Monday, March 5, 2012

Mommy Mondays: I Don't Wanna Grow Up

On Saturday night, our good friend Erin hosted a fabulous birthday party for Sarah and yours truly. Because we were born on Leap Day, and this was our 8th REAL birthday, we had an Eighties party. As in, Sarah and Mara would have been 8 in 1988; it's a bit of a stretch, but Sarah loves her an Eighties party, and my opinion never seems to count for much in these things. So, despite my pleas for a theme revolving around a slightly classier decade, we went ahead and had an Eighties Party.

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

Exhibit A: Sarah (aka Debbie Gibson), Liz (aka us when we were ten), Me (aka Madonna Lite - the platinum crimped wig came off after about two hours; I'm sure those photos will surface eventually)

Now here's the thing. I'm 32. I'm married (have been for nearly 8 years). I have a child. I'm too damn old to be running around DC in hot pink fishnets and fingerless gloves! And yet somehow, I find myself in these sorts of situations rather a lot (you might recall the Jazzerciser Halloween costume of 2011). I suppose it helps that I can pass for a college student (or a thirteen-year-old, if you ask my crazy dental hygienist), but I have to grow up eventually. Right?

When I had Jack, I made a deliberate attempt to age myself. Being carded is fine and dandy when you're out with friends. Not so when you're out with your child. After Sarah told me that one of the flight attendants on our recent journey to Washington made a comment behind my back about me toting Jack around "like a stuffed animal," it really hit home how young people think I am sometimes. I gave up the shirts with cartoon images and clever sayings (the red "Please don't eat me; I love you" pig shirt was a real heart breaker; the "Holla!" challah shirt is still stuffed in with my workout clothes...). I limit my Forever21 shopping sprees to a minimum (never mind that Sarah and I were dressed almost entirely in their clothing for this party...). I wear fairly neutral makeup and have given up the blue nail polish (navy doesn't count, right?).

But there is a part of me that will always love these totally ridiculous and immature endeavors. Maybe that's why I'm enjoying writing Young Adult fiction right now. There's just something so special about being young. Anything is possible. Reality (bills, jobs, death) hasn't yet set in. The future is as wide open as your imagination. If I can stick a giant bow on my head and pretend that it's perfectly reasonable to be singing "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" (in public) with my best friends on a Saturday night, why shouldn't I?

Well, a really bad hangover and embarrassing photos, for starters. Sunday morning always rolls around too soon, reminding you none too gently that there are diapers to change and adult functions to attend. And you tell yourself it's time to put all this juvenile behavior to rest. For reals.

At least until I'm 76, when we all get to party like it's 1999!

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