The unfinished tale of the desperate…
Flicking through the channels this evening while waiting for ‘Rome in ancient times’ to start on the Discovery channel, (Cough cough, X-factor more like cough cough.) I stumbled across one of my all time favourite childhood films. BIG, Starring Tom Hanks. Im sure you all know the one. Tom Hanks is 13 years old and asks a spooky looking fairground fortune teller to grant him one wish. His wish, as you all probably remember, was to be ‘big.’
Much to my other half’s dismay I stopped flicking (the remote) and began to avidly watch it, for old time’s sake. The female readers will understand. Yes I know it’s old! Yes I know ive seen it a hundred times! Yes, that is a dodgy white suit! But Im watching it ok? It makes me feel young! He huffed and puffed and after it became clear I wasn’t about to relinquish the remote, he finally left the room to go and do ‘man things.’ and by that I mean breaking something and then trying to fix it. Probably.
About an hour in to this fantastical tale of delight, (because come on, like it or not, it’s an 80’s classic) and just after Tom experiences his first sexual encounter with the curly haired vixen in the disastrous pink bra, he forgets his quest to be a child again and begins to very much enjoy being an adult. Until, collective mutual female sighing allowed, he finds himself in unchartered water. He finds himself in a proper grown up, lots of strings attached, full on deep and meaningful relationship. She then (stupidly) begins to ask of him, as we have all done at some point in the past, of someone we have recently opened our hearts and legs to, prey tell, where is this going? (In my opinion, if she hadn’t asked these questions the end of this film could have been entirely different. Has she never read the do’s and don’ts of dating? Dozy mare.) And post this fatal error of judgment, the quest for him to be a child again, is back on. Oh yes, it’s back on with a vengeance.
‘You don’t understand’ he exclaims. ‘Only a month ago I was thirteen, I went to sleep and woke up and adult.’
Her, quite frankly desperate, response (and how she didn’t slap him I don’t know) ‘Oh come on, we have all felt like that at times’ (cringe)
And off he goes in search of the spooky fairground fortune teller, running out mid presentation for dramatic effect. (You godda love dramatic effect. It has taken me years to get my dramatic hair toss, just right. Im very proud. I’ll show you one day if you feel the need to make a statement with only the swish of the head.)
This scene got me thinking. Firstly it got me thinking that if Tom asked the fortune teller to be ‘big‘, why didn’t he wake up a giant? And secondly and more seriously, it got me thinking about how quickly we seem as human beings, to want to experience everything, right now!
How quickly we desire to be on the next stage of the ‘growing up’ step ladder. Previous step completed or not. And unlike Tom Hanks, how once we get in to a bit of a sticky wicket (so to speak) we actually aren’t ready for (not that we would admit it), unfortunately we can’t just nip back a few steps and re-live the moments which could have prepared us. The moments in our lives we totally took for granted at the time. The moments, (Im about to get a bit deep here) that make us all who we are!
I remember being eight years old and playing on the swings with my best friends. We were desperate to be thirteen and be allowed to wear makeup. I remember being desperate to be in sixth form, being desperate to finish school so I never had to wear my uniform again (that one I can kind of understand, it was hideous). Being desperate to finish college so I could go travelling. Enjoying travelling but then being desperate to fall in love, being desperate to get home so I could start a career and buy a home. Being desperate to find ‘the one’ so I could start a family. Finding ‘the one’ and being desperate to get pregnant. Getting pregnant and being desperate to have the baby. Having the baby and being desperate for a proposal.. (Even if he says he does, I know he never reads this blog anyway so I can admit this, in total confidence, that he still has no idea. That’s if he hasn’t already realised from the numerous ‘ring catalogues’ open on the dining room table..) and all the while being desperate to be taller, thinner, smaller, bigger boobs, longer/shorter hair, for that top or those shoes or that car or this pair of hair straighteners.. And so on and so on and so on.
I then began to think (getting even deeper here) about all the times I had been waiting for something. And with sudden realisation, it made me see, no matter what, no matter who you are, I can say with almost certainty we are always waiting for something or wanting for something. (Even if it’s just a bru.) I am currently waiting for my proposal (and my dinner.) I rang my best friend to check my theory and after a good old gossip, without explaining I asked her ‘Annette, what are you waiting for?’ without even thinking she answered ‘Him to get home from fishing and watch the baby so I can have a bath’ and ok so ive not stumbled across a new planet but I have made some sort of personal discovery. And here it is… are you ready? Its life changing! (no, really!)
Maybe we need to try and enjoy the present a bit more and stop being desperate for the next step. (Collective gasp from my audience) Even if that next step is just waiting an hour for the men in our lives to come home so we can have a bath? Maybe this next hour I could really enjoy, because I am lucky, I am healthy and I have a wonderful life? Maybe in the next hour instead of shouting at my other half for leaving a used loo roll on the side, instead of throwing it in the bin, I could enjoy throwing it in the bin myself. (And then enjoy slapping him upside the head and reminding him I am not a bloody maid!)
But it is something, in all seriousness, I will think about. Because at some point there will be nothing left for me to do except enjoy the memories of the steps i have taken. When the kids are grown up, when the wedding is out of the way, (if I have to ask myself to marry me, like Carrie Bradshaw, I will. I’ll get a bloody wedding!) And when I am old and grey (But still fabulous) I want to be able to look back and honestly say I took none of it for granted. I really would much rather, enjoy making the memories, than only enjoying the finished memories. So from now on I will stop using the turn of phrase ‘I can’t wait for Addison to talk’ and ‘I can’t wait for Addison to walk’ and change it to ‘Im excited about one day fitting in to my clothes again…’ and ‘Im excited about going back to work.’ And if you believe that…
And that’s where I end today’s mad rambling as I need to go, X-factor is about to start and I’m desperate for a wee….