Tuesday, March 24, 2009
I was at Target a few weeks ago, and I saw a little display of buttons, magnets, and stationary featuring those characters from the Mr. Men children's books. The series featured various anthropomorphic shapes that had personality flaws that were resolved through the narrative.
I had a moment of nostalgia as I looked at the stuff on the Target rack, remembering the one Mr. Man book I had and read regularly. It was Mr. Nervous. Ah, the memor....wait. I had Mr. Nervous. The only one my parents ever bought me was Mr. Nervous.
It occurred to me right there at Target that it was likely no coincidence that they bought me that one. I'm sure it wasn't just a matter of them choosing whichever one was available or cutest. They chose the Mr. Nervous book...because I was such a nervous little kid.
I remember being a high-strung, nervous little kid. I got scared at school, at home, at church, at the store. I'd have tear-filled meltdowns with little notice, driving my parents crazy. I was in 4th grade before I went to school on day one without bawling about it. I cried when I spent the night away from home without them. And so on...
But when I got my Mr. Nervous book, it never once occurred to me that the book was meant to be a lesson in chilling out from my (very likely) exasperated parents.
But 25 years later, I'm finally onto them. I see their game! Too bad for them I'm still a high-strung nervous adult. Mr. Nervous wasn't enough to cure me.