Taller, bigger, older, richer...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

This post is inspired by one of Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop prompts--head over there every Thursday to see her submissions. This week the prompt I chose is write about when you first started wishing you were older or bigger.

I was four or five when I got my first tube of lipstick. It was a bright, pinky-red shade, tasted like strawberries, and had a rabbit on the tube. I remember standing on tip-toe to see my reflection in the chrome on the side of the stove--the only mirrored surface I could come close to reaching--and applying my rabbit lipstick, rubbing my lips together and making kissy faces. With my bright pink mouth and my Strawberry Shortcake purse slung over my shoulder, I'd layer on beaded necklaces and walk around the house talking in a high falsetto voice about drinking tea--it was what I thought a grown-up would do. I couldn't wait for the day when I could leave the yard with lipstick on, and not have my mom wiping my mouth off before we went to the grocery store. Being grown up sounded like the best thing in the world.

For a long time, I wanted to be bigger and older, because I equated those things with a) being rich, b) having endless amounts of free time, and c) having no responsibilities. My whopping two-dollar-a-week allowance (upgraded to five dollars in middle school) and my exhaustive routine of breakfast, school, homework, and playing had me feeling pretty downtrodden and dreaming of better things.

I had an emo fit in elementary school because we never took any cool vacations as a family (I think my best friend at the time had just returned from her annual Disney World trip) and screaming that I couldn't wait to be grown up because I'd do whatever I wanted, every day, and I'd take my kids to Disney, and I wouldn't be such an unfit parent, keeping my family confined to craptastic New Brunswick while other GOOD parents took their children to Florida and Ontario and Maine. We were lucky when we drove 40 minutes to spend a weekend at the beach, picking up a pizza on the way. I more or less considered myself an abused child.

I wanted to be bigger and older right up until my 19th birthday, that fateful day when alcohol and cigarettes and all that other wonderful stuff was no longer out of reach. I went to the liquor store to buy some Revs to toast the occasion (SIIIICK) and slammed my 4-pack down on the counter just waiting to whip out my suddenly useful ID. The clerk didn't even question my age, just rang through my booze with barely a glance. I was crushed. And since that day, I've been wishing I was younger and smaller. Drinking stopped being fun the minute it became legal.

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  1. Hi, I loved your story, it speaks so many truths. And who is to say that your friend who went to Disney was really all that happy? Thanks for sharing your story.

  2. You sound so much like my 9 year old who can't wait to grow up....great post, thanks for sharing xx

  3. That was an awesome post! I remember being about that age and plastering on make up and dreaming about being able to use a credit card to buy everything I wanted....lol the days of innocence!

  4. That first tube of lipstick sounds awesome : ) What a great post. As a 33 year old I can attest to the fact that getting older is NO LONGER fun!

  5. I remember being about 8 years old looking up at the Year 6s and thinking they were SO grown up going to Senior School next year...

  6. I totally agree- once you are old enough to do all of the things you dreamed of, the realization of all the work and stuff that comes with it makes you long for younger times.

  7. Helsbells--She seemed pretty happy when she'd come to school wearing her Mickey ears :)

    Farmers Wife--I'm sure we all sounded like that at 9!

    Amanda--Oh yes, the credit card...the magical card. I had that dream too!

    Life With Kaishon--I don't know where the lipstick came from but the rabbit did make it awesome.

    Emily Jane--me too! They looked so grown up and HUGE!

    Amy--agreed! I would love to be back in elementary school indefinitely :)