thought I had my mid-life crisis all figured out.
In 2029 when I turn 50, I’ll start lifting weights, listen to nothing but the Goo Goo Dolls, dust off the ol’ letterman jacket, and – this is the most important party — buy a shiny new TransAm to make me feel 16 again.
But now that Pontiac is no more, how’s a fella supposed to get through his midlife crisis? Surely you don’t expect me to buy a Mustang, do you?
On my 16th birthday my parents chipped in half for the TransAm I had been pining for. Not one of those weenie ones with a V6 in it. It had eight screaming cylinders of raw American muscle. I was proud of how much gas and rubber it burnt when I dropped the hammer. It looked like the Batmobile and so that’s what I got on the license plate — BATMBLE.
I thought I was cool. One of the last times I drove it, I was picking up Annie from her dorm in college, and a girl walked by staring at the car.
“That’s right,” I thought. “Soak it up. You wish you were going to slide into the co-pilot seat as my Robin, but that seat is filled.”
When her eyes fell upon the license plate, she rolled her eyes. Rolled her eyes at the BATMBLE!
I drove the car slow – not much over the speed limit. I was like an Olympic sprinter strolling through the park – I knew I was fast, I knew that I could toast you, and you knew that I knew I could toast you, but I just puttered along confident in my speed.
The rumor around school was that I landed Annie because of the Batmobile. Never mind that most days I drove my dad’s beat up 25 year-old truck, which had a wood bed and holes in the floor panels. But on the weekends we would take the Batmobile to the movies. Some might think that growing up in the rural Midwest an hour away from a movie theater would be a bad thing. Obviously, they never had the pleasure of riding in the Batmobile.
Annie says that she didn’t start dating me because of the car. When I pressed her for why she started dating me, she rolled her eyes and said that she felt sorry for me.
Even so, I know that she enjoyed the rides in that car. I could tell that she thought I was especially cool when I popped in the CD of the Batman theme song.
How cool was I at 16? That’s coolness that I’ll never be able recover, not at 30, not at 40, and not in 2029 at 50. Especially now that Pontiac is dead.
What are your plans for your midlife crisis?
Annie, the Batmobile, and I on the way to our Prom in 1997. You wish you were this cool in high school.