It was a crisp morning. I pulled a Barbie out from under my back; sleeping on a Barbie really sucks as much as kids do. I looked through the lace curtains lightly shading the window above the bed at my Grandmother’s house. I stared up at the asbestos ceiling and the dimmed “glow-in-the-dark” stars glued there telling me the magic of the dark hours was over. I got up and walked on the plush lilac blue carpet to the pink and white themed bathroom. I stared at myself in the mirror and crunched my nose in the hopes that it would stay small and people would mistake me as Madeline. I picked up the black-framed glasses my cousin had left on the sink and put them on my face. I wished I had glasses so badly, I even pretended to have trouble reading at the eye test in school in an attempt to attain some sweet frames of my own. Somehow, the movie Matilda had creeped into my heart and stood as an idol in my eyes.
I had forgotten about my parent’s big date the night before and threw my fist in the air thinking, “SCORE” my parents were gone. I could eat whatever I wanted.
Downstairs on the green velvet couch, my Grandma was snoring with her hand on her chest. I stood over her for a good 15 seconds before I felt creepy like that dude who wears chick leggings from the Labyrinth movie.
With my Grandma asleep on the couch, and my extreme case of incurable FOMO, (fear of missing out), I decided it was time to go on a lofty quest to find my independence and prove to the world that I WAS an adult in a seven-year-old’s body.
I threw on a belly shirt that I had purchased behind my Grandpa’s back at the local thrift store while he bought a fabulous brown tweed suit, and thought, “Britney Spears would be proud.”
I ran down the stairs and thought about writing a note, but since my Grandma would most likely be passed out for the next six hours, and knew I was an adult anyways, nobody would be upset with my absence. I assumed they would want me to be driving the kids around in the next week or so anyways.
The air was lukewarm with a slight breeze to blow my hair exactly the way I wanted it to. Now was the time of my life, I was sitting on my pink bike with no brand, singing “lucky” by Britney in my head. I also had a slight urge to get my Sh*t together just in case one of the cute college boys wanted to wed me. A diamond seemed like it would be perfectly plausible for my 8th birthday.
I walked into the BYU Idaho library and pranced over to a section with smaller books than the thesaurus and dictionary sized ones. Who read those anyways, idiots? I hated idiots.
I grabbed a few love stories and fiction books about businesswomen, mostly similar to the ones I had seen in my grandma’s basement. I thought about how poor the author and publisher’s choice in cover’s and titles were. When I grew up and wrote riveting books, I would be sure to make them appealing to over achieving 7 year old girls. How could those adults be so dull and misinformed? I heaved a sigh of relief because I knew I wouldn’t make their mistakes.
I slapped my grandma’s library card onto the table I could barely see over, and the 20-something college student wearing a long denim skirt and Dr. Martin shoes looked down on me with a strange investigative condescending quality about her.
“Are you Carol Jensen?” She asked.
“Yes.” I said with assertion, my middle name is Carol, and my Grandpa always told me I looked like her. She was pretty in the pictures above the grand piano, so I never took offense. Also, something about her countenance was beautiful to me.
“Ummm, one second.” – Dr. Martin girl said. She walked over to a taller male at the other massive computer and asked him to advise her on what to do. He strolled over to me with his fingers clasped in his abdomen and furrowed his brow.
“Okay, Carol. Have you rented from us before? These books seem a little advanced for you.”
Advanced for me? Who was this guy? My pride was stoned, and he had cast that stone. What had I done to deserve this? Was reading a sin? Had he not sinned? UGH.
“Yes, that is the reason why I have a library card. I rent here frequently, and I always return my books after I’m finished reading them cover-to-cover. I promise.” I said, slightly annoyed and mildly humbled by this rejection I was feeling.
“Okay. Return them when you’re done.” He said as he stamped the date behind the front cover.
“Thank you very much.” I muttered, thankful for the books I could have purchased with my lemonade enterprise money.
Phew. This was my first experience with using a fake ID, and sketchy as it was, I had SUCCEEDED with confidence! My heart was pumping with adrenaline. I felt like I was listening to an electronic/AC DC song while driving a mini cooper (I had just watched a heist movie with my Dad) whilst saving a baby.
I was definitely ready for the real world.
I waltzed into the courtyard of the college library and pondered where I should take a seat to reach my full potential and show myself off to college-level male suitors while reading.
Jumping into a story about a girl who moves to the city (why do all stories somehow align with this plot?) I completely lost myself in that other world of words and imagination.
An hour or so had gone by and I was nearly 50 pages into my book when I heard footsteps approaching the tree I was leaning on. Part of me believed it to be Leonardo DiCaprio, or an attacker trying to take my gold plated CTR ring. I looked up and batted my eyelashes.
Suddenly my face went solemn. This was not what I wanted and this man was ruining my party. You don’t ruin my party after I’ve succeeded in using a fake ID to get in. If you ruin my party I’ll think about you next time I go to the tumbling gym and need something to be mad about in order to set my back tucks higher. This male was a police officer, staring at me with a smirk on his chapped lips.
“Are you Maddison?” He asked.
“Why?” I asked back.
“Well, I need to take you somewhere.” He told me, disregarding my question.
“Fine.” I said, annoyed that this guy thought he had authority over me.
I followed him to his bike, which was parked next to mine and asked him where we were going. He ignored me again.
I hopped on my bike and figured that I would probably have to push my wedding back to my 10th birthday instead of next year with the hot embarrassment lingering right behind my eyeballs.
We approached my Grandma’s house, and I looked down at my handlebars in humiliation and anger. My mom was standing in the front yard with a video camera attached to her face, and my dad was behind her with his hands on his knees laughing. My grandma was standing next to my mom staring at her fingernails, and my little sister was eating grass. I looked at my mom thinking about how stupid she was being by calling the cops, when she knew I would be coming home soon anyways. She asked me what happened as I got off my bike while she shoved the camera in my face. I just stared at her with a hot look of, “I’m not babysitting anymore,” and grabbed my ‘Skip it’ off the ground.
The cop slapped me on the back as my mom thanked him for bringing me home.
She laughed, and I let the humiliation sink in. I would bring the books back in three days, they would know I’m not seven at heart. This little body of mine was holding me back in ALL my endeavors. I told my mom I would write a note next time I went somewhere, and she told me I wasn’t going to be going anywhere for a while.
“Maybe I am a kid, but someday I won’t be. At least I looked kind of badass getting arrested,” I thought as I walked back into Grandma Carol’s house and smelled carrot stew brewing on the stove top.