Much has been said about the “Man-Child,” yet it is unfair to presume that being unusually immature for one’s years is a phenomenon restricted to adult men. In fact there is another breed of lady (who may or may not be writing this) that may notice over time (or never notice) that much as she tries she doesn’t have what others would term “life skills.” She may judge herself increasingly harshly for this, or not at all, but the truth is that neither option is inherently bad.
Now if by life skills we mean a terrific social demeanor, or the ability to match a dress with shoes, or even a fantastic sense of humor, this Lady-Girl may have all of these things. But if by life skills we refer to anything pertaining to money, bill paying, or filling out forms, dental appointments, busted carburetors, or ceiling mold, then aforesaid Bitch-Baby might be shit out of luck.
Just as there is nothing wrong with the Man-Child, so there is nothing wrong with this Baby-Woman, this female Petra Pan, this perennially moist flower. For just as his beardy, hipster demeanor can strike lust in the right woman, even though he may still be sleeping on his parent’s couch/living where the parents pay the rent/a trust-fund baby, so a woman who is either somewhat helpless or playing a role of helplessness may be catnip for some.
For men who are “rescuers” for example, such a woman is enticing at any age. She is not psychologically a mess, necessarily (but she might need to be cured on that level as well) she is at heart young and free-spirited, and if nothing tethers her to this physical world, why wouldn’t said rescuer be that tether? Some people wish to be indispensible, whether in gay or straight relationships, and seek to make themselves so, knowingly or not. It may be emotional dependence, or more physical, but in hetero relationships, some women have learned that when it comes to keeping the lights on, it’s best to let Daddy take care of it.
In modern psychology this is considered “bad.” It is (shame, shame) “co-dependent,” and robs people of the ability to grow and do for themselves, and in the manner of the cocoon allegory, deprives people of growing their own wings. However, in this crazy modern life, some people want to stay safe, even it means staying stunted, and this, like anything else is a valid choice.
Divorce is a phenomenon that has created a whole generation of Baby-Women. I have seen many robbed of the purpose family life provided them, clinging to a disappearing youth with acrylic talons. They may have been functioning as an adult in that relationship, had jobs and been accountable for all manner of details, but without the infrastructure of a benevolent (male) gaze they regress back to a childlike state. This too, is just fine. There is a reason, after all, that adult coloring books have gotten so popular.
So today, whether your wings have been clipped by someone else or yourself, honor where exactly you are in the caterpillar to butterfly process. Perhaps you do not have all the facts today to move forward and will have a surge of them if you are patient. Perhaps you are still collecting sticks and twigs and are not sure what configuration they require to form a solid nest. Maybe you are reading this in the library, because life has gotten on top of you (but not in the good way.) Perhaps you threw a bowling pin at your life to make it look more like something you recognize, and that is a bravery rarely acknowledged, in a society that sometimes values going along, over the scary other.
For the record, this Crone-Toddler, who is only just understanding the basics of “real life,” believes that you can fly, but honors your choice, if you don’t want to fly today. Some days existing is enough, one shitty mundane task at a time. And sometimes a Man-Man and a Lady-Girl can go on a picnic and even if they don’t know what will happen as they gaze over the expanse of an increasingly scorched earth, they can let that moment be more than enough.