Why Does Everyone Want to Grow Up? You Can't Hide From Yourself...Not Even You Oingo Boingo
I thought about getting lazy this morning and creating a list. I woke up later than usual and thought it might save me some time. But fuck it. I’ll save those for more dire times and just write something.
So hello void. It’s me, Raoul. I’m here to yell into to you again.
I have been thinking a lot lately about my fears. I really only have two. I don’t want to become a real adult and I don’t want to become my deadbeat dad. Becoming a real adult, to me, means having a career other than this and living in suburbia somewhere with a fence and a golden retriever. The idea shocks and frightens me. It keeps me from getting any real sleep and forces me to strum on the keyboard every morning like I am right now. If I can’t live like peter pan for the rest of my life, then I at least want to be an adult on my own terms– copious amounts of booze and limited responsibility. I have friends who want to move in with their girlfriends and start settling down at 22. The idea of doing that at 40 sounds horrifying to me. If you move in with your college girlfriend at 22, then, in my opinion, you are looking at a midlife crisis at 29.
People don’t seem to understand that there is a lot of living to be done when you're young. Even if you don’t want to stay young forever, then you should at least do it when you are actually young. The idea of settling down in your early 20s feels reminiscent of wartime. Kids, don’t forget that your grandparents only got married at 19 because your grandfather had to go off and fight the Nazis. You are going off to work a 9-5 job. You can relax and see your girlfriend on the weekends.
Adulthood brings challenges that I’m not ready to face. I don’t want to develop relationships like that. I don’t want to fall in “love” and get married and have kids and move to the suburbs. Partly because it would drive me insane, but also because of my second fear. I don’t want to abandon any children and not pay child support. My dad did it to me, and his dad did it to him, and his dad’s dad did it to his dad. It’s a vicious cycle in this family that I don’t know whether or not I can break. I have this fear because I do see my dad in myself. I can be conniving and vengeful just like the rest of my dad’s clan. It’s an impulse that I have to fight, but its prevalence cannot be ignored.
That said, it’s a quality that has worked to my benefit when channeled correctly. Like when I went to the free concert in Philadelphia last summer and convinced the workers at the Barefoot Wine tent that I was the heir to a wine fortune and could get everyone jobs if they kept the free samples coming. My friends and I stayed in that tent for 2 hours before management realized what had happened, and by that point, we were all drooling on ourselves anyway. Maybe tricking strangers is not something to brag about, but it served its purpose.
The fear of becoming like my dad is an irrational one, but one that will definitely lead me down a different life path. The similarities are small, but they are there, and that’s enough to keep me worried and awake at night. My natural con-man reflex and my choices in music match his almost exactly– except Oingo Boingo. Fuck that band. Did you really think that you could reinvent yourself by dropping the Oingo and becoming just Boingo? You will always be Oingo Boingo. You can’t hide from yourself...
This entry doesn’t have a nice and clean resolution. I don’t have any takeaways from these fears and accomplished nothing in terms of personal growth by writing this. It wasn’t meant to be therapeutic. I don’t believe in that yuppie bull shit.
PS: The last guy who wanted to never grow up: Michael Jackson…Fuck.