Monday, December 6, 2010

Welcome to the Place Where We Talk Like Adults

ADULTS: A terrifying word when it implies no more magical thinking.
Today I had my picture taken with Santa. I had to wait for a while, since he had gone upstairs in the assisted living facility near where I work to make a personal call. An older lady I was talking with, to pass the time until Santa returned, said she had seen him eating at one of the tables in the dining room.
"Was he eating a plate of cookies?" I asked.
"I don't know what he had," she said. "I think it was just some lunch. He said he got hungry."
"When I was growing up, I thought that's all Santa ever ate was cookies," I replied.
Santa came downstairs just then and I was urged to get my picture taken with him. It was free, so why not.
I got a candy cane from him and held his gloved hand and we smiled. He had an intimidating nose and quite the bushy iron gray mustache. White hair peeked out from behind his fur-trimmed hat and his red suit looked to be a fine polyester blend and quite impeccably brushed and pressed. (His hair might have been polyester, too!)
I think five photos were taken in all, to get it "just right," since this is a keepsake for me. I doubt that Santa needs any more photos of himself with kids.
But on the way out of the building (where Santa was holding court) I stopped to tell the receptionist I had gotten my picture taken with the bearded one himself.
"Oh, that's the Santa that's having chemo," she sighed.
All right then. ... Have you heard anything sadder today? Not me.
Well, maybe the part about everyone probably getting tax cuts.
Tax cuts should be a good thing, right? I'm thinking ... maybe not. I heard about an Oregon school district that may not make it through the rest of the year due to lack of money. If our roads get any worse I will need an off road vehicle to get to work. The mentally ill and homeless may soon be cut off without the few funds they desperately need.
How can we keep cheering for tax cuts when we don't want to give up our high standard of living which, incidentally, is declining? Not just in my opinion, but in lots of opinions.
That's where the word "adult" comes in; like "adult talk" and "adult decisions." It's the end of innocence - the end of (most) magical thinking.
All the good stuff in the world comes from somewhere, from people working and helping out others less fortunate.
Oh, I was so lucky to find this soapbox tonight! Kick it out from under me, if you want, but I just have some questions about how long this can all go on. We will have to cinch our belts and make do with less.
Oh, if we'd only known, when we kept wishing for more and more birthdays so we could be grownups and do whatever we wanted, that it was going to lead to this place and this time - when we would have to take on responsibility for making the world a place where our grandchildren could enjoy the good life too.
For years I thought Hollywood had pretty far-fetched ideas for movies set in the future where all news programs were dictated by governmental oversight, politics were run by a chosen few of the wealthiest people and urban decay was rampant. Who was more prescient? Hollywood or - femminismo
p.s. Enough adult talk! What can I get you for Christmas? A donation to Amnesty International or Doctors Without Borders? How about something for the local food bank? My pleasure!

4 comments:

Steve said...

I like to differentiate adulthood fromchildhood thus: childhood is that time when you belief magic is outside of you, a force in it's own right that you can find if you're lucky enough; adulthood is the realization that you have to make the magic yourself through hard work, endurance and vision.

femminismo said...

Steve, you are the man! What an inspiration to realize this and put it words that are *just right*.

grrl + dog said...

oh,
I love what steve said, although it was very pragmatic and I never want to grow up.

Clearly neither do you of you had to get your photo on santa's knee.

Nathalie Thompson said...

Miss Fem, where are all of the photos of "Santa" you had taken? I wanted to see!

I ran into our local Santa at the Walmart pharmacy one day this past summer. He was getting his diabetes meds refilled. Ironic. Didn't blow my image of him tho. He is still the magic that brightens kids faces at Christmas.
And mine too!