Had beers with a m9 tonight
Rufus Youngblood 15 May 19 11:56
Reply |

He's just about to hit 40, ostensibly happy home life, but I'd got the impression that he was going through a rough patch.  So on pint 3, I finally worked up the courage to ask him how he was. 

Turns out he is utterly, crushingly bored.  Endless domesticity, folding clothes, a well paid job which has long since ceased to offer much intellectual stimulation, weekends occupied feigning interest in a bunch of 6 year olds running around badly playing football, or 4 year olds badly acting in a pantomime, making lunches every single morning day after day.  All the usual stuff.

I guess this is a universal part of the human experience for people who have kids?  Basically spending their 40s in a depressing, exhausting domestic grind.

I suggested a sportscar, but the mortgage gets in the way of that.  Mentioned it was a common response (but I couldn't in good conscience recommend) to have an affair with his secretary.  He assured me that wasn't on his agenda.  

Sometimes I'm grateful for my peripatetic existence, m9s.

 

I think this whole scenario is fabricated, just so you could use the word peripatetic.

"I guess this is a universal part of the human experience for people who have kids?  Basically spending their 40s in a depressing, exhausting domestic grind."

pretty much, yeah

heh, you got me there.  No one has ever had a mid-life crisis.

Oh Boo Hoo woe if your m8 having the joy and privileges of  a good job, nice home family, children and nothing to threaten all of that. Boo Hoo, life of so easy I am bored and depressed. What a tedious twat. You suggested get a sports car which shows what an empty twat you are. Have you met Legal Alien you should get on.

What is wrong with people like you and your mate is that you have no gratitude or appreciation for the lives you are lucky enough to have.  

 

You should go back to him and recommend an affair, though not his secretary as that is too cliche and close

They do wonders for a chap and really perk them up. It is amazing what they can make time for if they want. Plus he is then happier whilst with his family and with his friends.

Not a long one, maybe 3-6 months of someone who doesn't ask anything of them and sucks their dick

I know people who enjoy it a great deal- unless they suffer a burn out

or it could be that your perspectives are so fvcking limited that you can't imagine an apparently idyllic scenario could in any way seem unfulfilling? 

ha Dux, I could have just linked straight to my Ashley Madison page

Lucky **** having the time and freedom to go for three pints with a m7 on a school night.

Sadly I suspect Phoebs is a bit GU (geographically undesirable).

And my m9, while tall and probably quite appealing to the ladies, is a bit awkward and maybe not one to buckle their swashes.

Fulfilment comes from within, not from the shiny tings or scenario. 

I know many people who are miserable despite there being no good reason to be, it is sadly a big part of the empty lives of most people. 

 

Your mate will probably fuck a trainee or two, get caught, get thrown out by his wife and then spend the next three years crying about how great his life was and he fucked it all up. etc 

 

life is quite boring, I think

I mean if he didn't have kids would he be hanging out with groundbreaking playwrights etc?

I reckon no

although I do find children unbearable

those high voices

or KIND of what wibble said

but it is harder to have inner contentment when run ragged

People love a moan, especially after a few pints. I suspect he also doesn't want to sound like a smug married. 

Never seen a Dad who doesn't love watching their 6 year old kid play football. 

As for grinding boredom - me and most of the dads I know still enjoy hobbies, travelling, going out etc. Utter nonsense. 

What Wilfred said

Also, does Phoebe speak from experience?

 

Your m6 could work parttime and take up teaching one day a week.

He could do some volunteering work.

He could get involved in local politics.

He could take up something with his kids, like train/bird/plane spotting or making matchstick buildings.

He could learn a language or work towards a sabbatical in a few years time to take the kids on an 8 week around the world adventure.

He could clean out the garage and start restoring antique furniture, maybe selling them on for a profit.

He could buy an old car and teach himself and maybe the kids about engines and engineering.

I don't have much sympathy for apathy.

i dunno about utter nonsense, everyone has different experiences of the same thing

how many of those things do you do, out of interest, woo?

and local politics for a depressed sounding person is not good craic

re apathy if you don't enjoy your life it is very dfficult to do anything at all

some people regret their choices and they can be difficult to undo

Rufey, I can't remember the author, but there was a great quote someone posted here a long time ago about part of the human condition is learning to accept with the day to day boredom of a regular life.

Good on you for asking your friend how he's really going. And good on him for being honest. 

Trickers, if there were a diagnosis of depression, would the reaction be equally unsympathetic?  Cause telling people to snap out of it in that context doesn't help much.  And if I think about it, I wouldn't be surprised if that were the issue.

I teach and volunteer in NL. When I get back I plan on doing the local politics thing. I do crafts with my kid all the time. He's too young to really have a hobby or interest yet but he loves making music with his dad.

I have also accepted the daily grind and boredom that is just part of life, with or without kids.

yeah but you are lucky your brain lets you enjoy it

you can pack your life with things but that doesn't make your life good

I think children are very boring and I would genuinely struggle if forced to do housework etc

I bet, girkl.  

As an aside, that's why I hate social media.  So much pressure to be having a wonderful exciting time (or at least pretend that you are).  And inevitably feeling shit if you're just living the standard, average existence.

FWIW I don't think my m8 is on facebook.  But I wouldn't know 'cause I'm not either.

Clergs you seem to have a chronic condition of misery though. 

Some people do. Most bored people are just lazy. 

 

Rufus, a while ago (3 or 4 weeks or so, so really recently) I thought I was depressed too. I have dark periods in my life. We all have. I get bored too. I'm not denying his right to have a bit of a wobble. That's fine and part of our coping. Then you have a cry, kick the cat and do better/more etc. Usually people get out of it that way. That is not depression. Being bored is not being depressed.

If he were depressed I think he would have different thoughts. But I'm no expert and maybe he is depressed. However, what's he doing about it, other than having a wobble over a pint with a m8?

 

ML - my robot hoover.

I have no interest in folding clothes or making someone's lunch it sounds appalling.

If you're getting the same vibe next time, put him onto the Beyond Blue website. It has a really good depression (and anxiety) checklist which take no time at all to complete, with suggestions of what to do if it looks like he's suffering even a mild depression.

I can't understand how a person can see how shit life is and not just permanently click into "death soon please". The idea that it is worth making an effort seems preposterous to me. Most of like is so unpleasurable.

It's not just he boredom though is it Tricky? Sounds like the guy has lost enjoyment in basic things like watching 4 year old muck around on stage and watching his 6 year old kick a footy.

"Boredom" may be code for mid depression.

sometimes you just need to have a moan, doesn't mean that you hate your life or are fundamentally unsatisfied

for me when it all gets too tedious I plan a holiday or dress up, go out with a mate, drink too much, do bad karaoke and basically put the world to rights

 

I would agree that doesn't sound like apathy - he is doing the things just not enjoying the things

genuine lol @ that list of crushingly boring hobbies he could take up

definitely tell him to start making matchstick buildings and see how it goes down

doesn't it get you down that you will just have to keep making effort upon effort for ungrateful bastards until you are old, QE? this would bother me.

but I cannot imagine what a "good" life looks like

Tricky kicking the cat is never acceptable but the odd kick of the dog is fine.

A few more examples here of why those of us who don't want children are made to feel weird as apparently having kids gives you meaning and excitement.

I think the trick is to know yourself, saillers

some people do get meaning and excitement from their kids

is unfortunate how few of them understand the subjectivity of that experience tho

the problem with modern privileged life is that we are conditioned to fulfil our lives and feel like they have a purpose, rather than accepting the fact that our existence is pretty pointless

if we stopped kidding ourselves we are better than animals who just eat, shit and fuck we'd all be a lot a happier

Clergs- I can understand your Robot hoover doing the hovering, but who does the rest of your household chores? 

Kids are ace, but I accept they aren't for everyone, which is fine. I agree with Girkl that it could be a mild depression but it could simply be someone pining for a time before such responsibility which surely we all do occasionally. 

 

I do sort of agree but I also am 100% accepting that we are animals

What troubles me is more is the nihilism. What is the point of anything?

 

ML - pretty much no one. Which is fine because social services don't care if I live in squalor but if I had a kid they would be all up in my grill.

Thanks girkl, I think he's actually been there and there's more happening in the background (which is being managed) so perhaps i was a bit disingenuous suggesting that this was purely mid-life ennui.  But that did strike me as a pretty clear and depressing factor!

Your parents missed a trick when they didn’t christen you ‘Joy’.

I honestly don't think I can handle making part of my morning routine getting kids to wake up, getting them fed and washed, dressed in uniform with lunches packed and properly dropped off at school, and then in the evening getting them bathed and fed and making sure that homework is done, etc. I just cannot have that life. And anytime I am inclined to feel negatively about another adult, the thought that he or she has to deal with this routine day in day out would make me more sympathetic.

Of course, I am sure that some of them look at my life and consider it empty and pointless and pathetic.

Life is fantastic. Nature is beautiful. The lush new green leafs. The grass is growing and all sorts of creatures are coming back to life.

Talking to friends is fantastic. Learning about how they do family stuff/prioritise/do career stuff. What they read about and where they go on holiday. How they handle ageing parents or arsehole toddlers.

Family is fantastic. Just enjoying each other's company, a place to always be honest, be yourself, hang out, not say anything and still enjoy the company. Seeing them grow old, your or their children growing up, being part of their lives. A sticky hand that grabs yours, a hug with tiny arms, amazement at the world, the learning abilities and flexible minds.

Dogs are bloody amazing. Wagging their tail and greeting you always, even if you were gone 5 minutes, circling around your legs under the table waiting for food to 'drop' off your plate, those big brown eyes following you to see what you are up to, their warmth against your legs in bed, their farts making you laugh and gag at the same time.

Anyway, I'm sorry for folks that are somehow not able to see this and enjoy this. But again, sometimes you do have to put in the effort.

I just think all of that seems total fannery, woo. I mean good for you but you are not "putting in an effort" you just have the brain of a labrador.

(more being anxiety issues.  no idea the extent to which that's usually correlated with depression)

before I had kids I had the total worries PP states. it's fine, you just get on with it

the most enjoyable thing about having kids for me is watching them learn new things and being inspired to try them yourself

and the older you get you worry less about crap and find joy in mundane things

"you just get on with it"

is the worst saying in the world

I mean, every manner of human horror. How do you cope? "you just get on with it"

Wot tricky sed basically. My parents had problems with nazis, problems with communists, I can understand the train of thought that people should enjoy what they’ve got and stop moaning

taking up boxing is always a good idea. Taking a punch is sometimes refreshing, and it is authentic and you get to feel your limits

Reaching mid-life is relevant though. Where there's some underlying mental health issue, the realisation that potentially the rest of his life will be spent dealing with it and controlling it can be dispiriting.  Youthful ignorance is not a bad thing, waiting for the next exciting experience.

"definitely tell him to start making matchstick buildings and see how it goes down"

Genuine LOL in the office!

"Youthful ignorance is not a bad thing, waiting for the next exciting experience." This x 1,000

Youth = hope

Ageing = the death of hope

Strutter: and wine and France and long distance views in the mountains and dance and formula 1 and walks on the common on chilly/misty mornings and books and Brexit lols and soooo much interesting stuff being written every single day.

I am a bit like a Labrador yes. Content/happy, often lazy, food driven.

Hard worker when necessary too. And I do put the effort in, Clergs. Make no mistake about that.

 

My useful and realistic advice was to ask whether his job (non-lawyer) was portable abroad...

He said no, but apparently his wife might be in demand in Bermuda.

I suggested he become a house-husband and I'd visit him and get pissed on some Caribbean beach.

Believe me, if you think your life is good it has nothing to do with the work you put in.

 

house husband wouldn't exactly cut down on the domestic drudgery tho

Getting pissed on some Caribbean beach

Can I hitch a ride? 

His mistake is sending his children to a school that requires packed lunches to be taken in. Fuck that. 

 

Wrong continent, strutts?

But it certainly would, Clergs.  There'd be a matronly lady called Blessing, in an immaculately starched white dress, who would take care of all such things.  Of course, then he'd realise what a frightful bore it is having to manage domestic staff...

I read trickys "fantastic!" post in the voice of that fast show character but essentially I agree with her. 

I'm very easily entertained which I count as a good thing 

Being on top of Arthur’s Seat on a blustery day.

Listening to ‘Reasons to be cheerful, part 3’ by Ian Dury.

I think agreeing with her is subjective

if you have a brain that doesn't mind the immense suffering you will endure and the relentless effort you need to put in just to keep a roof over your head and food on your table and you aren;t afraid of all the ritual humiliations, loneliness and terror that await you on the path to the grave then

lucky u

also, all the sociopaths

on Monday a friend was telling me how she has had to cut off her brother after he made false allegations that their mother was abusing my friend's kids

he did this because he was jealous of a small advanced inheritance my friend got to help with the kids

there are just pockets of horror wherever you turn

I wipe my arse on the fucking leaves, frankly

Of course it's subjective, I'm not saying she is *right*

yeah, I know, but I think she thinks she is right, rather than lucky to live in the gentle haze of delusion that certain chemical balances bring

Believe me, if you think your life is good it has nothing to do with the work you put in.

I appreciate some of it is sheer luck as I'm generally able to leave the darker periods in my life without needing medical interference. But a lot of it is down to putting in effort.

Anyway, I'm not trying to convince you of anything. But the majority of people is generally happy and content, they sometimes have a wobble and come out the other side. It appears there's more going on with Rufus' m7, but a lot of times it's not anything major and someone just needs a bit of a kick or a bit of kicking the cat.

"But the majority of people is generally happy and content"

25% of women your age are clinically depressed

I doubt the majority are better than average

His existence sounds exactly like mine (down to the ages of the kids) but I'm the happiest I've ever been with my lot.  I suppose we all have rough patches (I certainly have) but learning to be content with what you have is the key.

I often read this poem to myself to remind me.

The Orange

By Wendy Cope

At lunchtime I bought a huge orange
The size of it made us all laugh.
I peeled it and shared it with Robert and Dave—
They got quarters and I had a half.

And that orange it made me so happy,
As ordinary things often do
Just lately. The shopping. A walk in the park
This is peace and contentment. It’s new.

The rest of the day was quite easy.
I did all my jobs on my list
And enjoyed them and had some time over.
I love you. I’m glad I exist.

What a short changing bastard on the orange share allocation 

Don't get angry at me Clergs. I can't help that your brain is wired/balanced differently to the majority of women.

I actually think yours is (you are definitely someone who doesn't care at all about what others think of you - which is a superpower in many ways but I wouldn't swap to that extent)

Trickers, I think a lot of people put on a brave face.

I think back to my own childhood.  My folks both working full time, huge financial commitments to 3 kids' education, stupidly (their own fault for 18 months) only having one car so mum was managing us all between dad working horrendous hours in between long absences overseas.  And both at that stage well into their late 40s or 50s.  Tbh I don't know how they did it.  

My m8's particular circumstances aside, I think that phase of anyone's life just sounds like a really tough grind.

I think they are (but 100% accept that other people find them engrossing - like football)

Tbf they really can be, and I think it does other adults a disservice to pretend it's all fairy dust all the time 

Only read the OP and not the rest of the thread, but I am about the same age as your m9 and my kids are the same age as his kids. I still have adventures and have taken some strange turns with my life. It's perfectly positive to do engaging stuff and have crazy adventures, but you have to be willing to make the sacrifices involved - it's very very difficult to square that with a "stable, well paid job", among other things. 

99% of people don't really want an exciting life because they're not really willing to make the sacrifices involved for it - they want to talk about it while staying in their rut. 

I do care what others think. I'm able to put it aside when I need to because it is stupid or unnecessarily hurtful for example. You don't know me Clergs and I don't know you. I don't think I am or act very different from most of my friends though.

"99% of people don't really want an exciting life because they're not really willing to make the sacrifices involved for it - they want to talk about it while staying in their rut. "

True words

Woo - I know you present as someone who lives in their own world a bit (again not a criticism at all, it has obviously taken you places)

Sounds very similar to my childhood, Rufus. Again, I'm not sure why people are pointing their arrows at me. A large part of life is boring, grinding away at inane tasks. That does not make it bad tho.

Probably an odd thing to say but I would give an arm to have that "boring" life where I have that settled feeling and don't run around as I do now. 

Right now I am split between job in one city, time with my little one in a second and building our home (a dream promised to my daughter) in a third. 

All this while, having wishes of a meaningful relationship mothballed for various reasons and each involving incredible level of lies and gaslighting (a term which i learnt about in the last 4 months). 

He should count his blessings. 

I think that may be my forrin-ness and the language I use on here. I'm very emphatic irl and very grounded. I'm a bit of a dreamer too and sometimes a bit distant, if I don't know you or am too tired to make an effort to get to know you.

Heh, remember that sopranos episode where tony goes „everybody is bitching bitching bitching. Where is the strong quiet type?“ I think the episode is called like that too