Will you still need me, will you still feed me…

I got to thinking about maturity today, apropos of not much except running across a mention of High School Musical 2 in our inventory database. In quick and wondering succession I realised that a) I had no idea what this thing was all about, except that it starred the latest improbably wholesome Tiger Beat Ken doll…and furthermore, b) I had no interest whatsoever in finding out. For the first time in my life a major pop-cult phenomenon was happening and I was totally content to let it pass me by.

Clearly, I have finally reached adulthood – spiritually, I mean; I have of course attained to physical maturity long since, or at least that explains why all those people are yelling at me about making sure the volume-sleeve swouses come in on time. Mentally, however, I was still a wide-eyed sixteen-year-old wondering when this ‘grown-up’ thing commences. Until now.

Which kicked off an entire train of ruminations re: what I was supposed to do with the realisation. mean, that’s what I had always understood to be the function of grown-ups: to do the really important, impressive stuff, not least lest the younger generation point and laugh and ultimately write teen angst novels titled (true story) Help! My Mom Wants to Be My Best Friend!.
Besides, beyond duty, there lay indulgence. The entire freedom of the race at last lay open at my feet, the passions of the ages mine to explore…OK, Mr. Darcy is still fictional, but other than that.

I should probably stop making those squeeky pleading noises whenever I want Shoemom to make fudge
, was my first big revelation. A little while later, it occurred to me that I’d probably have to give Middlemarch another go sometime soon. Hrm. Maybe they let you begin at Thomas Hardy and work your way up? I know, I could reread Daisy Miller, and this time be properly pitying of the heroine.

I pondered the advantages of becoming an incorrigible cynic. Two minutes later, the replenishment analyst tells me how totally cute the ‘little stuffed trinkets’ on my desk are. Ah well…how about a simple iconoclast? At least one of those stuffies is a kiwibird…then again, a couple others are the pompom snowmen I got as a ‘Customer Service Winner!’ award last winter.
Unfortunately (and a little ironically), Shoemom the financial advisor informs me that marching to my own drummer only works as a life choice if I’m willing to forego, say, cable TV and the Net connexion. (She added some snarky comments about Mythbusters, but I easily handled it with my new adult wisdom. After all, they do call them ‘throw pillows’, do they not?)

When I Am an Old Woman, I Shall Wear Purple
, the book was called. Back when I was twenty-four and had all the freedom of the World’s Biggest Bookstore. I used to squint at it in honest bemusement; didn’t everyone wear purple, when they wanted to? Now here I was trying to define myself by figuring out where to turn it off at the main switch. I already quote poetry at odd moments and use British spellings and eat too much chocolate and, well, make squeeky ‘baaaaa!’ noises whenever the speaker mentions Jesus’ ‘little flock’.

On the plus side, it looks as though I’m set fair for one of those ‘busy, yet cheerful spinsters’ that Louisa M. Alcott is always prattling on about; the ones that ‘have retained their sympathy with the girlish pleasures of youth’, or something. I actually rather think I’d enjoy that; except in order to virtuously advise the ‘young maids’ in my care on how best to fit their minds for the Great Task Ahead, I’d actually have to spend time watching Prison Break. Which brings us back around to the problem at the top of this essay.

Coincidentally, it was around this time that the 23-year-old fast-tracker who sits beside me at work started trumpeting her enthusiasm for the latest ‘Oprah book’. Apparently it’s about this emo lady who went to Tuscany and ate pasta and now she’s all cured.

Ordinarily, of course, I loathe and distrust the House of O with all my sometimes-iconoclastic heart, but hey, not much to argue here, is there? Suddenly, sitting there with my inner calling yet unformed, I was positively inspired. Clearly my tale of how I curled up on the couch and petted the cat last week is just waiting to make me millions. Or, if that’s not creative enough, how about this: When I Am Troubled, I Shall Dabble My Feet in the Memorial Pool. (What? No, seriously. I live more or less next to beautiful old Mount Pleasant Cemetery, T.O.’s finest. Really amazing places for getting your thoughts together, graveyards; that lovely serene feeling they give off that everything that could ever happen, has already happened, is highly therapeutic.)

At any rate, I can’t do much about the purple; my financial advisor tells me there’s no new clothes ’till spring, and as a newly mature adult I am limited to only occasional LOUD SIGHS in the direction of the clearance racks. So I guess I’ll just have to write, instead.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. shing_
    Oct 15, 2007 @ 21:35:00

    I caught that ep of Oprah about “Eat Pray Love” (all hail timeshifting) and doesn’t that title just make you gag?

    Behold my High School Musical icon. 😀 I’m still a 12 year old at heart (but I think HSM’s target audience is actually younger *sigh*).

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