A funny thing happened to me this last Sunday. I ran into my first Eternal Adolescent.
Now, man-children are common. There are the men who, in the presence of women, act helpless about responsibility and seem to be yearning for Mummy.
There are men who refer to themselves and friends as "the boys", and seem to be on a lifelong escapade with the other charter members of the "wimmen-haters club".
And, there are men who reach mid-life, and jettison wife, children, and hard work for endless pleasure and pitiful striving to keep old age at bay.
All of these, I have met. But the Eternal Adolescent was new to me.
He was sitting in Panera when I arrived. My husband and I sat down, and I happened to be facing him, with his lunchmate. She appeared to be a fashionably tousled, ponytailed divorcee (I don't know how I knew, I just looked at her and said, "divorced". She crinkled her nose at him, and laughed at all his antics.
And antics they were. I watched, astounded, to see him lift his lip in a curl of disdain (picture a Valley Girl saying, "Oh, ... my God!"), and shake his head and roll his eyes, EXACTLY like a typical Saturday Night Live sketch of a kid expressing his disgust with his - like - REALLY out of touch parents. He did this repeatedly, while expressing his opinion on multiple topics - politics, those IDIOTS who were - well - REPUBLICANS, of all things, the stupidity of modern life, WHAT-EVER!
When not "expressing" himself, he sat with a vacant and frankly stupid look on his face. He wasn't listening, just not on stage at present. He sat there until the conversation gave him another opportunity to again be the center of attention.
He looked like a pseudo-sophisticated adolescent. I doubt he ever married, fathered a child, or took on any serious responsibility in his life. Amazingly, although his hair was almost all grey, his face lacked the lines that indicate a certain gravitas.