While at Thundercloud Subs the other day, a future punk strolled by on Heelys, forcing Matti (my nicer half) into a mini rage: “I fucking HATE kids with wheelies, I wanna clothesline them every time.”
I wondered what it was about Heelys that make so many people upset–you know those magical wheels that pop out of what seem to be normal shoes but are only socially acceptable for kids to use (because normal adults just rollerblade). It reminded me of a story I would tell the third and fourth graders I worked with about flying:
“Hey guys,” I pulled them aside as if to say I’m going to be cool now so you loudmouths better shut up, “I want to tell you the story of when I almost flew.” As Adam* began leading the group in a makeshift Gangnam Style routine I decided to try again.
“GUYS! Did you ever think maybe you could fly…”
Peter* was interested. He loved when I got into this mood and also when I was silly and talked with a lisp: “Can I have a ssship of your sssshoda for ssshussshtenance” was his favorite.
As their little, creepy eyes focused on me I told them how I used to stand on my picnic table and flap my arms super fast and jump off.
“I swear you guys, I got a little higher every time.” And then I dropped my mic on the floor and walked away.
Whenever I told the kids this story they half looked at me like I was crazy (which was fine) and half like I was the coolest person in the world. Who could blame them? As upper elementary schoolers they were entering the prick stage of adolescence where make believe wasn’t exactly cool anymore. Well, I want make believe to always be cool and I wish I still believed I could fly. Also, stop playing Minecraft on Gameboys you assholes (Okay, Minecraft is actually better for kids than most of those games).
So I think the hating on Heelys thing has something to do with us adults being super jealous of kids and losing our own sense of wonder. And no, letting your child still believe in Santa Claus doesn’t mean you still have a sense of wonder–it means you’re just like every other person that celebrates Christmas.
It may also be the fact that kids on Heelys are often punks that fly by you in the grocery store, forcing you to drop an Amy’s Chili on your bunion toe. I would laugh in Matti’s face if he were to start rolling around Whole Foods like an overgrown pre-punk with facial hair, but would it be that jealous kind of laughter where secretly you wish you were the one people were laughing at? Definitely yes. Always yes. I want to be the person rolling around in Heelys in Whole Foods, forever. Envisioning this makes me happier than most things.
Who knows, there could be an adult Heely gang out there I don’t know about and that makes me super happy. Let’s all jump off picnic tables together and roll off into the sunset.
How do you keep your wonder as an adult and would you join my Heelys gang?
*These names are made up due to the fact I don’t want to be sued.