14 April 2006

Hey! Make pretend like...

I'm so damn The current mood of augustdreams at www.imood.com

Remember those years when your toys weren't cool (and usually expensive) goodies you bought online and displayed on shelves? Remember when they were very real friends and/or pets who needed you and were always up for an adventure? Remember how many sentences you said to a best friend that started with "Hey! Make pretend like..."

It's a kind of magic and belief in animism that lasts only a few precious years (truth be told, I still enjoy playing pretend. I just try to be discreet in public, lest random passers-by give me funny looks).

My Pound Puppies weren't toys that would one day fetch a sweet fifty bucks on ebay. They were Brownie and Polka-Dot. And we had some grand times together. I rolled play-doh into the shape of two Earthworms who became Ike and Mike (Shut up! I was seven!). I made a little bed for them out of an old shoebox and some carefully-pressed cotton balls. They "slept" on the floor beside my bed and guarded me from whatever strange beasts might be prowling the darkness under my bed.

When I was in the fifth grade, the cartoon "Real Ghostbusters" came out. I loved that cartoon and since I knew we couldn't afford any action figures based on it (did they exist? They must have), I used my well-loved Fisher Price Little People as the team. In the landscape of my imagination, they had all been turned into small, oddly-shaped versions of themselves by a particularly nasty evil spirit. They would tease one another about that mercilessly - and were on a never-ending quest to find a powerful witch to change them back.

It breaks my heart that today so many kids are toting around cell phones by the fifth grade and worrying about hook-ups and break-ups. Seriously, man. What the fuck happened? Adulthood lasts long enough. And it ain't all staying up all night and cupcake frosting for supper. Why rush it?

In fact, it was another rite of passage that spurred this entry. I was waiting at my bank to see if Dave and I can qualify for a First Home. (A really good program around here that helps you purchase your first home and bases payments on your income.) In the window of one of the tellers was a good-sized toy school bus. Seeing that little bus made me want to be back on my bedroom floor in Cottage Apartments, loading up my beloved Little People onto their bus and driving them wherever my imagination took me.

I'm not romantisizing childhood. You couldn't drag me back to the dark, painful times of growing up with a team of plow horses on speed. But as for the good times? I'll always be grateful that I never let the magic go to waste.

Have a great weekend and thanks for reading.

P.S. I actually looked up the proper spelling of the word "ain't" here so that I could use it in this entry. Because I'm a huge dork. But I let my geek flag fly, baby! Good thing I want to be a full-time writer. Only career I can think of where being spelling-and-grammar-obsessed is considered a plus. On the other hand, one of my college professors once told me that my punctuation (with it's plethora of parentheses, misused commas and run-on sentences just like this one) will one day keep an editor in business.

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