Friday, March 26, 2010

What Do You Want For Your Birthday?

Tonight as I was entertaining my kids with lively stories of the Vietnamese nail ladies, I noticed that one of the dogs got very upset when she heard me imitate an angry Vietnamese woman. We all started to crack up when we realized our dog was a racist (well, everyone except Devin--he's not a night owl so he was snoozing away on the couch with a newly penned green mustache I gave him, yeah, that's what you get for being the first to fall asleep during family night). I continued to mess with the dog and found myself terribly amused by her reaction. I wondered do other people find these kinds of things as amusing as I do? Which brings me to the real question...does my interest in all things ridiculously funny and sometimes a little dangerous make me eternally youthful or just a poser?
For those of you who read my blog and know me on a deeper level you are, I'm sure, familiar with my love of adventure and humor. For those of you who are new to me or my blog, I would describe myself as a seventeen year old boy trapped in a 30 year old woman's body. I frequently tell people if you want to know me ask me what I want for my birthday. I think it's a good way to get to know someone. If you are trying to get to know a person, ask them what they want for their birthday and REALLY listen to their answer . One time a friend of mine said she wanted "track lighting". Well, that's practical, lame, but practical. Another time I asked a friend what do you want for your birthday and she said "Oh, I don't know...nothing". Well, I find this answer particularly upsetting because you see what I asked was what she WANTED not what she wanted ME to get for her. The simple act of asking doesn't mean I have any intention of buying. You could ask for the moon, I am usually asking out of a place of wanting to get to know you better, not plan for a future purchase. You see, if you ask me I would say, what I always say, anything YOU might have wanted when you were 16. I emphasize "you" because I believe everybody had the same basic desires up until about this point. Around 16 people start to see things differently. However, I am basically still a kid at heart. I like remote control cars, binge drinking, hanging out with my friends and having pets. I like "sleeping in", looking good, hand guns and camping. I like dirt bikes and hot rods, I like strippers and "drunk" sex (however, after 3 unplanned children, I am seriously rethinking that one). I like racing down the hill on a skateboard or a big wheel or some other contraption with wheels. I like sitting on the couch, watching T.V. and recovering from an injury. I like Lord of the Rings and LARPing (live action role playing). I like pig Latin and if I could learn to speak "Elvish" I would. I love rollerskating to disco music and dancing all night at a club. I LOVE roller coasters and water slides. Oh, and my most favorite movie EVER...The Breakfast Club. I basically love doing and having all the things I loved when I was 16. In fact, tonight when I was cutting my friends hair I told him it was hard for some people to take me seriously because I lived in a semi-permanent state of "Rumspringa".
However, I also love being a grown up and getting to decide for myself which of these things I do and how frequently I do them. That is really the best part of being a grown up...being able to decide for myself what to do. What I really wonder about is why don't more people like doing the things? Didn't we all find them fun at some point in our lives? Why do we love doing these things so much when we are young and then abandon them as we grown up? Can we not find a way to incorporate some of what we loved as kids into our adult lives? Why does adult life seem so boring and so un-fun for so many adults? Sometimes it seems like life in the adult world is some kind of dysfunctional relationship between Fibromyalga and Alcoholism. We avoid reality whenever possible, we drink too much and deny everything. We're tired all the time, everything "hurts" and we just can't seem to figure out what the hell is making us feel so bad.
Now, I will be the first to admit that someone who considers them self a professional hobbyist and find South Park REALLY amusing isn't going to be the best person to give advice on how to live a balanced life. However, I have to believe that our goal is to find a place somewhere between the world of fantasy that I spend so much time living in and the world of reality that most adults spend so much time and money trying to avoid.
My best advice would be to find something that brings you happiness and satisfaction...and makes you feel good--even if only for a moment. How do we do this? Well, ask yourself "What do I want for my birthday?" and when you answer, make sure to be honest and don't limit yourself something too practical. Let your mind go. Try to recapture something from your youth, something that made you feel good, something that made feel ALIVE. You never know, you may surprise yourself and end up having a fantastic 40th birthday at the local Laser Tag, hey it's better then track lighting.

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