Thursday, March 20, 2008

I am driving a minivan...

I am driving a minivan...

Not from choice, mind you. Tomorrow, I'm script-supervisor at a film shoot and have also been delegated the responsibility of taking one of the 'stars' to the set. That 'star' is a three-ton monstrosity the Dodge motor company whimsically call 'Caravan.'

Swapping my Firebird for a Caravan - even if it's only for a day or two - reminds me worryingly of the responsibilities that lie ahead and how some of the boyish things you've coveted since childhood (in my case, a bloody great, unsophisticated sportscar) might have to be sacrificed for the 'greater good' of an expanding family unit.

And although I am an unrepentant atheist, the familiarity I have developed with the Bible (all the better to quash a believer's flawed arguments, m'dear) made me immediately think of something Paul said in Corinthians:

When I became a man, I put away childish things. Chapter 13, verse 11

My questions is: Do we ever truly put away childish things?

Although the last decade has seen me grow up, develop emotionally and learn from quite astonishingly varied experience (deported much?) I really don't feel any more 'grown up' than I was when I was twenty.

And some of the 'grown up' choices I've made haven't exactly been because I felt more adult in making them. Like, for example, I gave up playing video games. Not because I'd grown out of them - just because I wanted to use my shrinking allotment of free-time for writing, drawing or other juvenile projects instead.

I still think like a teenager. My wife constantly reminds me that I sometimes act like a teenager. Sometimes, it's hard to understand why your parents had managed to grow up by the time they reached your age and you haven't.

But coming to America has somewhat softened that thought. Here in the states, boyhood is an extended process - and cyclical. There are plenty of people my age who still shamelessly act like they're teenagers - and the 'grown up' ones occasionally have a mid life crisis, shed their family unit and wholeheartedly embrace the single lifestyle all over again at 45 (only to be disappointed when they can no longer pick up twenty year old girls.)

In Britain, the 'grown ups' I've known (especially the ones my age) always seemed so poised and perfect. But living in America has made me suspect that they're full of it. Nobody really grows up. The staid and sensible thirty-something Brits are no more 'grown up' than I am. They're just better at acting like it.

1 comment:

Laura Parish said...

Secretly we are all thinking like we are teenagers but all we learn in adult hood is when to act like an adult.