Hello, Generation X midlife crisis.

The stereotypical midlife crisis normally features beer-bellied men driving sports cars and dumping the first wife for a younger, trophy babe. Women, however, have tended to view midlife less as playtime and more as plastic surgery, anti-depressant time and maybe with a furtive fling on a cruise and then a safe retreat to suburban Stepfordville.

That is until now.

I just joined the official Duran Duran fan club.

We Generation X women are hardly bemoaning age like our predecessors did. Instead, we are embracing our inner Peter Pans, refusing to be Wendys and finding refuge in the same spot that we did during the dreadful teen years — music of the 1980s.

They don’t call us the MTV generation for nothing.

Thanks to social media and new music, Duran Duran is making a comeback right as fans are itching to reignite the feelings they had the first time they crushed on the band.

Behold a world consumed by this pop band, famous (or infamous) for the 1982 hit “Hungry Like the Wolf.”

Simon Le Bon in 1987 (Photo: Nancy J. Price)

On any given day, so-called “Duranies” fanatically watch for lead singer Simon Le Bon and bassist John Taylor to pop to Twitter and tweet away. Some Duranies have even changed their Twitter names to echo the band’s lyrics.

Drummer Roger Taylor frequents Facebook. Just last month, keyboardist Nick Rhodes, who generally shies away from social media, joined Second Life and so did a bunch of Duranies, who became utterly confused as they attempted to maneuver in the 3-D world of avatars.

For Jennifer Mayberry of Chicago, a love for Duran Duran never left. But now at 35, as Duran Duran promotes their new album “All You Need Is Now,” she has been teleported from her old adult life to a world consumed by Duran Duran.

Mayberry has been buying up memorabilia on eBay — another enabler for the Gen X’er — and connecting with others who feel exactly like she does.

“I am not sure that I’m going through anything clinical, but looking at the Wikipedia definitions of midlife crises, I sense an amusing similarity,” she says.

That definition? According to Wikipedia, a midlife crisis could be caused by aging itself, or aging in combination with changes, problems or regrets over: work or career (or lack thereof), spousal relationships (or lack thereof), maturation of children (or lack of children), aging or death of parents, physical changes associated with aging.

Sound familiar?

It does to Andi Luna, 41, who lives in Austin, Texas. But she shuns the word “crisis.”

“I have decided to call it a midlife transformation or rebirth if you will,” says Luna, who is divorced with a 20-year-old daughter. “I am going to turn around and retrain everything I learned — and was force fed — from my teen years and reinvent myself into who I was meant to be.”

For Jane Mackay, 40, whose mother died when she was 13, Duran Duran was her best friend through her troubled teen years. These days, music and meeting other Duranies offers Mackay, who lives in Sonoma County, Calif., a simple pleasure.

“I don’t think I’m having a midlife crisis so much as a conscious and joyous living (in a very mild way) of the early teenagehood I never had,” said Mackay, who is compiling and editing an anthology called Friends of Mine: How Duran Duran Saved My Life.

“Freedom is what I feel most of all,” she says.

Duran Duran playing Toronto in 2005. (Photo: Samira Khan)

In May, New York Times columnist A.O. Scott, wrote: “How can a generation whose cultural trademark is a refusal to grow up have a midlife crisis?”

Precisely, Mr. Scott. Ridiculed Generation X never did anything like the worshipped Baby Boom predecessors did. Why start now?

We just won’t grow up. We won’t worry too much about mortgages or the lack of one, student loans that still need repaying or how to invest in stocks with money we don’t have. So we might not be as concerned about falling stock prices as our parents might be.

What we do have is what slackers know best — music and pop culture. That will keep us — and the bands we love — going for a long time.

So to you Gen X men who yearn for either the twenty-something babe on a Vespa or the shiny new drum kit to unleash your inner rock god: I say go for it.

I’ll take the rock star from my youth, singing on a yacht and drinking champagne. Now, where’s my front-row ticket to the show? Oh, here it is! Under my mix tape.

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  • Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D. February 2, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Dear Shelly,

    You are too young for a mid-life crisis though you do seem to have many reasons for some sadness. Although it is great news that your spirits have been lifted by this fabulous group of musicians and their music, I do hope that you can use this new found energy to find a support group. This kind of depression needs evaluation and treatment so that you can begin to turn your life around.

    We will be thinking of you.

    Dr. Pat

    Reply
  • Shelly February 2, 2012 at 4:58 am

    This article really hit home for me…I’m going to be turning 40 in a few months and currently I am working only part time, living in my mothers basement, I have no kids, haven’t had a boyfriend in over a decade, I have a pretty miserable life and lately have wanted to end it all. But a few months ago I had the uncontrollable urge to listen to Duran Duran again, after all these years of losing track of them since they were my favorite band when I was 11 years old. Over the last few months, my life has been consumed by my love for them, and it has been the one shining light in my otherwise dim existence. I think they came into my life again for a reason, to help me through this. I’ve had other bands mean a lot to me, but now I am certain that Duran Duran means the most. Mid life crisis or not, I am thankful to this band for saving my life!

    Reply
  • @Cheriqui (Kendra Campbell) July 12, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    What a brilliant piece Suzi. In 30 years these gentlemen, have touched so many lives in such a major and profound way. I am thrilled and proud to call myself a Duranie.

    I have yet to have the pleasure and privilege of seeing them in concert, however this time…THIS tour, is it. I already have money saved and my friend and I are going all out. It will be time, our time to finally see them together. And I can hardly wait.

    Reply
  • Lynne Viti July 11, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    A fine piece on the ever-with-us midlife crisis…Not jsut for Baby Boomers any more!

    Reply
  • Redawna July 10, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    If Simon Le Bon is my midlife crisis, I’ll take it with a side of John, Nick and Roger!

    I was crusing the net one night and had seen the signs for the Coachella show, there were a few bands I wanted to see.

    The moment Nick hit the stage with that crazy hat, it transported me back in an instant!

    I was mezmerized!

    The concert was amazing!
    The guys were amazing!
    Simon is as sexy as ever.
    And I wondered if the young crowd before then realzied how huge of a band they were watching.

    It renewed my love for DuranDuran and I have been rocking out the AYNIN cd long with the older DD tunes.

    I have even had the pleasure of chatting with Simon on Twitter a few times! Which was pretty cool! I may have even screamed!

    Now to see them live will be an amazing dream come true!
    One I truely never thought would happen, now, there is hope!

    Reply