I used to be a fairly wacky individual, really I did. I spent my first two years of college as a theatre major, wore silk smoking jackets with ripped jeans to class, stayed up all night painting scenery and having long philosophical discussions, and once, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, died my hair hot pink and wore it in long pigtail braids.
Somewhere along the way, probably when I switched to the business school, then law school route, I got a little sidetracked in the playful department. My accounting professor would probably have been less enamored of the artistic possibilities of pink hair, and my federal employer would definitely have taken a pass.
That’s why I’m grateful for my mini-me, the ex’slittle sister. At 19, she’s a pistol of fun and adventure, with a nose ring, an activist streak, and a bicycle who powers through life assuming she will always be running on all four cylinders. And in my heart of hearts, she reminds me of me at that age. Last night, I helped her move back into her dorm for the second year of college- she’ll be an RA this year. And I noticed she was a little hesitant… for two weeks she’ll be all alone in her dorm to train as an RA (minus a flock of Japanese exchange students with limited English skills).
So, because I couldn’t have my mini-me scared of the dark in a big, quiet dorm, the old fun me came out to play. Why not, I suggested, wrap yourself in the piles of toilet paper in the storage closet and roam the deserted halls as a mummy? Scary window on the third floor? Put on glow-in-the-dark face paint and peek out to scare passers-by. Big echoey formal staircase- the perfect excuse to put on evening gowns and Bette Davis makeup and trail down the stairs with a cigarette holder. Empty dorm rooms- the perfect chance to try out every bed in the building in theme costumes- a princess room, a ninja room, a pirate room. Abandoned TV room? Why not roam naked through all the public spaces while you still can? Scandalize yourself!
By the time I left, she had laughed more than once. And according to this morning’s call, she promptly went to her room and crashed for the night, ignoring every scary creak in the big, old, lonely building.
I may look like a regular ol’ government bureaucrat, but on the inside? There’s still a little part of me that knows how to make my own fun. Or at least make it for someone else in a time of need. Especially when it’s Mini Me.