Silly

I’ve been watching a lot of low brow Christmas rom-coms lately. Let me specify; I’ve watched four. So far. It’s just seemed like the right course of action. So be it. The last one I watched had particularly bad writing, but I went along with it anyway, I stuck in there and, yes, I needed a couple of time-outs to collect myself when the plot holes were just too jarring, or the drama just too unnecessarily artificial, but I still found myself clapping, dancing, giggling with glee, and otherwise being just very silly at multiple points throughout, alone in my house with no-one to witness.

And I like it. I like the simple joy of it. I like that I can access it with such little provocation. I feel accomplished that I have reached the point where I am so easily pleased. Because I am a fucking complex character, and allowing my mind to enjoy simple, unanalysed pleasures was not exactly written into my programming.

But there’s a weird yet predictable thing that happens when I catch myself being so joyfully, needlessly silly. Because I do like it about myself, and the observer within me enjoys to witness it. But some different part – the analyst, I would posit – immediately wonders what other people would think about it. And veers off on a tangent wondering why we aren’t all like that around each other. Because surely I’m not the only one being so weird and silly when no-one’s around. It’s even a device used in the very films I’ve been watching to endear characters to the audience. So why is it socially unacceptable when people are around? Why can’t I feel comfortable being joyfully, needlessly silly in front of people who aren’t my four year old son? Even with people who I know, rationally, love and accept me for who I am; I’m not going to fully unleash my joyful, needless silliness upon them. Presumably because I don’t want to test it. Because I’m not sure they are quite so weird and silly behind closed doors. I have a suspicion that their weird and silly stops far short of my own, and revealing the true extent of my fucking weird silliness would somehow alienate them.

Why? Why is the world this way? Because I am nothing more than a not-so-neatly packaged product of it, so I can’t take full responsibility. But I don’t think we were supposed to stop playing.

I mean, I do very, very silly things in very, very public places with my son (and sometimes other stranger-children who join us, like that kid who demanded I be a moaning, eyes-half-closed zombie rampaging around the middle of a bustling Newcastle square. Your wish is my command, Child-I-Have-Never-Met-Before). But the truth is, I would like to do those very, very silly things in very, very public places without my son, without any reason, and I am (many would argue, quite fucking rightly) simply too scared. The only time any of us ever seem to do that is when we’re in a pack, and that pack is still largely shunned by the rest of society.

But imagine a world designed for adults that play! That is a world I want to experience.

Wanna play?

I went out last night and I currently have the alcohol shakes, but I’ve been excited about writing this blog post for the last four hours. During which time I’ve also been hiding in bed, mostly in the fetal position, listening to Brené Brown and Dax Shepard talk to people, with my eyes closed and three water vessels within arms reach, waiting for the world to stop swaying quite so much. And also very glad that I didn’t accidentally go out-out any time close to when I need to be a parent. My fingers can just about hit the right keys now, so I’ll press on.

There’s a certain threshold of alcohol beyond which I am simply not able to control my actions. Once I’ve crossed that threshold I’m basically just a product of my inputs up to that point. It’s like the human checks out and just leaves the program to do whatever it’s going to do. I’ve always felt like other people seem to more gradually progress toward incapacitation, while my brain seem to drop off a cliff quite a bit before my body stops being able to do stuff, but that could just be a disparity of perception.

I generally try to give the cliff a wide margin, because I’m always a bit scared what the human will find in the memory banks when it finally comes back online. And I know if I get anywhere close to the cliff, I’ll probably think it’s a good idea to down my drink and see if I can fly. So I try to keep my distance, but sometimes it sort of sneaks up on me.

Cliff-diving wasn’t on my agenda for last night, but there were at least a couple of drinks put in front of me that I wasn’t expecting and certainly hadn’t accounted for, so…wheeeeeee!

Now, I’ve been various shades of offputting drunk person over the years, and it’s often quite instructive as to where I most need to do my work at that time. A latent and unacknowledged rage toward men…my self-worth being tied to my perceived value as a sexual object…feeling trapped in a relationship because of what I’d been conditioned to believe love was supposed to be… You know, all the usual stuff. But this time, rather than pointing out my most tender emotional wounds, I was gifted a moment of delightful searing clarity for a completely different reason. Because last night, when I jumped off the cliff, I became my four year old son.

Seriously; I was just running around, having a nice time, getting up in everybody’s business, touching everyone, talking to random strangers trying to get them to play with me, missing all the social cues when people weren’t really interested in playing with me, not really understanding what was going on around me but using my four-year-old logic to come up with my own explanations, and then using those explanations to come up with ways to try to get people to play with me.

And, I don’t know, I mean, yeah, an adult acting like a very extravagant four year old is annoying and certainly not acceptable in polite society, but, like, I feel like I can’t be mad at myself for just wanting to play, you know? Like, yeah, you definitely need to get a bit better with boundaries and consent, Yve, but your heart was in the right place.

Coincidentally, when I was writing a description of my son a few weeks ago, after going through all the unequivocally glorious things about him, I added “his excitement can lead him to get disruptive sometimes – respecting other people’s boundaries and personal space is a big lesson for him at the moment”.

So, basically, I’ve come to the understanding that, if I’m ever going to go out-out again, I’m going to require adult supervision.