After getting double-teamed by both Lindsay and Hughes, I feel the need to respond to this whole Childhood Meme business. Sadly, I am incapable of "pollinating" or however it is that you "tag" or "extend" the "meme-ing" because you guys already tagged pretty much all of the bloggers that I actually know (Carolbean is pretty much defunct and AnnaMo is preocupied with pesky things like moving to Connecticut and starting a Huge New Job). *
However, I am capable of serving up some reminiscing with a side of dramatic flair.
The ChildHood Meme: What 5 Things Do You Miss About Your Childhood?
1) Not Paying Bills. I miss having absolutely no concept of where money comes from, why it is needed or what happens if one does not have it. Remember how when you were a kid and such basic necessities as shelter, food and air-conditioning just appeared? Moving to a new apartment, accumulating furniture and filling out kitten adoption papers that ask what you are prepared to annually spend on worm medicine makes a girl yearn for Communist Poland, where we may have faced hardship and turmoil at every turn but Comcast would not charge you $97 a month for a package that does not even include HBO.
(Side note: The Amalgamated Education Corporation that employs me did actually pay me this month! At least now I can eat real food in July! )
2) Being Unaware of What a Dork I Am. Back in the days where we wore full sweat suits with our flannels and crunchy perms. Back when we collected X-Files trading cards. Back when we sang showtunes with unabashed glee on the back of the school bus as it traveled down Packard. Back when there were no voices in our heads judging us for being silly and childlike, because, let's face it, we were children. Back before we had to argue with ourselves to embrace our Not-So-Inner-Nerd, that other people's opinion shouldn't matter because you love it/them/him/her, but then at every turn you're bombarded with approval and disapproval that turns on a whim from both the arbiters of popular culture and the people around you and suddenly you're really embarrassed that you can name every Amy Grant Christmas album even if it does win you a point at Quizzo and and now my head hurts and I'd better lie down.
See? Kids don't worry about that crap. Kids sing the techno remix of "O Little Town of Bethlehem" and don't give a damn about anything else.
3) A Metabolism That Allowed Me to Eat Nothing But Raw Cookie Dough for Four Days Straight Without it Having Any Effect Whatsoever on My Tummy, Ass or Thighs
4) Others have written that they miss their idealism, or their youthful liberalism. I'd like to think I still have both of those in spades. What I miss is the energy that is required to act on idealism. Like most adults, I'm just too damn worn out at the end of the day to fight the good fight like I wanted to as a kid. When you're bogged down with the details of everyday life, it's difficult to muster enthusiasm for anything beyond cynical observations and commentary. Particularly when your day job involves fighting the good fight, you're oftentimes just over it by the end of the day. Your job, and by extension, your life, becomes about doing enough good during the day so that you can go home to your fifteen dollar Eastern Market pasta after adult kickball practice and still congratulate yourself when you look in the mirror.
Kid EJ would have been pretty tough on Present Day EJ.
Then again, Kid EJ would not have many friends. Or much of a life. She was very similar to Katie, only her hair wasn't as good.
5) It took me a long time to come up with a fifth thing I miss about childhood. To be honest, I really prefer being a twenty-something to being a kid, or god forbid, repeating a single day of adolescence. I like beer, William Makepeace Thackeray, sex, swearing, politics, reruns of Law and Order: SVU, spooning, Thai food and getting lost in European alleys. Children may embrace these things occasionally, but they are really best appreciated at exactly my current stage in life. I don't like car trips with my parents, children between the ages of 6 and 12, visiting relatives who heap insane amounts of guilt and judgment on me, actually playing most outdoor sports, or anything approaching a team-bonding activity, particularly if it includes "trust falls" or "rap circles."
So when it comes down to it, I guess the one remaining thing I miss from childhood is catching fireflies in my yard on a warm summer night. Because if you don't feel a pang every time you trudge home from work or happy hour and see that familiar glow darting around the neighbor's yard, you're probably a little dead inside.
*And sorry about all those "quotation marks."