Things Grown-Up Me Does That 10-Year-Old Me Would Never Do

Pass on buying Girl Scout cookies. I sold Girl Scout cookies a very long time ago (point of reference: they cost 50 cents a box), so I know what it’s like to spend Saturdays schlepping around your neighborhood trying to meet “each girl’s quota” so that “each girl may experience the wonder of Camp Stickittoya this summer.” It was a learning experience, though, because I learned I never want to go into sales. Today, 10-year-old me would buy a box just to be nice. But the grown-up me dials my cell phone just before leaving the store so that when I’m accosted approached by Girl Scouts hawking $4.50-a-box cookies from a card table, I can smile apologetically, shake my head, and point to my phone.

They've looked worse. Really.

They’ve looked worse. Really.

Go barefoot. Ten-year-old me went without shoes three consecutive months of the year, but 10-year-old me had decent toenails. Not pedicure toenails maybe, but toenails of normal color, length, and thickness. Had hers looked like mine do today, she would have said, “Ewwww! Gross! I’m never going barefoot again!” (Cue the slamming door.) Running may do a body good, but it wreaks havoc on the feet. Especially on the toenails. But you know what? I don’t care. If it’s above 75 degrees, flip-flops it is. Do I garner stares? Sometimes. Do I care? Not really—at least not as much as 10-year-old me would care.

Wear sunscreen. Growing up it was called suntan lotion, and it was for the beach. Never mind we lived 20 miles from the beach and playing outside sunup to sundown equated to more exposure than a few hours at the beach. I use sunscreen now, but since data suggests most sun damage occurs during childhood maybe I shouldn’t bother.

Skip dyeing Easter eggs. Seeing that Paas display in the grocery store as a kid always held such promise, didn’t it? The fact that the end result never resembled the pictures on the box was of no concern. Those displays held the same luster for our girls, and every year they’d open the box, ooh and aah over the stickers and the “magic crayon,” and we’d dye eggs. And by we, I mean me. Because I don’t count basting a few eggs then ditching the project when it got boring as dying Easter eggs, which is pretty much how I remember it. After the tablets dissolved, it was downhill excitement-wise and I was on my own—just me, the cleanup, and a vinegar aroma that lingered for days.

Ten-year-old me didn't have these, either.

Ten-year-old me didn’t have these, either.

Pay to run. At age 10, running wasn’t exercise; it was transportation. The only competition involved was outrunning cars as you crossed the street. Ten-year-old me would have scoffed at (1.) adults running, and (2.) paying for it. That’s because 10-year-old me wasn’t (1.) trying to outrun old age, or (2.) willing to fork over a nonrefundable $100 race entry fee for the privilege. Ten-year-old me was only trying to get to Karen Miller’s house before Mom noticed I left without cleaning up the Easter egg mess.

 

Thanks to Peg-O-Leg’s Ramblings for the inspiration!

Why I Won’t Get a Tattoo

I don’t like butterflies or shamrocks or tigers on people (not “on people” as in a man-eating tiger, rather “on people” as in a tiger snaking down an arm). Maybe it’s symbolism these tattooees are after, but here’s what I see: The butterfly lover is an 8-year-old girl at heart, a shamrock belongs to someone with no imagination, and a tiger means you’re able to sit very still for a very long period of time.

See what I mean? Who knows what you could end up with. Photo: StumbleUpon

See what I mean? Who knows what you could end up with.
Photo: StumbleUpon

 

I don’t understand Sanskrit. Happens all the time: “Hey! Look at me! I’m so current I got a tattoo in a language I’d never heard of before I watched Inked!” Faster than you can say, “Shoulda looked it up myself,” you’re stuck with “French Toast” when you wanted “Faith Lives.” Tattoo-artist practical joke, or legitimate mistake? When it’s on your calf, does it even matter?

"I used to be indecisive but now I am not quite sure."  --Tommy Cooper

“I used to be indecisive but now I am not quite sure.” –Tommy Cooper Photo: Flickr

 

I’m indecisive. I’ve stepped foot in one tattoo parlor in my life. And I do mean a literal foot—just far enough to peruse a photo album crammed with possibilities: Pages and pages of crowns, birds, quotes, curlicues, skulls…you name it. No wonder people default to butterflies. Either I’d have wound up with a Leopard Lacewing on my shoulder, or I’d still be there deciding.

 

I don’t like pain. An emergency appendectomy is one thing. Hundreds (is it hundreds? I don’t even know) of needle jabs administered by a guy named Duke is quite another.

 

Tattoos are forever… Unless you go with your own name (and what’s the point of that, unless you need reminding?), there’s an inherent risk of times a-changin’ and your tattoo becoming obsolete. We’ve all seen celebrities sporting fancy scrollwork designed to cover the name of an ex. Nothing like a constant reminder of your mistake.

 

…unless you have money. Freeway billboards might advertise laser tattoo removal, but I’ve heard removal is more painful than the actual tattoo. Plus, I’m doubting flexible spending—let alone insurance—covers removal.

Give it 20 years, and this tattoo will practically be invisible. Photo: Flickr

Give it 20 years, and this tattoo will practically be invisible.
Photo: Flickr

 

I’m getting older and body parts are sliding into the southern hemisphere. Maybe I can’t stop the inevitable, but there’s no point in drawing attention to the fact.