My dad just realized he was almost fifty (he's got three more years). We were joking about something while watching "Criminal Minds," and he started waxing philosophical about the matter.
"Do you know any fifty-year-old kids?" he wanted to know, with that look on his face of amazement and something like pain. I must have made a face, revealing my confusion, because he elaborated, "Because I still feel like a kid."
In a lot of ways, he is a kid. We're so dumb together, making fun of even the movies we love, laughing about our shared genetic stupidity, swapping computer tricks and book reviews. He's an adult in all the usual ways - going to work, paying bills, buying stuff, doing taxes - but he does it with such ease and nonchalance, you wouldn't know he's worried about anything. Usually, he's not worried.
Like a kid who doesn't know any better. Like Peter Pan.
I'm organized. I can bustle. Sometimes, I think I'd like to be a mom now, settled in a career and a home, happily married without regrets, three or four kids, caring for their needs over my wants. I would never end up on "16 and Pregnant" (19, as the case may be); I don't want everyone to know my business. I don't want to be a sideshow freak. I just want to live life. I guess what I really want is just to fast-forward a few years, skip all the angst and get to the good stuff.
I'm not old-fashioned. I want to see the world. There are moments happening now I wouldn't want to watch flash past. But, sometimes, that sounds like perfection.
Screw fat rolls. Screw flabby arms. Screw jiggly back fat and scrunched thighs in short-shorts and acne anywhere. I'm vowing, here and now, to wear what I want, when I want, all summer long, and beyond.
I've always been very self-conscious and the summertime makes that worse. It brings out the absolute worst in me, as I shrink from bathing suits and tank-tops and shorts, wanting to look good and feeling like I can't do that, no matter what I wear. These shorts are too tight; that shirt shows off a little too much skin, an extra pound or two I wish I could lose. Well, honey, you can't. So, snap out of it and wear what you want. Wear as little as possible. Be cool, be comfortable, be settled in your skin. I want to be as scantily-clad as possible for as much of this summer as I am allowed.
They say dress to impress. I can't try for anything more.