A few weeks ago, I purchased balloons for a small child’s birthday. I don’t really care for balloons – I’m a grownup, after all – but children appear to love them, so balloons seemed an excellent choice for a present. On the day I was to visit with my little friend, calamity upon mishap befell me, as my efforts to leave home were cosmically hampered, hindered and handicapped. Running woefully late, disposition now completely soured, I rush into my neighborhood dollar store for a bouquet of helium-filled balloons. They are NOT a dollar. After settling on the quantity of balloons, their various colors and ribbon tie-offs (UGH! C’MON!!), the vendor begins filling my not-a-dollar balloons one by one with what can only be described as magic, because the moment he hands me these bright, beautiful, air-filled happy makers, my spirit shifts, literally lifts. I feel myself beginning to smile. REALLY hard. And suddenly, MAGICALLY, I’m ten years old again. I feel the very happiest I’ve ever felt. In my whole life. Weird, wonderful and inexplicable. How can carrying silly balloons actually carry me back to my childhood?
So I’m skipping down Amsterdam Avenue, balloons knocking me in the face, wrapping around my neck (it’s been a while), small children stopping to point and stare at – and ultimately demand and beg for – my gorgeous bundle of princess balloons. My adult persona is a little uncomfortable with the spectacle I have created. But the kid in me doesn’t have a care in the world. How incredibly nice. Finally, I deliver the balloons safely into the arms of my precious little friend, who is more than happy to relieve me of my “holding” duties. I’m slightly reluctant to hand them over, but relent – because I’m a grownup after all. And I concluded somewhere between the dollar store and my final destination that I would now regularly purchase my very own gorgeous bundle of princess balloons. Because even though they weren’t a “dollar”, they’re infinitely cheaper than therapy.