I don’t know why but I never matured. I’m still a big fat baby and I react with big fat baby emotions. I don’t like to talk on the phone even when it’s somebody good. I leave the phone dangling sometimes without saying goodbye like a two year old. I still lick food when it’s dripping on the side of a dish or doing other things. When one of my children disciplines one of my grandchildren, I want to punch them and leave with their child even though the wee one was about to set the house on fire.
Once I rented a small cottage to a young man who came into my house and then into my bedroom at one in the morning and asked me to pray with him and I asked him what prayers he knew. When we finished I told him to go back to the cottage. Instead of calling the police, I went to sleep. (To my credit, in the morning, I made him leave.)
I still eat standing up. I don’t clean the house but sometimes I will manually pick the leaves off my front yard and then clip the edges with small scissors. I'm told I go off topic in most conversations. I’d rather not listen to anyone else talk. I don’t want to know another person’s point of view. If someone saw a good show or a good movie or read a good book, I don’t want them to describe it to me. I don’t like advice. I hate advice. The other day this nice doctor told me what to eat and I almost told him to shut up. Sometimes I think I’m by myself when I’m with someone. Sometimes when I’m driving I think, “Is this driving or am I doing something else that I think is driving?” I never balance my bank account and never know how much money I have in the bank. I stand on the ladder where it says “never stand here.”
I don’t dress like a grown up. The last time I looked put together with pantyhose, closed toe pumps and a bra, etc. was when I wanted a zoning favor from a bunch of pale Episcopalians. I looked pretty good even though the skirt was unbuttoned because I was five months pregnant and they gave me the variance. I dream about looking like that again but that’s immature, too. I should not be dreaming about things like that. Getting back to the bra, today I noticed on CNBC that Maidenform stock was way down because of earnings. We know that means women aren’t wearing enough underwear. I know I don’t wear enough bras and slips and half-slips and camisoles Where did they go?
The only time I felt mature (to me this is feeling like a school teacher who wears lace up shoes or maybe like Carley Fiorina who was once the CEO of Hewlett Packard. Also immature.) was when I took the kids to the orthodontist. There was something about driving, stern faced, to Dr. Norman’s office that made me feel officious - hey I’m taking the children to get their teeth straightened. Only a grown up would do that. I would have felt the same if I took them to Saks or Lord and Taylor every spring to get those double breasted light blue wool coats with the half belt in the back like Jackie used to buy for John John.
When the kids were little and I was at my least mature, I would affect being British and say “mind your head” instead of “hey, don’t hit your head” I was enamored of those diplomatic letters where they sign off as “Your Devoted Servant” when they really want to say, “I wish I had been assigned to Bermuda instead of this sucky place.”
Where my lack of maturity has been most evident is in my life choices. Like the baby that I am, I let choices pick me. I let a house choose me that looks like the place where Hansel and Gretel were incarcerated. It looks like it will start wiggling and talking any time: Hi, I’m Huffy The House. If I initiate anything that moves me along in my life’s journey, I dream walk through it and have no memory of a moment of decision.
My immaturity allows me to engage with my grandchildren with total commitment: When one of them says, “Play with me.” I say, “Ok. You be Thomas and I’ll be Toby.” If you don’t know what that means, be glad.