…when you grow up? Sure, this question might sound strange because most of the five people that read this blog are grown up, although the one that lives in Calgary just never will, but the world would be a worse place without him, so we forgive him for that; however, in times of post-stress (or pre-stress, the old giving way to the new) I can’t help but wonder (sorry, a little Sex in the City never hurts to dramatize the point further, besides we’re all writers here, we steal from the rich and give to the poor) what does it all mean? Do we want to grow up? Are we grown up? How did we end up here?
When I went back to university at the young age of, uh, lets say theoretically, 12 (or so it felt like), a psychology class professor, in introducing herself to the class, and wanting to get to know her 150 students more intimately, asked us to fill out little recipe cards with our identities, and a few valuable tidbits of information about ourselves. Namely, what did we want to do when we were grown up? I turned to the baby beside me and said: I am grown up, aren’t I? She said no. Obviously not. But I said, what do I do if I’m grown up, and I don’t know what I want to do? Then, she said, you’re not grown up. Grown ups know what they want to do.
Indeed. It seems they do. Poet-thinkers seem to know what they’re doing. I read that in the Walrus this week, thanks to my neighbour Sandra Birdsell, who lent me the magazine, because at my age, I don’t think about buying subscriptions. Do I want to be a thinker? Ouch, that thought makes my brain hurt.
Well, as usual I know you’re thinking, where the hell is she going with this? Well, let’s put it another way:
Reporter: Tracy Hamon, soon you will have your Masters in English, what are you going to do then?
TH: I’m going to Disneyland!
Reporter: Seriously. How about a job?
Reporter: Yeah, you know. The paying kind.
TH: But I have a job. I work.
Reporter: But you have a degree.
TH: I will have two actually.
Reporter: But you need to make money! Let me ask you that question again, what are you going to do?
TH: I’m going to colony for the summer to think about it.
Reporter: No, you’re not equipped to do that, you need to get out there and repay your debt to society.
TH: My what?
Reporter: Don’t you want to see your kids prosper?
TH: Uh, they’re older than I am in this post.
Reporter: Don’t you want to actively participate in the workforce? To toil in a structured, unionized force, setting daily and weekly goals, striving to meet those goals and setting the lifelong challenge for yourself of working harder, faster, more efficiently.
TH: Uh, do I?
Reporter: Of course you do. Doesn’t everybody want to be somebody when they grow up?
TH: But, if I’m grown up, then I’m already somebody. Isn’t that enough?
Reporter: Hey, I’m the one asking the questions. That’ll cost you $50.
Reporter: You can owe me. Later. When you get a job.
Reporter: Who is the adult here?
TH: But what if I don’t know what I want to be?
Reporter: Tsk. Tsk. You should’ve thought about that before you grew up.