A freezer full of 36 popsicles. When I got sick, I stocked up on multi-flavored popsicles. I got sick about 3 weeks ago. The popsicles are still in my freezer. Eating them is like some perverse torture. I remove the wrapper carefully, put my mouth around it, and sit there gloomily. Had I been told as a 5-year-old I had a freezer full of popsicles, I would’ve imagined I was some kind of lotto winner or rich space astronaut. Now I know I’m just too cheap to go to the doctor.
Wearing name-brand cross-trainers. My mom never bought me name brand. I wanted name brand. Every last fucker on my 5th grade basketball team had name brand. Just so we’re clear: I once had Fila. Anyway, now I wear name-brand cross trainers to the gym twice a month. But I can honestly say name brand in no way makes 30 minutes on the stair-climber less awkward and boring.
Playing video games. Jesus Christ didn’t you think you’d play these things constantly? Now when I see an adult playing video games I think two things: he took a tour in Iraq, or he works at a chain pet store and maybe eats more than he should.
Driving across the country. I remember being bussed 9 miles to my middle school in some asinine corner of the state as a kid looking at the sharp-faced twentysomethings in station wagons on their way to some fun truck stop, or ethnically-rich small town, or just stopping off at those random “Big Battle Between the Stump Hole Tribe and Gen. Flaster’s 6th Infantry” signs dotting the prairie, and I would get jealous over the young adults’ uninhibited freedom. But I never stop for that shit now. If I spot a curious looking cow in the field, I know to drive like hell till I spot a Caribou Coffee or whatever.
Doing laundry. Based upon what I can only imagine is some childhood abuse that has been blacked out of my consciousness, I vaguely remember thinking it would be fun/sexy/cool to do my own laundry. This was stupid. As you know, it’s not. Folding pink socks in heaps is no one’s Mardi Gras. And I’m reminded as to how big a dumb ass I was as a 5-year-old for ever thinking so.
Bouncy Castles. With relatively disposable income (I DO drink whiskey/ginger), a car, and Google Map, I’m probably never more than 45 minutes away from a bouncy castle at all times. But in my 9 years of living out of my parents’ house, I’ve never once scratched that high-flying, colorful castle itch. This is likely because a) Bouncy Castles usually involve street carnivals, and thus by extension also involve loose syringes, and b) bouncing 3-to-4 feet in the air on inflatable fabric isn’t nearly as fun when you’re 27, depressed, and thinking about how you can remove grease off your baking pan at home.
Photo courtesy Charlotte.Morall.