Thursday, October 1, 2009

The In-between

As a child, you always want to dress up in your parents clothes. I remember stealing all of my dads socks in middle school, and I believe the socks I'm wearing now are his. Much younger than that is when children usually like to play dress up. My brother, sister and I had a play box with old shoes, dress shirts, jackets, a brief case, an old phone, glasses frames, things like that. I don't believe I wanted to be like my dad when I was that age, or at least dress like him. I didn't know what he did at all as an adult, so I didn't really think to want to be like him, it just didn't occur to me. Anyways, after the stage of quintessentially disliking my parents as a teenager, I found myself pretending to be my dad.

I remember that night really clearly. I have his old tweed sports coat from his first job, and I put it on one night after a late night cleaning spree (I know you've had one). My hair was long at the time, so I tucked it behind my ears and pushed it all back with my fingers, and as I did this, I realized that the movements I was making with my hands across the sides of my head were mimicking exactly the way my dad would run his fingers through his hair when he was thinking or when he was stressed. (Usually at my behavior.) I then looked through my closet for a collared shirt to wear underneath the jacket and tucked it in my jeans. If only I had a Hawaiian shirt.... Seriously. Anyways, my point being I was trying to look like my dad, and I got scarily close. I just stared at myself, in the mirror, seeing my dad as he must have been at my age. I could see my young dad, but I could also see an older me.

I love the line from mewithoutYou, "I'm not the boy I once was, but I'm not the man I'll be." Here I am, a push from the edge, uncertain, not yet ready to continue. I've longed for much of my life to be business professional. I want to wear a tie to work, I want to have a nice hair-cut, I want to wear shoes with tassels on them. I want to come home and loosen my tie, and have a cup of coffee or tea with my wife. The problem is that I feel as if I'm so far from that. I sit in a classroom with kids who get high every day, and they really must or else they have no excuse for the fashion statements they are trying to make. I would look weird for wearing a button up shirt.

So here I am, unable to pretend I'm an adult because I am so close to actually being one.

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