The Eighth Page

The Golden Years: “Screw manhood. Babyhood is where it’s at.”

Pot Pourri e-mailed me recently. As I stared at the unopened e-mail, a whole host of thoughts rushed through my head. The first being, “Why is this book called pot pourri?” A few keystrokes and clicks later, my curiosity still remained unanswered. Perhaps those who created the book meant to reference Akrobatisches Potpourri, the 1895 German silent documentary directed by Emil Skladanowsky. The subject of the film: a family of eight circus performers. This answer was unlikely considering the film’s run time is six seconds. Maybe the creators were alluding to a mixture of dried and naturally fragrant plant remains called a potpourri, which was used as the “Febreeze” of 17th century France. I came to the correct conclusion about why this particular title was chosen when I stumbled upon the most current definition of the word: Potpourri (n) – a miscellaneous collection All this thinking about yearbooks made me ponder how I would feel about myself when I looked back on my life. What would I remember the most? Who would I remember the least? These thoughts and many more were the focus of my afternoon, but one in particular caught my attention. When were my glory years? What was the “golden age” of the life of Andrew Jordan Schlager? That answer was not obvious at first, but after some deep and particularly self-loathing internal reflection, I can proudly state that my glory years took place between the ages of zero and two. Though I don’t remember the mid-nineties well, I know it was a good time, a very good time. Now That’s What I Call Music 8 reigned in the charts that fateful summer I was born. Life was good. Why were these years my most formidable, you wonder? Let me share. To begin, I did not have to excuse myself to go the restroom. I could go anywhere, anytime and I would not have to clean it up. I could be sitting at the dining table mid-meal, feel the urge and just let loose. The obvious perks of such a lifestyle return in your elder years (ever heard of grandma diapers?) but who wants to wait that long to live a life based upon the principle of “when nature calls?” Babyhood is the only point your life where it is cute to be fat. I have never heard an adult use, “you were really chubby as a 30 year old” as an indication of cuteness. You were “adorable” when you had food all over you face, sat and watched TV all day and were a tad plump. If this were true in one’s later life, then a lot more 39-year-old Blockbuster employees would be getting dates. Infancy is also the only time when it is socially acceptable to use biting as a means of getting what you want (although I do recall a similar fashion of communication being used on The Real World: Detroit). Another thing I miss immensely is the stroller. The stroller was the vehicle of the kings. Not only was I pushed around from location to location, but I was also encouraged to sleep in the process. Sleeping in public is something I truly believe should be reinstated into all of our adult lives. If you need three cups of coffee a morning to stay awake, clearly the human body is trying to tell you something. As our good friends at the trainer’s will attest, listening to our bodies is a fundamental practice for a healthy life. My body says sleep, I sleep. My body says defecate, I defecate. Another joy of the formative years is your distinct lack of social obligations. This is the only time in my life where I could have a birthday party without doing a single thing to plan it. Now—as teenagers—we make a fuss over the guest list, but back in the early days, if mommy invited someone I didn’t like I just threw blocks at them. Some call it barbaric, but is gossiping about the unwanted guest’s recent nose job really that much better? I have come to the conclusion that being a baby is really just being a blunt adult, and who’s to say “most blunt” isn’t a superlative you wouldn’t want to win senior year? So the next time someone accuses you of acting like a baby, stick out your tongue and tell them to change your god damn diaper. -Andrew Schlager