Friday, March 16, 2012

You're invited to a sleepover!

When I grow up, will I still get to have sleepovers?

This is one of the most pressing questions of my youth. I may no longer be a ten year old pretending to host a radio station while playing the latest Kidz Bop CD and eating ice cream at 11 pm, but that doesn't mean I'm a stranger to the sleepover.

So I can't help but wonder when I will tire of this sort of cheesy amusement.

Over the years I've grown out of a lot of different things. At a relatively young age I stopped playing with Furbies and Barbies, moving onto sophisticated toys like the PSP and iPod (not really a toy, I guess). I was quick to transition from watching Nickelodeon and Disney Channel to MTV and Comedy Central...until I switched back again.

But through all the years, I've never once stopped being a dork with my friends and feigning sleep to get their parents to leave us alone. And it makes me wonder if that part of me will ever change. I tend to doubt it and here are my reasons why:

1. When else will I have long and serious talks about immature subjects?

I've never had a sleepover with my friends at college, mainly because we live so close to each other that staying up until 1 am talking is not an unusual practice and therefore not a big deal when it does happen. But being in tight quarters with people I care about and occasionally gossip with has made me realize the extreme importance of getting to talk about stupid things as if they truly matter.

Whether we're talking about homework or stress or family or boys or painting our nails, we manage to turn every conversation into something deep and philosophical. It's an ability that belongs solely to the female population, gathered around a room talking with valley girl accents.

And the more I think back to my childhood days, the more I become aware that this is an immature part of me that has not and never will die.

2. Give me another excuse to watch cult classic films.

When I was in elementary school I always watched the movie Spice World during sleepovers. We'd stay up into the night being ridiculous then cap it all off by singing along to "Stop" by the Spice Girls. Even then it wouldn't be time to call it a night until we'd decided which Spice Girl each of us was.

I thought this tradition had died until a few years ago, when I was staying over a friend's house and we decided to watch Spice World. Old habits must die pretty hard if that terrible excuse for a film was still a source of entertainment so many years later.

The truth of the matter is, it is nearly impossible to outgrow the pleasure of even the most inane sleepover traditions, even when you consider yourself infinitely more mature with a monumentally improved taste in film. Spice World will always be the order of the night.

3. Is life ever complete without the occasional midnight slap-happiness?

College beats any desire I have to stay up late until I can barely think straight right out of me. Because of morning responsibilities and my goody-two-shoes persona, I am forever reminding myself to go to bed early and not let myself get delirious with sleep deprivation.

Sleepovers are an excuse to, regardless of your level of maturity, take an evening off to become a giggly stupid kid once again.

It reminds me of one evening I spent with my dorm for an event called Panquake. I will forever remember the night as one of my best friendship bonding experiences. My closest college friend, Dana, and I were so incredibly tired, staying up into the wee hours of the night/morning with the rest of our dorm, that as we walked around the North Shore we were practically falling over from laughing so hard.

The only other time I've ever gotten so delirious with happiness was during many of my childhood sleepovers, but back then the sleepy joviality was accompanied by an inherent crankiness.

Now that we're older, my friends and I can let the former take precedence over the latter, and it's really one of the best and most memorable feelings to have, even in adult life.

4. If not night time, then when?

In early pre-teenhood, our time was divided up between school and home, with a bit of homework thrown in. We weren't deprived of enough time to hang out with friends, thus we were enabled to have playdates and hang out sessions pretty regularly.

But once you get to college, you start to feel that all of your time is compromised. When you are not in class, you are thinking about class. Or you are thinking about your extracurricular responsibilities. Or you are thinking about things back at home. Or whatever.

When do you have time for yourself and your friends? Night.

Hence, sleepovers.

To sleep or not to sleep

There's this overwhelming stigma against reverting back to childhood immaturity once you reach adulthood. Those who do admit to enjoying the revelries of their past do so facetiously or in the privacy of their close-knit groups that accept them for being the nostalgic weirdos that they are.

But sleepovers should be exempt from this classification. Because they really are a universally loved practice, and they're utterly irreplaceable.

Tonight, I will be going over to my friend's house to have my first traditional sleepover in months. While we haven't planned ahead much, I already know that this will be an opportunity to catch up, be silly, sleep very little and most of all have fun in a way that we just don't get a chance to have anymore.

Because we're all still kids at heart, aren't we? Occasionally we realize that even the most ridiculous practices of our youth - e.g. naming an activity a "sleepover" when it barely involves sleeping - are some of the best activities to let crossover into our adulthood.

After all, how else can we have "serious" conversations and hysterical laughter in the space of a few minutes? I certainly don't know.

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