Thursday, January 13, 2011

wayward child

i saw an ad for the conan o'brien show the other day in which he called his viewers his babies. as in, "don't worry, my babies. i'm back." and i decided i sort of want to call you guys "my babies." so, there's that.

in other news, i went to book club earlier this week to talk about a book i hadn't read (nothing new there) and it turned into a delightful evening of reminiscing about the trauma of being an adolescent. i know it doesn't seem like that would be a delightful evening, being as we were discussing trauma and all, but really it was. maybe because the trauma of being an adolescent is over and we have all realized that life not only goes on, it gets a lot better.

a few thoughts to share, if i may.

uno. my friend cristy contended that one reason being an adolescent is so heart-breakingly difficult is because your desire for conformity is stronger then than at any other time in your life, even as you feel more out of place than you probably ever will. i definitely agree with the second part of her point, but i am not convinced of the first. because, you see, i have felt a much stronger desire to conform, almost even a need to be seen as the same as my peers as an adult than i ever remember feeling as a kid. maybe i just remember it more clearly because it is more recent. or maybe i recognize the impulse more now than i did then with the benefit of age and experience. i'm not sure. what i do know is that, as an adult, i have had very clear and sometimes painful moments of wanting nothing more than to please just look and think and be seen the same way as the people around me.

i am also happy to report that i am over it. and i'll get over it every time.

dos. i very firmly contended then, and continue to contend now, that people who felt outcast as children make much more interesting and enjoyable adults. yes, this is a generalization. and yes, i stick by it. and yes, when i was making this point the other night, i might have used the word "worthwhile," which is a pretty bold judgement statement, but i feel OK about that. to be fair, i am sure there are people in the world who have been beautiful and well-loved and self-loved their whole lives who are also perfectly lovely grown-ups. but i think there is something about the struggle for acceptance, from others and from self, that turns out authentic, captivating and unique-in-the-best-possible-way adults. maybe i say this because i want to believe my own struggle was worth it, or because i want to believe that i am an authentic, captivating and unique adult, or some combination of those things. and i am OK with that, too.

plus cristy baked cookies. and that was book club. you should come next time.

tomorrow morning (let us not speak or think of how early), AWD and i are off on a little trip to savannah for the long weekend. i will be speaking in a "gone with the wind"-style southern accent the whole time. i requested that AWD wear at least one item of sear sucker clothing the whole time but it is going to be too cold. plus he said no.

a full report (plus pictures! remember when i used to post those!) when we return. in the meantime, happy weekend to you, my babies.

(sounds good, right?)


chelle. said...

frances...i think you are adorable and so delightful. i've always thought that. i loved reading you might know, i work with adolescents, so i always love to hear other perspectives. thank you much. enjoy your trip.

Evan and Holly said...

I was thinking the other day that you should post more I'm glad we are on the same page. Enjoy your fun. We miss you.

steve said...

I think we, your babies, may die from neglect.