This past weekend, two friends came to visit me, K and K. They both have had rough months – family tragedies and romantic trouble, not to mention that they both have demanding jobs that keep them almost constantly working. They made time to come see me, which I was thrilled about, but I could tell that what we all wanted and needed was a little bit of going back in time, to when we all spent a summer living in a house in our college town, working jobs with far less responsibility than we have now, having dance parties most nights in our living room, and never quite knowing where we were going to end up as “adults.”
We didn’t end up cooking together – too much, I think, like regular life – but we did end up at a sushi restaurant, because K mentioned how ravenous for sushi she was. We sat in a booth on a rooftop patio, and ordered food with nice presentation made from high-quality ingredients (I think? I guess it just tasted fresh and good). K, however, cracked us all up by stealing a toothpick and everyone’s wasabi cubes and making a little creation out of it. I was a little embarassed, but in the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t hurting anyone, and our server was already a bit amused with our silliness… Grown women shouldn’t act this way all the time, but… sometimes we need it.
It got me thinking about how much adults benefit from being around kids – we claim, usually, that we ‘play’ in order to benefit the child, but often adults get severely burnt out from lack of play. The night before sushi, we all wanted to go out dancing in the city near where I live, but when we all ended up in our pajamas, playing a crazy game of charades, I think we had a better time. K is a doctor, for goodness sake, and saves lives every day, but she can act goofy for pictures and play hang-man on the chalkboard when we’re waiting for dinner. I think it’s part of a balanced life, both playing in general and maybe also playing with our food.