JJ Vincent on the joy-inducing freedom of letting go of what others define as inappropriate.
This is the best button I’ve ever owned. “Warning: I indulge in age and gender inappropriate behavior.”
Come on, own up. You do it, too. I don’t care if you are 17 or 75.
There are no age limits on some things. There are no age limits on a lot of things.
When there’s a good song on the radio, I rock out. Ice Ice Baby, Single Ladies, YMCA, Blurred Lines, Lady Gaga anything. Go ahead, guy in the truck next to me. Get your phone camera out. There’s steel and glass and space between us, and a green light. Reba, Tone Loc, Missy Elliot, Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton, Thriftstore. Yes, woman in the silver BMW. Your child (who should be in the back seat, by the way) is pointing at me and laughing hysterically. I know I look ridiculous. It’s Raining Men, Trace Adkins, anything on Wii, I’ve got a dance to it that can be done sitting down. It’s ok, teenagers in the Brady-wagon. Laugh at me now. You do it, too.
Someone has a bottle of bubbles? Go pop some.
Oh, look, an open parking lot. A long hallway. Let’s skip. Right foot hop, left foot hop, right foot hop, left foot hop, repeat. Can’t skip? Let’s do that other thing (it’s called a chasse, but I won’t expect you to remember that). Right, left together, right, left together, right, left together, repeat. Go solo, grab a buddy, grab your kids, grab the girl you are friends with, and skip. Have a skipping race. If there are puddles, splash in them a time or two. You are washable. So are your clothes. You’ll love it. Doesn’t matter that you haven’t done it in mumblemumble years.
Look, there’s a balloon. Bat it around with a friend. Or yourself.
That little kid wearing their “awesome sneakers” that give them magical powers to shoot green lasers from their fingers and jump so high and fast that you can’t even see it (There! They just did it!)? Play along. Doesn’t matter if you spend your day being the manliest man ever seen. Another kid invites you to a tea party? A secret superheroes meeting? Don’t resist. Let your kidself come out and play.
Those concerts where you see the beach balls flying? Join in. Take a look. Lots of other guys are doing it too. Good chance they are diving for it.
You are just standing there and you hear the music. Your feet hear it first. Mine start tapping. Then they start to prove that you can line dance to anything or everything. Then they start listening to the music in your head and dancing along to it. Baby dance steps. Nothing grand, nothing that takes up more than my own personal space. But if you are even a little bit like me, you want to move. Maybe your shoulders. Maybe your fingers or hands like to drum. Maybe your head bobs and weaves a little. It’s ok. Guys dance.
Sprinkles on your ice cream sundae are a good thing.
Sitting under some speakers somewhere? It’s a favorite song. Maybe one from now, maybe one from high school. Maybe a slow song from that dance where you got to stare at your crush and you almost got the courage to say hello. Maybe one you and your favorite grownup sang to when you were a kid. Maybe one you sing to a kid while making funny faces. You hum a little. You sing under your breath. You leave, and in the parking lot you sing a little louder. You think you sound pretty good. I know I do. I think I sound great. I also think that I am mildly delusional in this area. But dude, it’s MUSIC! You have to sing. Think about the voices of all of the men before you. What if they hadn’t?
Is there a piece of playground equipment you can climb? Go up. See the world from a different view.
Years ago, I got to spend time in an old industrial building that contained the awesomest library ever, complete with scooters and a long, empty room. One guess what I did with that combination. One guess what you would do.
How many times have you been tempted to play with those Legos? To grab a stick horse in a toy store and go for a gallop? To make all of the crowd sounds while you play air baseball and hit a grand slam, or catch a ball on the fly? To grab a couple of sticks with a friend and stage your very own sword fight? To wail on that air guitar? To speak like a pirate, one day a year?
Go ahead. Do it. If anyone laughs, just remember. They probably want to do it, too.
photo: BharaT / flickr