Wednesday, September 02, 2009

A Big Problem

I was 21 years old in 1988 when the movie "Big" came out, and I remember going to see the movie with my friends Tim and Frank. For those of you who might be cinematically impaired, "Big" is a story about a boy who makes a wish and wakes up the next day as an adult, and follows his adventures over the span of a few months as he learns to be an adult all while trying to become a kid again. At the end of the movie, Tom Hank's character (Josh Baskin) goes back to being a kid and all is well.

When the movie was done, we began discussing how each of us would have handled that scenario. Back then, Tim was 22, and Frank was probably 35 or so. I steadfastly argued that Josh made a huge mistake going back, and should have continued his life as an adult. Sure, he went from being 11 to probably 30, but, in his short time as an adult he landed a great job (toy company executive), an awesome loft apartment, and a legitimate relationship with one of the most elegant and beautiful women I've ever seen (Elizabeth Perkins) in my entire life (even still to this day).

Frank was adamant that you had to go back to being a kid, and Tim agreed with Frank. Now, over the course of the last 21 years, I've forgotten why Tim took that position, but Frank took his stance based on the idea you could still have all those things later in life. I argued that was crazy, and that Josh had basically won the life lottery and might never get those things back.

And here I sit, 21 years later, at the age of 42, having just watched the middle portions of "Big" on cable, and it started me thinking about that discussion. And while I still think did win the life lottery, I have to admit I'm reconsidering my viewpoint. Perhaps it's my age, the extra life experience, perhaps it's just a mid-life crisis, but I'm starting to think Josh made the right decision in going back to being a kid, even if that meant giving up Elizabeth Perkins. Now, was Josh stupid for not liquidating all his assets and placing them in an offshore account before he went back so he'd be able to keep all that he earned? Maybe ;-)

What I'm really curious to know is, how would you handle that scenario? Would you stay as an adult or go back?

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