17 Oct The Fun Files
I’m sitting at my desk, ready to write and all I can hear are the shrieks and squeals of “Marco” (pause) “Polo” from the kids two doors down. It’s happy noise and I’m not bothered by it but it has made me ponder … when did endless pool games and bombies stop being fun?
It seems as though unadulterated fun, the passage of time and responsibility might have some complex, inverse relationship that is yet to be defined. As our responsibilities increase, fun decreases and our notion of time speeds up. I remember when the six week Christmas holidays seemed like an eternity, boredom was a curse and when asked, “How old are you?” responding with “nine and three quarters” … because every month counted. Now just the decade suffices “in my forties” is as accurate as I need be.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still up for fun … it just looks very different … and usually doesn’t involve water or dirt (unless it’s in the form of a hot bath or a rude joke). Gone are the days when I’m happy to stay in my sandy swimmers with salt matted hair and greasy, sunscreeny skin from dawn til dusk without a shower. Nowadays, I’m already fantasising about a hot shower before I’ve furtively removed my moo-moo and dipped my big toe in the shallows (and that’s assuming the planets have aligned, both the air and water temperature are well over 25 degrees and I’ve had time to remove any unsightly hair). When did my childhood definition of fun get replaced by my grown-up definition? Was it a sudden onset or did it creep up gradually like the effect of gravity on my boobs? I’m thinking it was around the same time that the novelty of staying up all night giggling and devouring contraband sweets turned from covert delight to pure purgatory. Who knew that that the older you get, the earlier it gets late? Or was it when the notion of a lazy, solitary day with absolutely no plans turned from boring to blissful?
My fun-o-meter also seems to be closely calibrated to my giveashit-o-meter. I’m positive that “young and carefree” me could have easily relaxed knowing that the kitchen was filthy and there was a tsunami of ironing waiting to engulf me. Now … not so much. The sight of a stack of dirty plates brings on a nervous tick usually followed by that fishwife shreak “THOSE PLATES AREN’T GOING TO WALK TO THE DISHWASHER ON THEIR OWN YOU KNOW!!” Ugh … I’m so predictable. I’m beginning to bore myself to tears. I know for a fact that I wasn’t always like this. In my early 20’s I recall my flat mate coming home, glancing through my open bedroom door and panicking, thinking we had surely been robbed. My room had been ransacked. Every draw was out, the floor could not be seen for clothes … a total tip. But no, his fears were unfounded. This was a fairly normal state of affairs in my bedroom and I was totally comfortable with it.
I’d love to say that I plan to re-embrace that reckless abandon and carefree fun of my youth, but who am I kidding? That ship sailed some time ago (with Mr Polo on it). Don’t fret though … I’m not planning on trading champers for chamomile anytime soon and I intend to keep that fun-ship in sight … Even if it’s a distant speck on the horizon.