Monday, April 5, 2010

No one is ever too old to be young

My boyfriend received gift certificates for his birthday. He decided to share with me in exchange for some help in shopping, and being the sensible people that we are, we made a list of about a dozen things to buy with the gift certificates: headphones, a cellphone, a room thermometer, shirts, trousers, ties and other office apparel for everyday use, a frying pan or a coffee maker or tableware for our apartment, etcetera, etcetera. In the end, we immensely enjoyed ourselves by spending a huge portion of the gift certificates buying and enjoying what we normally wouldn't spend money on: toys.

Yes, toys, those things that kids play with.
I indulged myself by buying a clay set, six colors of Play Dough clay and two sets of clay tools from a brand called Art Academy. I bought Play Dough, specifically, remembering that as a kid from a struggling big family, I only got to play with crappy, cheap-ass clay and not the fragrant Play Dough which is ten times as expensive. I've always been a nerd, even as a little girl, playing more with clay and craft items, and coloring and reading books in a corner, rather than playing with dolls and pretending to go to parties. I enjoyed making and telling stories for an invisible audience, and I guess, adult me would be annoyed at the kid me, because I loved puns and trivia and I loved being a know it all around people. Having come from a broken family, there were lots of things that I didn't get to enjoy as a child, and books and craft items were just about the cheapest forms of entertainment that kids could enjoy. Play Dough was the celebrity of clays; the kids I knew who owned them would of course, never let me touch their Play Dough stash. So I bought six hundred bucks worth of Play Dough (now they don't seem expensive to me anymore) and it smelled just as sweet as I thought it would when I opened up the first jar (a bright purple color). Owning my own Play Dough clay was just as good as I've always dreamed it to be when I was a little girl, and I spent a good portion of my time just kneading it and enjoying the fact that it doesn't stick to the table. I think about how happy a 200-peso jar of Play Dough would've made me as a kid, and when I made clay fast  food and put up an imaginary restaurant serving Play Dough food, the kid inside me thanked me for it. Its what she's always wanted to do but has never afforded to.

Carlo bought for himself a Transformers robot, and a German stealth bomber craft set. He hasn't finished assembling the stealth bomber: his hands are too big, he says, and neither does he have the patience that only kids can have. But the Transformers robot was a different story. Its a component robot (made up of five different robots assembling into one big robot) called Bruticus. He searched in You Tube and  let me watch the Transformers cartoon episode where Bruticus first showed up, and the revelation gave a lot of personality to the lifeless pieces of plastic. Making each robot transform was a huge challenge. Let me just liken it to solving a Rubik's cube puzzle, except that the pieces are not uniform in size. With each move, I get afraid of snapping the frail plastic parts. As luck would have it, though, I learned assembling each piece from vehicle to robot and back (yey!) and I now happily glance at Bruticus (assembled as one) while he keeps guard of Carlo's toiletries.

I know some people wouldn't understand our tiny toy shopping craze, but I don't really care. We both had a lot of fun! When we were buying the toys, we even pretended to buy them for our kids (we don't have any yet!), to keep nosy sales people out of our hair. Of course, we look forward to the time when we actually have to buy toys for our own children. I made a promise to myself, for my kids someday: I'll never forget how it is to be a child myself.