20 December 2009

Peter Pan is Alive and Well

I assume it is a rather common sickness in larger cities (NYC, Chicago, Boston, etc.): the Peter Pan Syndrome. This illness is characterized by a refusal to grow up, evidenced by late 20/early 30 years old who are still running around, playing in group sports leagues, hanging out at bars playing drinking games...

This is one epidemic that is pretty prevalent in San Francisco. My friends, mainly around my age, still do all of those things I mentioned, but in SF there is the added twist of constantly being dressed up in one costume or another. We don't give a second thought to it, because we're all doing it...be they single, coupled up, married... And yes, we think about "growing up," but it's hard to find role models because once people are ready for that, they tend to move out of the city, or to the more family-ish neighborhoods.

While I don't think this is completely unique to San Francisco, I do think it is more rampant here. Our weather is pretty nice, so we can enjoy the outdoors (and things like kickball, dodgeball, flag football, etc.) for most of the year. This doesn't fully explain it, though.

My friend A had an interesting theory, and I think it's one to which I can subscribe. Her thought goes something like this: in SF, we have an inherent trust that our friends will get us home, or we will get ourselves home with trustworthy cab drivers, kind Muni drivers... We don't concern ourselves much with getting mugged on the subway or taken advantage of by our taxi driver. In other cities, her theory goes, there is more wariness towards these things, so people don't tend to go AS nuts.

I can see that. There may have been mornings where I've wondered how I got home the night before, I may have questioned having paid the cab driver, and perhaps I didn't tell anyone I left wherever we are. But I think if I lived somewhere that I was really worried about my safety, I may not get as inebriated as I possibly did. (um, don't worry mom, this situation is totally made up)

Having never lived anywhere else as a full-fledged adult (I mean, I guess technically I was an adult in college and Spain, but those don't count), I can't tell for sure. I know I've visited other cities and had a lot of fun, but probably stayed more in control than I sometimes am here. But I know what I know here, and I know I often find myself singing, "I won't grow up, I don't wanna go to work..."

1 comment:

David Putnam said...

I don't think that Peter Pan prefers only Frisco. But probably in warmer climates, the childish behavior is more in the open and louder. In cold Switzerland the Peter Pans watch TV endlessly or surf the Internet or drink by themselves to escape reality. The solution is maybe not to repress the child in you, but to outwit him from time to time ^^