I hate it when children cry. It's not an emotional thing - I just really hate the sound. And I hate watching their faces crumple and their mouths stretch open like rubber bands.
Not that I want children to be sad and miserable, because amazingly, I don't. I just want them not to look so incredibly grotesque on the (hopefully rare) occasions that they are.
And I want them to stop wearing those damn blinking sneakers. Those have been around since I was a kid, and you know what? I never wanted a pair. I thought they were weird, which is pretty much how I feel today, and I really think that if any of these intellectually lazy toddlers stopped and thought about it, they'd come to the same conclusion.
Children are not cars; they don't need a turn signal. I can hear them coming perfectly well without a visual warning. Unless the blinkers were designed as an aid for the deaf, in which case my whole world ceases to make sense.
But then I was a weird kid, so maybe I'm just missing out on something. When I was little I had to spend six weeks of every summer in Ohio, and one of its (admittedly few) highlights was this store in the mall called The Imaginarium. It had a regular entryway for adults but a smaller door for kids that I would always crawl through, into a shiny plastic and taffeta paradise. The Imaginarium had tons of shit, but mostly I remember the rows of costumes, none of which I ever tried on. I would just stand there, touching the fabric and looking deprived.
It was a good time.
Anyway, I remember being in there once when a pair of girls, probably about fourteen, were taking pictures of themselves in sequined hats, holding child-sized ball gowns up to their necks, etc. They were giggly and loud and bothering me, so I glared at them, prompting the taller of the two to turn to me and say:
"We're just having fun. Don't you ever have fun? Or don't you know how?"
And I thought, I'm walking through The Imaginarium alone while my Bio-Dad stands outside the store reading USA Today. Of course I don't know how to have fun.
Only I didn't say that. I just walked out and told Bio-Dad that I wanted a soft pretzel, and he got me one. And then when we got back to my grandparents' house I split my identity into three so I could enjoy a lively card game alone.
So maybe I shouldn't be judging kids for their sneakers. Those blinkers are probably really fun, and I'm just not getting it.