Off the Line: Feeling childish? Get out your crayons

No matter what our age, do we ever fully grow up? I guess that depends on the person.

No matter what our age, do we ever fully grow up? I guess that depends on the person.

My husband and I have some friends who, shall we say, are “different.”

Now people can choose to take that adjective in any way they want.

Let’s just talk a bit about the word “different.”

When I was a kid I used to take it as a compliment when someone would tell me that the outfit I chose for the day was, well, different.

Being young and naïve I took it in the highest degree of flattery.

After all, purple polka dot socks paired up with a shocking pink, orange and green shirt in paisley pattern was the going thing. Or was it?

I suspect that even if someone did tell me that what was paid to me was not a compliment, and should I have decided to believe them, it’s likely that I could give two chips rubbed together. It seems that back then the ignorance of youth was able to overlook the stinging criticism much better than the 20 or 30-year-old Karen would have.

Of course, the pendulum swings the other way as life progresses. The easily offended and often hurt Karen of yesteryear has given way to the Karen of today who truly could care less what people think of her.

“What you think about me is none of my business” has more or less become my mantra. Yes, I readily admit that sometimes what someone says to me is hurtful and I do feel the pain to my marrow, but those cases are far and few between because for the most part, if I step back and think about the comment objectively, I understand that it was simply a comment made without great thought or any malice.

That reconciliation has been a great thing for me. It has allowed my heart to be young once again and find pure pleasure in the smallest things. Those young children could teach us lots about looking at our world through unsullied eyes and psyches.

In other words, all of the above is leading into not being embarrassed during some circumstances because after all, I really don’t give two chips, don’t I?

So, that being said, I will tell you about a time in Casa Grande, Ariz. a few years ago when a group of us were heading to Tucson. We had stopped in Casa Grande for breakfast. I believe there were four couples at the time. If you knew the group I ran with, you won’t blink an eyelash when I tell you about their table manners. Well, actually, their manners were just fine, but have you ever seen grown men begging for crayons and kids’ colouring place mats?

And get this, once they got the colouring supplies they were diligently and studiously colouring, tongues sticking out in concentration. Despite their age, they were serious about colouring within the lines.

Because that group of men are who they are, it didn’t surprise me that with each laugh one or the other got, the next guy would try the old one-upmanship. Naturally, it got sillier and sillier and no one was surprised at the stodgy people sitting around us giving us the old stink eye.

Let me stress, other than colouring like boys and being a tad rambunctious, there really was no reason for some of the sour lemons there to look down upon the guys’ good natured antics. No one was being hurt, not one was hurting anything or anyone. Good enough.

It was just a group of middle age people free from the daily grind of life and enjoying each other’s company.

It’s been a long time since I thought of that day, but the other day I was reading online news and came upon a rather interesting article. It made me smile and after reading it, I thought, “Why not?”

Yes, indeed, why not?

Some bright thinking, light-hearted entrepreneur must still have had a bit of the child left in him or her because that person invented adult colouring books. Why didn’t I think of that? Naturally, they are making a killing producing colouring books for adults.

Genius! Had that person not let a lot of their childishness remain in their soul that colouring book might never have been produced.

 

Next time you feel a little embarrassed by your childish behaviour, take a deep breath and order an adult colouring book. You just might be transported back to those golden years.