The Peter Pan Problem

Disclaimer: I am not opposed to the occasional carefree superhappyfun day. But I am a firm believer that there is a time and a place for everything.

Generally I am not a fan of adults who behave like children all day every day. Fun is one thing; prolonged adolescence is something entirely different. Isn’t it hard enough to experience it once? I hear my inner monologue incessantly complaining when I encounter those people who still think it’s good fun to bounce the bouncy balls all over Wal-Mart or draw obscene pictures on the walls in the bathroom or play paper football while waiting for their food to be delivered to their table at a restaurant. Before I can stop myself, I hear the groan of exasperation escape as I say to whoever is closest, “Seriously? You haven’t matured beyond all that?”

Then I snap out of it and realize that I am taking myself far too seriously.

I remember what it was like to be unencumbered by the baggage that inevitably comes with adulthood. Filled with nostalgia I contemplate what it was like when my biggest concern was which Barbie I should ask for at Christmas or what would happen if a classmate stole the pencil bearing my name from my desk. At the time, they seemed like monumental problems. Now they seem like idyllic scenarios that couldn’t possibly exist.

There is a time and a place for everything, but I think a lot of us take the boundaries a little too far. Why is it that there always seems to be more time and more places for serious, adult things that only serve to bring us down? Wouldn’t life be a lot more engaging if we created more time and places for the fun stuff?

There are some things about adulthood that have their perks. I can stay up as late as I want to, and if I want to have ice cream for dinner, there’s no one to tell me not to. But at the end of the day I have to think about what time the alarm will sound the next morning, and the sugar in the ice cream makes it difficult to sleep. The bills don’t pay themselves, and the house could use a good cleaning.

Maybe perpetual childhood isn’t the answer; after all, when we’re kids all we want to do is grow up, so we pretend to be older versions of ourselves. But I can’t help thinking we could all do with a little more fun and a little less doom-and-gloom.

P.S. While I see the value of a good bouncy ball and I do think paper football is a good way to kill time, I do not condone obscene pictures on bathroom walls. : )


One Comment on “The Peter Pan Problem”

  1. Anthony says:

    Much kudos for this post. I will have to tell you sometime about my recent experience of moving out with a couple of friends of mine. Let me give you the teaser version: I moved out at the beginning of February. I have now moved back in with my parents. That's how bad it was. So I can relate to being surrounded by perpetual adolesence.

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