Perhaps it’s because I haven’t had many friends under the age of 15 since I was that age myself, but I’ve never bought the whole kids-say-the-darnedest-things argument. Until recently, as far as I could tell, kids say exactly what they’re supposed to say, and anyone older than said speaker responds with a smug chuckle and a nodding of the head and an:
A. “(Insert name here) is soooooo cute!”
B. “(Insert name here) is soooooo funny!”
C. “(Insert name here) is soooooo cute and funny!”
D. “Kids say the darnedest things!”
E. Both C and D
Like I said, I’ve never bought it. That is, until this past week …
Like any person born the day after a major holiday, I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with Halloween. I can recall countless years during my childhood in which my birthday was completely overshadowed by ghouls and goblins and Material Girls. The day after Halloween was never about me, it was always about what neighborhoods gave the best candy (who gave away full-size candy bars instead of the standard Halloween minis) and, when my friends and I got older, who had the best party the night before (candy no longer mattered). Needless to say, as a teenager I became disenchanted with All Hallow’s Eve and eventually stopped partaking of the night altogether.
Then, sometime last week, I had the ingenious idea of celebrating my birthday on Halloween.
Why had I never thought of this before? Yes! This is what we will do! But how? What would I be?
Later that same day I was sitting in the Park Blocks, brainstorming costume ideas with my friend Tamara, who has a little brother named Scott, but everyone calls him Scotty because he’s soooooo cute. Scotty is 15 – this could very well be his last untainted Halloween, a fact he must realize, because on this day he called in a panic:
“I can’t be Neil Diamond for Halloween.”
“Because that is what the other kids expect of me,” he explained. (Scotty, who claims to love Neil Diamond more than I do [not possible], owns more than one Diamond costume).
He wanted to be something fresh and new and unexpected, and he was calling to let us know that he would not be the Jazz Singer. Instead:
“I want to be an F.”
“A lower-case F,” he said.
And despite Scotty’s million becauses, the only reason that mattered is that it was what he wanted.
“Scotty is soooooo cute!”
“Scotty is soooooo funny!”
Scotty is soooooo cute and funny!”
“Kids say the darnedest things!”
Since then, Scotty has made me chuckle a smug chuckle more than once. He has a way of seeing the world that is so charming and unabashed, I can’t help but think that all these years I’ve been missing out on some serious holiday fun.
Or maybe it’s not-so-serious holiday fun.
Whatever it is, I’m in. I feel like a kid again.
Does that make me cute and funny?