I’m not a child anymore even though, if I get honest, I really want to be. I want to run around in some reindeer pajamas slurping up a root beer float and crying because my sister stole my Hello Kitty band-aids. The nerve! Those days are over. I’m an adult now. Everything’s different. The youngest child in our family is now smacking on gum, saying words like crap and telling his mother (in the corner) that he doesn’t want the dumb book he got for Christmas.
I decided to look up ADULT in the dictionary. It leads me to the word MATURE: “Fully developed in body or mind.” Um … doesn’t that take at least an entire lifetime to accomplish?
But the word mature and I have become close friends. I hear that word a lot. Mature. I haven’t been doing too good a job at this whole mature-thing and my boyfriend is starting to lose patience.
“Why did Lady Tarantula put a smiley face at the end of her comment to you and what’s with Kelly writing ‘xoxo’?” This is me a few days ago on the phone with my more than loyal, committed and mature boyfriend again. I have a new insecurity: Facebook. Completely innocuous, I know. I can hear him breathe as he sits patiently on the other end of the phone from Canada. I picture him in his so-cool leather coat and big black work boots. His rings sit snugly on his fingers and he runs his rough hands through his spiky black hair. He’s annoyed. I should be focusing on spending quality time with my family (while I’m home for the holidays) helping my mother find her cell phone instead of badgering Jon with immaturity.
Something crashes. Mochi, our family dog, is jumping onto the Christmas tree again and my mother beats a new record for vocal pitch as she darts into the living room, a cigarette hanging from her mouth, to rescue the tree from falling out the tall window. I should help, but am consumed.
He’s looking for an adult relationship. He’s looking for a mature woman. He’s serious.
I swallow. I can hear the saliva sliding down my esophagus; it’s oddly comforting.
My mother manages to pick the tree up and stand it straight up miraculously without dropping the topper, a large sword swung through the absolute tip-top of the tree. Then my uncle calls. My mom finds her cell phone (in her shirt pocket) and announces her brother’s going to Mexico for a while and not to expect any gifts.
I want to be mature. It sounds so cool. To be fully developed in body or mind? Who wouldn’t want that? Does this mean I have to start studying Kabbalah? Or change my therapist? Or I don’t know, go green?
I need to figure this out. But first things first: reindeer pajamas. I put on the pair of pajamas I got for Christmas. I may be going mature, but I’ll keep my Christmas pajamas, for now.
Alice can be reached at AliceActress@yahoo.com.