Tuesday, July 25, 2006

More Rejuvenile

Hey, so if the author of a book wants to leave a comment on my blog I'm more than willing to write a bit more about it. Plus, the subjective temperature of my brain has dropped back below 150° again, which helps.

One of the main reasons Rejuvenile was so fun is that I firmly identify myself as one of the title characters. I like seeing a quality that I take as an important part of myself newly elevated to the status of book-worthy. Also, in exploring all the different varieties of rejuveniles and kidults, it made me think more about how much of this trend I really see around me. In a way I suppose that makes it lose a bit of its "specialness," but I think it's worth it, since it's a happy thing to be aware of in the world.

It's also good for those of us rejuveniles who occasionally feel a bit of a nagging worry or guilt about when they might feel like a "real" adult. (And c'mon, it happens to all of us at least sometimes, right?) I think its success in this area is primarily due to the sense of modularity with which it describes the various lifestyle choices. For instance, you might be someone who takes their job responsibilities very seriously, gives regularly to charity and invests sensibly in mutual funds, but then also goes nuts over Harry Potter books and can spend hours playing Legos with a toddler. Other people may swap out the Harry Potter for skateboarding, and not know anything about investing but be a dedicated parent. Or whatever the case may be. Presented this way, it has less a feeling of someone lacking the maturity to grow out of their childhood habits, and more a sense of people deliberately maintaining the most meaningful aspects of their lives and integrating them with the normal growth process. Obviously, there are people who become rejuveniles merely by remaining childish, rather than deliberately being childlike, and those can often be more on the dysfunctional side. But overall, the emphasis is on the positive.

One question I would like to pose, though, is one of terminology. I'd say a lot of the people I know in my age range (say the 20's generally) are rejuveniles of some sort, whether in terms of activities, sense of humor, or whatever. And the man/boy, woman/girl sets of words seem to bookend these sorts of people without really applying quite correctly. On the male side, referring to someone as a "guy" is a nice easy way to get around this, but I have more trouble on the female side, since "gal," the obvious "guy" equivalent, isn't really used as commonly or in the same way. If someone is a very silly, fun-loving individual, it might seem overly formal or old-sounding to call her a "woman," but if she's say, 28, I'd also wonder if that really counts as a "girl" anymore, on a purely numerical basis. What's the appropriate age-range for those terms? Of course, now that I think about it some more, it occurs to me that a nice way around it is to just call them a "friend." Works for a lot of situations, at least.

Anyway, fun book, I recommend it. Amazon's little "better together" deals should pair it up with some Harry Potter books or something. Or maybe some coloring books. That would be funny.

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