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The Perfect Recipe For The Perfect Midlife Crisis

If you're over 40 and need a good laugh, read this.

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illustration of lady cooking a midlife crisis recipe
Chaaya Prabhat
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Duration: Three to 10 years

Serves: Most of Generation X

Calories: Any calorie consumed after age 40 should be tripled


· 40- to 49-year-old human (I used a female, but you could conceivably substitute a male — though men are more difficult because they won’t acknowledge they are having a crisis.)

· 1/4 cup dashed dreams

· 1/2 cup malaise

· 3 heaping tablespoons anxiety

· 1 spouse/partner (optional)

· Pair of crow’s feet


1. Set up your mise en place. This term is French for “everything in its place.” Your prep station should look like a TV cooking show where all your dreams and expectations are prechopped in those cute little porcelain ramekins. Do this with your unrealized potential. Consider how you expected your life to be at this age. Make sure to combine well with constant rumination. I find it helps to toss and turn all night to make sure the negative self-talk is well blended.

2. Your eggs are rotten by now. Go ahead and throw them out.

3. Roll the dough. Look at your neighbor's dough on Instagram — do they have more dough than you? Of course, they do.

4. Pour a bottle of chardonnay four times into one cup. Repeat with a second bottle. Some days you’ll need more.

5. Cry and leak your locally sourced salty tears into the sauce.

6. While you stir the pot, invite your husband off the couch to oversee your work. If you don’t have a husband, then grab any straight man to ask him to explain your feelings to you. Your creme should curdle now, but if it doesn’t, ask the man if you look fat/old/tired.

7. Grate an obscenely large wedge of Parmesan cheese you got from Costco. This will build up muscle strength that will be useful in later life when you need help getting out of a bathtub.

8. Google image search “40-year-old woman cooking.” Everyone has silver hair and looks 60. Add three scoops of dark hair dye to the mix. Let set for two hours. Repeat every three weeks.

9. Pay $1,500 to a MedSpa to fill a syringe with Botox and stab you all over the face with it. If you’re over 43 you’ll probably also need 1 cc of Juvéderm.

10. Taste your current marital situation, and if you find it bland, then consider adding the spicy umami of an affair with Jim who works in sales, is 32 and winks at you in monthly strategy meetings.

11. Shake up your life. Quit your job. Go on a silent meditation retreat. Log on to eBay and drunk bid on a dilapidated Tuscan farmhouse.

12. Change your lipstick color from red to more “age appropriate” rose because that’s what the internet says you should do to not look old.

13. Just leave everything on the stove and walk out the front door. Go out to your favorite Italian restaurant and have a dirty martini with as many olives as possible and a huge bowl of Pasta Puttanesca.

Additional Tips

Don’t swallow anything with calories. You’ll gain 10 pounds immediately.

It helps to cook with a group of women the same age so you can make extra tears.

Get a dog, or if you’re well off, a horse. Animals don’t judge if you can’t cook.