Young As I Want To Be
A re-post from last Summer. Sort of fits my mood today…
I have to admit I’ve never thought of myself as that word. THAT word is reserved for people much more advanced in age then I am. People who grew up listening to Peter, Paul and Mary. Ones whose parents used to give them enemas at the slightest fever or notion that the child’s bowel habits weren’t normal. Not for someone as cool, and young, as me.
I still do most of the same stuff I did as a child. I play guitar, love to read the box while eating bowls of Count Chocula and Cap’n Crunch, watch Ultraman and Godzilla movies, mow the grass and take out the garbage. Heck, I’m still fourteen years old if you really want to know. All that’s missing is some more hair on my head and the loss of the forty pounds or so I’ve gained. Ok, so I have to do my own laundry now, go to work every day, make my bed without being told and fix things around the house when they break but that shouldn’t put me in the elderly category should it?
And I confess, when I look in the mirror there’s now some gray in the beard but that’s been there for years and no one has ever said a word about it. Plus I’ve done a pretty good job at covering it up. Just for Men is working just fine thank you very much.
Anyway where was I? Oh yes, the cross over to becoming so-called “old”. I was at my daughter’s softball league end of year celebration yesterday. The girls all enjoyed a final round of ten-year old camaraderie, along with a side of pizza and then walked with their parents over to the local ice cream stand for a sugar rush farewell.
I’ve been good with watching what I eat so I declined the ice cream and just sat down at one of the tables while the other girls and their parents stood in line. For some reason, eating a lot of that stuff now makes me gain weight and I can’t figure out why. It never used to do that. Regardless, I did enjoy watching the girls giggling with each other and discussing the season while vanilla ice cream ran down their arms. Early summer fun at it’s finest.
At one point, I noticed a familiar woman standing in line with her daughter as well. Someone I hadn’t seen in a long time. It was a girl I went to school with so I went over to say hello.
It was fun catching up with her in the short time we were there. We laughed discussing what all of our classmates were doing now and the lives they were leading. “Wasn’t it just yesterday we were all in science class together?” I thought. “Yes, it must have been”. But then I did the unthinkable. I asked her if she could believe that next year was going to be our 25th class reunion and in retrospect, I think that’s what was the precursor to what happened next.
After sitting back down with my daughter at the table she quickly made a public service announcement. “All team members sit at this table!” she proclaimed. At which point, a gaggle of girls started sitting down at the table with us. It sure felt great to be enjoying a moment with my baby girl and her teammates. Apparently though, one of the girls thought something was out-of-place at the table.
The little whipper snapper pointed to another table where parents were sitting, looked at me and snidley said: “This table is for the girls, THAT table over there is for the OLD people”. I quickly tried to think of something to say, a witty comeback perhaps. Sadly, all I could muster was “Hey, I’m not old YOU’RE old!!” But all that did was cause the rest of the girls to jump to her defense. You’ve got to love the way teammates stick up for each other.
Eventually, and after much resistance, I slowly got up and walked over to the other men and women who were more close to my height ( I refuse to say “age”). And do not for a minute think that me leaving the table is an admission that I am actually “old” because I’m not. The fact is, I could have battled those girls all night. I just didn’t want to make them look bad in front of their parents. No, in my mind, I’m still as young as I want to be. No matter what any ten-year old thinks.
On the drive home, and while she was looking out the window, I got even with my daughter for the comment about team members sitting at the table. I stuck my index finger in my mouth, moistened it and then reached over and gave her the wet willy. “DAD!! KNOCK IT OFF!”, she screamed as I laughed out loud.
There I go again, being childish.