Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Because We Can


The first time I went to NYC, I was 23 and fresh out of college. In addition to being instantly enamored with the city’s energy, I was so taken by how glamorous the women seemed. Their Chanel sunglasses, perfectly tailored dresses and suits, heels clacking on concrete sidewalks.

When I came home, I felt such a yearning to be a “grown up” like the ladies of Madison, Park and Fifth. Urgency pounded in my gut. I was starting my first real job and was in my first serious relationship, and it just seemed like I finally needed to act my age. I needed to act like an adult. So I began wearing lipstick and sweaters tied around my shoulders.

Two years later, when I started dating a man 7 years my senior, it got even worse. I had to up-step the grownuposity even more to stay on his level. I became more serious and pushed myself to read nytimes.com every day so I could have mature conversations with him about important world topics.

Now, here I am three days shy of my 32nd birthday and I’m more of a kid than I was at 12. I recently bought a box of Trix cereal to eat as dessert or a midday snack. I’m bringing a bag of “dress-up clothes” to my karaoke birthday party. And Monday I spent 13 hours with a friend (who told her 2 children she had a special all-day business meeting) at Disneyland.

Sound bites from the day included:
“That scary man over there is your twin brother-dad.”
“Go lay on the pirate’s booty like George Kastanza and I’ll take your picture.”
“I’m that firework.” (AKA “If I were a firework, I’d be that one.”)
“I totally want to play Barbies here.” (noted on the Storybook/Whale ride)
“Your hair is going down my throat.” (screamed on the Matterhorn)

To pass time in ride lines, we read my junior high diary. Times haven't changed. We did find about 30 minutes during dinner to have a detailed conversation about politics and the U.S. education system. But by the end of the night, my girlfriend took us right back to our youth, insisting that we each take a picture in a Disneyland bathroom stall. I shook my head. And then I obliged. Because I don’t have to grow up if I don’t want to.

9 comments:

Emily said...

Thanks. I loved it. Let's never grow up! Oh by the way, this saturday my friends and I are having prom. We're totally mature.

Mel Heth said...

Ems, you'll never grow up because I raised you! :) You want to see maturity? Check out me and Lara at a prom party we attended a few weeks ago:
http://brian-lara.blogspot.com/2008/03/prom-that-should-have-been-aka-real.html

Jane Moneypenny said...

Haha, we're so similiar! Even though I'm younger than you, I went through the same thing anytime I go to NY. I feel like a complete dump next to these fashionable girls.

When I dated a guy 6 years older, I felt my apartment looked like I was still in college and proceeded to completely rehaul it (and finally got real chest of drawers and a queen bed instead of the twin I've been on). Funny thing is he never came over.

So I agree, let's stay young at heart forever.

brookem said...

this post made me smile! it's fun to just be a kid sometimes, isn't it? happy early bday!

laura said...

sounds like a fun day at Disneyland....I just went out with three of my best girlsfriends from high school Saturday night (BTW...sorry you didn't make it on the drunk dial list that night....I didn't make it to the "m's" in my phone book") but we had so much fun and realized we're even more immature (and loud) now than when we were in high school...but it seems like it's more fun now than it was back then...I guess that's because most of the time we are so busy in our professional lives, and for them, their mommy lives...that we when do finally break away we really let loose.

Lara said...

I heart you :) Thanks for taking your pic in the Space Mountain bathroom. I don't ever want you to leave my locker.

Diz said...

This is so great! I wish I coulda gone with you. And I found myself reading the days quotes in the voices that I know you guys said them in. "I'm sooo that firework, no no no, I'm THAT firework!" I love you guys!

Mel Heth said...

Jane - Great story on the apartment! I did the same thing with the twin-bed upgrade and it didn't work for me either!

Brookem - Thanks for reading. Been thinking about you and your grandma.

Laura - I think you're exactly right. Now that we're forced to be adults at work and because of kids (not us, thankfully!) we totally need to let loose more than ever before.

Lara - I heart you more. I'm paying off the locker and buying a summer locker in the Hamptons for us.

Mel Heth said...

Diz - you were there with us in spirit!