Wednesday, September 28, 2005

I Am Twenty Eight Going On Eighteen, I'll Take Care Of You

I like to think. This is my mom: Courtney you think too much. She says that to my sister Page as well. Maybe Page and I should have a thinking contest. Or a thinking-bowl or thinkingfest. But now I'm remembering that she is pregnant with her eighth child and doesn't have a whole lot of time for made-up games.
Anyway.
In my head, I have an upside-down Abe Lincoln hat full of my theories. Sometimes when I need an escape I imagine myself pulling out a little slip of paper from that hat. It reads "Satan's greatest threat to humanity is pitting women against women" and away I think. I have lots and lots of slips of paper in that hat. I don't share them with others very much because I'm not so good at the spoken English language (I'm only a bit more clear with the written). My husband has a Courtney Dictionary for when I try to explain things vocally. I am learning that e-mail really is effective in a marriage.
Anyway.
My latest theory is this: We never progress socially past eighteen (I might be willing to debate that specific age). So socially we stay eighteen and life hands us masks as we advance in age. Here is your college student mask, your college grad mask, your newlywed mask, your parent mask, your bishopric mask, your getting the idea mask.
At the end of the day we take off our masks and voila! there is the eighteen year old wondering if she looked good in the pants that she wore to Enrichment Night. Or if she should be offended that her spouse didn't say anything about the chicken enchiladas.
Do we ever get comfortable with parental advice? Do we ever feel completely self-assured? Do we ever stop loving that Smashing Pumpkins song? Won't we always feel awkward when talking to someone attractive?
It certainly is true of the men. Men are all eighteen year olds, some have better masks then others, but at the end of the day, eighteen years old. Amen.
I surprise myself all the time. I am left alone in a classroom full of kids everyday because they think I am a capable twenty eight year old. But we talk far more about football, who is crushing on who, and movies far more than rubric. Who cares about rubric? People that care about rubric don't take their masks off enough. Anyway, when I talk, my student's listen, and I think Who am I to demand attention from six graders? Sometimes I check out the msn entertainment articles when my students are busy working. If they only knew.
Anyway.
As I see it, past eighteen we grow emotionally, mentally and for some of us physically, but socially we all stay the same. This explains our relationships, our worries, our anxieties, our fears. I look at my seventy something neighbor who goes to the gym every morning because she wants to be the sexiest wife in her motor home club. Wow, I've got a whole lifetime of eighteeness. Think of all the people making big decisions in the world based on the pride of an adolescent. Presidents, politicians, educators, entertainers, businessmen, musicians.
I think it explains a whole lot.