Sunday, August 18, 2013
In defense of the Man Child
They say that women seek men like their fathers and men seek women like their mothers. I laugh at myself and how true it is.
I was raised by a goofy man child. My dad is a funny, irresponsible, lovable, childlike goofball. Throughout my childhood he would screw stuff up but I still think he's the best because he was always so adorable and fun about it, and that's how I like a man to be.
Yesterday I went to a little girl's 1st birthday party. Her dad is someone I grew up with, alongside his brother, male cousins, and male friends. I don't see them often anymore, but our parents were friends and so we'd play together as kids, and they were the closest things to brothers I'd known. Eventually in high school, we had all our best memories together, and some of my life's greatest moments involving beer.
We are all in our early 30s now, and many of us look exactly the same. Most of them stayed in the suburbs and still see each other - and I don't see them often. I love my suburban roots, and love these boys. I love em enough that it makes me both pissed and sad that we aren't a bigger part of each other's lives.
I sat at a table drinking beers with these boys in the NJ suburbs, a swimming pool all blue illuminating the darkness behind the deck. Baby and his in-laws snoozing inside on the other side of sliding doors. The house that belonged to my friend. To my friend who used to launch shit off his parent's roof and play a game called "treason" where punishments were exacted amongst the group. I wondered if we could launch shit off this house's roof now that it was his.
I was struck by my friend's sameness. Not just in appearance, but all the words falling out of his mouth were the same funny immature bullshit I enjoyed so for many of my formative years. I appreciated his level of drunkenness and how it allowed him to access the most childish and crude parts of himself, which are my favorite. I don't recognize him as well in a suit on the various normal occassions one has to put on a suit throughout life.
At the table was another boy from that group that I always had a huge crush on, but for most of our teenage years he wouldn't kiss me back, something that was absolute torture - fun torture of course, for so long. And there he was across the table, also seeming exactly the same. This time he was flirting with another girl.
There was a glimmer of feeling in me, remembering how I used to feel. Knowing that one day, there was a moment after college when I did get to kiss that boy who I always wanted, and he was as immature as I should have expected him to be.
Actually now this sounds disgusting. Like bad chick lit.
I'm editing out so many memories and pervy details and history - there's too much to say and I'm keeping it away from typed words. I'll preserve that for printed photographs and shit the internet doesn't get the privilege of absorbing.
The history I have with these guys is ridiculous and there's only one reason I'm hashing any of it out right now.
It's because of the moment I sat at that table last night I realized that my epidemic life long love with the man-child isn't just because my dad was one too.
I was raised by a village of man-children.
My dad, these boys, their friends.
All of my formative years I was surrounded by a silly fucking wolf pack who made me laugh, got into trouble, broke shit, shirked adult responsibilities, listened to rock and roll and found adventure with.
Today, and throughout all of my days, I've befriended more man-childs in every area of my life. My best friends to this day are different man childs who I met as a grown up. One of my favorite new friends is an even older man child who is addicted to 20 year old girls but makes for a great drinking buddy. Maybe I'm just always seeking brothers to fight through life with.
Today my neurons erupt when stimulated by stupid boyish shit - that I both love, and always felt so broken hearted by - a heart break I embrace with its poetic familiarity - that I'm not a boy. I'm not a man. I'll always be that girl. And I'll always fight to make sure people know girls have man-children inside of them too, and they are better for it.
Women have masculinity and mischief inside them, and nothing makes me feel more alive than when that side of me is awakened.
So I have a stupid history of falling in love with immature peter pan syndrome motherfuckers.
But I just love it and will forever. I'm one of them too, I just pee sitting down.
And I think maybe, when the time is right, I'll catch one of my own, falling from the sky, the moment that a light bulb goes off inside his head about wanting to be extra nice to one girl in particular.
Man childs do get married eventually. It's how and why I exist.
But what happens to them when they are forced to do grownup things?
What will happen to me when I'm forced to grownup things?
Weddings and babies make me throw up in my mouth at the same time I long for them.
Maybe grown up man childs are nachos.
We are nachos.
All kinds of bullshit thrown together to be awesome.
Versus something like a PBJ. Which is more like not-man-childs-but-man-mans do babies/marriage. PBJ sandwiches are good and tasty, not awesome.
Nachos kick ass.
At their best.
Some get soggy.
And so forth and onward goes the discussion when you compare human social phenomenom nam nams with nachos.