When I was a teen I was very much into play. I would not play the games of children, but I would play at different things. For example, if I was shopping with my mother in a grocery store I would pull random things off of the shelves and put them in the shopping carts of total strangers. I was very stealthy at this. Then I would especially enjoy watching the couples at the check out argue over who put that item in their cart. For me it was a bit of a sociological observation tool. How do couples resolve conflict in public? Some of them would put the item on the checkout counter and not say a word although they would be obviously confused about it. Some would address their partner with humour. Others would get mad and aggressive. If someone got aggressive I would go up and say, “Excuse me, but I think that item is mine and I accidentally put it into your cart.” Issue resolved, sometimes with a scowl and sometimes with a chuckle and sometimes with total silence. Then I would walk away with said item and put it back on the shelf…or better yet…into another unsuspecting shopper’s cart.
My friends were often amazed at how quickly I could come up with a funny thing to do or to say. For me, that was pure entertainment…being able to entertain them. Sometimes friends would get annoyed at me for my humour or for my playfulness. That is when I would get the “Just GROW UP” statement…usually from the girlfriend of a friend. Basically they were threatened that their boyfriend enjoyed spending time with me more than with them. I would assess how good a friend I had by what his response would be. If he cow towed to her demands and spent less time or no time with me, then he was NOT a friend. If he stood up to her and maintained our friendship regardless of what her demands were, then we were tight. There were only one or two who were confident enough to do that. This led me to realise that boys were often either 1. brought up to fear the wrath of women in their lives or 2. taught to value a sexual partner more than a good friend. The thing that was annoying to me was that I was one of the guys who would value friend over sexual partner. After all…if all a guy wants is sex then he has his right hand to do that. Or left hand if he is a south paw. Or both if he can swing both ways.
This type of dynamic started in high school but extended into adulthood. I actually had a very dear friend who I did not hear from for TWO WHOLE YEARS after he got married. I attended his wedding and then *Poof!* he disappeared. He had moved to another city and did not even bother to tell me. Two years later he came back to town, wanted to see me, which I agreed to, and told me an entire saga of the demise of his marriage and admitted that he dumped our friendship because she did not like me. Wow. So where do we go from there? Although I did not expect him to jump through hoops of fire, I did let him know that if he ever ghosted me again we would forever be DONE. And then he did it again. And then he contacted me again…after another 2 years…and I hung up on him and never looked back.
Here is the thing. I do not have time for people who are going to ghost me. And I do not have time for people who do not know how to play and have fun in life. Life is too damn short for us to hang around with morose people. They can wallow in their drudgery if they choose, but they need not expect me to get into that mud bath with them. Nope. I am too busy donning a red nose and dancing with rainbow coloured attire in the light of the full moon. I am too busy singing and laughing with others who enjoy a really delightful time of fun and frivolity and total playfulness. This is what keeps me young! And it doesn’t even matter what age category a person is. I play with kids, with adults, with elders, with all of them. I will be a rotting corpse soon enough, so in the meantime I am dedicated to enjoying life itself.
I know…people are not comfortable with that. Well, I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone. Always challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone. That zone was installed into your psyche by those who want to control you. It worked when you were two and it is still working. DESTROY THE CONTROL PANEL! Allow yourself to get silly. Do something…anything…that will create laughter. Go at life with a “devil may care” approach and you will live your life to the FULLEST.
Next year I will be *cough! cough! sputter! sputter!* 55 years old. I intend to live my life the same way I have since I was 5: with fascination and awe at the magic of the world around me and with the silliest humour that I can access within myself and others. Yes, I attend to the mundane tasks in life. But the magical ones are where my heart lives and sings. Try it. You will LOVE it.