I recently subscribed to the Daily Calvin and Hobbes on Tumblr, which is quickly reacquainting me with some of my particular favorites from the comic’s epic run. It’s unusual–and a testament to Bill Watterson’s genius–that I enjoyed Calvin and Hobbes so immensely when I was young, but enjoy it on a completely new level as an adult and find it funnier, more touching and sometimes even profound.
When I read the above strip as a child (which I’m sure I did, since I owned enough of the C&H collections that I had nearly every panel), I no doubt rushed through it in search of the next Spaceman Spiff adventure, without realizing the deep truth it conveyed about growing up and the inherent uncertainty of adulthood. Growing up definitely involves going off script. Seemingly overnight, you’re forced to make big decisions that have implications for people beyond yourself and choices that have effects and repercussions that can be difficult to control or reverse. Life becomes a great improvisation with applause-inducing moments of sheer brilliance as well as the occasional cringe-worthy sour note. In a way, it’s a miracle that the ad-libbing of adulthood can appear to be so proper and scripted to a child.
And sometimes that script can get a little stale…which leads me to the panels below and one of my all-time favorite Calvin and Hobbes lines.
I’m officially 29.5. And I’m looking to add a few more stories with a point.