In Defense Of Immaturity: A Juvenile Manifesto

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Credit: Bernhard Lang via Getty Images

Maturity is almost universally referenced as being better than immaturity. “You’re so immature” is often said with the same tone as “you’re so stupid.” But the more mature a person is, the less fun they tend to have. Shouldn’t you enjoy life, even if you’re (technically) an adult?

There’s a difference between immaturity and just being a stunted adult, like a guy who lives with his parents until he’s 39. If you sleep in the same twin bed in your 30s that you did as a child, you don’t merely need to grow up; you need a therapist.

But there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the same things you did as a kid, like reading comic books and playing classic Nintendo games. Why deny yourself something you once found fun, just because time’s passed?

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Recently I found myself on a New York City subway, overhearing a hipster couple’s conversation. The girl wanted to pick up the board game “Operation” on the way home. (To turn it into a drinking game, of course.) The guy, a fedora-wearing moron, immediately shot the idea down, citing their age as a reason: “I’m not playing drinking games. We’re 34. That’s so immature.”

I had two internal responses to their conversation. First, I wanted to dropkick this dude, steal his girlfriend and play “Operation” with her all night long. And secondly, I swore that I’d never let my age dictate the level of fun I’ll allow myself to have, or what I’ll allow myself to laugh at.

See, I tend to judge the quality of a person’s life by how often they laugh. When you laugh, you smile. When you smile, you’re happy…at least, temporarily happy. And guys tend to laugh at the most immature stuff possible. When you’re at the bar, would you rather tell hilarious boner jokes or discuss your taxes like the dud in the corner?

Of course, your personality will evolve as time goes on. You’ll get bogged down with the stress of a job, a marriage, a mortgage. Plus, when you have kids someday, you’ll have to teach them a few lessons about maturity. But if you’re lucky, they’ll teach you a few lessons about immaturity…and if you’re really lucky, they’ll want to play those classic Nintendo games just as much as you do.

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