If someone had told me that being an adult would be this expensive, I would’ve never grown up. After paying parking tickets, rent, and bills I realized just how
inexpensive free childhood was, and I want it back. After pitching myself to every Craigslist post and employment agency, I’m ready to jump out the window and hitch a ride to the second star to the right and straight on ‘til morning.
Looking back at Peter Pan, I no longer see a charming tale of kids not wanting to grow up. I see a bunch of minors beating the system and I want in!
Hook’s even worse. Robin Williams is an adult, way more so than I am. He has kids, a career, a mortgage, and a dog- not a pet that 20-something’s get and barely take care of to prove they’re adults- but a dog so well trained it doubles as a nanny. Way to save on a sitter, Pan. Then Peter escapes grown-up-hood to make out with mermaids and partakes in the best food battle in existence.
So there’s Pan, living every hippie’s dream: living off nature, dancing around clouds, and pissing off The Man. I never thought I’d relate to Hook, but here I am, fearing time will eat me alive. And since I have no way of getting it back, I get pissed at kids who have a Never-Never Land.
The closest I had to this was sleep away camp. Every year I’d go back to the pile of dirt, swimming pond, and makeshift cabins and have a blast. The same group of kids would reunite as if zero time had passed. Now I’m begging a landlord to let me live somewhere half the size of the plywood shacks I inhabited those summers.
Becoming a counselor would only ruin my nostalgia because it’d be book ended by my big girl reality. Sure, I’d be teaching classes like Imagination Time- that was a real thing at my camp- but when I got home I’d realize that the grand I made that summer won’t get me past Halloween. It’s like when Robin William’s kids show up in Hook, he realizes he can’t be King Man-Child forever. He has to be King Man-Man.
I should model myself after his compromise: Pan accepts his adulthood but doesn’t let his ability to play die. This is a tough balance to strike. Play too hard and you become that 30-something camp counselor adolescents worship because you’ve had sex (in your parent’s basement)! Too much work, and you’re a Mormon who loses the Presidential election. What’s more adult than a big family, suits, and disappointment?
It’s a process. Right now, I’m at a point where, instead of balancing, I’m blending work and play. I’m making a career out of my Imagination Time while paying the bills at my jobby-jobs where I do goofy dances and make funnies. Hopefully that and some happy thoughts get me somewhere.
If not, I’ll just chuck my clock collection at the neighborhood kids.