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When I was little - five or six years old - for the better part of a year, I had recurring nightmares that the president of the United States had been replaced by a giant alien locust, who then made everyone eat magic alien locust beans to turn them into locusts, who would then start making more locust beans, perpetuating the wave of transformation. And I was the only one who noticed the replacement, but no one would listen to me or believe me, because I was a little kid trying to pit myself against the president.

This entire concept, I believe, was brought on by a very bizarre Breyer's Ice Cream commercial from about 1979, my own skewed interpretation of the ten plagues of Egypt, and my five-year-old perception of The President as a being somewhere between Dad and God on the spectrum of 'Must Be Obeyed By All No Matter What.'

Though I'm not sure whether this is the most bizarre dream I've had, since I've also dreamed about the X-Men coming to my house to arrest my hamster, an underground city where everyone who moves there has their face cut off so the rest of the residents can wear it for a month, and a carnivorous coffee table....
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This is an odd question to me, because I thought I knew the answer at first... but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I was wrong.

There are so many things in my life that I've been told I could never do, that I wound up accomplishing anyway. I was told I could never get into vet school, I could never make it through, I could never practice veterinary medicine.

I was told I'd never get married, and that if I somehow did that I'd never be able to keep a husband. That I'd never have friends. That I'd never be loved.

But... none of these things were told to me by my friends. If anything, it was my friends who told me that the things I had been told were wrong and untrue, and that I was strong enough and good enough to do anything I set my mind to, and to be anything I wanted to. They believed I could do these things, even when I didn't. I think that's part of what friends *are*. People who try to break you down, and make you less than you are or can be, or try to convince you that you're not worthy of your dreams... they may be part of your life, or part of your social circle, but I don't know if I'd honestly call them friends.
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I was raised Jewish, and someone - I don't remember quite who - told me when I was very little that Hitler killed all the Jews by telling them that he was sending them to the showers, and then poisoning them with gas.

I was all of four or five years old, and somehow this all mushed together in my exceedingly hyperactive imagination, until I was quite certain that Hitler was going to sneak into the bathroom and swap out the water in the shower for poison gas, and kill me because I was Jewish. I refused to take showers until I was... I don't remember how old; at least eight or nine. I'd only take baths instead; for some reason they weren't nearly as scary. I think the shower curtain was part of it; there's something about the limited field of vision that makes it entirely possible for stealth Nazis to invade without your notice.

Of course, I was also terribly afraid of monsters, the basement, sentient green ooze, triffids, and one particularly unusual Shel Silverstein poem, and my sister spent at least a year afraid of Jesus (another friend explained that He would take her to burn in H-e-double-hockey-sticks for being Jewish).

We were odd children.....
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Okay. I don't usually answer these little Writer's Block things. And by 'usually' I mean 'I've never done it before, and I probably never will again. But this one made me think, and my thought processes went off in an interesting enough direction that I figured I ought to write them down. Plus, it was fun to make a list of possible answers, because, well, there are plenty.

So, in order of how they occurred to me, my list of childish pleasures that maybe I ought to have outgrown by now:

Peanut Butter And Jelly Sandwiches
Also fluffernutters. I'm a grownup, but I still love them, and take them for lunch at least once a week. Mostly it's an excuse to eat peanut butter, which I adore in almost all forms and combinations.

Stuffed Animals
I've got an entire guest room filled almost to bursting with them. I can't bring myself to give them away, or even exile them to a box (or ten) in the basement. I don't exactly play with them, but I will admit to rearranging them when I feel bored or blue.

I admit I don't wear them all the time - usually only when I'm sharing sleeping quarters with someone who really has no need to see me naked. But I still adore them. Oversized shirts, satin sets, velour PJ pants and patterned tank tops, almost anything. Most often they wind up being worn later in the morning, while enjoying

Not the current ones, but older shows. Gargoyles. Batman Adventures. Animaniacs. Tiny Toons. I even had a serious Pokemon habit while I was in vet school. It's a fun way to turn off your brain for a little while....

Being Read To
I am fully capable of reading my own books. But there's something comforting and reassuring and luscious about having someone you love read out loud to you.

Catching Fireflies
I no longer put them in jam jars in my room (always with a few sticks and leaves to make it feel more homey), but I still chase them, and catch them. Also frogs, toads, and any other cool creepy-crawlies. I think at the Steampunk Picnic I went to a few weeks ago I spent more time catching toads, setting them free, and building them little bark houses with the five-year-olds than I did talking to the adults there.

Kicking Leaf Piles, Jumping in Puddles, and Making Snow Angels
I've lumped these all together because they all amount to the same thing - celebrating a given season by making a mess and subjecting yourself to its elements. I still can't imagine not doing any of these things.

The Children's Radio Station
WERS, a local college station, has a children's radio show every Saturday and Sunday. The lyrics there are, as far as I can tell, at least as deep and meaningful as anything on the pop stations. Plus, where else can you hear a song about Harry Potter and his magic wand set to the tune of 'Stacy's Mom?'

I love all amusement park rides. I'm a sucker for rollercoasters, and anything that spins you around and turns you upside down, but if I ever had to pick my absolute, favorite ride? The carousel, hands down. I've loved them since I was teeny.

The Hokey Pokey
Because it *is* what it's all about. I will still be doing the Hokey Pokey when I'm old and grey. I want it done at my funeral.

There's just one thing, though. While I was making this list in the car on my way home from work yesterday, I realized something. I don't honestly feel like I should have outgrown these things by now. They're fun. They make my life better. And while most people may set them aside as they get older, or feel like they ought to, why the heck should I?

My husband said it best - I think I've outgrown the need to outgrow things.

Except maybe my Elfquest 1992 Fantasy With Teeth Tour t-shirt. On a purely physical level, I probably ought to have outgrown that by now.....


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March 2017

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