A Middle-Aged Woman Laughs at Life–and her Yo-Yo 
(Read on and guess which one I mean!)

“Oh wow! I’ve got to do this!” my husband yelped, attracting the attention of other diners at the small café where we were having breakfast.

“Do what?” I asked, smiling apologetically at the tables around us.

“Nothing. You’ll think it’s dumb,’ he said.

“Try me,” I answered.

“Fine. There’s a local church that’s trying to raise money for a mission project. I want to help.”

“Why would I think that’s dumb? It sounds like a great thing to get involved with. How are they raising the money?” I asked.

“They’re trying to break the record for the largest number of people simultaneously yo-yoing at a single time and soliciting sponsors. It says in the paper that the record is 557 people yo-yoing at once for two minutes. 1500 yo-yos are being donated for this project, but I don’t need one. I have my own. This could be a world-record breaking event!” he added, breathlessly.

I just stared.

Dave looked at me. “See? I knew you would think it was dumb.”

“Can we just back track for a minute?” I asked. Dave nodded. “You have a yo-yo?” I said.

“Yeah. I bought it last summer,” Dave said.

“Why did you buy a yo-yo?” I asked.

“Why not?” he said. “I was walking on the boardwalk and passed that store that has all of the kites and toys. The guy who’s always dressed up like a pirate was out front and he was playing with a yo-yo. It looked like fun, so I went in and bought one. It’s really cool,” he said.

More staring, followed by head shaking.

“Look, life is stressful, and it’s only gotten worse over the last few years. Everybody needs some way to blow off some steam. You do yoga and run. I bought a yo-yo.”

“Are you sure you’re okay? Do you need to go and talk to somebody or something?” I asked. “It seems a little strange that you’re going out and buying toys.”

“It’s no big deal. And I’m not the only one. I was talking to Chris the other day and he just ordered a big trick kite for his vacation this summer. And Chuck bought a kayak. I’m fine with guys buying toys, as long as it’s not jacks, or building blocks or something stupid like that,” Dave said.

“Of course not. Wouldn’t want you guys buying anything stupid,” I said.

“Fran, lots of guys my age get to this point in life and just feel the need to kick back a little. At least I’m not buying motorcycles or sports cars. And if we can beat the yo-yo record, it’s like being part of history,” he added.

“Hmmm. You’ve got a point. Maybe I’ll buy a yo-yo and join you,” I said. Dave looked stricken. “What? What’s wrong?” I asked.

“Well, no offense, but I sort of like to keep the yo-yo thing to myself. Sorry; I hope you understand,” Dave said.

“Sure. It’s okay. You’re entitled to have something of your own. I mean, most guys want a poker game with their buddies, but if yo-yoing is your thing, that’s fine,” I said, as I returned to my pancakes.

“You know, Fran, maybe there is something we could try together,” Dave said, pointing out the window across the street.

I looked up to see rows of bright kayaks stacked on racks.

“What do you think? We could get a two-seater. Chuck says it’s great. Imagine paddling out in the bay or on the ocean. It would be fun. We haven’t done anything really fun in a while,” Dave said.

Most of the time, my idea of fun involves chocolate, a glass of wine and a really good book. But maybe it is time to expand my horizons. Spending time with my husband doing something new, just for us? Wow, there’s a concept. Sure it costs more than two dollars, but I think we’re worth it. As for the yo-yo record? I’ll be there on the sidelines, cheering on my man and his yo-yo. And while he’s out there twirling away, I may just whip out some jacks.

If this is the worst we bring to a mid-life crisis—as long as he doesn’t decide he wants to play with my jacks—I think we’ll be just fine.