15 Mid-Life Horror Stories

Happy Halloween, Witchez! We here at Meanopause are celebrating this special holiday by handing out stories instead of candy (because we ate all the candy)! But we only have enough for 15 lucky trick-or-treaters, so hurry up and get yours before we turn off the porch lights and drink in the dark while we pretend we’re not home!

  1. The Bare Bitch Project

A middle-aged woman decides it’s time to pull off all her clothes and take a good long look in the mirror at what’s really going on with her belly and butt. Horrified at her own reflection, she struggles to yank her leggings back on but now she’s all sweaty, so she barely makes it out to her front yard in time to yell at the neighbor’s landscaper for blowing leaves onto her lawn.

  1. Fall of the House of Gingerbread

A middle-aged woman drives her family for eleven hours to St. Louis for the holidays, but the guest room is freezing cold, you have to go all the way to the basement for alcohol, the gingerbread house the children build with their cousins looks nothing like the picture on the box, and, when she peels a peppermint tile off its roof to disguise the smell of that weird Jager stuff her brother must have bought for a party, the woman discovers, to her horror, that it is stale.

  1. A Nightmare on Aiken Street

Detour?? From what?? To where??

  1. Phantom of the Oprah

Remember when she wore those size 10 Calvin Klein jeans and pulled a wagon full of fat around her studio to represent the weight she’d lost? A size 10 in 1988 is now a size 4. Your life is built on lies.

  1. Maury Stein

A middle-aged woman goes with her new husband to his accountant for help with their taxes, and notices that the accountant looks eerily familiar. Try as she might, though, the woman is unable to place him. After nearly fifteen minutes of not listening to stuff about investments, the woman suddenly realizes, to her horror, that both the accountant and her husband are now yelling at her for having taken money from a retirement account to buy Hannukah gifts the year before.

  1. Bride of Maury Stein

A middle-aged woman goes to the JCC to work out, only to remember how it is that she knows her husband’s accountant: he’s married to that skinny mother of one of her kids’ schoolmates who is now running on at least a 6 on the treadmill next to her, after upping her speed each time the middle-aged woman tries to take her own speed up a notch. Later, panting and wheezing in the changing room, the middle-aged woman tries to take comfort in the knowledge that the skinny woman has extremely frizzy hair, but then it turns out that she’s a doctor.

  1. Young Maury Stein

Throws his stupid sports-themed bar mitzvah party at Heinz Field, so a middle-aged woman has drive downtown to pick up her daughter. At night.

  1. The Sikh’s Sense

While stuck in detoured traffic, a middle-aged woman tries to listen to an NPR program about ethnic tensions, but some idiot keeps beeping her horn, and the woman can’t focus on the story. She turns off the radio, only to discover, to her horror, that she has actually changed it to a station playing rap music.

  1. Little Shop of Hors D’Oeuvres

Eleven dollars for a jar of olives. ELEVEN DOLLARS.

  1. Night of the Living Bread

A middle-aged woman’s husband returns from his weird running/drinking club covered in flour. Gluten-free for two years now, she follows him around until he showers, sniffing.

  1. The Texas Chainstore Massacre

The J.C. Penney at the mall closes for good, causing a middle-aged woman to have to walk all the way to the food court before she can find a working restroom.

  1. Rosemary’s Teenager

A middle-aged woman sends a text to her daughter to let her know that she has arrived to pick her up. 7 minutes pass without a response, so obviously the daughter is missing and probably dead. The woman begins to weep as she pulls out her phone to dial 9-1-1, only to discover, to her horror, that she had forgotten to press send. The woman pulls herself together, presses send, and her daughter responds almost immediately, chiding the woman for being late.

  1. The Science of the Lambs

A middle-aged woman’s daughter asks for help with her homework, but the woman can’t remember anything about genetics except that thing about—no, no, she can’t remember that thing, either.

  1. Carrie Bradshaw

In the middle of watching a Sex and the City episode with her teenaged daughters, a middle-aged woman realizes she is watching a Sex and the City episode with her teenaged daughters.

  1. Children of the Candy Corn

A middle-aged woman hides a stash of Halloween candy in her desk drawer, but just when she needs it most, it’s gone. Enraged, she summons her son and two daughters into the kitchen, takes the sharpest knife from the butcher block on the counter, and, while her kids scream helplessly, slits open another bag of Halloween candy and eats the entire thing in front of them.

About Heather Aronson

Heather Aronson is a freelance writer and editor. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona way back in the 1980s and has put it to scant use ever since, publishing a few short stories in now-defunct magazines (including American Short Fiction) and storing a handful of novels in now-defunct boxes. She lives in Pittsburgh, PA, in a new house with some of her children, her new husband, and a bunch of old stuff that totally doesn’t go together. Especially the cow creamers.

4 responses to “15 Mid-Life Horror Stories”

  1. Susan Balee says :

    This one is hilarious! Love the titles of those horror stories and the riff on Maury Stein ‘ s wife — frizzy hair BUT a doctor!

  2. Elizabeth Kairys says :

    Dear Meano,

    Yes, yes those are haunting images, but they pale beside the horror that awaits when, oh cover your eyes (and lift your chin…), you cross the threshold of SIXTY. Now you are screaming, my pretty.

    You may have earned your ” I Completed the FAFSA in Under 8 Hours” merit badge, and sewed the “I am Wearing a Complete Outfit” badge right beside it, but say farewell to any more “I Remember! ” badges. Instead you’ll be intent on the Christy and Cindy infomercials promising to banish the dark circles under the eye and remove the wrinkles.
    And spending all your time on the “brain gymnastics” exercises
    Horror indeed.

    • Heather Aronson says :

      My Dear Elizabeth, what a wonderful writer you are, with such a delightful imagination! Even though you are obviously only in your late 30s, you can somehow project what the experience will be like many, many (many many many) years from now! How ever do you manage to do it??

      On Tue, Nov 3, 2015 at 6:38 PM, Meanopause wrote:

      >

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